June 8, 2006 We first wrote about UltraCell’s portable micro fuel cells last year and readership surged in March this year when we announced the company’s new hot-swappable fuel cell system could run a laptop for several days. The company gained further momentum this week when it was announced that it has received a contract from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center’s (CERDEC) Army Power Division to accelerate development of the XX25, a 25-watt reformed methanol fuel cell, for use as a portable power device for soldiers. The contract will drive advanced system design for the UltraCell unit to operate in extreme operating temperatures and withstand severe shock and vibration. The XX25 has up to a 75% weight advantage over currently available military rechargeable batteries, based on a 72-hour mission at 20 watts. The XX25 also reduces operational costs through the reduction of throwaway primary batteries and the logistic burden of recharging batteries. In addition to the military’s field testing of the XX25, UltraCell is now seeking lead beta site customers in critical markets for testing the UC25 commercial version, which it aims to take to market next year.
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