The US Army has contracted UltraCell to supply cell systems based on the XX25 reformed methanol fuel cell (RMFC) technology.
The contract was awarded by the US Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command for its Agile Integration Demo and Experimentation programme.
The lighter, more mobile cells will provide higher energy density, a greater operating life, increased performance at higher altitudes and a greater threshold for maximum ambient temperature.
UltraCell will initially build 30 fuel cell systems, which will be field-tested by US soldiers for about three months.
The US Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center has also awarded UltraCell a contract to produce cell systems based on the company's XX55 RMFC technology.
The portable systems will be capable of delivering more than 50W of continuous power for a 72-hour off-grid mission to power electronics equipment such as radio and satellite communications devices, remote and mobile surveillance systems and laptop computers. They can also be used for recharging batteries in the field.
UltraCell will initially build five units for the US ground forces in both the army and air force.
Both contracts will extend through March 2010.