As part of the army’s initiative to adopt alternative energy sources, the US has contracted fuel cell systems provider Protonex Technology Corporation to build, test and deliver solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power systems.

The SOFC systems will provide the military with lightweight, extremely quiet and fuel-efficient power systems that can be used as auxiliary power units (APUs), portable generators or field battery chargers.

Under the 12-month, $2m contract the company will focus on system integration and testing of SOFC power systems for the development of a fully integrated liquid fuel generator system.

According to the company, anticipated improvements to Protonex’s system could save more than 60% of the weight of existing power solutions, and when used to power equipment directly the system will save more than 80% of the weight burden of primary batteries.