Fuel Cell Integration to Support System Durability and Reliability Advancements

NCMS Project #: 140996

Problem: As fuel cell technology continues to improve, fuel cells and fuel cell vehicles (FCV) continue to slowly permeate the commercial marketplace by demonstrating their unique value; unfortunately, in addition to the maintenance and sustainment challenges associated with advanced new technology, FCVs are still faced with a number of technical issues preventing widespread public adoption such as cost, durability, reliability, and perceived safety risks associated with compressed hydrogen.

Benefit: The advancement of fuel cell technology is of great value to the public in that fuel cell adoption will reduce dependency on imported oil, will lower net greenhouse gas emissions, and will reduce the risks associated with losing power for mission-critical operations.

Solution/Approach: The Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) will be the primary vehicle demonstration platform and will be reconfigured for the installation of a commercial fuel cell system and conformable hydrogen storage tank system.  The overall objective of this project is to demonstrate the integration of a commercially available fuel cell and evaluate potential use of conformable hydrogen storage technology on off-road vehicle platforms to help advance fuel cell and hydrogen storage reliability, durability and overall ruggedness.  

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduce reliance on conventional oil-based fuels
  • Offer options for alternative sources of energy
  • Limit carbon-footprint
  • Decrease costs
  • Elongate warfighter lifespan

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Center (CCDEVCOM) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC)
  • U.S. Army Program Executive Office (PEO) Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (STRI)

Industry Participation:

  • Pratt & Miller Engineering & Fabrication, Inc.
  • Michigan Research Institute
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Improved readiness
  • Survivability
  • Durability

Focus Area:

  • Energy, environmental, health, and safety