SOURCE: UltraCell


December 21, 2009 09:00 ET

UltraCell Awarded $3M for "50W Soldier Portable Fuel Cell System"

Company Will Leverage Its XX55 Reformed Methanol Fuel Cell Technology to Build Fuel Cell Systems for U.S. Soldiers in the Field

LIVERMORE, CA and WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OH--(Marketwire - December 21, 2009) - UltraCell Corporation, a leading producer of portable fuel cells, today announced that the U.S. Department of the Air Force has awarded the company $3 million in federal stimulus funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The funds will be applied towards the "50W Soldier Portable Fuel Cell System" program, created to support the design and development of reliable, efficient portable fuel cells for dismounted warfighters deployed in Afghanistan and other arenas across the globe.

The program seeks to provide durable and field-tested portable fuel cell systems with improved usability and ease-of-use with both new and existing military applications and electronic devices. Additionally, the solution aims to deliver increased energy density while meeting military standards and offering manufacturing efficiency.

UltraCell was awarded the contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, eight miles northeast of Dayton, Ohio. Implementation and evaluation of the program will be overseen by the AFRL's Propulsion Directorate, a principal provider of propulsion technologies which also conducts leading edge research and development in aerospace fuels, propellants and power generating systems. In 2007, UltraCell opened a 20,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Dayton, which has since grown to more than 30,000 square feet.

UltraCell will utilize the funds announced today to build 65 fuel cell systems based on its XX55 Reformed Methanol Fuel Cell (RMFC). The XX55 has been demonstrated in military exercises in support of current operations.

Designed to power electronic equipment such as military radios and rugged laptops, the XX55 is also capable of recharging military batteries such as the BB-2590 and Li-80/145 -- a key to the success of portable fuel cell systems in the field. These capabilities, coupled with the XX55's fuel cell/battery hybridization, allowing the system to provide greater peak power for startup of devices like rugged laptops, make the XX55 an ideal portable power supply for the 50W program.

In addition to expanding development of the portable fuel cell systems, UltraCell will also utilize the stimulus funds to design an accessories kit to extend capabilities outside the program's minimum requirements, such as expanded battery recharging technology.

"Advanced portable fuel cell technology will play a key role in the future of the U.S. dismounted warfighter," said USAF Lieutenant Mark Roosz, Program Manager of the effort at the AFRL.

"By awarding UltraCell with these funds, the U.S. Air Force and the AFRL have demonstrated confidence in the proven success of our XX55 product, and in our ability to continue to develop and manufacture innovative portable power solutions," said UltraCell CEO Keith Scott. "We are very pleased to be named the recipient of these funds which will enable us to deliver a 50W solution to the Air Force, and to expand and enhance our fuel cell manufacturing capabilities."

About UltraCell

UltraCell is a leading producer of fuel cell systems for mobile devices. With an exclusive license with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories for micro fuel cell technology, the company has developed new technologies and intellectual property in the field of methanol-based fuel cells. Its patented, award-winning portable fuel cell, the XX25™, achieved Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 status, a significant U.S. Army milestone and certification for military use and commercial production. For more information about UltraCell, please visit

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