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GM and US Army expanding collaboration on fuel cells; up to 5-year project

General Motors and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) are expanding their collaboration in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology. TARDEC currently is evaluating GM fuel cell vehicles in a comprehensive demonstration in Hawaii. (Earlier post.)

Through a new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) GM and TARDEC will jointly test new hydrogen fuel cell-related materials and designs to evaluate their performance and durability before assembling them into full scale fuel cell propulsion systems. The partners said that the collaborative effort will enable them jointly to develop technology that meets both of their requirements, accomplishing more tangible results than either could achieve on its own. The project is expected to continue for up to five years.

This is the second fuel cell-related announcement GM has made this year. In July, GM and Honda announced a long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame. (Earlier post.)

According to Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM ranked Nº 1 in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012. GM’s Project Driveway program, launched in 2007, has accumulated nearly 3 million miles (4.8 million km) of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles, more than any other automaker.

GM is currently building a new Fuel Cell Development Laboratory in Pontiac, Mich., where the majority of the company’s fuel cell development work will take place.

TARDEC and GM’s respective fuel cell laboratories are about 20 miles apart, which greatly promotes daily collaboration, and GM and TARDEC engineers are developing extensive plans to share physical material and data between the locations.

TARDEC opened a new Fuel Cell Research Laboratory located in the recently opened Ground System Power and Energy Laboratory (GSPEL) building in Warren, Mich. The facility enables TARDEC to test and integrate the fuel cell systems it has been developing for military applications for more than a decade.

GSPEL comprises eight discrete advanced power, energy and mobility laboratories, including the fuel cell lab. The other facilities are the Power and Energy Vehicle Environmental Laboratory; Electric Components Laboratory; Air Filtration Laboratory; Power Laboratory; Thermal Management Laboratory; Energy Storage Laboratory; and Calorimeter Laboratory.

The GSPEL’s FCL is focused on researching and understanding the processing of JP-8 fuel for use with fuel cells to achieve power-dense, efficient power sources. Integrating a fuel processor with a fuel-cell stack is what defines a military fuel-cell power system, the lab says. Lab engineers and technicians investigate, test and characterize full fuel-cell power systems and fuel processor performance for manned and unmanned military ground vehicles.

For TARDEC, fuel cell technology has possible military applications ranging from ground vehicles to mobile generators.



I get why the military wants to get more dense energy storage on tanks...current tanks get something like 3 gallons per mile fuel (in)efficiency. I also believe they want to produce more electricity for novel weapon systems in the future.

However, what I've been led to believe about Fuel Cells is that one of their biggest limitations is that they need a lot of volume and mass to generate substantial energy. Bloom Energy has a SOFC unit that produces 105 Kilowatts, weighs 11 tons, measures 16x9x7feet, and not rated for movement. That's about 1,000 cubic feet of volume which exceeds the volume of most large tanks.


SOFCs aren't used in vehicles. They are for stationary applications, where mass is less important.
What is used in vehicles is PEMs.
State of the art there is around 2.5kw/kg, and around 3kw/litre:

Most of the mass there is in the CF tanks to hold the hydrogen.

The military is also heavily into methanol fuel cells, not to power the vehicles save for auxiliaries, but for backpacks to run communication devices etc.


Those figures are for the stack, not for all thermal regulation equipment, air conditioning and others.


Yeah, but most of the weight and bulk is in the tank, which is why I singled it out.

Dave Murphy

Wall Street's War Against LaRouche's Fusion Energy Foundation
September 27, 2013 • 12:16PM
The killing of fusion research in the United States had everything to do with the war against the LaRouche movement, whose Fusion Energy Foundation was the recognized political driver for the achievement of fusion in the 1970s, as well as the Strategic Defense Initiative. Front and center in that war was Wall Street, which must be understood as nothing more than an outpost for the British financial empire. We briefly summarize the story.

It was 1978, when the Fusion Energy Foundation (FEF) was gaining major support among scientists, engineers, and policy layers, that Wall Street surfaced in opposition--in its own name. That was the year when a group of bankers and financiers formed the "Nuclear club of Wall Street," which went on to coordinate a major slander campaign against the FEF on a global scale.

Key international British agents in this "Club," which purported to be pro-fusion, were: Arthur Ross, a British Intelligence-connected banker; John W. Hanes, Jr., textile magnate and general partner of an


Dave Murphy,
There are whole blogs dedicated to conspiracy nutjobs. Please go there and leave the rest of us alone.


Like the fuel cell announcements of many decades.

Roger Pham

Fuel cells are already here. Buses are using it, and mass-produced cars by 2012. Germany, Japan (and California) are already building H2 fueling infrastructure, to have at least 100 stations in Germany by 2015.

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