Fuel cell company Ballard Power Systems signed two new Technology Solutions contracts, one with Ardica Technologies and one with an unnamed global automotive OEM. Under each contract Ballard will provide expertise in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology in order to advance customer programs through development stages.
These latest contracts are indicative of the growing interest we are seeing in fuel cell development programs. In addition to the automotive sector, exciting opportunities are also emerging in aerospace, railway and military application areas.&mdashDr. Kevin Colbow, Ballard’s Vice President – Technology Solutions
The new contract with Ardica encompasses a next phase of work in the continuing development program for a wearable fuel cell power system to be used by soldiers. This next work phase will focus on cost reduction along with development of additional manufacturing capabilities, as the Ardica system—with a Ballard compact-size fuel cell stack—advances toward the prototype stage and ultimately toward certification for full scale production and purchase.
It is envisioned that the Ardica wearable fuel cell power system will provide similar or better operating performance than today’s wearable lithium-ion battery, while also decreasing weight and volume more than 50% during typical missions of 72-hours duration. This would enable soldiers to power a variety of devices and carry more mission-specific equipment, without limiting mobility.
Ballard’s work with Volkswagen Group and two other global automotive OEMs is continuing, augmented by a recent Technology Solutions transaction with Volkswagen Group announced on 11 February 2015 (earlier post) that includes a 2 year extension to the engineering services program. The new contract with a new global automotive OEM customer will involve work activities focused on fundamental fuel cell technology development.