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Spanish Navy supplied with fuel cell power module

UTC Power : 03 April, 2008  (Company News)
UTC Power, has announced that it has signed a contract for the development phase of a program with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, S.A., to supply a 300kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell power module for use in the Spanish Navy’s S-80 submarine.

Terms of the agreement with Navantia were not disclosed, but UTC Power said this contract is one of the largest single contracts it has ever received.

The companies announced in July of 2006 that UTC Power would design a fuel cell to operate on reformed ethanol and pure oxygen. The design phase has been successfully completed, and the program will now move on to actual hardware development, which also includes the first operational fuel cell. Following successful completion of the development phase, Navantia and the Spanish Navy are expected to determine whether additional units will be produced.

The Spanish Navy will install the new fuel cell power modules on its S-80 model, 2,500-ton submarines as part of the air-independent propulsion system. Because the propulsion system will not need air, the S-80 submarine – designed for coastal protection – will be capable of staying submerged for longer periods than a diesel electric submarine.

“This application represents a whole new market for our fuel cell technology,” said UTC Power President Jan van Dokkum. “It builds upon our heritage in fuel cells for space applications, including for the Apollo and Space Shuttle spacecraft, by blending our commercially-derived PEM technology with the safety and reliability of the space technology.”

Navantia is a leading worldwide designer and supplier of military and civil vessels. The company is based in Madrid with offices and shipyards throughout Spain.
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