Honeywell has won a contract from General Technical Services for the development of a hydrogen fuel cell system that will power a multitude of electronic devices carried by soldiers. Weighing roughly half as much as commonly used batteries, the system will deliver the same power foot soldiers need.

The fuel cell complements a suite of power technologies that the U.S. Army is evaluating and maturing, and it will enable a soldier to perform his or her mission without the need to carry multiple heavy batteries or be resupplied regularly. This announcement supports Honeywell’s alignment with the compelling megatrend of energy transition.

“Today, a myriad of electronic devices, such as radios, computers, sensors and other mission-critical equipment, support soldiers on foot. All of this requires power, so the soldiers carry up to 45 pounds of batteries for an extended mission,” said Phil Robinson, senior director Engineering, Honeywell Aerospace Technologies. “Honeywell’s reliable and proven hydrogen fuel cell power system, when combined with a soldier’s power distribution and management system, lowers the weight burden, making soldiers more effective, and that can save lives.”

Honeywell’s small fuel cell will be used on the move to charge batteries and power equipment, reducing the number of spare batteries needed by the soldier or squad. Additionally, the system is designed to complement standard electronic equipment a U.S. soldier already uses.

The hydrogen fuel cell system prototypes take advantage of Honeywell’s proven Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell technology, which is used in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in commercial and defense applications.