Proton Energy to Build Test Solar/Fuel Cell System for Navy

Firm to develop 1 kW regenerative solar/PEM fuel cell demonstration system.

Published: 23-Jan-2003

WALLINGFORD, Conn., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Proton Energy Systems, Inc. , a leader in hydrogen generation and fuel cell technology and products, announced today the award of a $375,000 contract to develop a 1 kW regenerative solar/Proton Exchange Membrane, or PEM, fuel cell demonstration system. The contract, with Jacobs Sverdrup Technology, Inc., a subcontractor to the U.S. Navy, is to support testing at the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, California.

This demonstration system will integrate Proton's UNIGEN(R) Regenerative Fuel Cell System, which includes a HOGEN(R) hydrogen generator, hydrogen storage tanks, a PEM fuel cell, and a Navy supplied solar photovoltaic array. The HOGEN hydrogen generator, a key module in this project, will incorporate Proton's patent-pending renewable interface, which is capable of producing hydrogen from water using electricity directly generated by the solar array.

Proton will be responsible for the integration of this system and will work in conjunction with Northern Power Systems, a leader in reliable power generation, which includes renewable energy applications. This system will be shipped to the Navy's China Lake facility later this year for testing.

During a six-month test program, the system will supply power during daylight hours using its solar panels, while simultaneously using some of the solar electricity to generate hydrogen and store the hydrogen in tanks. During nighttime hours, the system will regenerate the hydrogen produced from sunlight and create clean electrical power through a PEM fuel cell with the only emission being water, which is recycled to create hydrogen from the sun again.

The goal of the project is to demonstrate grid independent, constant power output using a renewable energy system capable of remote operation. Other project goals include the elimination of water replenishment and the elimination of a battery or other bridging device for a seamless transition from solar to fuel cell power.

According to Proton Energy System's President and CEO Walter "Chip" Schroeder, "We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Jacobs Sverdrup and the Navy to design, develop and test a solar/PEM regenerative system. We are also pleased to be working jointly with Northern Power on this endeavor. This project will be a demonstration of a truly sustainable energy system. In the near term, it could solve the vexing challenge of providing electrical power to remote locations and ultimately has the potential to reduce our dependence upon imported oil and increase homeland security."

Proton Energy Systems, Inc. ( ) designs, develops and manufactures Proton Exchange Membrane, or PEM, electrochemical products that it employs in hydrogen generating devices and in regenerative fuel cell systems that function as power generating and energy storage devices. Proton's HOGEN(R) and FuelGen(TM) hydrogen generators produce hydrogen from electricity and water in a clean and efficient process using its proprietary PEM technology. Proton is currently manufacturing and delivering HOGEN(R) hydrogen generators to customers for use in commercial applications. Proton's UNIGEN(R) regenerative fuel cell systems, which it is currently developing, will combine Proton's hydrogen generation technology with a fuel cell power generator to create an energy device that is able to produce and store the hydrogen fuel it can later use to generate electricity.

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

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