AKRON, Ohio, 9 Aug. 2012. The Office of Naval Research has awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a contract for the design and development of solid oxide fuel cell generator sets as an alternative to traditional battlefield power generation equipment. Lockheed Martin's fuel cell technology will be integrated with solar panels, providing the military with the power needed to perform missions while using less fuel.
At the end of the 32-month development program, Lockheed Martin will demonstrate and deliver a multi-kilowatt JP-8 compatible fuel cell efficient power node for evaluation by the U.S. Marines. The goal of the approximately $3 million contract is to reduce overall fuel usage required for tactical electrical generation by 50 percent or more.
More than 100,000 military generators are used worldwide to power services from lighting and air conditioning to computers, radios, and command and control systems. Solid oxide fuel cells convert fuel into electricity by oxidizing a fuel, a process that is 30 to 50 percent more efficient than the combustion engines used in diesel generators, which are the largest consumers of fuel on the battlefield today. Because fuel cells require less fuel to create the same amount of power, they offer the potential to save large amounts of money in operational costs and to reduce the number of military casualties that are directly related to the delivery of fuel.
Lockheed Martin is working with TMI, an energy system provider based in Cleveland, Ohio, to mature the fuel cell technology. In addition to Lockheed Martin-funded research and development, this team has received grants from the Ohio Third Frontier, a program designed for the creation of new technology-based products, companies, industries and jobs.