PALO ALTO, Calif., 20 March 2008. Defense departments across the globe are investing in research and development to identify improved power source technology for use in military applications, says a new study. These efforts are in response to the changing needs of advanced digital equipment. Fuel cells are currently a key focus of development for portable and handheld equipment, and the goals are to deliver extended runtimes, simple "recharging" without the need for an auxiliary power unit, and improved scalability.
Analysis from Frost & Sullivan, "World Micro Fuel Cell Market for Military Man-portable Equipment," finds the market is likely to witness a general ramp-up in penetration by 2010, which is then likely to increase rapidly by 2013, ultimately achieving approximately 119 million units shipped by 2013.
Military battery suppliers are often challenged to fill orders and deliver batteries on time in the face of high demand in today's market. Micro fuel cells could be a viable replacement for lithium batteries in military applications as they have the potential to provide extended device runtimes and quick and simple refueling options that minimize waste.
Despite the order fulfillment problems in the lithium battery market, micro fuel cells designed specifically for military usage still face competition from existing and well-established battery technologies like lithium/sulfur dioxide and other primary lithium battery chemistries. These proven traditional power sources have been used for several decades and have an established supply network in place. Moreover, suppliers have long-term contracts in place, which may potentially slow fuel cell advancement.
Designing an adequate power source is a critical issue for the military. Identifying the right combination of technologies or advancing current development efforts is a key focus for the energy industry. Companies that spearhead contracts with defense departments and deliver technology milestones in a timely fashion will see success in the power source market.
"World Micro Fuel Cell Market for Military Man-portable Equipment" is part of the Power Supplies & Batteries Growth Partnership Service program.