Machine Design

Fuel cell fit for fighting Bradleys

Some of the first vehicles to carry fuel cells won't be on display at car dealerships.

Researchers are now working on a prototype fuel cell for use as an auxiliary power unit in the Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The 3-kW fuel cell will power the Bradley's electronics indefinitely without engaging the main engine. The Bradley consumes less fuel and puts out less heat as a result.

Battelle Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio, and Richland, Wash., developed the fuel-cell technology that was integrated by United Defense Industries Inc. at its Ground Systems Div. facility in Santa Clara, Calif. Developers say the improved fuel efficiency will make the battle-proven Bradley better in combat.

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