Today’s modern soldier relies on electronics more than ever.  In a typical 72-hour mission in Afghanistan, a U.S. Soldier carries up to 70 individual batteries.


The problem

During wartime operations, generators are the largest consumer of fuel for the U.S. Army – approximately 357 million gallons per year.  The proliferation of electronic gear in the modern military is driving this.  A typical soldier can carry a dozen devices, from standard equipment, such as radios, GPS units, and night-vision goggles, to IED jamming and mine detecting devices, all requiring electrical power.

Primary (single use) batteries are the current solution for solider power.  But batteries are heavy.  And different types of batteries are needed.  A typical infantry company of approx. 150 Soldiers requires more than 6,600 batteries, weighing more than 1,400 pounds, for 72 hours of operation.  All that weight slows down soldiers on foot, tethers them to constant resupply, and contributes to muscular and skeletal injuries caused by excessively heavy packs.

Our solution

In partnership with UltraCell, a manufacturer of military power products, SAFCell is developing the world’s first soldier-portable Solid Acid Fuel Cell power system.  By utilizing secondary (rechargeable) batteries and a lightweight fuel efficient generator SAFCell can solve the challenges of weight and fuel consumption for the military.

Its small size and virtually silent operation makes it inconspicuous for highly remote or covert surveillance applications. It can run continuously off the grid for up to two weeks with a single BBQ propane fuel canister. Because it’s a solid state fuel cell with minimal moving parts, it requires minimal trips for servicing.

Our system is ideally suited for a wide variety of higher-power electronic applications including radio and satellite communication gear, remote or mobile surveillance systems, soldier worn anti-IED and mine devices, laptop computers, and battery charging.

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  • 50 watts of power for operating electronics or recharging batteries
  • Reduces weight: 70% or more weight savings for a 72-hour mission
  • Operates on portable liquid or gas canisters, simplifies fuel logistics
  • Fast start-up & autonomous operation
50W Soldier portable power system