Infinity signs commercial contract for fuel cell power systems in UUVs
UUVs are used extensively for commercial applications such as oil and gas exploration, underwater infrastructure inspection (cables, pipelines, etc.) scientific research and even underwater salvage.
Infinity™ Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc. has announced the recent signing of the first commercial contract for its air-independent hydrogen fuel cell power system for unmanned underwater contracts.
The multi-phase project for an unnamed commercial customer will lead to the delivery of a finished product. This order comes just three months after Infinity publicly announced its intention to seek new markets for this technology, which was originally funded through a partnership with the U.S. Office of Naval Research. That announcement was made in conjunction with the U.S Department of Commerce’s Discover Global Markets conference in September of last year.
“Landing this opportunity at Infinity was a total team effort. In a brief period, Engineering, In-house Counsel, Operations & Business Development worked with our client to meet their mission profile thus providing more opportunities in the commercial underwater fuel cell market,” said Richard Mullins, Infinity’s director of business development, and added “Infinity is grateful to the US Department of Commerce, CT Trade office for their support in formulating this contract.”
UUVs are used extensively for commercial applications such as oil and gas exploration, underwater infrastructure inspection (cables, pipelines, etc.) scientific research and even underwater salvage. The successful 2021 discovery of the Antarctic site of Robert Shackelton’s 1915 Endurance shipwreck was carried out with the help of an unmanned underwater vehicle.
The primary advantage of hydrogen fuel cell power in larger UUVs is the ability to extend underwater time to weeks or even months. This eliminates the major expense of tender boats required to frequently resurface and refuel UUVs powered by other more conventional fuels.