Canadian Manufacturing

Ballard wins $5.8M portable power manager contract with U.S. army

Weighing less than a pound, device manages battery usage in off-grid areas



VANCOUVER—A subsidiary of Canadian cleantech firm Ballard Power Systems has won a $5.8 million contract with the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Following a $2.8 million order placed last December, Protonex will supply the U.S. army with its Squad Power Manager—a portable device used to optimize battery usage in remote or off-grid areas. Each SPM-622 weighs less than one pound and can help power portable radios, GPS systems, computers and other electronic equipment from a battery, as well as recharge the battery from solar, vehicle, or scavenged energy sources.

“The U.S. military is one of the largest consumers of energy in the world and the proliferation of electronic devices in military operations has presented tremendous power and energy management challenges for the military,” Paul Osenar, president of Protonex, said.

“Protonex power managers are among the smartest, smallest, lightest and most capable systems for extreme applications, increasing mobility and flexibility for soldiers while making them safer and more efficient,” he added.

The order is the Ballard subsidiary’s largest ever. Protonex expects to ship the products before the end of 2016.

Ballard purchased the Southborough, Massachusetts-based company last year for $30 million.

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