Tuesday, October 07, 2008

More Details on Wearable Power Prize Winners

At first I could only find the identities of the winners; now there's a lot of information and several press releases available.

DuPont, Smart Fuel Cell AG Win Wearable Power Prize Competition - DuPont News - The lightweight M-25 fuel cell combines DuPont’s direct methanol fuel cell technology with SFC’s commercially proven fuel cell systems, products, and integration expertise. ... The M-25 standard design, when worn by soldiers in the field for extended missions, is up to 80 percent lighter than conventional power sources, yet capable of powering a wide range of soldier equipment, such as digital communication and navigation equipment.

DuPont takes Wearable Power Prize- Riverside Press-Enterprise - This includes a video and pictures. It explains the military and civilian (eg: camping) business opportuntities for lower-weight wearable power systems. How much financial investment did the prize encourage?

Their project, including plane fare to California, cost them about $10,000 they said.

Other teams spent $100,000 or more on their prototypes. DuPont's Baunchalk wouldn't say what his team had spent other than it was "significant." He would not confirm whether the million-dollar prize would cover the investment or not.
"We've lost, in this nation, a little bit of the science and engineering edge, Shaffer said. "We have a tremendous capacity for innovation. It's this kind of competition that creates the leap forward."

Direct-methanol fuel cell takes DoD prize - EE Times

Adaptive Materials Places 2nd, Wins $500,000 in Department of Defense Research & Engineering Prize - Adaptive Materials News - Adaptive Materials, the leading manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells, recently placed second among 47 competitors in the Department of Defense Research & Engineering’s Prize. The company’s lightweight fuel cells rose to the challenge, outperforming leading battery and fuel cell companies to help the company capture the competition’s $500,000 second prize.

The public relations power of prize competitions is noted: “Prior to the Prize competition, awareness of Adaptive Materials’ propane-powered solid oxide fuel cells was limited to industry experts, so it’s an exciting win that will build visibility and credibility for technology that a lot of people didn’t even know exists.

The winners always have to figure out what to do with the prize money. Here's one way: Adaptive Materials will share $30,000 of its Prize with all employees. The funds will be awarded as a performance bonus to all Adaptive Materials’ employees with the company on August 31, 2008.

SFC Fuel Cells Wins Dept. of Defense “Wearable Power Competition” - Earth2Tech - SFC was part of 2 of the 3 winning entries.