Plug Power Develops 1kW ProGen Fuel Cell System for Robotics and Drone Applications

By August 19, 2020 4   min read  (725 words)

August 19, 2020 |

Plug Power UAV
  • Lightweight, Rugged 1kW System Delivers Extended Endurance in Demanding Operating Conditions

LATHAM, N.Y.Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), a leading provider of hydrogen engines and fueling solutions enabling e-mobility, today announced a new 1kW ProGen fuel cell system intended for small scale robotics, automatic guided vehicles (AGVs),  unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and other aerospace applications.

The new ProGen system represents an expansion of the technology and product line acquired through the Company’s June 2019 acquisition of EnergyOr, a Montreal-based fuel cell systems company with extensive experience in aerospace fuel cell system design and application. Plug Power’s new fuel cell system combines a patented light-weight and rugged construction method with its proprietary air-cooled, closed-cathode technology, delivering several key advantages over market competitors.

“Plug Power builds cutting-edge technology from ideation to operation,” said Andy Marsh, CEO for Plug Power. “ProGen hydrogen fuel cells allow devices with electric motors to run cleanly and efficiently. The 1kW ProGen lets Plug Power power everything from electric vehicles to small robotics and UAVs, and everything in between. Yet another solution to support the global supply chain.”

Plug Power’s lightweight and rugged new 1kW fuel cell system is specially designed to deliver extended flight endurance and run times under the most demanding operating conditions. With a compressed hydrogen fuel source, the system outperforms the average lithium battery in terms of endurance by a factor of three to four. With liquid hydrogen fueling systems,  this endurance advantage is extended to a factor of up to nine times.

Plug Power’s new 1kW fuel cell system is a larger and more powerful version of the ProGen 450W. Its sophisticated air-cooled and closed-cathode technology eliminates significant complexity, removing the weight of the liquid cooling loop and heat exchangers used in traditional liquid-cooled systems. This simplicity of design allows for an elegant, remarkably lightweight overall system architecture. At the same time, the closed-cathode allows the stack’s cathode loop to be pressurized for high altitude and high ambient temperature operation with minimal system performance loss, while also reducing cathode contamination—three areas where typical open-cathode systems face significant limitations.

Plug Power is now launching this new fuel cell system, the ProGen 1kW,  into the market. “I’ve always believed that technology and talent are the most valuable assets that a company can secure in any acquisition,” says Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. “That’s true in general, but it’s especially true for those of us who work in high-tech industries. In less than a year, the EnergyOr team has become a vital and closely integrated part of the Plug Power family. As a result, Plug Power is now able to take its first steps into the world of aerospace and UAV applications with an incredibly powerful new fuel cell system. This product has incredible potential. In fact, I’d say the sky really is the limit.”

The new ProGen 1kW fuel cell system is protected by five U.S. patents and is one of five sub-2kW products offered by the company. Others include the ProGen 450W for robotics and UAVs, the 1.5kW GenDrive for material handling, and the backup power models GenSure E-1100 (1.1kW)  and GenSure E-200 (200W).

About Plug Power
Plug Power is building the hydrogen economy as the leading provider of comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) turnkey solutions. The company’s innovative technology powers electric motors with hydrogen fuel cells amid an ongoing paradigm shift in the power, energy, and transportation industries to address climate change and energy security, while providing efficiency gains and meeting sustainability goals.

Plug Power created the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology. As a result, the company has deployed over 35,000 fuel cell systems for e-mobility, more than anyone else in the world, and has become the largest buyer of liquid hydrogen, having built and operated a hydrogen highway across North America. Plug Power delivers a significant value proposition to end-customers, including meaningful environmental benefits, efficiency gains, fast fueling, and lower operational costs.

Plug Power’s vertically-integrated GenKey solution ties together all critical elements to power, fuel, and provide service to customers such as Amazon, BMW, The Southern Company, Carrefour, and Walmart. The company is now leveraging its know-how, modular product architecture and foundational customers to rapidly expand into other key markets including zero-emission on-road vehicles, robotics, and data centers.


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