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KEY USE CASES FOR SOFC

Border Security

SOFC provide reliable offgrid power to critical equipment that rangers and border patrol agents rely on to stay safe and connected.

SOFC Solution

Keeping cameras, sensors, surveillance equipment, radio networks and other security infrastructure operational in all conditions. Adaptive Energy does this by offering highly durable SOFC battery chargers that run on propane and provide reliable low-watt power. 

Reliable Uptimes Are Essential for Critical Security Infrastructure

Solar and wind are common power sources for border security equipment like radio repeaters, which are unmanned stations used to relay signals through wilderness patrol areas that often lack access to commercial power. Maintenance visits to remote sites can be impractical, hazardous and expensive, so hybrid systems must be able to power the load no matter what.

Hybrid Power Can Fail

But long periods of darkness, high winds and other inclement weather can reduce a hybrid system’s ability to make power, putting vital communications and security equipment at risk of failure. For example, a power outage at a radio tower can leave agents without the ability to communicate and unable to do their jobs in an emergency.
mobile solar trailer

SOFC Enable Uptimes

“Our sites have never lost power due to a fault of the fuel cell.”
– United States Customs & Border Protection

Integrating a Performer Series SOFC into the power system for border security equipment ensures vital cameras, sensors, radio networks and more will stay operational at all times and in any environment.

Our SOFC are specifically engineered to integrate with renewables like solar, wind or rechargeable batteries to bridge gaps in hybrid power. Or provide reliable A/C grid backup.

How SOFC Work

When the State of Charge (SOC) of the batteries dips below a preset threshold, the fuel cell automatically cycles on to recharge the batteries. When the upper voltage is reached, the fuel cell returns to standby mode and cools down before powering off. This provides reliable auxiliary power to ensure the system can power the load during times of darkness, high winds and other harsh scenarios.

The fuel cells are the size of a desktop computer and can be mounted inside a weatherproof cabinet or added to an existing structure or small building. And especially if you need to keep your site small, the fuel efficiency of SOFC is a powerful benefit because a single 20-lb propane tank offers 80 run hours.

SOFC Configuration
SOFCs provide offgrid power solution for USDA Forest Service

USDA Forest Service Uses SOFC 

To Power Border Security Equipment

The sites are remote, high-altitude and require airlift of equipment to build and maintain. Here’s why the Forest Service in Washington State chose to redesign their power systems to include SOFC.

“Before the fuel cells, our radio towers used generators that ran 24/7 off natural gas, costing $90,000 a year in fuel. The SOFC needed only $30 of fuel.”

– USDA Forest Service

Benefits of SOFC for Border Security

SOFC are the ideal solution for remote, low-demand power sites in challenging environments. That’s because the compact, lightweight design creates a product that is easy to carry into the field and has a small footprint if riding on a helicopter, plane or ATV. Here are more reasons customers are using SOFC to power border security equipment.

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Excel in Extremes

While other technologies like diesel generators or direct methanol fuel cells fail in cold weather, our SOFC are engineered to store, start and operate from -40°C to 50°C. They produce no liquid water and are constructed of heat-resistant ceramic tubes that will not freeze.

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Quiet & Hard to Detect

With a soft noise signature, SOFC work well in environments with requirements to limit ground disturbance.

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Highly Reliable

Customers have reported that our SOFC are so reliable that they feel comfortable letting battery voltage drop as low as 23.5 before the SOFC cycles on to recharge.
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Efficient

A 20-lb propane tank offers 80 run hours, providing time to schedule a refueling site visit. Plus, propane is cleaner than diesel and more accessible than hydrogen.

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Fewer Site Visits

Depending on the application, site visits can be as few as one per year, due to the low maintenance needs and high fuel efficiency of SOFC.
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Compact, Lightweight Design

The unique microtubular stack design yields a highly durable, lightweight product that is easy to transport and has a small footprint.
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Field-Proven to Withstand Vibration

The SOFC undergo rigorous vibration testing to simulate how they might react to being flown in a helicopter or plane, transported in an ATV or operated on a mobile trailer.
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Remote Monitoring

Performance can be monitored from anywhere because SOFC have flexible communications that can integrate with third-party systems.

LET’S TALK

Interested in designing SOFC into your hybrid power system?

Contact us today to find out how SOFC can improve your uptimes and reduce your total energy costs.