Bloomfield-based turbomachinery manufacturer R&D Dynamics Corp. has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop air management system compressors for fuel cell-powered trucks.
Compressors, which supply fuel cells with a steady stream of pressurized air, are costly and constitute a considerable power drain on fuel cell stacks. R&D officials said they have been tasked with developing a system that is more reliable and efficient while also smaller, lighter and less expensive than existing compressor technology.
Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed.
The Department of Energy is currently funding a consortium of national laboratories working to develop efficient fuel cells for long-haul trucks, known as the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck project. The effort includes the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, together with associated industry- and academia-led research groups.
Department officials have said the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck project will function as a clearinghouse for data and ideas, with the goal of encouraging wider adoption of fuel cell technology in heavy-duty vehicles.
Aside from turbocompressors, R&D designs and produces turboblowers for wastewater treatment facilities, turboexpanders for industrial gas liquefaction and turbogenerators for waste heat recovery and power generation, along with foil air and gas bearings and aerospace parts.