Early production stage hydrogen generation company AlumiFuel Power Corporation through its U.S operating subsidiary, announced recently that it has completed the assembly and final testing of its Portable Balloon Inflation System (PBIS)-2000. The unit is now being prepared for delivery to the Air Force Special Operations Command. The PBIS-2000 generates sufficient hydrogen to inflate and launch a 200g weather balloon with a 1400g payload package in 20 minutes. This new system represents the latest lift gas technology developed by AFPW, including operations at ambient pressure and low temperatures. It has the capability to use up to six AlumiFuel cartridges per launch depending on the launch time requirements and balloon size.
The current weather balloon lift gas market is pegged at $200 million per year, and encompasses military as well as civil government meteorological users worldwide. Traditionally, helium has been used as the primary lift gas for weather balloons, but with the increasing scarcity and cost of helium, users are rapidly switching to hydrogen and the Company's PBIS family is far more mobile, safe, and cost effective than other on-site hydrogen generation systems. After purchasing any unit of the PBIS family, typical customers would continue to purchase replacement cartridges to launch up to 700 balloons per unit each year (up to 4,200 cartridges).
The Company's Chief Technology Officer, Mr. John Boyle, said: "We are very proud of this first PBIS-2000 unit. It represents a unique combination and integration of mechanical, chemical, fluid, gas, and air design components - including coded stainless steel pressure vessels - housed in a ruggedized polypropylene case. AFPW's growing family of PBIS and portable power products will leverage this advanced world-class technology for on-demand hydrogen generation."