Hydrogen fuel cells to be tested in GermanyDecember 1, 2012
Hydrogen fuel cells used in pilot project for communications systems
A new pilot project is taking root in Germany which focuses on using a hydrogen fuel cell system to power police and emergency communications throughout the country. Should the communications systems that police and emergency service providers rely on fail, the government predicts chaos and widespread panic as people would no longer be able to get the help they need in emergency situations. A communications system can easily be taken out by a strong natural disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake, and the German government is keen to ensure that its communication systems will be protected from such events.
Fuel cells continue to prove their durability
Hydrogen fuel cells are renowned for their durability. The energy systems have proven time and again that they can continue generating electrical power even when battered by natural disasters. This was most recently demonstrated during Hurricane Sandy, which struck the Bahamas before it made landfall in the U.S. Ballard Power, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, has been operating its energy systems in the Bahamas to help power telecommunications networks. When the storm hit, these fuel cells enable telecommunications networks to continue operating, even as others failed. This helped expedite the recovery process.
Project to install fuel cells at 116 sites throughout country
The pilot project in Germany accounts for nearly $8 million and aims to install some 116 sites with hydrogen fuel cell systems. These energy systems will require relatively little maintenance attention as they have no moving parts and are ready to generate electricity at any time. The German government hopes to have the hydrogen fuel cells installed completely by the end of 2013. The government will collect data concerning the performance of the fuel cells and determine whether they are a viable investment moving forward.
Hydrogen fuel cells continue to gain popularity amongst large companies
Hydrogen fuel cells are quickly establishing themselves as a powerful form of back-up and primary power system. Germany is currently one of the strongest supporters of fuel cells, though much of this support remains in the realm of transportation. Much of the interest surrounding hydrogen fuel cells is coming from large companies that use the energy systems to keep telecommunications systems and data centers running.