Hydrogen fuel cell power technology charges up off-grid construction site

Hydrogen fuel cell power technology charges up off-grid construction site

September 9, 2020 1 By Angie Bergenson

Siemens Energy installed the system which is contained within a shipping container.

An off-grid major infrastructure building site in the United Kingdom is using hydrogen fuel cell power technology. The idea behind the tech is to benefit from a zero-emission alternative to diesel generators.

The use of low- or zero-emission construction site power is becoming increasingly commonplace worldwide.

Attitudes and technology alike have been shifting toward the use of reduced emission or net zero emission sources of electricity on construction sites. This recent use of hydrogen fuel cell power technology aligns with that trend.

At the end of last week, Siemens Energy stated that the new H2 powered system would be used at a Lincolnshire county, England building site that is serving the Viking Link Interconnector project. The site needed an additional electricity and heating source as it would not be connected to the grid “for at least six to eight months,” said the company. This new tech “provide(s) enough heat and power for the construction village during that time, removing the need for diesel generators.”

The hydrogen fuel cell power technology is stored in a shipping container and was installed last month.

The system works through the use of reusable pipes. They carry hot water from the shipping container module to the parts of the site where it is required. A battery storage system is also located within the shipping container to help enhance efficiency and “smooth the peaks in power demand.”

The intention for this renewable energy system is to eventually use green hydrogen as its fuel source. This will further enhance the emissions reduction advantage of the system in comparison to the diesel generators conventionally used in these circumstances.

“Diesel generation is a major contributor to highly damaging CO2, NOx, particulate, and water course pollution,” explained GeoPura managing director Andrew Cunningham. GeoPura is a Siemens Energy partner and was involved in developing this hydrogen fuel cell power technology Hydrogen fuel cell power technology - Image of diesel generatorproject. “This project shows that zero emission power generation has reached a point where it can viably replace off grid diesel generation and remove these health risks to the benefit of all.”

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