Vodafone shows faith in hydrogen fuel cells

August 5, 2015 0 By Stephen Vagus

Telecommunications company believes that fuel cells have some promise

Vodafone, a British multinational telecommunications company, has hopes that hydrogen fuel cells will help power its expanding mobile data network while also making it more environmentally friendly. Vodafone currently has some 122 million mobile data users in developing economies and the traffic from these consumers has doubled over the past year. In order to continue meeting the needs of its customers, Vodafone has been working to expand its network infrastructure and fuel cells are beginning to play a significant role in this.

Fuel cells can help Vodafone expand its mobile data network

In developed countries, such as the United Kingdom and Germany, Vodafone has access to energy from a well established power infrastructure. In developing countries, however, energy infrastructures are less reliable, which is why companies like Vodafone have to find ways to power mobile data networks in a reliable fashion. Traditionally, Vodafone has used diesel generators in order to power its expanding network infrastructure. The company notes that these energy systems are noisy, dirty, and require constant maintenance in order to operate effectively.

Hydrogen fuel cells continue to show how promising they can be

Hydrogen Fuel - Vodafone StoreHydrogen fuel cells are capable of generating a large amount of electrical energy and are famously durable. These energy systems do not produce any harmful emissions, as they consume hydrogen fuel in order to produce energy. Vodacom, a subsidiary of Vodafone, began using these energy systems eight years ago and has, to date, deployed some 200 of these energy systems across its network in South Africa. Vodafone has taken note of the success that these energy systems have had and intends to make use of them elsewhere in the world.

Fuel cells may not be the most ideal energy solution for some mobile networks

While Vodafone has taken more interest in fuel cells, the company does note that there is no single technology that serves as an ideal energy source. Mobile data networks throughout the world have varying energy needs and, as such, they need the support of different kinds of energy solutions. Some companies have been investing more heavily in renewable energy in order to power their growing networks, while others remains focused on using diesel generators and fossil-fuels.