The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generators are designed as a drop-in zero emissions replacement for traditional diesel electric generators, which will inevitably be phased out as the world strives to meet emissions targets.
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As part of a co-funded pilot project with Victorian State Government, Telstra will install the units at five sites in outer-regional Victoria with a history of storm-related power blackouts to provide on-demand zero emissions backup power.
The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP said, “We’re supporting the state’s emerging renewable hydrogen sector to play a key part our transition to 95 per cent renewable energy by 2035.
“This innovative project uses renewable energy to keep the power running during an emergency, helping to maintain vital telecommunications, which is critical as we encounter more frequent extreme weather events.”
The Fuel Cell Generator delivers 10kW of AC power using hydrogen gas as a fuel source. The hydrogen is passed through the fuel cell, which undergoes an electrochemical reaction, producing electricity. The only by-product of this reaction is pure water vapour, which can be released harmlessly into the environment.
While hydrogen fuel cells have been used in niche applications since the mid 20th century, the abundance of fossil fuels limited their wider commercial adoption. With rising fuel prices and the need to cut emissions, many forward-thinking companies are working to include hydrogen in their future energy roadmap. Telstra’s purchase of an initial five units is a testament to its ongoing commitment to innovation and sustainability.
Energys managing director Dr Roger Knight said, “We think this is the best fuel cell generator in the world. It took a lot of vision, innovation and hard work to get us to this point.
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“It’s not just about having the world’s best product, though. You also need a very strong supply chain to deliver it in volume. We have that, and much of it is local. That puts us in a position not just to service Telstra, but other adopters as worldwide demand grows.”
Energys Australia is also developing a renewable hydrogen production facility that will produce renewable hydrogen via electrolysis. The project will facilitate the uptake of renewable hydrogen, not only for use in the transportation sector but also as an alternative for other ways diesel is currently utilised.