The Hydrogen Power: the renewed hydrogen genset
Translating the sturdiness and reliability of a diesel genset into a hydrogen genset for temporary power. Two years ago Bredenoord took on this challenge and got to work. Weekly sessions with a multidisciplinary team have by now resulted in a solution that we are proud to present: the Hydrogen Power. This hydrogen genset combines fuel cell technology and energy storage in batteries, allowing the genset to run just as steadily and consistently as a diesel genset. The first pilots with the Hydrogen Power have recently started.
The result of combined expertise
“Naturally we closely follow the developments in our field. Two years ago we noticed some interesting developments concerning hydrogen, which inspired us to set up an internal project group tasked specifically with the further exploration of the new possibilities. This aligns well with the developments we see among our own clients. For example, a hydrogen genset is a particularly interesting step in the energy transition for the electrification of construction sites. We already had a hydrogen genset, the Purity from 2009, but it was in need of an upgrade,” says Franz Hullegie, International Business Manager and Manager Business Development at Bredenoord.
A multidisciplinary team, which combined all required expertise, started working on this challenge. “We disassembled the Purity and further developed it into a modern machine. The great thing about this approach is that we got to put our newly acquired knowledge to practice straight away by building new things. Whenever we noticed something didn’t work quite the way we wanted it to or whenever we missed a certain quality we would disassemble the installation and build something new,” Hullegie explains. “The same reliability of a diesel genset had to be met by the final product. In order to achieve this we decided to combine fuel cell technology with a battery system. We proceeded to develop this battery system ourselves as well.”
Naturally the genset also had to be as user friendly as possible. Fuel cells provide direct current, while the final user typically requires alternating current. The new hydrogen genset therefore had to contain a converter as well. This converter, in combination with the batteries, resulted in a final product that matches the user profile of the familiar diesel genset.
A modern look
While the project team got together on a weekly basis to work on the technical aspects of the hydrogen genset, two teams of mechanical engineering students from Windesheim University of Applied Sciences worked on its enclosure. They were tasked with developing a modern enclosure from start to finish, which was not supposed to look like the enclosure of the diesel gensets, but still had to meet all standards. Close collaboration with the hydrogen team resulted in a list of demands that had to be met. This project resulted in an unique, yet typically Bredenoord style enclosure.
With a power of 35 kVA the Hydrogen Power can provide a sustainable contribution to many projects. In the near future Bredenoord is running various pilot projects with the Hydrogen Power. The results and user experiences from these pilot projects will be used to shape this machine’s further development.