A report by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) urges the Government to take more action to deal with climate change. Although for over a quarter of a century the UK has witnessed falling greenhouse gas emissions alongside rising GDP, most of the success in reducing emissions to date comes from sharp reductions in the power and waste sectors. Despite improvements in technology, emissions in the transport and building sectors are rising and the abandonment of existing plans for carbon capture and storage leaves industry without a long-term strategy. There have been improvements in a range of energy efficiency measures, including more efficient appliances and boilers, as well as insulation. The reduction and recycling of waste has reduced the need for new landfill.
For the last seven years, the Cygnus Atratus (Black Swan) Group has been developing a number of clean energy technologies. Decades of developments by earlier companies have now matured with results that have been immensely encouraging and innovative. Commercialisation of our fuel cell and allied technologies rests in two areas. The first is in community power based on waste to energy, the second is for transportation applications on land and sea.
A new organisation was set up at the recent NEC Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Conference in Birmingham. Dr Michaela Kendall of Adelan explained that there is a global energy trilemma with climate change, urban air pollution and energy security and energy prices as 1.7 billion more people newly access electricity by 2030.
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Fuel cells are beginning to replace the internal combustion engine in many applications. They are providing zero emission transport in polluted cities and reliable off-grid power. Utilised alongside variable solar or wind power, fuel cell systems store energy as hydrogen for use when it is needed. Fuel cells are also being powered by energy from waste in a carbon neutral process. They have no emissions of carbon dioxide (if powered by pure hydrogen) nitrogen or sulphur oxides nor particulate matter. The electro-chemical process is so clean and quiet that fuel cells are being utilised inside or adjacent to buildings. The efficient process is providing both electricity and heat in homes, schools, hospitals, data centres, and industrial buildings.
The growing use of fuel cells will help to eliminate air pollution in cities and keep the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. Fuel cells are now reaching technical maturity and fossil fuels are beginning to cover their real costs. Transport operators and users of mobile or stationary electricity and heat generators can begin to plan for the change from combustion to electro-chemical energy conversion.
REFUELLING STATION FOR HYDROGEN FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY OPENS TO PUBLIC.
ITM Power has officially launched its third public access hydrogen refuelling station in the UK at the Centre of Engineering Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) at Rainham in East London. The station was opened to the public by Bill Williams, CEO of CEME and Prof Roger Putnam, Chairman of ITM Power. The opening was supported by the manufacturers of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Toyota, Hyundai, Symbio FCell Renault, as well as vehicle owners JCB, Anglo American, Johnson Matthey, Green Tomato Cars and ITM Power.
The hydrogen refuelling station is the first of its kind using
energy from a solar PV array at CEME to make renewable
DRIVING FROM WIND TO SOLAR ENERGY STATION
Preceding the station opening, a hydrogen rally took place from a hydrogen station in South Yorkshire, where the hydrogen is produced by electricity generated from wind power. Journalists and transport industry commentators, were amongst those making the 186 mile drive from the wind hydrogen station to the solar hydrogen station in London. They demonstrated how excess renewable energy can be used and stored as hydrogen gas to refuel fuel cell electric vehicles in three minutes.
The new solar hydrogen station lies just off the A13, linking London City Airport and the M25, and is now available for public and private fleets operating fuel cell electric vehicles. It is part of the pan European HyFive project, which was funded by the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
ZERO EMISSION DRIVING IN LOW EMISSION ZONE
Another rally commenced at ITM Power’s hydrogen station in Teddington, West London, crossing central London to CEME and highlighting zero emission driving across the Capital’s Low Emission Zone. Bill Williams said: “As London’s Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence, CEME is very proud to be able to offer a site for this hydrogen fuel station and utilise our solar energy to make a fuel for vehicles. It is perfectly located to offer a clean hydrogen source and improve air quality for London”.
Paul Van der Burgh of Toyota (GB) said: “This new facility demonstrates the growing momentum in the development of a new hydrogen fuel infrastructure in the UK. This is good news for customers who are keen to adopt the new technology and for the manufacturers of zero-emission fuel cell vehicles, such as our own Mirai saloon.”
Richard Kemp-Harper of Arcola Energy said that ITM’s two hydrogen fuel stations enable Londoners to meet their business, climate and air quality emissions targets. They present a solution for improving air quality in direct competition to the incumbent diesel powered vehicles.
Julia Thomas, Managing Director, Green Tomato Cars, added: “We are delighted to have another hydrogen fuel station open to support our small fleet of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. We have found the stations easy to use and our customers really enjoy riding in a hydrogen vehicle producing zero emissions.”
ITM HYDROGEN FUEL CONTRACT WITH ARCOLA
ITM Power has signed a fuel contract with Arcola Energy to supply hydrogen at £10/kg. The fuel will be supplied from ITM Power’s growing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, part funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU) and InnovateUK. This is a follow-on agreement to that signed with Symbio FCell and Arcola Energy to provide an integrated package of zero emission commercial vehicles, on-site fuel and after-sales support for UK commercial fleet operators. The fuel agreement provides commercial fleet operators with a secure fuel price to implement their business models.
Dr Ben Todd, CEO Arcola Energy commented: “We are delighted that we can now offer our commercial fleet operators a contract for hydrogen fuel. The price of £10 per kg for green hydrogen supports many of our customers’ business models and is the lowest priced hydrogen in the UK. Key to commercial deployment of hydrogen for fleet operators is a secure contracted price for the fuel and so we are delighted to have signed this agreement which can be passed through to our customers.”
Dr Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power, added: “This agreement with Arcola, the exclusive importer of the Symbio FCell range-extended Renault Kangoo ZE van, is another step in building a portfolio of fuel customers. Following on from the contracts with Toyota and Commercial Group, we are very pleased to be working with Arcola and to be supporting their fleet customers at our hydrogen refuelling stations.”
ITM SUPPLIES HYDROGEN TO COMMERCIAL GROUP
ITM is also supplying hydrogen to Commercial Group, the largest independently owned business services company in the UK. Simone Hindmarsh-Bye said that they are delighted that they can now extend their low-carbon hydrogen delivery services to more customers nationwide by utilising the expanding network of hydrogen refuelling stations. The use of hydrogen continues to demonstrate Commercial’s commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of their operations and exploring new and innovative technologies to reduce the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels.
The Toyota Mirai at an ITM Power refuelling station
In a joint announcement at the launch of Europe’s first megawatt scale fuel cell, Friatec (part of the Aliaxis Group), E.ON and Fuelcell Energy Solutions stated that fuel cell technology will be key to providing clean low carbon power in the energy-intensive sector.
Energy history is in the making in Mannheim, they said, as the first European fuel cell of megawatt size is now operating there. Unlike conventional power plants, this delivers heat and electricity in a process that is virtually free from pollutants, making it a milestone for the green energy of the future. Over the course of at least ten years, this innovative plant will provide clean energy for the production processes of materials specialist Friatec.
With a capacity of 1.4 megawatts, this fuel cell power plant is the only one of its kind in Europe to date. In terms of technology and environmental protection, fuel cells represent a promising alternative to conventional combined heat and power plants. In comparison with other decentralized technologies such as gas turbines, they use fuel sources far more efficiently. In addition, they generate power in a non-combustion process which is virtually free from pollutants. By using this fuel cell, Friatec will be able to reduce its CO2 emissions by approximately 3,000 tons per year.
The fuel cell power plant was installed in only nine months by E.ON Connecting Energies and FuelCell Energy Solutions, who have entered into a long-term energy partnership to offer high-performing, clean fuel cell technology to customers in energy-intensive sectors.
Klaus Wolf of Friatec stated: “E.ON and FuelCell Energy Solutions are our long-term partners. Sustainability is at the top of our agenda and the construction of this fuel cell power plant is a great opportunity to make our stance publicly known. This environmentally friendly power plant was a logical step on our way to continually improve our production processes in the context of our environmental management.”
Karsten Wildberger, a member of the E.ON SE Board of Directors, added: “Fuel cells are one of the key technologies for the clean energy world of tomorrow. The inauguration of this plant is a very special occasion for us, since such highly innovative, economical, and clean solutions are at the core of the new E.ON.”
Chip Bottone, CEO of FuelCell Energy, stated: “Together with E.ON, we are able to implement fuel cell power plants with capacities in the multi-megawatt range. This partnership allows us to introduce our fuel cell power plants, which have already proven themselves in many locations around the world, into new markets.”
A 3.7MW FUEL CELL IN CONNECTICUT FOR LOCAL ENERGY GENERATION
FuelCell Energy has developed a power project which will enable utilities to affordably and cleanly solve power generation challenges where land space is limited. This is a breakthrough in transforming power generation networks to a cleaner, more affordable and capital efficient model that meets the needs of global economies today.
Construction is beginning of a 3.7 megawatt fuel cell power plant in Danbury, Connecticut, following approval by the Connecticut Siting Council. “We are enhancing the electrical efficiency of this fuel cell power plant by configuring the fuel cell modules in a series to utilize the fuel to the greatest degree possible,” said Tony Rauseo, Chief Operating Officer of FuelCell Energy. “This is a really innovative design targeting utility and data center applications.”
FuelCell Energy’s standard 2.8 megawatt DFC3000® power plant utilizes two fuel cell modules operating in parallel. The new 3.7 megawatt configuration adds a third module that utilizes unused fuel from the other two fuel cell modules as well as heat, along with some natural gas input to economically and efficiently produce additional power.
The 3.7 megawatt power plant, adequate to power approximately 3,700 average size homes, will occupy only a ¼ of an acre of an industrial lot near an existing electrical substation. FuelCell Energy has executed a long term lease for the land and expects to sell the power to the local utility, supplying the power to a nearby electrical substation.
Multi-megawatt fuel cell installations solve power generation challenges as the combination of near-zero pollutants, modest land-use needs, and the quiet operating nature of fuel cell power plants facilitates their siting in urban locations. Construction is rapid, with one 59 MW fuel cell park being built and operational in only 14 months.
ON SITE AFFORDABLE POWER
“Our business model of locating clean and affordable power near where the power is used acts to spur urban redevelopment by enhancing local infrastructure and generating property and sales tax revenue for municipal and state governments to a degree that other clean distributed power generation projects have difficult matching,” said Michael Bishop, Chief Financial Officer of FuelCell Energy. “The high availability of fuel cells drives significant renewable energy credit generation, supporting both project economics and state-level renewable power standards.”
PROCESSING BIOGAS FROM WASTE WATER IN RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA
FuelCell Energy has commenced commercial operation of a megawatt-class fuel cell power plant at the Riverside Regional Water Quality Control Plant in Riverside, California. The project is structured so that the City of Riverside pays for the power produced, achieving immediate operating cost savings without any capital outlay and in a manner that supports the City’s sustainability goals.
The water treatment process generates methane, a greenhouse gas. If this is recycled to produce energy, the process is carbon-neutral. Through the use of anaerobic digesters, the water quality plant captures the methane, which FuelCell Energy then cleans and uses as the fuel source to generate power for the wastewater treatment process, as well as heat needed by the anaerobic digesters.
The biogas must be cleaned before being directed into the fuel cells, which requires a separate system. “Previously our customers had to obtain this themselves,” said Tony Rauseo. “Based upon decades of wastewater industry experience and comprehensive engineering and design capabilities we now manufacture our own gas clean-up system, he added. This enables us to ensure the quality of the clean-up and to take responsibility for the entire solution for our customer.”
The Riverside wastewater treatment facility can process approximately 40 million gallons of wastewater per day in an around-the-clock operation. The continuous power profile of the fuel cells supports the treatment process, utilizing approximately two thirds of the biogas generated which provides about one third of the power needed by the facility.
CLEAN ENERGY FROM WASTE WATER
FuelCell Energy converts the problem of disposing of wastewater emissions into cost savings for municipal water treatment facilities. The advantages of using their system to obtain clean energy from waste water are:
Complete turn-key wastewater solution for cleaning the biogas, generating ultra-clean power and heat, and operating and maintaining the gas clean-up system and the fuel cell power plant.
Power purchase agreements that avoid any need for the municipality to invest directly in the power generation or gas clean-up equipment.
Avoidance of clean air regulations as fuel cells utilize an electrochemical process that produces power in a manner that is virtually free from criterion pollutants such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) that causes smog, sulfur dioxide (SOx) that contributes to acid rain, or particulate matter that can aggravate asthma.
Improved reliability of energy production with affordable on-site power.
FuelCell Energy has a complete system generating clean power from waste water. It cleans the gas and generates electricity and heat on site.
Riversimple – makers of the hydrogen fuel cell Rasa, a car that emits just a spoonful of water – has been awarded two grants worth £325,000. The grants were announced at the UK’s premiere low carbon vehicle event, LCV2016, in association with Cenex, held at Millbrook, Milton Keynes.
A grant of £200,000, to work in collaboration with engineering company Presreg and the University of South Wales, will be used to develop a hydrogen container manifold and regulators for use in niche hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This means that hydrogen components can be made in the UK – rather than overseas, helping to create jobs and set up a national supply chain.
The innovative car maker is also part of a consortium with NetComposites and KS Composites that has been awarded funding worth £125,000 to develop a bio-carbon fibre made from flax, helping to reduce noise vibration and cost. If adopted by niche and mainstream car makers this new technology could lead to the creation of 7,000 jobs and generate revenues of £520 million a year.
Hugo Spowers of Riversimple said: “The two grants will enable us to further refine our components and ensure that we can make more of the parts in the UK in the future, which is great news for local communities.”
Riversimple were also runners up for the national award for Low Carbon Innovation by a SME at the Low Carbon Champions Awards, an event set up to celebrate achievement and innovation in low carbon road transport. It was a far cry from its appearance at last year’s show, where Riversimple unveiled the chassis of the Rasa car, now believed to be the greenest car currently on the road and weighing just 580kg.
The Rasa spent 15 years in development by a team that includes ex-F1 and aerospace engineers and former Fiat design chief, and was launched in the spring to huge acclaim.
The company has since started crowdfunding to build 20 cars for a public trial in 2017, before starting commercial production in 2018. The two-seater Rasa has a range of 300 miles and refills in a few minutes. It will be offered on a total service arrangement, similar to the cost of a family hatchback, with the cost of fuel included making it an affordable alternative. The Rasa is seen here travelling at night in London.