Successful Hydrogen Generator Trial Results Are Announced by HS2

An electrolysis-based technique known as electrolysis is utilized by a hydrogen generator to create hydrogen from water. If the generator’s hydrogen supply pressure is high enough, it could replace the requirement for hydrogen cylinders with a safer and more convenient alternative.

In order to separate the hydrogen atoms found in a water molecule from the oxygen atom, a hydrogen generator uses electricity. Electrolysis, a procedure carried out in a cell inside the hydrogen generator, is used to accomplish this. An exchange membrane known as the proton membrane divides the anodic and cathodic catalysts in the cell. The anodic catalyst is drawn to oxygen ions, whereas the cathodic catalyst is drawn to hydrogen ions. Following this, the end user is supplied with hydrogen gas under the desired pressure.

Two hydrogen fuel cell-based, zero-emission energy generators have successfully undergone trials at a London HS2 construction site, reducing carbon emissions and enhancing air quality for nearby residents and workers. At HS2’s Victoria Road Crossover Box in Ealing, 2 GeoPura 250kVA HPUs (hydrogen power units) were tested throughout the course of the previous year as a direct substitute for diesel generators to power equipment there. The trial, which was tested and put to use on the HS2 mains construction site in August 2021 by the Skanska Costain STRABAG (SCS JV), which is the mains work civils contractor demonstrates that the products are capable of generating the necessary energy to power the machinery needed for site operations.

“This is yet another instance of how HS2 is pushing change in the market by trialing alternative fuel solutions, which will help us establish a vibrant low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK and strive towards a cleaner, greener energy system,” said Andrea Davidson, Air Quality Manager at HS2.

Since there are no harmful emissions produced by the technology, it significantly improves the air quality for workers and nearby communities, which is crucial to the success of HS2 as a whole project.

The hydrogen power units, whose power output ranges from 20 kW to 2 MW, deliver completely renewable and emission-free energy from a hydrogen fuel cell. The statistics from the testing revealed that using the units for 400 hours eliminated almost 51 tonnes of carbon compared to using conventional diesel generators. They use 100% green hydrogen created from renewable energy. They produce only water, that is so clean it can be drunk, as an exhaust, which makes them quieter than conventional diesel generators. Fuel for the generator came from hydrogen canisters and a hydrogen tube trailer.

The study, backed by HS2’s innovation initiative, has already received industry acclaim, winning the “Best Use of Technology Award” at this year’s Construction News Awards. “SCS JV is committed to decreasing our environmental footprint by identifying technologies to power our site operations, such as trialing this hydrogen fuel cell at our Victoria Road crossover box site,” stated James Richardson, MD of SCS JV. By 2023, we want all of our locations to be diesel-free. Canterbury Road is our first such location, which we recently revealed.”

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