Successful trials for two zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-based electricity generators have been held at a HS2 construction site in London. Quadrant Transport looks at how HS2 is using the technology to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality.
The two GeoPura 250kVA hydrogen power units (HPUs) were trialled by HS2 over the last year at its Victoria Road Crossover Box in Ealing, as a direct replacement for diesel generators to power machinery on the site.
In August 2021, the trial was tested and commissioned on-site by HS2’s main work civils contractor Skanska Costain STRABAG (SCS JV), with the trials revealing that the products can produce the needed energy to power equipment that is required for site operations.
UK Low Carbon Hydrogen Sector Will Be Developed
It is said that the hydrogen power units provide 100 per cent renewable and emission-free power derived from a hydrogen fuel cell, with power capabilities ranging from 20kW through to 2MW.
Data from the trial showed that running the units for 400 hours eliminated around 51 tonnes of carbon compared to using standard diesel generators.
HS2’s Air Quality Manager, Andrea Davidson, said: “This is another example of how HS2 is driving change in the industry by trialling alternative fuel innovations, which will help us develop a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK and work towards a cleaner, greener energy system.”
With no harmful pollutants, the technology brings major air quality benefits to the workforce and local communities around construction sites, something which is vitally important to HS2 across the whole project.
Also, when compared to a standard diesel generator, the hydrogen power units are quieter, and the only emission is water which is said to be so clean that it is drinkable.
The Site Will Become Better For The Local Community
Managing Director of GeoPura, Andrew Cunningham, said: “This initial trial at HS2 successfully demonstrates the capability of our Hydrogen Power Units in such challenging applications. The units are particularly valuable in inner city sites such as this, as they not only reduce the CO2 impact of the works but also eliminate harmful NOx, particulate, and noise emissions, making the site a better neighbour in the local community.
“It’s great to be working with such innovative, forward-thinking companies who are taking action to reduce their environmental impact by setting bold diesel-free targets.”
We look forward to continuing to work with SCS JV and HS2 to help them achieve these goals.
Improving air quality and cutting carbon emissions, the successful trials for the two zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-based electricity generators will future-proof hydrogen technology.