Remote on-site power from fuel cell

Two methanol fuel cells are to be supplied to npower renewables to supply primary power in a portable wind monitoring application for use in remote, off-grid sites.

Due for completion this month, npower will use the new anemometry system to measure wind speed and direction at the full range of possible wind turbine heights.

Continuous power to the equipment is provided by two 12 V gelled-electrolyte batteries which are constantly re-charged through a hybrid system comprising solar PV and two fuel cell modules.

UPS Systems supplied the batteries, EFOY Pro 1600 methanol fuel cells and methanol fuel for the project, which are all integrated within a secure, weatherproof ProCube casing, and monitored by the company's proprietary remote monitoring system. In this application, the units are supplied with a single 28 litre canister of methanol to power the system for over a month.

Stewart Kirby, anemometry analyst at npower renewables commented: 'We chose to integrate fuel cells into the project because of their flexibility which allow the whole remote monitoring and power system to be portable. We need to be able to move the wind monitoring equipment quickly and easily between locations and the fuel cells allow us to do this.'

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