18 September 2002 – Hydrogenics Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems, announced Tuesday the successful completion of the test of the HyUPS(TM) regenerative back-up fuel cell power generator at a cellular tower site provided by Nextel Communications.
Hydrogenics installed the prototype HyUPS power generator at the site in early July and subjected it to a rigorous test protocol over a two-month period. The unit was required to respond to simulated, as well as actual, power failures.
The 25 kW, trailer-mounted, regenerative unit was commissioned within the first day of deployment, and was operational from the first “turning of the key.” The test protocol was designed to compress the profile of a full year’s intermittent outages into a two-month time period. During the test, the unit’s performance not only met the high expectations of the Company and the client, it also produced instantaneous power exceeding the quality characteristics of the local utility grid during each power outage.
Unlike battery alternatives, the unit powered both DC and AC loads for the site’s electronics and air conditioning. To test durability in the event of an extended outage, it operated continuously at full load for a period of four hours. Deployability, higher energy density, zero-emissions, and rapid rate of recharge proved to be the key advantages of the unit over incumbent lead-acid and diesel gen-set technologies.
“We are very excited with the results of this field trial and about future plans for this product,” said Pierre Rivard, President and CEO. “This successful demonstration proves just how well the technology does work, and supports a strong value proposition for providing critical fuel cell backup power to cell tower sites.”
This collaboration between Hydrogenics and Nextel demonstrates the extensive portfolio of technologies available within the GM alliance partners. In addition to designing and building the fuel cell power module around the GM fuel cell stack, Hydrogenics was the system integrator, bringing together the technologies of other GM alliance partners, including Giner Electrochemical Systems and Quantum Technologies, for the purpose of this alpha stage product demonstration.
Hydrogenics and Nextel are analyzing the data and discussing the next steps in a fuel cell program.