Decentralized Energy

19 Mar 2021

Microgrids with Hydrogen Fuel Cells Installed in Rural India

19 Mar 2021  by   

Methanol and hydrogen fuel cells provider SFC Energy has completed the delivery and installation of 48 EFOY Pro 12000 Duo fuel cells (500W) for remote sites across four north-eastern Indian States.

Image: SFC Energy

These microgrid solutions, installed at remote off-grid sites, consist of two EFOY Pro 12000 Duo fuel cells with a total output power of 1,000 Watts, a solar panel of 5,000 Watts, a Li-Ion battery bank and an intelligent energy management module. The AC supply is provided through a Hybrid 230 Volt AC inverter.

The end users are a small cluster of habitat housing a total of about 50 people. This solution will ensure adequate lighting, ventilation, mobile phone charging, running of TVs, and other end devices.

The northeastern corner of India is characterised by territory that is difficult to navigate. Also, weather conditions can be adverse with low temperatures and heavy rainfall for long durations causing poor connectivity.

The nature of methanol as a fuel that is used in other applications as an antifreeze agent makes it the perfect fuel for this kind of environment. This, together with the very low fuel consumption of the SFC fuel cells, are significant logistical advantages for the resupply over conventional diesel generators.

“Fuel cells are becoming increasingly sought after by Indian customers especially the Government departments in India due to their high reliability, low maintenance, and massive logistical advantages especially where conventional forms of energy cannot be relied upon. We see a very bright future for SFC Fuel Cells in India where we are also adding the SFC Hydrogen Fuel Cells to our portfolio,” says Karandeep Singh, managing director of FC TecNrgy Pvt Ltd.

The fuel cells require less than one liter of fuel per hour. On an average, these units are operated not more than six hours per day unless there is a bad weather spell that prohibits solar power harvesting. This simplifies logistics and significantly reduces the need to stockpile fuel compared to diesel generators.

The EFOY fuel cells do not emit environmentally harmful emissions such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), or particulates. This makes them a better option for installation close to living and rest areas.

“This initial serial field installation of this kind in India is an important step for us and our partner. We see great growth potential in India and all over the world, which we intend to tap with our innovative and approved fuel cell solutions,” says Dr. Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC Energy AG.

SFC Energy is a supplier of hydrogen and direct methanol fuel cells for stationary and mobile hybrid power solutions and delivered the order together with partner FC TecNrgy Pvt Ltd.

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