How Does a Hydrogen Generator Work?

There’s a lot of hype surrounding hydrogen fuel cell technology, but how exactly can it produce clean, reliable, continuous power? And, how does it fit into the rental and construction industries? Let’s take a deep dive into how it all works:

What are the Components of a Hydrogen Generator?

Hydrogen technology can be finnicky. There are a lot of moving parts to turn this state-of-the-art genset into a viable solution for the rental and construction industries. But when it all comes together, it’s almost a symphony of unrivalled zero emission energy production unlike anything else on the market. But first, here’s what it needs:

  • Toyota Fuel Cell
  • Lithium ion phosphate battery
  • Electric controllers and a software management system with online and remote monitoring

Each component works harmoniously with one another to provide immediate dispatchable power to service an electrical load – any electrical load. In the case of the GEH2 electro-hydrogen generator, it’s more productive, cleaner and completely waste-free.

How Do Hydrogen Generators Work?

Once we produce hydrogen, it is compressed and inserted into cylindrical pressurised storage to be transported to the generator for use.

Once the hydrogen reaches the Fuel Cell, oxygen and hydrogen react with one another to produce power through electro-chemical conversion. The result is clean, reliable and consistent power with zero emission output – only a little water and some heat.

But how to do the Fuel Cell and the battery work together? Think of it as a “handshake” between the two components. The Genset controller will intelligently determine how to best service the load. For example, if there is an immediate need, the GEH2 controller will signal the battery to provide an instant response. If there is a gradual increase in load, the Fuel Cell will service it as required.

Better yet, there’s no minimal operating power requirements and is made to be adaptable. It is designed to be re-deployable, robust and to cater for the rental and construction industry with exposure to varying demands and conditions.

Can the GEH2 Work With a Diesel Generator?

Yes. But more as a way to allow for the necessary downtime the GEH2 requires every 24 hours or so. Also, pairing the Genset with a diesel generator compared to a secondary GEH2 is cheaper, albeit at the cost of deploying 100% dispatchable power.

When the Fuel Cell requires some downtime, the GEH2 will take control and transition the load from the Genset to the diesel generator. Again, this process plays out in a seamless transfer between the two generators.

It’s important to note, HFC’s are more widely adopted now, so the requirement for down time will be removed.

What Kind of Maintenance Does it Need?

The GEH2 only needs a periodical assessment every six months to assess the cooling levels and to clean out (or replace) the air filter.

Otherwise, the unit works mainly through an online interface and will flag any problems, faults or notable events before it affects the overall operation. The managing software and plug & play set up makes it very user friendly, giving the user all the information needed for its operation. It even includes online monitoring via the cloud to view hydrogen status, usage profile and location.

What is the Average Lifecycle of a Hydrogen Generator?

The overall battery lifecycle is around 10 years (but this depends on how often the unit completes a full battery cycle i.e. from 100% to 10% state of charge). But, this is hard to measure because the Fuel Cell works to support the battery and will never allow it to discharge itself.

The Fuel Cell will either operate to support or charge the battery – sometimes it may be in operation, sometimes not – which makes it hard to quantify the hours with certainty. Also, the Fuel Cell can technically run beyond the 15,000 hours, albeit at with a slight degradation of performance.

Get the Right Advice & Step Towards a Cleaner Future

With decades of expert industry experience, the team at Blue Diamond Machinery is supporting the transition into a more sustainable future for the construction and mining industries. Get the right advice and step towards a cleaner, more reliable future of power generation for your worksite without compromising on reliability. Get in touch with the Blue Diamond team today.