Severn Trent Water will use the fuel cell powered equipment to monitor and control water flow and alarm signals within an aqueduct. Due to the aqueduct’s remote location, using renewable energy sources was not feasible. Methanol fuel cells were chosen because they are small, quiet units which can generate enough energy to power the telemetry equipment whilst leaving the surrounding area undisturbed.
Interserve Project Services is installing eight EFOY Pro 600 fuel cells to integrate with the telemetry equipment in specially designed kiosks, and 11 EFOY Pro 600 Cube units. The ProCube casing enables the unit to be self-sufficient. The final Pro 600 unit is being kept in reserve.
Each unit has a 28 l canister of methanol, which is sufficient to power the equipment 24 hours a day for a minimum of 300 days, according to UPS Systems.
Adrian Gilbert from Severn Trent Water says: "The installation of the fuel cells for power supplies to the telemetry system on the Elan valley aqueduct will ensure that the communication between the remote sites is reliable and operational at all times throughout the year. Previously we have encountered problems with solar power due to poor light during certain periods.
“The 28 l methanol canister has enabled us to reduce the frequency of change and in turn significantly reduce the potential risk of spillage during changes. All the units are supplied in their own cases and are all bundled to add additional security with regard to potential to pollute the water supply."
The installation is due for completion in April 2009.