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Acta ships fuel cell telecom backup power system with onboard hydrogen generation

Clean energy developer Acta SpA has shipped the first fully integrated fuel cell telecom backup power system featuring its onboard hydrogen generation technology for automatic fuel replenishment.

The Acta system, which incorporates an Acta 100 litre/h low-cost electrolyser and a Ballard hydrogen PEM fuel cell stack, has been assembled and tested by M-Field Energy Ltd, a system integrator based in Taiwan.

The completed fuel cell system has been shipped to SEFCA Pty Ltd, Acta’s Australian marketing and distribution partner, and will shortly be put on field trial with a major Australian telecoms company.

This installation will represent the first telecoms customer field trial of an integrated fuel cell backup power system incorporating the unique Acta electrolyser technology.

Acta says that, on the basis of the five-year Total Cost of Ownership, the fuel cell system is cheaper than diesel or battery-based alternatives, while incurring none of their environmental disadvantages.

In addition, since the hydrogen used to power the fuel cell is generated onsite whenever it is required, the system suffers none of the logistical barriers (delivery of hydrogen or other fuel) often associated with fuel cell back up power units. This is particularly advantageous in remote locations and in markets with high hydrogen costs, such as in Australia and South East Asia.

‘This will be the first field trial of our product with a major telecommunications company, and we believe that it will represent an excellent demonstration case for our technology,’ says Paolo Bert, Chief Executive of Acta.

‘This allows us to store excess solar energy in the form of hydrogen – ‘bottled sunshine’. Energy is captured ready for use within the fuel cell to guarantee backup power for remote, off-grid locations,’ adds Martin Burns, Chief Executive of SEFCA. ‘The ability to use collected rain water and variable solar energy will offer a flexible solution not previously available.’

The project partners believe that the size of the future market for this hydrogen fuel cell technology may be very substantial. Acta is also working with fuel cell scooter manufacturer Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies in Taiwan for the development and supply of fuel cell light electric vehicle refuelling stations using Acta’s hydrogen generation technology.

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