UPS Systems has provided 20 direct methanol fuel cells – manufactured by German-based SFC Smart Fuel Cell – to Interserve Project Services, which will install them in what is believed to be the UK’s largest fuel cell telemetry project. Severn Trent Water will use the equipment to monitor and control water flow and alarm signals within an aqueduct that serves the Elan Valley Reservoir.
Interserve is installing eight EFOY Pro 600 fuel cells, which will be integrated with the telemetry equipment in specially designed kiosks, and 11 EFOY Pro 600 Cube units. The ProCube casing incorporates a weatherproof box, making it suitable for installation in existing buildings and well-houses that are adjacent to the aqueduct. The final Pro 600 unit is being kept in reserve. Each unit has a 28 liter canister of methanol, which is sufficient to power the equipment for 24 h a day for a minimum of 300 days.
Because of the aqueduct’s remote location, using renewable energy sources is not feasible; the only viable option is to install fuel cells. DMFCs were chosen because they are small, quiet units that can generate enough energy to power the telemetry equipment while leaving the surrounding area undisturbed.
UPS Systems has also supplied a DMFC unit to Islington Borough Council, for use in its demonstration project promoting the benefits of clean energy technology. The unit will be on display in the council’s foyer, and at several events across London.
The EFOY 1600 system is encased in a ProCube housing, and includes an inverter and additional methanol canister. At just 7 kg it is lightweight and compact, making it easier to transport between several locations, and is virtually silent when running. Designed for recreational and leisure purposes, EFOY 1600 fuel cells provide 1600 Wh of power per day for household and office appliances.