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Self-recharging hydrogen fuel cell system for telecoms backup power

Italian-based Electro Power Systems SpA has launched what appears to be the world’s first self-recharging hydrogen fuel cell system, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The ElectroSelf fuel cell system is designed to deliver dependable backup power for mobile networks in any location, whether off-grid, in locations with unreliable power, or in extreme climates. The self-contained and self-recharging polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell system consumes only water, and can be installed to back up renewable or mains power.

ElectroSelf is a closed system which is completely self-recharging. The fuel cell power system engages automatically whenever external power fails, generating power by combining hydrogen and oxygen, producing only water as a by-product. Whenever power is available, it generates its own hydrogen by electrolysis of the demineralized waste water from the power generation phase. It does this automatically whenever external power is available, keeping the hydrogen tank full.

The innovative fuel cell system releases mobile operators from much of the inconvenience of providing backup power through gensets and batteries. The initial capital expenditure is offset by a far lower total cost of ownership and extended product life expectancy compared with alternative solutions. It cuts operating expenses, minimizes maintenance, eliminates diesel refueling or battery replacement costs, and provides comprehensive remote power monitoring and control.

‘ElectroSelf represents a huge opportunity for operators to make a step towards cleaner, greener networks,’ says Adriano Marconetto, founder and CEO of Electro Power Systems. ‘The industry is at a turning point, when power for base stations will increasingly come either wholly or partly from renewable energy. These still need backup power, but that must come from clean energy too if networks are to become truly green.’

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Energy infrastructure  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells