H2E's Power fuel-cell energy solution
H2E Power’s distributed on and off-grid fuel-cell energy solution goes anywhere, and everywhere.
India is on the fast trajectory of development but to keep the momentum of growth high, availability of uninterrupted power supply is critical. The lack of power affects rural and urban areas alike, limiting efforts to advance both living standards and the country’s growth. There is a pressing need for alternate energy generation which will not only offset the demand of conventional fossil fuel but also pave the way to cleaner solutions.
To address these pressing needs and deliver electricity at even the remotest location, Pune-based H2E Power has innovatively used technology to create a clean, green reliable and affordable energy solution. The company’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) uses hydrogen that can be extracted from a variety of available local renewable sources to produce power and usable heat, with higher efficiency than other power generating technologies. The core idea of this effort was to develop a solution which provides on-demand, good quality energy, as it’s needed.
The company has designed a power trailer system, built with a solar fuel cell battery hybrid technology which is equipped with a GSM switch, IoT capabilities with instant sensor data collection, and real-time weather & commodity price reporting. In addition, the system has the capability to not only power, for example, a farmer’s irrigational pump and agri-machinery but also meet household power needs for devices and appliances.
The power trailer houses a Smart Energy Management System (SEMS) that is essentially a single microcontroller based control unit for the entire Fuel Cell Power Pack (FCPP). The SEMS solution was created in-house after intensive on-ground intelligence gathering through deep interactions with over 100 farmers and rural communities across the country. The trailer can be hooked behind a small vehicle like a motorcycle or a tractor to be towed around. The maintenance team has remote access to the systems operations for 24x7 monitoring and diagnosis.
“The intelligent SEMS operates the system at maximum efficiency and delivers optimal power. When hooked up with other power sources like Solar PV, and when these sources are not available, the SEMS will switch on the Fuel Cell system and maintain adequate power output, while maintaining optimal battery charge for future usage,” says Mayur.
Other than farmers, the other beneficiaries of this development will be rural citizens, telecom towers, disaster management companies and defense. Field deployment commences in May 2017.
“Predictive maintenance features are incorporated wherein faulty components will be identified and isolated at an early stage before they cause damage resulting in system failure. The fuel cylinders are monitored using pressure sensors and the end user will be informed well in advance when the cylinders need to be replaced, automatically via SMS, in their preferred language,” says Ajay Nagarkar, Director, Axonet Emsys, an IoT solution provider working with H2E Power.
By calculating user demand and consumption trends the SEMS will operate the fuel cell system in the most efficient mode and continually monitor the output by using sensors.
“The big social gain will be for the farmers who will be able to control their energy destiny. We want to ensure that they get good quality and cheap power at any point. This is going to revolutionize agriculture in our country, and it has the potential to convert a farm into a factory,” says Mayur.