Estonia-based hydrogen fuel cell specialist PowerUP Energy Technologies has unveiled a 400 W portable fuel cell-based generator that can be used in off-grid applications.
The generator, UP400, is sold at a price of €6,500 (AU$10,000) and is claimed to have a minimum lifetime of 5,000 working hours. It operates at temperatures ranging from -20 to 52 degrees Celsius.
The device has a weight of 10kg and is based on a proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology which works in three different steps: first the electrons are stripped from the hydrogen molecules through a catalytic process; then the positively charged protons pass through the membrane to the cathode and the negatively charged electrons are forced through a circuit to generate electricity; and finally, the electrons combine with the protons and oxygen from the air to generate by-products such as water and heat.
The hydrogen is provided by external cylinders and its fuel cells work in parallel with a battery module, with the former acting as the main power source during operation. The solution is ideal for sailing and yachting, camper vans or other recreational vehicles, and off-grid homes.
“Whether you own a yacht, a camper van, or need a power back-up for your off-grid home, we have a powerful solution for everyone,” said the company’s CEO, Ivar Kruusenberg. “These smart generators can be combined with batteries, solar panels, or even wind turbines to create a smart grid system.”