AFC Energy and MSP Technologies Unveil Hybrid Hydrogen Generator System for Off-Grid Distributed Power Market

By February 12, 2020 6   min read  (1061 words)

February 12, 2020 |

AFC Energy Hydrogen Charger

AFC Energy (AIM: AFC), a leading provider of hydrogen power generation technologies, will today, in collaboration with its partner, MSP Technologies, showcase to UK private sector construction contractors, the future of off-grid stationary power, demonstrating how adopting a portfolio energy technology strategy can deliver a glide path to net-zero carbon emissions for the sector without incurring significant financial impairments of existing assets.  


  • The off-grid global diesel generation market, with annual revenues in excess of US$20bn, is a material contributor to today’s greenhouse gas emissions and a constraint to national and international net zero emission targets.
  • The Hybrid Distributed Power System on display today, consisting of AFC Energy’s H-PowerTM fuel cell system, MSP Technologies FLEX-ESS battery solution, and a diesel generator, will highlight how an immediate reduction in carbon emissions of 50% or more is achievable from the offgrid power market based on typical industry usage data.
  • Through adoption of a zero emission H-PowerTM system and a more efficient operation of existing diesel power, supported by energy storage, a clear glidepath is created for operators to phase out diesel generators in an environmentally sustainable manner, whilst protecting their legacy investments. 
  •  Deploying this hybrid system de-risks any contractors’ perceived risk in fully endorsing new hydrogen-based technologies as a complete short-term displacement of fossil fuel combustion gensets.    
  •  The containerised and modular fuel cell and FLEX-ESS solution make for a readily transportable and mobile power source, not dissimilar to diesel gensets.  

READ MORE: AFC Energy Launches H-Power (Hydrogen Powered) HEV Charger

AFC Energy’s latest stop on its “Dunsfold to Dundee Dash” is in the picturesque town of Holme in the UK’s Lake District.  The Company will be highlighting to over 100 invited and interested attendees its latest EV Charger system, but importantly, for the first time, AFC Energy and MSP Technologies will also be demonstrating to a core group of British construction contractors and remote power users, the possibility of immediately decarbonising the current stationary distributed power market.    

Two key challenges consistently posed from industry, hire companies and contractors with regards to the transition to clean off-grid power technologies, whether temporary or permanent, reflect (1) the already large investments made into the remote and distributed diesel power market which still have a useful life in them, pushing decarbonisation back until diesel generators are fully written off, and (2) the perceived risk a new, albeit clean, generation technology might have to the longstanding reliability of conventional fossil fueled power systems.    

Furthermore, onsite diesel generators are often oversized in temporary power applications leading to poor utilisation, efficiency and consequentially, increased emissions. This is usually done to ensure sufficient capacity to meet all demand, even though demand most of the time is very much below that maximum level. Typically, this may mean the generator set deployed has a rated output of over 3 times the mean demand of a given site.

By using AFC Energy’s H-PowerTM system in combination with the diesel generator, and with the addition of a battery as a hybrid solution, it is possible to cut emissions, run the generator much more efficiently, and store generated power for use in periods of high load.

Cumulatively, based on typical industry usage data, use of the Hybrid Distributed Power System on display today can, depending on generator, fuel cell and battery sizing, lead to a reduction in greenhouse emissions of 50% or more based on typical industry usage data (versus diesel combustion in a conventional genset alone).

The hybrid solution on display today will not only protect legacy investments by operators of distributed power systems, who are keen to materially reduce their carbon emissions immediately, but also provide a model for transition over time away from diesel to a cleaner distributed power solution such as that provided by AFC Energy. 

Power consumed or stored within MSP Technologies’ FLEX-ESS battery system will then be able to balance variable power needs with the role of incumbent diesel generation reverting more towards supporting peak periods of demand and addressing contractor perceived risk around the operability of new technologies in the off-grid power market. 

The Hybrid Distributed Power System will enable Government’s, Local Councils and industry to now consider the opportunity to mandate the need for suppliers of temporary or off-grid power generation to consider the path to “net zero” as part of its own internal and external procurement processes with a viable alternative to conventional greenhouse emitting technologies now available.        

Simon Patterson, Chief Executive at MSP Technologies, said “The demand MSP Technologies is seeing for alternatives to diesel generation in the remote and off-grid power market is growing exponentially year on year.  Having worked with AFC Energy now for over a year, and with the tremendous feedback we are getting from our proprietary FLEX-ESS energy storage system, we have seen a huge potential in the integration of our two technologies in powering this enormous global market, without the risk of intermittency of alternative clean energy solutions such as wind or solar.  We therefore see this as a key power solution to be considered in the mix for a decarbonised off-grid power market in the UK and elsewhere and are pleased to be working with global leaders in this technology having witnesses its successes over the past few months in the EV charging market.”

Adam Bond, Chief Executive Officer at AFC Energy, said “The global power market is changing, and changing fast.  The role of hydrogen in supporting the decarbonisation of the off-grid power market is one which we have been working towards over the past few years given the increasing regulation over the diesel and remote power generation markets.  We cannot however ignore the massive investment already made globally in the diesel and natural gas genset markets which in and of itself presents a challenge to industry to transition to zero carbon solutions in the absence of strict regulation enforcing this move; and so we see our role in presenting industry and Governments with an alternative which works alongside incumbent investments in diesel to support a glide path to decarbonisation over a 5-10 year period.  Today’s demonstration reinforces that these transitionary hybrid solutions exist today and that partnerships between AFC Energy and MSP Technologies are able and willing to work with prospective customers to deliver on our national and international carbon reduction targets”. 


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