Air Products South Africa has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the City of Johannesburg and Clean Energy Investments in launching a ground-breaking hydrogen fuel cell pilot project. The project saw the commissioning of a fuel cell installation at the Windsor East Clinic in Randburg to provide backup power during periods of load-shedding.
The project arose out of a need to keep vital tuberculosis (TB) vaccines at an optimally low temperature, which became a problem during power failures. Prior to the installation of the fuel cell, staff at the clinic had to transport the vaccines in cooler boxes to other clinics with power, in order to preserve the medication during load-shedding.
As leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology, Air Products were pleased to be approached by Clean Energy Investments in assisting with the project. The company conducted several risk assessments to ensure that the supply and storage of hydrogen were in line with international codes and standards.
The hydrogen fuel cell system went ‘live’ in February 2015, and has supplied over 70 hours of backup power to date, ensuring an uninterrupted power supply for both the vaccine fridges and the air conditioner unit in the clinic’s pharmacy.
Speaking at the launch of the project, the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development in the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Nonceba Molwele said: “This initiative will assist the clinic to continue with the provision of comprehensive primary healthcare services as promised by the government. The development is in line with the City’s commitment to building a ‘smart city’.”
The project is part of the City of Johannesburg’s initiatives to explore alternative sustainable energy solutions which benefit the environment while addressing the needs of the community.
According to Managing Director of Air Products South Africa Mike Hellyar, Air Products is very pleased to have had the opportunity to partner in the Windsor East Clinic fuel cell pilot project.
“It supports our vision of helping to create a better life for the communities in which we operate, and has given us an invaluable opportunity to demonstrate the benefits that hydrogen fuel cell technology can bring to the local healthcare sector,” he concludes.
Back row: Mike Hellyar (Managing Director Air Products South Africa), Mrs Nonceba Molwele (Member of the Mayoral Committee City of Johannesburg) Front row: left to right: Gavin Coetzer (Clean Energy Investments), Mr. Mmboneni Muofhe (Deputy Director General Department of Science and Technology) and Dr. Refik Bismilla (Executive Director of Health City of Johannesburg).