Germany: BMVI Funds 505 Fuel Cell Systems for Remote BOS Digital Radio Sites

By December 7, 2019 4   min read  (656 words)

December 7, 2019 |

Fuel Cell for Outdoor BOS Digital
  • Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) funds 505 fuel cell systems with 5 million Euro / remotely maintainable, uninterrupted and safe in case of crisis: Critical infrastructures in the fire, police and civil protection can be protected by fuel cell technology
  • Environmentally friendly fuel cell convinces authorities to choose it over Diesel
  • After research and development starts market-relevant phase

Berlin–In Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hesse, and Saxony, a total of 505 radio masts will be equipped with fuel cell technology. 

Now that the tenders have been successfully completed and the funding has been approved by the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), implementation is now on-site. “The research and development projects were successful – now the market-relevant phase of fuel cell technology begins as a backup power supply,” explains Dr. med. Henrik Colell, spokesman for the fuel cell network Clean Power Net (CPN).

Today digital radio, tomorrow data centers

The expansion of BOS digital radio is, according to Colell, an important milestone for the entire industry. “In addition to applications in BOS and telecommunications, fuel cells are already being used in small numbers in traffic control systems, in data centers or in industrial plants. Here, too, the promotion can make an important step towards increasing unit numbers. “According to Colell, the success in digital radio broadcasting proves how important financial support for market activation will remain in the future. “Funding programs are the precursor to the market ramp-up. On the one hand, they support technically mature but economically not yet fully competitive products. On the other hand, they secure Germany’s place in international competition in this future technology. ”

Specifically, in Baden-Württemberg 200 digital radio systems are equipped with fuel cell technology, in Bavaria 180, in Hesse 60, in Brandenburg 56 and in Saxony nine. The radio systems, which rely on fuel cells instead of diesel generators in the event of a power failure, can provide up to 72 hours of uninterruptible power in the event of a power failure and can be maintained remotely.

Environmentally friendly: no CO2 emissions

With regard to the climate debate, the fuel cell, according to the Clean Power Net, offers several convincing advantages over common solutions with diesel generators. There are no CO2 or particulate emissions. In addition, there is no degradation in the fuel. This means: While diesel lumps in a longer service life and must be completely replaced every two years and disposed of as hazardous waste, the hydrogen is storable. Another advantage: Fuel cell technology does not cause any noise emissions and can therefore be used in residential areas as well.

Demand for more support and long-term investment decisions

The latest € 5 million support is based on a previous year’s call for funds under the Market Activation Directive under the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program (NIP II). Against the background of the successful market activation in digital public radio communication, the CPN is aiming for a further promotion call of the BMVI for 2020.

In addition, industry representatives urge longer-term investment decisions. Purchasing decisions are too often based on a short-term view. Instead of an investment cost calculation, a total cost analysis over the lifetime of the system should be used more often. Here, the fuel cell usually scores against the diesel generator. In addition, the backup power supply needs to be planned and designed to meet specific needs. Many systems would often be over-dimensioned and not designed according to the actual power requirement, resulting in unnecessary additional costs. And: fuel cell systems can be modularly designed and subsequently expanded.

About Clean Power Net
Clean Power Net (CPN) was founded in 2010 by 12 entrepreneurs to promote and drive the use of fuel cell technology in a concerted and sustainable manner. Initiator of the network is the NOW GmbH National Organization Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. Today the CPN counts 21 partners and is funded by the BMVI as an innovation cluster with funds from NIP II. More information:


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