Berlin--While fuel cells for emergency power supply are already es-tablished in digital police radio, the technology could also increasingly be used in future as a safety solution for signal and traffic management systems in rail transport, in banks or in hospitals. Because of successful reference projects, the environmentally-friendly technology is establishing itself in ever more sectors as an alternative source of energy to ensure power supply of digital and critical infrastructures. This conclusion is drawn by the Clean Power Net (CPN) sector network, which reviewed its six-year existence at its general assembly yesterday in the Berlin Representation of the State of Hesse.
”The work of our network has successfully transitioned the “Made in Germany” fuel cell from research to practical phase over the last six years. We have the raised the profile and conveyed the diverse application possibilities of the technology in a sustained way and we were able to establish fuel cells as an alternative for secure power supply in the minds of decision-makers both in politics and industry,“ says Dr. Henrik Colell, CTO of Heliocentris Energy Solutions AG and Clean Power Net spokesperson. Colell was confirmed for the fifth time in this role at the general assembly this year. At the same time those assembled elected Frank Luckau, representative of the most recent member of the network, DB Bahnbau Gruppe GmbH, to the role of deputy spokesperson for the network.
Since the founding of CPN in 2010, the number of member companies has continued to rise. Currently 20 companies are involved in the network. But beyond the membership cir-cle, the resonance of CPN’s work has been thoroughly positive: With the European Tele-communications Network Operators’ Association, the leading association of European electronic communication network operators, fuel cell technology was presented to a major player in the telecommunications area.
CPN – Market success in telecommunications
In the communications sector CPN is currently achieving its greatest market success. In-deed more and more sectors are recognising the broad application spectrum of fuel cells for themselves. Thus CPN were able to convince Deutsche Bahn of the advantages of the technology in guaranteeing power supply for their signal and traffic management systems and with their subsidiary, DB Bahnbau Gruppe GmbH, gain a first large user from the traffic and transport sector.
Also the increased number of participants at the CPN general assembly by around 50 peo-ple compared to the previous year emphasises that interest in fuel cells for emergency power supply is growing across all sectors. The technology can for example be used in IT servers, hospitals, banks, flood warning systems or in process control technology in indus-trial production. Aside from guaranteeing energy supply for critical infrastructures, fuel cell power supply is also suitable for peak loads, minute reserves and virtual control energy plants.
CPN – Reference projects all over Germany
The most important reference project by CPN in Germany thus far exists through its mem-ber BOS-Net Brandenburg. Since 2014 116 fuel cells in Brandenburg guarantee the emer-gency power supply for base locations of digital radio for public authorities and organisa-tions with security responsibilities (BOS) such as police and emergency services. “The use of fuel cells at such a vital point of infrastructure shows not only the enormous trust authorities place in the technology. As a reference project BOS Brandenburg has enormous showcasing power for our whole network”, says Colell. CPN members are currently participating in the call for proposal for emergency power supply for radio networks of public authorities also in the state of Bavaria using fuel cells instead of diesel generators as an off-grid solution.
About Clean Power Net
Clean Power Net (CPN) is a consortium of 20 companies and institutions from the fuel cell sector. The project management of the network is undertaken by NOW GmbH. NOW GmbH was founded in February 2008 from a strategic alliance of different federal ministries with industry and science. NOW GmbH is responsible for managing the implementation of the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) as well as the technical assessment and initial selection of demonstration funding projects. Through this overall coordination under the one roof, target-oriented development is secured to order to compete on international level and take the lead in this key technology.