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Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power

Ultra H: Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power

The beauty of hydrogen lies in its simplicity: it has the atomic number 1, it is the most abundant element in the universe, and it is colourless, odourless, non-toxic and tasteless at standard room pressure. This means of course, that as a source of fuel, it is non-polluting and most important of all perhaps, virtually limitless in supply.

The beautiful simplicity and potential of hydrogen is well known, and slowly, as environmental problems like climate change become more acute, investment in hydrogen technologies increases.

Current technologies using ‘green hydrogen’ (hydrogen produced from renewable energy) are shifting pro-hydrogen attitudes further still and end with an even more optimistic note: that the solutions and technologies of green hydrogen storage has a logic which converges and aligns with the vision (and hopes) of many people’s future.

Ultra H: Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power Station

Hydrogen has a history of been promoted as “the fuel of the future”, but today that potential is a reality, and it is down to so-called green hydrogen.

Despite being one of the most abundant elements on Earth, hydrogen is not easy to obtain: it must be extracted from other substances, such as water, coal or natural gas. The latter two (coal and natural gas) unsurprisingly (given the current energy markets) are overwhelming where most hydrogen currently originates. This hydrogen is dubbed ‘grey’ or ‘blue’.

Green hydrogen is different: it does not involve large-scale CO2 emissions or depend on the fossil fuel infrastructure. And this is its great benefit because renewable energy provides the clean power needed to extract the hydrogen (through electrolysis) and produce green hydrogen, which stores excess power in a highly versatile form.

Hydrogen storage technology is advancing and new systems, like Ultra H Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power Systems offer transformative solutions. Ultra H is fully contained which means they produce their own renewable energy, so are completely self-reliant. This offers yet greater potential because as well as providing backup power to renewable sites, Ultra H can even be used as the sole energy source for buildings, farms or remote installations, etc. as Ultra H produces Green Hydrogen on a continuous duty basis at industrial scale levels.

Such modular units as Ultra H can be installed at almost any location and are scalable, so able to achieve outputs in the multi-megawatt range. The ability to generate their own power means they are not only complementary with existing technologies but offer autonomous and transportable support as well as the promise of a stable, steady, secure and continuous base load power supply.

Ultra H Green Hydrogen Systems:

  • Ultra high output hydrogen system on continuous duty basis.
  •  Renewable Energy Sources: Highest efficiency in the world.
  •  Class leading energy storage systems.

This versatility of hydrogen has always been known. For example, for years it has been used to power cars and buses. It has also been used in spacecraft propulsion, and due to its abundance in water, can create power virtually anywhere in the world. Today, this versatility is becoming irrefutable, because in tandem with renewable energy, green hydrogen offers power across multiple sectors – to the transport sector, to industry, to commerce and to agriculture. And it can be virtually anywhere.

Why Green Hydrogen promises so much

The number one reason for hydrogen’s hope is probably its flexibility. There are many storage technologies available, such as large-scale batteries, pumped hydroelectric energy storage (PHES), flywheel, etc. But with green hydrogen the stored energy can be transported, converted into another form (e.g. methane), or used in mobility (vehicles or machinery). In other words, it is highly flexible. In fact, the applications are vast and varied, ranging from maritime fuel to city buses. They also include remote and inaccessible locations, such as mines, where the burning of fossil fuels presents serious health risks (due to polluted air).

After flexibility comes compatibility: the fact that any form of renewable energy can be used to produce hydrogen. With water as the raw material, green hydrogen (in contrast to fossil fuels or grey hydrogen) is therefore borderless, less susceptible to conflict and ultimately a highly adaptable fuel which can be produced domestically without the threat of embargo/war/raw material shortage, etc. Green hydrogen can also be produced using seawater, further extending its potential.

Lastly, there is scalability: the production of hydrogen, its storage and its use can be either small-scale and localized or vast in scale. For example, compressed air storage or pumped hydroelectric storage will typically range from 10 MWh to 10 GWh, battery storage from 10 kWh to 10 MWh, but with hydrogen it can be in the 1 GWh to 1 TWh scale.[1]

[1] M. Melaina, J. Eichman

Hydrogen energy storage: grid and transportation services

Natl. Renew. Energy Lab. Denver (CO) (2015), 10.2172/1170355

The Big Picture

Combine these attributes (flexibility, compatibility, versatility and scalability, etc.) and you end up with a big picture – one in which green hydrogen links together the chains in a low-carbon economy. It is no exaggeration to say that the versatility of stored green hydrogen applications makes it the lead candidate for future energy storage. After all, as well as the more obvious applications, green hydrogen provides potential for stationary applications in buildings, providing heating/cooling solutions, architectural solutions for more sustainable design, fuel cell applications, district combined heat and power, and so on. The list in fact, is virtually endless.

This ‘big picture’ will take time to become reality but considering the Paris Agreement and the growth of renewables, the need for a flexible form of energy storage, based on zero-carbon, becomes more pressing. Demand for renewable energy storage (RES) is growing. In Europe for example, the predicted share of RES production in terms of electricity demand is set to be 80% by 2050, with up to 65% of EU power generation provided by PV (photovoltaic) and wind.

Green hydrogen offers a way of addressing the variability issues in the renewable energy mix and the potential to extend de-carbonization across multiple (if not all) sectors of the economy.


[1] M. Melaina, J. Eichman

Hydrogen energy storage: grid and transportation services

Natl. Renew. Energy Lab. Denver (CO) (2015), 10.2172/1170355

The Economics of Going Green

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There is no denying the fact that an energy transformation will come at a cost. But inaction will come at a greater cost. If it’s not stored green hydrogen, it would have to be either another technology, or worse – inaction. Stored hydrogen can be used to generate electricity on-site, or it can tap into existing infrastructure, such as natural gas pipelines .For this reason, and as pointed out in the study published in Thermal Science and Engineering Progress, the near future will require huge amounts of storage as the renewable energy network expands. Research by the EU’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU[1]) reiterates this and pointed out the following: that nearly all RES technologies will have to be re-oriented towards locations suitable for either high-capacity hydrogen storage, or elevations for pumped hydro, etc. Furthermore, as it stands, only chemical storage (notably hydrogen storage) could potentially fulfil all legislative targets/requirements (in the EU for example) because the versatility of these systems enable the potential utilization of nearly all excess renewable energy as well as enabling cross-sector de-carbonization.

This scope is increasing demand. Currently, around 70 million tons of hydrogen is produced annually, creating a situation in which policies that directly support investment in hydrogen technologies is increasing.

Currently, almost all the 70 MMT[2] of hydrogen produced comes from fossil fuels, with associated emissions of CO2. And of course, this grey hydrogen has little in common with green hydrogen when it comes to environmental credentials.

In fact, the generation of green hydrogen introduces a new price mechanism in the electricity market:  as renewable capacity grows, so too does the excess energy available to produce hydrogen. A subsequent drop in electricity price would lead to rises in the production of hydrogen and create greater economic opportunity, such as in the transport sector.

Evidence of this growing confidence and opportunity can be seen in vehicle manufacture. Hyundai for example, unveiled the second generation of the mass-produced FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicles) in 2018 and the global market for FCEV and fuel cells is growing rapidly. Remember also that they are not just required by cars, but by trains, trams, forklifts, power generators, vessels, etc.

Hydrogen vehicles are now available to buy in several countries and 225 000 fuel cell home heating systems have now been sold.