Fuel cells make sense for heavy-duty applications like trains, trucks and buses. Thanks to the immense progress within the last decades, portable fuel cell technologies are slowly finding implementation. One such technology is coming from a small country in Europe, Estonia. PowerUp Fuel Cells OÜ is a producer of the best-in-class hydrogen fuel cell based electric generators. The technology is based on the co-founders’ 15 years of scientific research in the field of fuel cells and energy technologies.
The company’s first commercial offering, the UP400 (400 W, 12 VDC) generator is a zero-emission, compact and lightweight generator that operates silently and requires minimal maintenance. It weighs merely 10 kilograms and is designed for professional and leisure use and is the perfect replacement for “dirty” diesel generators. These reasons make the generator far superior than diesel powered or other available generators on the market.
One of the main features of this product is miniature smart-grid capability
Although the 400 W generator targets relatively niche markets, the company is already developing 1 kW and even more powerful products to cover different market needs. Nevertheless, the UP400 can deliver battery-like performance while being 10x lighter than Li-ion batteries and 20x lighter thanlead acid batteries. One of the main features of this product is miniature smart-grid capability – when connected with solar panels or wind turbines, excess energy can be stored inside the generator for later usage. This feature also allows to achieve energy independence.
Wherever you are, the unit will allow you to charge your laptop, smartphone, radios, lights, fans and other devices. Perfect as a standalone unit or combined with batteries, solar panels or wind turbine. The compact design and unique product features make it perfect for sailing boats and yachts as well as camper vans. The product is safe and clean and can even be used indoors.
Convenient and easy to use
The unit requires pure hydrogen gas to operate, which comes in external cylinders of different sizes, depending on user’s needs. The system is extremely easy to operate, it is a plug&play solution. The system and cylinders are fitted with quick connects which allows cylinders to be exchanged in a matter of minutes.
Contrary to the common misconception, hydrogen is actually considered safer than natural gas and other flammable fuels
Contrary to the common misconception, hydrogen is actually considered safer than natural gas and other flammable fuels. Let’s take propane for example. If there’s a leak, propane starts to fill the room from bottom to up, because the gas is heavier than air and falls down. Hydrogen, however, is the lightest element in the universe. In case of a leak, the gas dissipates rapidly and does not fill the room. The cylinders have been through rapid testing and are ensured maximum safety. As with any other flammable fuel, when handled correctly and with caution, hydrogen is a safe gas.
Why fuel cells?
Fuel cells are nearly twice as efficient as diesel generators. They have substantially lower total cost of operation than petrol or diesel generators, particularly at lower loads (<100W). Fuel cell based generators operate silently and there are no harmful emissions. The latter is achieved due to the nature of fuel cells – hydrogen (in some cases, methane or other fuel) is converted into electrons and protons through a chemical process, which leaves no residue besides water vapor and heat.