Civil engineering contractor Costain has trialled the use of a hydrogen-powered fuel cell generator at the £207m Preston Western Distributor Road project’s M55 compound.
Costain has carried out the trial of an EODev GEH2 fuel cell and battery-integrated generator with hydrogen industry start-up Hydrologiq for project client Lancashire County Council.
Hydrologiq funded the trial through a government grant to support the use of hydrogen generators.
Hydrologiq said generator proved itself capable of reliably and efficiently powering the entire site compound, comprising offices, a canteen, drying room, toilets and two battery electric vehicle (BEV) charging stations.
The trial is the first for Lancashire County Council in line with its carbon reduction ambitions and demonstrated carbon savings from onsite operations of between 70% and close to 100%, when powered by grey and green hydrogen respectively.
Hydrologiq director, Benjamin Lindley, commented: “On-site power provided via hydrogen fuel cell technology has the ability to make construction sites quieter, cleaner, and healthier places to work.
“The generator itself ran so quietly that a diligent security guard raised a false alarm that the power had cut off when he didn’t hear the expected rumble from the diesel unit.
“And, whatever the source of hydrogen, a fuel-cell generator only produces water at point of use, eliminating NOx and particulates.”
He added: “At Hydrologiq, we believe that replacing diesel with hydrogen will happen quicker and safer if businesses are open to collaboration.
“We are grateful to everyone at Costain who worked with us to make this trailblazing deployment a success.
“Thanks also to our grant collaborators Blue Lightning Solutions, and our suppliers: generator manufacturers EODev, and fuel providers BOC.”
Costain project environment manager Tara McCracken said: “Costain has set an ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2035 at the very latest.
“Our aim is to be a clean growth leader, enabling the uptake of low carbon solutions such as hydrogen and supporting our supply chain to achieve net zero carbon.
“By 2023, every solution delivered by Costain for our clients will propose low carbon options.
“We are looking forward to seeing more hydrogen-powered generators on our projects in the future.”
Image: The EODev GEH2 fuel cell and battery-integrated generator
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