The Hymera portable power generator from BOC is the first 150W hydrogen fuel-cell powered electricity generator on the market.

The generator is a lightweight, clean and quiet off-grid power supply that is ideal for today’s high-tech, low energy technologies like LED floodlighting and for charging cordless tools on site.

It is an environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional diesel or petrol powered generators and marks the start of a new age in off-grid power generation.

Hydrogen fuel cells are almost silent, so they can be used in situations where noise is an issue – for example in residential areas at night. Reducing the exposure of employees to continuous high levels of noise is also an increasingly important concern for many companies.

Because they do not emit any potentially harmful substances (like carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide) the Hymera can be used in places where these types of emissions could become problematic.

The Hymera hydrogen fuel cell generator has a number of advantages over conventional fossil fuel-driven units. Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity from the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen from the air. Like a battery, a fuel cell employs an electrochemical process that produces no sound and is very efficient. What is more, the only exhaust emissions from a hydrogen fuel cell electric generator are water or water vapour.

The Hymera has a fraction of the carbon footprint of a conventional diesel or petrol generator when used to power low-power loads.

The other great advantage of fuel cells is that they can be built to virtually any scale (from a few Watts to a several Megawatts) while still maintaining their very high efficiency.

Petrol and diesel generators (the smallest is just under 1kW) have very poor efficiency at low and part load – less than 5% in some cases. So there is no benefit in using a high efficiency floodlight rather than a conventional tungsten floodlight with a petrol or diesel generator – the fuel consumption per hour would only be reduced by a small amount.

While other technologies, such as lighting, computing and visual displays, have made big improvements in efficiency (i.e. they do the same work as before but use much less energy), petrol and diesel generators have not downsized to match the reduced power requirement of many loads.