Cutting edge fuel cell technology has been used to deliver power during a maintenance outage at Uniper’s Cottam Development Centre (CDC) natural gas plant in Nottinghamshire, saving 94 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) during the three month outage.
By replacing traditional diesel generators with the 250 kW GeoPura Hydrogen Power Unit (HPIU), power station owner Uniper was able to harness zero-emission electricity sourced from green hydrogen to power the outage village, including welfare facilities and EV charging for all on-site EV’s.
The site, which undergoes routine maintenance outages every 4-5 years used the HPU as a backup power supply while disconnected from the main power grid. Produced locally by GeoPura using renewable energy from a biomass facility, the green hydrogen enables a reduction in carbon emissions when compared with a diesel generator, in addition to eliminating Nox and particular matter.
As part of its sustainability agenda, Uniper has committed to making its European power generation fleet carbon neutral by 2035 and reducing Scope 3 indirect carbon emissions by 35% by 2030.
According to Tom Kavanagh, Uniper Plant Manager, CDC and Killingholme, the GeoPura HPU has enabled the company to ‘significantly reduce’ the emissions associated with the maintenance works, allowing it to move one step further to its 2035 objective.
He added, “The use and reliability of the GeoPura HPU for the first time ever during a Uniper power station outage has been very positive. The support provided by GeoPura on the installation, operation and fuelling of the system made switching to this new technology at our CDC plant seamless.”
Having recommended the product for use, Siemens Energy is working with GeoPura to scale up HPU production and accelerate development.
Darren Davidson, Managing Director of Siemens Energy Gas Services UK, explained that the HPU was initally being used to power the contactor cabins and provide EV charging before replacing an additional two diesel generators.
“Due to increased flexibility the system offers, the HPU was more than capable of supporting this additional load and provided even greater savings than originally planned.”
Built on industrial hydrogen fuel cells, a GeoPura HPU provides 250kW electrical output, 80kW thermal power and 216kWh battery storage. By packaging the unit within a standard 20ft shipping container, GeoPura are able to deliver a supply of hydrogen to ‘almost any’ location.
So far the unit has seen use in construction, off-grid events, festivals and TV production, in addition to large-scale rapid vehicle charging. A project to advance hydrogen fuel cell systems is currently being undertaken by Siemens and GeoPura at the Heaton Works site in Newcastle upon Tyne.