Hymera, a suite of hydrogen fuel cell based products from BOC, has been approved for use by Network Rail, which allows them to be used across the rail network in Great Britain.

The Hymera fuel cell produces energy by combining hydrogen with oxygen from the air to form electricity and water. So there are no carbon or particulate emissions as would be the case with conventional petrol- or diesel-powered generators. In addition, the process is virtually silent which is important for work at night or in built-up areas.

Developed by BOC, a member of The Linde Group, with off-grid applications in mind, Hymera is particularly suited to remote or difficult-to-access locations. Its lightweight, even with the associated 54ZH portable hydrogen fuel cylinder, means that it is less cumbersome than conventional generators, which is important where easy access is an issue.

Another major benefit of the Hymera is that it is engineered with today’s high-efficiency technologies – such as low-energy lighting – in mind. Diesel- and petrol-powered generators are notoriously inefficient at part-load, a problem that Hymera avoids, meaning that fuel is used more efficiently and with much less waste.

Higher energy loads, like power tools, mixers, etc, can still be serviced with Hymera, using the PowerPack developed for it. A DC version is also available.

The specific products approved for use by Network Rail include:

·      the BOC Hymera hydrogen fuel cell generator and supporting 54-ZH lightweight cylinder, for applications such as LED lighting, security cameras, back-up power and comms

·      a twin LED lighting rig intended for use with the BOC Hymera. This gives an output similar to  2 x 400W halogen lights but is much more resilient and has a lower operating temperature

·      the BOC PowerPack, a high power battery inverter capable of driving power tools such as 9” angle grinders and bandsaws.

Stewart Dow, BOC’s Packaged Energy Manager, said, “The switch to a low-carbon, sustainable economy can only happen when the tools are available for industry to do its job. Hymera is a vivid example of a system designed to carry out specific tasks using today’s technologies while creating zero emissions. We are delighted that Network Rail has recognised the environmental – and fit-for-purpose – credentials of Hymera.”