Hydrogen Partnership takes on UPS for standby power

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The London Hydrogen Partnership (LHP) has agreed a formal partnership with independent back-up power suppliers UPS Systems

UPS Systems, which supplies hydrogen fuel cells, will actively participate in the Partnership’s working group for stationary applications for uninterrupted power supplies.

Neither the London Hydrogen Partnership or UPS Systems can give details of any specific plans for the link-up yet – a spokesman for UPS said it was “very early days” – but the Partnership reports that the UPS will be helping to promote hydrogen technology to improve energy security and air quality and reduce greenhouse gases and noise.

However, the company’s main expertise lies in providing backup power supplies for IT, communication systems and data centres, and has installed the UK’s first two hydrogen fuel cells for standby power applications.

UPS told New Energy Focus that both the company and the London Hydrogen Partnership had common goals: “We are at the very forefront of a market that hasn’t yet properly taken off. The London Hydrogen Partnership wants to promote hydrogen. We want to kickstart the commercial implementation of fuel cells in the UK, and see a return on our investment.”


Established in 2002 and led by the Mayor of London, the London Hydrogen Partnership aims to speed up the adoption of hydrogen technology, including fuel cells. Its partners include Rolls Royce, Imperial College, the Westminster Consortium, Transport for London and BP.

Commenting on the partnership, Paul Medlicott, director of the Westminster Consortium and vice chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership, said: “UPS Systems brings further real-world expertise in the commercial deployment of fuel cells to the Partnership.

“Practical fuel cell applications like standby power are available today and they help create a valuable awareness and increase public acceptance of hydrogen as an energy source.”

The Partnership reports that collaborative research published by fuel cell manufacturers shows that based on 1,000 hours of operation, a 10kW fuel cell powered by renewable hydrogen could reduce carbon dioxide by approximately eight tonnes when replacing a diesel generator.

Tom Sperrey, managing director of UPS Systems, said: “It’s not just being a zero-emission energy source that makes fuel cells and attractive proposition.

“Their very small footprint, almost silent operation and potentially unlimited runtime mean that they have much to offer city centre companies with limited office space, restrictions on noise and difficulties in obtaining planning permission for alternative standby power systems.”

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