Using fuel cells instead of generators during the construction of wind parks

Stadtwerke München’s new Fröttmaning wind turbine will be illuminated with environmentally friendly fuel cells during construction and until connected to the power grid.

Picture: Peter Rintisch

There it stands, right next to the Allianz Arena: Munich’s second wind turbine. In good conditions, it is an eye-catcher even at a distance. Nevertheless, it must be illuminated around the clock for safety reasons – even and especially during construction – as it has yet to be connected to the power grid. The Munich-based company SIQENS provides the solution: a highly efficient fuel cell that supplies the so-called obstruction light almost silently and with minimal emissions.

Fuel cell expertise based in Munich

SIQENS has been working on regenerative energy solutions based on fuel cells since 2012. This is a market previously covered by conventional diesel generators. Whether in emergency vehicles, on construction sites or in office containers: fuel cells are a highly efficient and ecological alternative. Low fuel consumption, an immense reduction in CO2 emissions and silent operation are strong arguments – not only for operators, but also the environment and local residents. The Munich-based company is therefore convinced: the fuel cell is an essential component of a sustainable energy supply.

“We are not competing with battery and photovoltaics, but see ourselves as the perfect complement. The fuel cell allows energy to be supplied in places where it used to be necessary to rely on traditional combustion engines,” explains Volker Harbusch, CEO and co-founder. “Currently, our technology is used on highways, at measuring and communication sites, but also during the construction of wind farms. Fuel cells present themselves as a low-maintenance and environmentally friendly alternative for the provision of backup power to critical infrastructure. We are convinced that fuel cells will also play an important role in the automotive sector, for example in battery-powered utility vehicles.”

About the wind turbine

The new wind turbine will be operated by Stadtwerke München (SWM). It will supply electricity for 2,800 households in the north of the Bavarian capital, making it four times more productive than the smaller but older wind turbine that has been in place for years on the Fröttmaninger Berg. The company Enertools is responsible for the energy supply on the construction site and relies on fuel cell technology from SIQENS to operate the so-called obstruction light.

About SIQENS

SIQENS, founded in Munich in 2012, develops and produces methanol fuel cells. The devices are used as an alternative to diesel generators and are used for backup power, as well as in locations without a fixed connection to the power grid.

The SIQENS fuel cell system, the Ecoport, runs on liquid methanol. Inside the Ecoport, hydrogen is derived from the methanol. The hydrogen then reacts with oxygen to generate electrical energy. The Ecoport is connected to a battery and automatically recharges it as needed. Connected electrical devices are supplied directly from the battery. Thanks to patented circuits for the recovery of process media and energy, the system runs exceptionally efficiently.

In contrast to diesel generators, fuel cells are economical, require hardly any maintenance and emit neither particulate matter nor nitrogen oxides, in addition to significantly reducing CO2 emissions. And with methanol from renewable sources, operation is completely climate-neutral.

Learn more about SIQENS fuel cells.

Learn more about the construction of the SWM wind turbine

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