Pacific Energy launches NT’s first-ever hydrogen stand-alone power system

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Pacific Energy has designed and delivered the Northern Territory’s first containerized hydrogen electrolyser and fuel cell system.

This significant achievement is part of the collaboration with Charles Darwin University (CDU) at their Renewable Energy Microgrid Hub for Applied Research and Training (REMHART).

In a press release, the company said the system is poised to explore the feasibility of hydrogen as a clean energy source for the region’s power grids.

Named the Hydrogen Stand-Alone Power System (H2 SPS), it is an innovative adaptation of Pacific Energy’s award-winning solar stand-alone power system.

Comprising four Enapter electrolysers, a PowerCell 5kW fuel cell, battery, and inverters, the H2 SPS is designed to harness power from CDU’s specialized Renewable Energy Grid Testing Facility, converting it into renewable hydrogen.

In particular, the electrolysers within the system utilize electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases through the electrolysis process.

The hydrogen is then stored in pressurized containment vessels until needed to produce power. When power is required, the fuel cell combines the hydrogen gas with oxygen from the air, generating electricity that can be seamlessly integrated into the grid.

During testing, the system has already demonstrated its capability by producing hydrogen and delivering 5kW of electrical output.

With the potential to supply 8.6kW of three-phase power through its inverters and battery, the modular design ensures scalability.

This modular design incorporates the same philosophies, concepts, and safety system hardware used in CDU’s model, facilitating future expansions.

Pacific Energy’s CEO Jamie Cullen expressed the company’s enthusiasm for contributing to the transition towards clean energy.

“At Pacific Energy, we are keenly focused on transitioning Australia, and the world, to a clean energy future. That’s why we’re excited to be a part of projects like this one, which will help us overcome some of the challenges we currently face when integrating hydrogen into the renewables mix,” Cullen said.

CDU’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Science and Technology and Director of the Energy Resources Institute, Professor Suresh Thennadil, highlighted the significance of this equipment upgrade in advancing hydrogen exploration.

“This upgrade provides a unique and flexible platform to study renewable energy systems, particularly small regional and remote grids, which are common throughout the NT,” he said.

The containerized hydrogen electrolyser and fuel cell system provide a unique and flexible platform to study renewable energy systems, particularly in small regional and remote grids prevalent throughout the Northern Territory.

Manufactured at Pacific Energy’s facility in Perth, one of the world’s largest purpose-built stand-alone power system manufacturing facilities, the H2 SPS was installed and commissioned by technicians from Darwin and Perth.

Ongoing operations and maintenance will be supported by Pacific Energy’s Darwin-based technicians.