Fuel Cell System to Provide Backup Power to Remote Mobile Phone Base Station in France

For the first time on its network SFR, a leading French mobile phone service provider, has installed a fuel cell system using liquid methanol as an alternative backup power source. SFR is trialling IdaTech’s fuel cell technology at one of its remote base stations in Pigna Corbino, Corsica. Chloride was commissioned to provide an IdaTech 48VDC ElectraGen5 XTR fuel cell system at this crucial site which was prone to grid failure.

Fuel cell technology provides an ecological and innovative solution and its long autonomy is a great advantage for such a remote site with difficult access. Through remote monitoring capabilities, SFR is notified when the fuel cell system activates to provide immediate backup power until the main supply is restored.

Due to its UNESCO-protected classification and limited space, the site was not appropriate for installation of a diesel generator and due to its remote location hydrogen siting was not an option. SFR’s commitment to the environment led the provider to search for a liquid-fuelled, low maintenance solution to reduce the impact on the environment with giving minimal pollution, virtually no noise and seamless integration into the natural environment. This trial illustrates SFR’s commitment to environmentally-friendly solutions by implementing alternative sources of energy to guarantee the continuity of its network.

Perfect for remote locations, the IdaTech ElectraGen™5 XTR combines a PEM fuel cell stack, reformer, fuel storage and delivery, controls and power electronics. Traditional solutions such as generators, batteries or fuel cell systems using bottled hydrogen are only practical for a limited number of hours. The ElectraGen™5 XTR produces high-grade hydrogen internally for the fuel cell stack, enabling days of operation from a very compact liquid fuel source. It also provides an economical solution by producing hydrogen on-site as required, avoiding the traditional challenges associated with hydrogen delivery and storage.

Chloride, the Frost & Sullivan European UPS Company of the Year 2007, is committed to offering customers greater technology choice for critical power protection solutions. Its portfolio of traditional high integrity systems has been extended to encompass both fuel cell and flywheel alternatives.

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