Dubbed the ‘H-Power Tower’, the unit is currently being used to charge the electric telehandler, and is an entirely emission free solution, reducing noise and capacity requirements from mains power. The H-Power Tower is also being used to charge lighting towers and a water pump on site.
The hydrogen fuel cell produces electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen atoms, which react across an electrochemical cell to produce electricity, with water and heat being the only by-products.
Charging electric construction machinery with zero-emission solutions at point of use provides a step forward in decarbonising the activities of construction activities where mains supply is not possible.
Andrea Davidson, HS2’s Head of Environmental Sciences, said it is championing the use of environmentally friendly energy solutions across the project, and its sites aim to be diesel free by 2029.
She said, “Reducing the reliance on mains sources of power while still moving away from diesel generated power is critical for the UK’s low carbon future and trialling the use of hydrogen power to charge electric machines and for plant equipment as a whole will be a major step forward for the wider construction sector.”
Ben Wheeldon, Programme Director for joint venture Mace Dragados, said: “By using the electricity generated by the AFC Energy’s unit to power a very visible piece of equipment that we use on site each and every day, we’re reminding our workforce of the need to put decarbonisation at the forefront of our industry’s thinking and encouraging them to bring their own innovative ideas to Euston.”
Adam Bond, Chief Executive Officer at AFC Energy, said its H-Power Tower has demonstrated that it is a reliable, and highly efficient alternative to fossil fuel-based generators. He said, “Hydrogen has the power to revolutionise construction, helping the industry meet its decarbonisation goals and reach Net Zero.”