Hydrogenics Corp. (HYGS) Has the Right Answers to Mounting Global Demand for Hydrogen Generation, Power, and Storage Systems
Hydrogenics, the 60-year veteran Mississauga, Canada-headquartered developer of commercial/industrial hydrogen systems, is known around the world today for their cutting-edge designs, robust manufacturing practices, and extremely professional installation jobs. The company’s tech portfolio spans hydrogen generation, energy storage, and even the fuel cell/hydrogen-based power systems needed to execute a total hydrogen solution (small or large scale), thus encompassing a truly full-spectrum approach that is also modular enough to satisfy single application markets.
Projects like the €2.86M, European Commission-funded Don Quichote facility, for which the company recently announced having won a key hydrogen storage system award (as part of an influential 9-member consortium), are a gold mine for HYGS. This particular project will see Hydrogenics demonstrating the technical viability of an integrated hydrogen storage system, something the company has great experience with helping many remote communities and utility-scale customers to completely move from diesel gensets to a 100% renewable energy infrastructure based on environmentally sound hydrogen. The Don Quichote project (slated to take five years to complete) will also incorporate a 350 bar electrochemical compressor, 30Nm3 PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolyzer system, and a 90 kW fuel cell system.
These are areas where the company has tremendous technical strength, having developed their HySTAT™ A (alkaline) and HySTAT™ PEM Electrolysers (using the company’s proprietary PEM stack technology), with industrial-scale deployments in mind. Their systems are ideal for a wide range of industrial production scenarios that require serious on-site generation with a low-maintenance profile. HYGS first demonstrated their smaller-scale HyLYZER™ PEM setup back in 2004 and it has since been incorporated into Toronto’s Hydrogen Village initiative. The market for clean transportation fuel is massive and HySTAT™ Electrolysers coupled with a fueling station offers compelling consumer dynamics, with fuel cell-grade hydrogen and zero emissions. The company has all the gear needed to set up hydrogen “gas stations.”
Fuel cells like the 90kW component needed for the Don Quichote facility are another strength for HYGS, with fully executed hydrogen solutions in bus, forklift, and other fleet utility vehicle applications. The company’s HyPX™ Power Packs offer unbeatable uptime with units able to refuel in just 3 minutes, as well better overall powertrain efficiency (longer lifespan, less maintenance) due to more consistent voltage than standard lead-acid battery packs, which are also time consuming and hazardous to change out. Similarly, the HyPM™ HD Fuel Cell Power Modules bring the same powerful and flexible, yet highly dependable functionality to busses and public transport vehicles.
The company picked up a big order recently, with US-based partner, CommScope, Inc., who put in the word for enough HyPM™ XR Series fuel cell power modules to push the company’s 2012 power systems segment to over $100M in orders. The HyPM XR system draws on the prowess of both organizations, as well as world-leading suppliers of such uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems to provide a show-stopping one-two punch via a two category approach, consisting of EcoPower units (2-30 kW of DC power for outdoor telecom enclosures) and the HyPM rack mounted units (2-200 kW or more AC power for data centers).
The obvious operational synergy between the components of the Hydrogenics architecture has led to such innovations as their “Power-to-Gas” storage technology, which takes excess electrical output at a given site and uses it to electrolyze water into hydrogen which can then simply be pumped into the existing natural gas grid after comingling. Consider the implications of that revolutionary process shift and you will see HYGS is near the epicenter of a major evolution towards a hydrogen-electrical cycle infrastructure that uses the existing natural gas infrastructure as a profitability backstop and growth springboard.
The rush to capture government incentives that promote smart grid connectivity and alternatives to fossil fuels is something HYGS can help customers with. As total cost of ownership comes down thanks to improved efficiency and captured incentives, the HYGS hardware pays for itself and the installation/changeover can be done conveniently in the case of switching from diesel infrastructure, without interrupting vital workflows.