The Clean Power Net (CPN) industry network invited its members to participate in a user workshop at the Telekom Forum Bonn on Tuesday. The main focus of the members’ and experts’ meeting was the secure and climate-friendly power supply of critical infrastructure through the use of fuel cell technologies.
Numerous long-standing operators, suppliers and experts discussed best practice examples as well as the current funding policy framework for the use of fuel cell systems in Germany. “The use of fuel cells in the area of digital infrastructure is more urgent than ever. We have a reliable and climate-friendly solution at hand that has already been tested in numerous areas of application. The many examples of successful use cases that were presented at the meeting of the CPN partners demonstrated this impressively,” explained Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, CEO of NOW GmbH, which accompanies the CPN network.
In the context of the gas crisis and climate targets, the question of an ecological and reliable supply of power is more critical than ever. At the CPN industry network’s user workshop, the focus was on the telecommunications industry, large events and the primary power supply of large-scale infrastructure and network nodes. Numerous CPN partners and fuel cell system providers gave insights into their companies’ projects. “Fuel cells offer the potential to supply critical and digital infrastructure with electricity in a particularly reliable and climate-friendly manner. The technology enables a wide range of applications, has been demonstrated many times in Germany and is commercially available,” said Andreas Saft, CPN Spokesperson and Head of the Equipment Service Unit at DB Bahnbau Gruppe GmbH.
Fuel cells are gaining attention
Alongside its reliability, efficiency and climate friendliness, the widely tested fuel cell technology also brings application-specific advantages: For example, its use in freight transport and traffic control systems improves the availability of control and measurement systems and results in significantly lower costs for service and maintenance. Several thousand fuel cell systems are already in use in government vehicles, measuring stations and for securing construction sites. Likewise, in the area of digital public authority radio communications (BOS-Net), the specific advantages of the technology, such as low operating costs through remote maintenance and long bridging times, have already been exploited for more than a decade.
“Conventional emergency power systems and stand-by power systems are extremely high maintenance, are noisy and usually run on diesel, which causes them to emit high levels of CO2. The current nationwide call for companies and public authorities to purchase new emergency power generators is therefore the perfect occasion to switch to climate-friendly and low-maintenance hydrogen and fuel cell technology”, explains CPN Deputy Spokesperson Björn Ledergerber, Senior Vice President Hydrogen and Corporate Development at SFC Energy AG. The aim of Clean Power Net is to work together with suppliers, users and R&D institutions to exchange existing knowledge on best practices and to promote the use of fuel cells for the secure and climate-friendly supply of electricity.
Clean Power Net (CPN) was founded in 2010 with 12 business leaders to promote the use of fuel cell technology in a concerted and sustainable manner, especially for digital and critical infrastructures. The network’s initiator is NOW GmbH National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. Today, the CPN has 19 partners and is funded as an innovation cluster by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure with funds from NIP II. More information: www.cleanpowernet.de