The HS2 project is continuing to champion and utilise environmentally friendly construction processes through innovative technology, for its on-site operations, shown through the implementation of a new hydrogen fuel cell that produces zero emissions at Euston station.
This hydrogen fuel cell, labelled the ‘H-Power Tower,’ is being supplied by AFC energy and will be sued to charge a fully electric JCB telehandler, lighting towers and a water pump on site. Whilst is produces zero emissions for the site, it also provides benefits through the reduction of noise and capacity requirements from mains power.
This contemporary fuel cell works to produce electricity through combining hydrogen and oxygen atoms, which subsequently react across an electrochemical cell to produce electricity, with water and heat being the only by-products. Implementing the use of these hydrogen power cells will greatly enhance the decarbonisation of construction projects for HS2 and could be transformative for the sector if operators and infrastructure owners seek to incorporate these methods into their production methods.
Speaking about the H-Power Tower, HS2’s Head of Environmental Sciences Andrea Davidson said:
“HS2 is championing the use of environmentally friendly energy solutions across the project, and this is another great example of just that. Reducing the reliance on mains sources of power while still moving away from diesel generated power is critical for the UKs 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.”
Throughout its lifespan, HS2 has continually challenged and encouraged its contractor partners to uncover new and innovative construction methods that will result in lower emissions production, creating environmentally sustainable standards that could influence the rail sector. HS2 are currently aiming for their construction processes to be completely diesel free by 2029, so we expect more innovation to build upon these existing practises.
Ben Wheeldon, Programme Director for Mace Dragados, said:
“This is the second of three alternative-fuel cell generators we have brought to our Euston station site this year, making clear our commitment to supporting HS2 with its aspiration to help drive a low carbon future in the UK.
“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.”
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