Jul 27, 2021

Everything we know about PowerUP Energy Technologies new UP400 hydrogen generator

Published by: Taarini Atal
Cover photo

Estonian-based PowerUP Energy Technologies recently unveiled its first-ever hydrogen fuel cell generator, dubbed UP400, that is targeting the recreational industry by producing 400W of portable clean energy.

Despite being portable, the hydrogen generator is said to not only be durable but also silent with the only emission being water vapor. This makes it a very clean option when compared to fossil-fuel alternatives.

Dr. Ivar Kruusenberg revealed all about this new hydrogen product and PowerUP Energy Technologies recent projects to H2 View.

“We have been working really hard to produce, initially, our first product to be ready for the mass production and for the sales for everyone – the UP400,” Dr. Kruusenberg told H2 View.

“I believe last time we spoke was when we opened our hydrogen cabinet, these two products are well connected because we are trying to solve the chicken and egg issue. The hydrogen needs to be available and the generator is the use case for this hydrogen.”

The new hydrogen generator is the latest addition to the PowerUP Energy Technologies portfolio and is primarily targeting recreational users that may want to use hydrogen to power applications from sailing boats to camper vans.

“The output voltage is 12V which is perfect for sailing boats as well for camping cars and recreational vehicles,” Dr. Kruusenberg told H2 View. “It also has an option to get 50V output that can charge batteries.

“With this, it’s easy to create either hybrid or the smart grid system meaning that if you have the solar panels and you have the batteries, then you can have the hydrogen fuel cell-based electric grid or hydrogen generator UP400 integrated into that.

“This creates a smart grid system that allows you to get the power even when there’s no sun outside and the batteries are getting empty.”

Being able to create a diverse, smart, clean energy grid that is also portable could become crucial to the clean energy transition. This could see a move away from diesel generators that are often loud and heavily emit carbon. Particularly in campsites, where loud generators are often not allowed, the UP400 could help provide a clean energy platform that is eco-friendly and also quiet helping to reduce sound pollution.

The performance of the hydrogen generator has also been measured with Irina Gracheva, a competitive Russian Sailor, who won the Marie Agnès Péron (MAP) trophy using the UP400 hydrogen fuel cell generator, with solar panels, to power the vessel.

Dr. Kruusenberg said, “It has been so far a great success.” She has been doing really well and has won three races now – she’s really been using and abusing the generator!

“The collaboration has been extremely fruitful so far and, obviously, we are receiving feedback that helps us to understand how to make future products even better and more customer friendly.”

The creation of this hydrogen generator did not happen overnight, it came through years of experience working with fuel cells and brainstorming several ideas to find the correct and most effective way of creating an innovative hydrogen solution.

“I have 16 years of experience in fuel cell research, and I was looking at how to bring my knowledge of fuel cells to the wider market. For this I looked at what was missing and where this biggest pain was in the automotive industry. This is where I found the maritime industry has huge difficulties with diesel generators due to corrosion issues,” Dr. Kruusenberg said.

“The regular maintenance, due to biofuels, is around six months and make it a very costly generator, and so we decided that these lightweight, portable hydrogen generators are something that the maritime industry really badly needs. This is where we also found that campervans needed similar solutions for their energy needs.

“Working together with our customers, we have worked on this project for more than three years and so it helps to satisfy customer needs.”

It’s clear that the potential for the UP400 hydrogen generator is huge and could change the landscape for recreational generators by supporting the energy transition to cleaner alternatives whilst also providing other advantages to market alternatives.

The story originally appeared in H2 View.

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