Off-Grid Primary Power Fuel Cell Solution to Replace Diesel Generators


GenCell Energy, the fuel cell power solution provider and manufacturer, yesterday unveiled the GenCell A5 off-grid power solution, which the company says is the first affordable primary power alternative to diesel generators. Designed to provide cost-effective, ultra-reliable power for off-grid and poor-grid telecom base stations, the GenCell A5 fuel cell solution overcomes the costs of powering rural telecoms. When compared to using conventional diesel generator solutions over a 10-year period, the GenCell A5 solution, according to a company release, “can reduce OPEX costs of Tower Management Companies (Towercos) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) by up to $250M across 1,000 towers.”

The GenCell A5 is the first fuel cell solution to overcome the limitations of the current hydrogen infrastructure by creating hydrogen-on-demand from ammonia, the world’s second most-produced inorganic chemical, according to the company. More than 200 million tons of ammonia is produced each year and distributed globally via pipelines, tankers and trucks, making it readily available. By creating hydrogen-on-demand from ammonia, the GenCell A5 provides clean fuel cell power at a lower cost than polluting diesel generators – at just $0.50 per kWh.

“In Q1/2018, we surveyed 55 MNOs and Towercos about their plans for powering base stations,” says Caroline Gabriel, Research Director & Co-Founder, Rethink Technology Research. “We found that the most important drivers for investing in a new power technology are to reduce fuel costs and operating costs. These are the only two areas where current hydrogen fuel cell solutions do not meet operator objectives.”

“Ammonia fuel cell solutions, such as the GenCell A5, offer all the benefits of hydrogen fuel cells while reducing the fuel cell OPEX costs by at least 25 percent. Our study shows that this can accelerate operator investment and significantly impact the operator business model for off-grid communications, while contributing to government programs for universal connectivity and internet services,” she adds.

Further reducing the OPEX costs for towercos and MNOs, the new GenCell A5 off-grid power solution, according to the company, requires minimal maintenance. GenCell contends that diesel generators require time-consuming and expensive monthly fueling and maintenance at each tower, whereas a single 12-ton tank of ammonia provides the GenCell A5 with “enough fuel for a year of 24/7 operation.” The GenCell IoT Remote Manager enables remote diagnostics and monitoring of each fuel cell device, reducing the frequency and costs of onsite engineer visits.

Published June 6, 2018

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.