17 Dec 2018, Off Grid Energy
The District office in Meissen, Germany is responsible for protecting citizens and keeping them informed in the event of an emergency. Recently, the office look at ways to handle these duties during a long power outage. They had short term, back-up generators in place, but needed a reliable, long lasting emergency power solution. Find out how the District of Meissen is using EFOY Pro fuel cells to ensure automatic, uninterrupted operation of its emergency network for up to 15 days.
The district of Meißen is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of an intermunicipal alerting and message transmission system, thus it operates its own digital radio alerting network as BOS (authorities and organizations with security tasks). Since January 2018, a test facility has been in operation with which findings can be gathered to secure the energy supply in the event of a longer-term blackout. At the location of an alarm converter, the redundant energy supply takes place by means of a fuel cell.
In the event of a long-term power failure, the district, as the lower disaster control authority, must ensure communication. There have been no considerations for such blackout scenarios so far. Portable emergency power systems with combustion engines were used at local events. However, their running time is very limited and ties up an enormous potential of manpower.
In combination with the EFOY Pro fuel cell, an uninterrupted operation of up to 15 days can be ensured via the dedicated alarm network. In the event of a blackout, no personnel will be tied up for this purpose. The control and monitoring of the network and the plant takes place through interaction between the software of the fuel cell and that of the alarm network. In particular, information about the energy supply can be obtained at any time.
Our system normally works with energy from the mains, which is buffered by a 12 V battery. The fuel cell monitors the capacity of the battery and provides the required energy when the battery level falls below a certain level. Via the mains control we have switched off the power supply cyclically and thus simulated emergency operation.
After the test phase, the operation of an existing network should be assured. Two thirds of the alarm converters must be self-sufficiently supplied with energy for this. One third is to be provided by fuel cells, the second third by means of already permanently installed emergency power systems.
In this application scenario, the system can be used for a long time without any input from personnel. Furthermore, the new technology and its almost noise- and emission-free mode of operation opens up further application possibilities that would not be possible with combustion engines.