Electro Power Systems of Turin Italy and its partner VP Energy in the United States has developed one of the most intriguing power solutions. Its ElectroSelf™ energy storage system is a stand-alone, self-recharging system that generates hydrogen from water and a power source (e.g., general grid, solar, etc.) and stores it for use when power is reduced or out.
These innovative fuel cell systems are designed to eliminate the reliance on traditional batteries and diesel gensets, which pose lifecycle replacement and waste issues.
With a fuel cell stack life of up to 10,000 hours, a small footprint, a sub-30 second start up time, and the ability to work on the grid or off (with renewables), the ElectroSelf has garnered a number of accolades, including being honored with a Global Cleantech 100 Award from the Guardian and being recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer.
As the ElectroSelf enters its 4th generation, and worldwide manufacturing by VP Energy located in Michigan, VPE is working with STEGO on a high-level test to extend the energy storage system to colder environments.
A Familiar Solution
The use of water in the hydrogen-generation process helps ensure the cleanliness of the energy; but, when installed in the coldest environments there is naturally a threat of freezing when the system is not in use.
VPE had used STEGO heaters with the 3rd generation ElectroSelf energy storage system. Based on the positive results from the incorporation of STEGO technology into VPE units, the company opted to utilize STEGO's heaters for the 4th generation, cold climate testing.
For the test, STEGO's Heater Model CSL 028 (Part number 02810.0-00) will be used.
Like the energy storage system it protects, STEGO's CSL 028 Fan Heater offers strong, long-term performance in a small, lightweight footprint. The double-insulated heater is designed to withstand the challenges of extreme environments and is just 3.5 x 3.35 x 4.4 inches, weighing less than 18 oz. Operating at AC 230 V and producing 400 W of heating power (at an ambient of 68°F) with an air flow of 32 cfm, the STEGO heater keeps the interior components in the fuel cell cabinet above 32°F.
A simple, space-saving mount inside the bottom of the cabinet is all that is needed to protect the PEM-based fuel cell, the electrolyzer, and the 21-gallon water tank in the 4th generation storage system.
For more information on how heaters, fans, and other thermal management devices protect, enable, and support power generation and storage systems, visit STEGO's new website: www.stegousa.com