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Thu July 25 2024

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JCB unveils hydrogen-powered generator

26 Jun JCB has revealed the latest step in its research and development of hydrogen-powered construction machinery.

The JCB G60RS H genset
The JCB G60RS H genset

At the Hillhead quarrying trade show in Derbyshire this week JCB is showing a generator powered by a hydrogen combustion engine,

The G60RS H genset “offers a glimpse into the future of zero carbon worksites,” JCB said.

JCB is showing how a hydrogen generator can work in tandem with JCB’s three-phase Powerpack to create on-site ‘microgrids’ – using both battery-electric and hydrogen combustion technology. With energy supplied to the Powerpack from renewable sources, the generator, powered by hydrogen, effectively becomes a battery charger, only running for short periods when the battery needs topping up, or at peak load points. This reduces fuel consumption – and noise too.

JCB is investing more than £100m in developing hydrogen as a fuel for construction and agricultural machines and has already produced 115 evaluation engines that are powering backhoe loaders and Loadall telescopic handlers.

JCB group director of special projects Tim Burnhope said: “Hydrogen generators coupled with battery boxes really are the future, paving the way for the formation of on-site microgrids.

“Construction sites today rely on diesel power because there are insufficient or inaccessible grid connections, but because diesel is incompatible with net zero targets, customers are rightly seeking alternatives.

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inside the G60RS H
inside the G60RS H

“A hydrogen generator offers that alternative, providing clean power on-site. It delivers zero carbon power to the worksite for anything from welfare units to lighting towers. It also works in the same way as its diesel counterpart, ensuring familiar operation, installation, maintenance and servicing.”

However, JCB is not the only company showing a hydrogen-fuelled generator at Hillhead this week.  Commercial Fuel Solutions Limited, the UK distributor of Belgian generator specialist E-power, is showcasing the H2ICE generator at Hillhead – a 45 kVA hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2ICE) electrical power generator that is already available for purchase or hire.

the E-Power H2ICE generator was also at Hillhead
the E-Power H2ICE generator was also at Hillhead

Commercial Fuel Solutions offers a turnkey package, including site safety risk assessments to ensure suitability, integrating DSEAR risk assessments with zoning diagrams and compliance checks before supplying the machine itself. Its technicians manage the installation and commissioning of the generator, while providing necessary training, permits for work, and safe operation oversight. Additionally, Commercial Fuel Solutions can also supply the hydrogen, offer remote fuel consumption monitoring and integrate systems into the customer's existing infrastructure.

Robin Futcher, founder and chief executive of Commercial Fuel Solutions, said: “This generator is ideal for construction companies looking for a cost-effective, eco-friendly, and high-performance solution for power generation. With its lower CapEx, ability to withstand fuel impurities, and decreased fuel expenses, it is the clear choice for businesses committed to investing in the future of hydrogen energy and making substantial strides in reducing their carbon footprint.”

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