Fuel cell technology developer PowerCell Sweden AB has announced that it has received an order for two MS-100 fuel cell systems from an unnamed global construction equipment manufacturer."The increasing demands for fossil free operations face construction equipment manufacturers with the same challenges as the rest of the automotive industry, and for the really heavy equipment, electrification using fuel cells will be the most attractive alternative for addressing them," says CEO Per Wassén.
According to a statement, the research project includes PowerCell Sweden, a global construction equipment manufacturer and a government-backed research institute. The aim of the research is to build knowledge about construction equipment drivetrains that have been electrified using fuel cells and hydrogen.
In general, today’s construction machines use diesel engines for propulsion and in doing so emit carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), but climate and health-related issues have spurred an interest in a transition away from fossil fuels.
In several European cities stricter emission regulations are being prepared and the Norwegian capital Oslo has set a target to be fossil free by 2030, something that will require wide-ranging electrification of construction equipment.
Electrification using today’s battery technology is not commercially viable for the heaviest construction equipment according to Wassén.
In certain sizes and types of heavy equipment, when it comes to running time and performance, the energy density of today’s batteries is not even close to meeting the demands. An electrification where you combine fuel cells and hydrogen will, however, result in a machine that can be fueled at approximately the same time as a traditional construction machine, that can operate just as long and with the same performance – and has water as its only emission, Per Wassén, CEO of PowerCell said.