Voller Energy Group PLC has implemented the first installation of their 1kW class environmentally friendly generator in a construction site cabin. The installation is in a mobile Groundhog 360 welfare cabin, which is manufactured in Wales by GenQuip PLC. This cabin can be towed to site and provides hand washing facilities, a kitchen area, a drying room and a rest area. The cabin is secure and Health & Safety Executive compliant. There are an estimated 20,000 welfare cabins in use in the UK.
Normally, the cabins are fitted with a diesel generator. However, this cabin has been fitted with a Voller Energy fuel cell system. As the fuel cell has few moving parts, there is none of the noise or vibration associated with conventional generators.
Emissions from the fuel cell are much lower than with a conventional generator. Quick and easy to install, the fuel cell system can be fitted to the existing wiring in the cabin. The system operates from Calor Gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane.
Voller’s fuel cell generator is safe and economical, and works in conjunction with batteries that are installed in the cabin. Power is provided from the battery bank and via an inverter power is supplied to the cabin. The fuel cell automatically monitors the battery voltage, so that when the battery voltage falls, it automatically switches itself on and recharges the batteries. Once the batteries are fully charged, the fuel cell switches itself off to conserve fuel.
In future products, hot water for the cabin will also be provided from the heat from the fuel cell.
Stephen Voller, Chief Executive of Voller Energy commented: "Our fuel cell generator will completely change the way that welfare cabins are used. As there is little noise and vibration from the system, people inside the cabin will be largely unaware that the fuel cell is operating. This will make working on sites much more pleasant.”
Josh Llewellyn, Chairman of GenQuip commented: “At GenQuip we pride ourselves on our innovation, and we are delighted to show the world’s first fuel cell system installed in a welfare cabin. We look forward to offering our customers an environmentally friendly alternative.”