Rittal is launching a ready-to-connect modular fuel cell for supplying backup power to critical processes that demand high availability. The RiCell is available in two different power classes, with the larger system supplying cascade power of 5, 10, 15 and 20kW. As the needs of industry for uninterruptible power reside not only in the realms of kWs, a smaller version of 300, 600, 900 and 1200W output fuel cells will soon enter series production.
The emergency power supply system is fully integrated into a Rittal Toptec CR climate-controlled enclosure and may be supplied with hydrogen directly at the place of installation. The oxygen required by the system is obtained from filtered ambient air. The broader operational temperature range of the fuel cell stack, which varies between –33degC to +50degC, is far less sensitive compared to conventional battery-buffered backup systems, which offers a major advantage, since batteries require a constant internal temperature.
Fuel cells use the electro-chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen and transform these into electrical energy, water and heat, offering a more environmentally friendly emergency backup than traditional methods, as the only by-products are water and heat. The RiCell is suitable for use for a range of functions within a variety of applications such as railway technology, transport, power engineering, IT and telecommunications. For example, the fuel cell can be utilised in tunnels as an emergency backup generator to safeguard against power supply failures. RiCell units can also be deployed as an alternative power source to safeguard critical processes within power plants or could be utilised as an emergency power backup for network technology or at mobile base stations.
The ready-to-connect fuel cell consumes 16 per cent less hydrogen than previous models of the same output (from 75-63 standard l/min for the 5kW model). In standby mode, the new RiCells require minimal power.