Climate-controlled cabinets meet the needs of fuel cell backup systems

Paul Boughton

Fuel cell technology is one of the most interesting future technologies in the power generation segment.

As an emergency power supply for outdoor applications, Rittal is convinced of its outstanding potential to replace conventional battery-based backup systems.
So, for the 48 V dc fuel cell, Rittal is offering reliable cabinets based on the tried-and-trusted Rittal CS outdoor enclosure and climate control technology, right through to complete system integration.
Hydrogen can be supplied, for example, in the form of gas bottles sited outside of the enclosure or rack. The gas can also be supplied via alternative methods, such as natural gas or methanol, and converted using the reformer system.
Flexible supply management means that the backup time may be individually adapted for each location.
In the future, the clear advantages of fuel cell technology over battery-buffered 48V dc backup systems will become apparent, particularly among globally linked network infrastructures of base stations for mobile communications. Features include:
* A long service life helps to minimise essential servicing and maintenance work; potential savings from an improved ability to adapt to temperature fluctuations.
* Flexibly scalable backup times allow the costs per location to be individually optimised.
* Overall, the fuel cell reduces the total cost of ownership compared with current emergency power supply technologies.
For applications with exacting demands on reliability, fuel cell systems offer an independent electricity supply of the utmost dependability.
Unlike conventional battery-buffered emergency power supplies, which are dependent upon factors such as temperature and sunlight, and which have certain disadvantages associated with the ageing process as well as their size and weight, fuel cells from Rittal function within a broad temperature range inside the enclosure.
The broader spectrum of internal temperatures means that climate control of the outdoor enclosure can be achieved more cost-effectively. Furthermore, fuel cells are both low-maintenance and fully functional at all times, and have a significantly longer service life than batteries.
Particularly in critical high-availability applications, where reliable redundancy must be achieved with emergency power supplies, fuel cell technology offers a convincing alternative.
Rittal is at the forefront when it comes to developing new technologies, and showcased a complete infrastructure for functional systems at Hanover Fair 2005.

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