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15 December 2008

Rittal Fuel Cells Provide Efficient Emergency Power Supply

Rittal have recently unveiled their new ready-to-connect modular fuel cell, RiCell, to supply back up power supplies for critical processes that demand high availability. RiCell is available in two different power classes with the larger system supplying cascade power of 5kW, 10kW, 15kW and 20kW. As the needs of industry in regards to UPS reside not only in the realms of kilowatts, a smaller version of 300W, 600W, 900W and 1,200W output fuel cells will soon begin serial 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 -33°C to +50°C, is far less sensitive compared to conventional battery-buffered back up systems, thus offering 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 back up than traditional methods, as the only by-products are water and heat.

RiCell is suitable for use in a widespread range of functions within an extensive range of applications, particularly railway technology, transport, power engineering, IT and telecommunications. For example, the fuel cell can be utilised in tunnels as an emergency back-up generator to safeguard against power failures. RiCell can also be deployed as an alternative power source to safeguard critical processes within power plants or utilised as an emergency power back-up for network technology or at mobile base stations.

The ready-to-connect fuel cell consumes 16% less hydrogen than previous models of the same output (from 75l/min to 63l/min for the 5kW model). In standby mode the new RiCells require minimal power.

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