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Air Liquide installs telecoms tower fuel cell in Belgium

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 18:36 -- Editor

Air Liquide has commissioned a hydrogen PEM fuel cell system on a telecoms site in Belgium.

The site in Wemmel, operated by telecom firm Belgacom, has been powered since the end of January by a hydrogen PEM fuel cell system developed by Axane, a subsidiary of the Air Liquide Group. Axane fuel cell systems are distributed in Belgium by Locquet Motors.

The system installed in Wemmel supplies electricity at 230V AC to a 3G antenna with an average power of 500 VA. The full service fuel cell solution includes the hydrogen supply, system operations, and maintenance of the fuel cell, as well as telemonitoring of the system.

To offer its users optimal coverage throughout Belgium, Belgacom sets up antennas in sites that are isolated from the power grid. While awaiting connection to the grid, these antennas are temporarily powered by generators.

Belgacom is now testing fuel cell technology, to develop antennas powered by a silent, reliable, and high-performance energy supply that could replace these generators.

With a technical life of 12 000 hours, Axane’s hydrogen PEM fuel cell systems are a competitive alternative, in particular because of their optimised maintenance costs, it said.