Installation of solar electricity generation system for green hydrogen facility gets underway

18 January 2023

Work has commenced to install an extensive solar (Photovoltaics - PV) electricity generation system on the roof of the state-of-the-art IAAPS building, which will power the centre’s new green H2 production and storage facility, the first of its kind in the South West of England.

Cornwall based multi-technology consultancy and installation specialist ZLC Energy has been appointed to fit out the array of solar panels, which will increase the solar power output from currently 30kW (from existing panels) to 400kW at peak performance. The system has been designed to use a Schletter East/West mounting configuration, which will allow the array capacity to be approximately 20% higher than conventional installations thanks to its more space efficient structure. The installation and commissioning is expected to take approximately six weeks.

The bulk of the energy generated will be used to offset the power required to operate a H2 electrolyser plant which will produce green hydrogen, eliminating IAAPS’ reliance on commercially available grey H2 and the associated transport and logistical carbon footprint. Excess H2 will be used to further reduce natural gas use in the building, for instance, by powering the boilers. Any excess electrical power generated by the solar array will also be put to use in the IAAPS building, further offsetting the carbon footprint and energy costs. This will significantly decarbonise the energy used across the whole site.

The implementation of the hydrogen facility, which is expected to be operational at the end of March, has been funded by a £2.5m grant by Research England’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) as part of its net zero pilot funding scheme.

“It’s very exciting to see the arrival of the new PV system, which marks the next step towards the completion of our green hydrogen facility and firmly positions IAAPS at the forefront of hydrogen R&I. It will not only provide vital research into future green propulsion technologies, but also directly support the UK Government’s hydrogen strategy and the wider adoption of sustainable solutions within the transport sector,” says Professor Rob Oliver, Engineering Director, IAAPS.

Solar panels

18 January 2023