Palcan Unveils Concept Fuel Cell Extended Runtime UPS

June 07, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

Palcan Fuel Cells Ltd. (Burnaby, BC) announced that it has completed the engineering design concept of its extended runtime uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The UPS is powered by a proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with metal-hydride, hydrogen fuel storage delivering extended run time, and is fully self-contained in a single package.

The UPS incorporates Palcan's rare earth metal hydride (REMH), canister-refueling system directly within the rack-mounted unit. The fuel cell automatically activates to ensure electrical service is maintained to the appliance, offering complete process security even if a power interruption or power surge occurs. This feature is possible due to full integration of the grid disconnect signal within the fuel cell's control system.

Palcan's UPS system is an air-cooled module producing 300 W of constant electrical output of either 115 Vac or 28 Vdc with an extended runtime of five hours at full power. The unit measures 17½ in x 21 in x 19½ in. The hydrogen fuel is housed within the unit in a slide-out drawer containing six 300 L, metal-hydride canisters that can be filled up to 1,000 times. If a duration of more than five hours runtime is necessary, the system is dynamic and does not need to be "shut-down" to refuel. Instead, the canisters can be interchanged while the system is operational to provide continuous operation, or a traditional compressed hydrogen cylinder can be attached to the system's integral front-mounted fitting.