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Powerstax – powering hydrogen production

25 August 2020

Powerstax, as value-added and specialist industrial power solutions manufacturers, are ideally placed to support research facilities and OEMs developing hydrogen gas production systems for transportation, power generation and more.

Hydrogen is widely used in existing industrial processes including semiconductor manufacturing and aerospace, as a coolant in power plant generators, petroleum refining, glass purification, fertiliser production, pharmaceuticals and welding, annealing and heat-treating metals. Other applications include UPS systems for hospitals and data centres and power for telecoms infrastructure in remote locations.

Rapid growth in the demand for hydrogen is expected as new mass markets emerge for passenger cars and industrial vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, for which a great deal of indoor and outdoor hydrogen fuelling station infrastructure will be required. 

Hydrogen is also expected to be utilised in the mass transport sector for trains and bus fleets and, potentially HGV fleets, where they are based out of one depot which can have an H2 plant servicing all the vehicles.

Renewable energy, including wind and solar-generated power, is likely to be converted directly into H2 and stored at source to support the power grid in times of high demand. 

Generating H2 is a very power-hungry process, sometimes requiring megawatts of power. Powerstax achieves this by combining multiple power units which adds flexibility for customers as they can be configured for separate cells, e.g. 4 x 250kW units for a 1MW system. 

Powerstax’ own Drake brand of high-power transformer rectifiers which have been powering electro-chemical reactions since 1965 and provide equipment for electro-chlorination in water treatment, electro-phoretic painting, surface finishing applications including anodising and electroplating and impressed current cathodic protection.

Drake systems may be specified with ramp, current, voltage and time control using a PLC or analogue controls and power ratings from 10kW to 500kW for individual units are available. Drake power systems are available with high IP ratings and may be fitted with heat exchangers or water cooling. All products are designed in the UK and supplied and manufactured in their own ISO9000-2015 facility.

For smaller, scalable, higher efficiency systems, Powerstax can also supply the KraftPowercon range of switched-mode modular power solutions. The compact units are installed and serviced from the front and may be mounted side by side or stacked on top of each other, making them easy to fit into the end system design and optimising floor space. Each rectifier consists of up to ten modules and two or more stacks can be connected to allow higher output currents, up to 24 kA, and voltages, up to 120 V DC.

Tim Worley, CEO of Powerstax, comments, “We have been designing and manufacturing power systems for electrochemical applications for many years and are already working with customers to develop bespoke power systems for hydrogen extraction packaged and protected to their specific needs.”

Powerstax designs and manufactures an extensive range of standard, value-added and custom AC and DC power solutions for a broad range of fixed and mobile applications including hot-swap front-end AC-DC bulk power, DC-DC converter bricks and modules and programmable, modular, rack-mounted power supplies. Their High Voltage DC power capability extends up to 350kV for industrial processes, capacitor chargers and electron beam power systems.

The Powerstax Drake range of transformer rectifiers offers output currents to 5,000A and output power up to 500kVA for individual units with the ability for multiple rectifiers to be combined for greater power demands. Power solutions are available for harsh (marine, offshore, desert) and hazardous (Zone 1 and Zone 2) environments and can be oil, air or water-cooled and can be sealed up to IP65 if the environment dictates, with purge and pressure systems and heat exchangers incorporated if required

The main markets served by Powerstax include high-end industrial, defence, vehicle and transportation, defence and avionics, impressed current cathodic protection, water treatment, test, measurement and control and medical equipment. For more information contact sales@powerstax.com or visit www.powerstax.com.


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