Sustainable, Mobile, and Self-Sufficient

Power Management in the Event of a Disaster

Polina Krasnikova / Shutterstock
The portable power management system of the future is currently being built between Altenstadt and Brunnthal. A fuel cell forms the heart of the modular system. For VINCORION Insights, we looked over the shoulders of the project teams during development.

In both civil disasters and military operations, every second counts – it needs to be possible to set up and dismantle infrastructure in almost any terrain within a very short time, and, of course, operate it. The heart of all infrastructure – whether tent camps or field camps – is a reliable power supply. And this power supply shouldn’t just be quick to set up and use and cover high power ranges, it should, above all, also be able to function far away from the conventional power grid and be relocated to another location at short notice. Two technology experts from Germany are working on the solution for such an power management system for defense, rescue, and disaster control teams.

Combined Expertise in a Cutting-Edge System

SFC Energy AG and VINCORION are combining a sustainable and highly efficient power supply based on fuel cell technology with the modular P2M2 power system. “To achieve this, we’re adding a fuel cell module to our prototype with input, output, and storage modules,” explains VINCORION project lead Fidelius Zürnbauer. Adapting the existing housing of the mechatronics specialist’s system to SFC Energy’s EFOY Pro 12000 Duo fuel cell is no problem thanks to the standardized 19-inch rack design. This keeps the entire power management system compact, with a space-saving design, and easy to maintain. “In the end, the solution’s low weight, high power density of up to 500 watts, low power consumption, and instant operational readiness should impress, for example, Germany’s Federal Agency for Technical Relief or the police,” summarizes Zürnbauer.

Sustainable and Highly Efficient

As a result, the two partners are providing a powerful yet easy-to-transport solution suitable for a wide range of users. In the P2M2 module, the fuel cell technology provides a lasting and, at the same time, environmentally friendly supply of power. It doesn’t emit harmful exhaust gases such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide, or particulate matter. In contrast to conventional generators, it operates far more quietly and with extremely low wear due to the small number of moving parts. This also results in a longer life cycle. And if the SFC fuel cell eventually has to be replaced, it is 95% recyclable. “Fuel cells are the perfect solution for self-sufficient power supply systems far from the conventional power grid. Emergency personnel have access to sustained, environmentally friendly power for their applications, regardless of location. At the same time, the significant reduction in weight and low consumption rate delivers decisive cost and logistics savings,” says René Hofmann, project lead at SFC Energy.

Highly motivated, both teams are working hard to meet users’ high demands. Circuit diagrams, a 3D model, and the entire mechatronic plan should be completed this spring. Users will then have the chance to use the P2M2 module as early as this year, during the course of 2021. The fact that the pandemic has made collaboration different than initially expected is not an obstacle for the project teams. “The P2M2 module is the result of the exceptional innovative capacity of two strong partners. We have systematically tailored the power management system to the requirements of emergency personnel. We are pleased to be able to guide this important project to success together with VINCORION and pool the expertise of our respective companies,” says Hofmann.

P2M2 module

P2M2 module

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