PowUnit deliberately works to develop energy solutions that will be able to replace the generators. In order for the solutions to make it to the market, we believe it is essential that the products are simple and intuitive – “Plug’n Play”. To achieve our goals, we need to understand the entire value chain. Important references in this context is based on understanding; the various technological components, digitization and the customer’s primary needs.
The solutions should be the simplest, safest and most affordable solutions for our customers, as well as the best option for the environment.
PowUnit’s main function, in the perspective of product development, is to ensure the best bird’s eye view at all times. The company’s role is to safeguard the management of product development, and through this secure interdisciplinary coordination and close cooperation with customers.
PowUnit will ensure that the most optimal, technological components work together comprehensively. It is also important that the digital solution is thoughtful in terms of internal and external functions, scaling, flexibility and different types of user interfaces. The logistics associated with hydrogen supply must also be carefully planned so that we are able to secure our customers the necessary uptime.
Renewable energy replaces fossil energy
The world’s energy supply will gradually move towards renewable energy sources. This trend seems to increase gradually in speed. The reason that development is getting faster is two-fold, as we see it.
Climate change – dramatic consequences
Large parts of the global economy are today based on fossil fuels. It is therefore strong forces that work for what is best for few people, in the short term, rather than the many in the long run. Frequency- and negative consequences of climate disasters are increasing as a consequence of global pollution. At the same time, we also see that reduced air quality affects quality of life and indirectly leads to many to early deaths.
Renewable technology – competitive on price
Renewable energy technology has become cheaper every year, and there is no longer doubt that this will be the most affordable energy source in the long run – even without including the cost of “consequential damages” from fossil fuels.
Hydrogen suitable as energy bearer
The sun sends new energy to the earth constantly. This energy we can receive in the form of light energy directly or indirectly through different energy forms, such as; wind, water and geothermal heat. The challenge with the most typical energy sources is that they are unpredictable, they vary in strength and with seasonal and daily cycles. For example, we need the most energy in winter time and at nights in the Nordic region, which naturally disharmonize with energy subsidies from direct solar energy.
There is more than enough energy available, and the challenge is therefore to achieve an intermediate storage of energy when it is received (at its most intensive) until we need the energy. To achieve this, we need to save energy in the short and long term – so we can use the energy in the same way as we have been used to, using fossil energy as an energy carrier (oil, gas and coal). Hydrogen has the potential to be just this type of energy carrier.
Today, many believe that hydrogen is unmatched as an energy carrier in the context of renewable energy sources. The idea and invention of Fuel Cells is by no means new and dates back to 1838 (William Grove). Fuel Cells in commercial context was first used in space research to NASA and the Moon Landing. In the past 20-30 years, research has been done intensively on Fuell Cells and hydrogen as energy carriers. This has led to a dramatic streamlining of the production, operation and pricing of technology over the past 10 years. Now there is no doubt that hydrogen will play an increasingly central role as an energy carrier in the context of renewable energy sources. The consequence of this will be that hydrogen as an energy source will be produced in huge amounts and become available on a much larger scale than is the case today.
Fuel cells and battery
We believe that Fuel Cells and batteries are the perfect energy storage match. Hydrogen is essential for moving large amounts of energy efficiently. The transformation of energy, bound in hydrogen gas, into electrical power occurs by an electrochemical process. Hydrogen atoms are attracted to oxygen atoms, but because the hydrogen nucleus (proton) is allowed to pass through a membrane while the electron is forced to follow a conductor around the membrane, we are able to extract a large part of the energy discharge in the form of electric power . The rest of the energy is converted into heat energy. The result is thus electricity, heat and water (H2O) when hydrogen (H) is attached to the oxygen (O).
The battery coupled with the Fuel Cells system enables us to achieve higher power output without the Fuel Cell system being designed for the outlet alone. The battery can also help to act as an additional power buffer. In the automotive industry, we see that they are experimenting with Fuel Cells as range extenders, and our idea is that this also can work the opposite way, as the battery extends the reach of Fuel Cell’s energy solution.
The lack of access to adequate, clean power from the grid, such as on construction sites, and off-grid situations poses the real challenge that PowUnit wants to solve.
Off grid challenges
There is a need for mobile energy solutions in a number of places in our society. Today, polluting, conventional gasoline / diesel aggregates and engines are used.
A clear example of this challenge in our Nordic environment is on the construction sites. Here the Norwegian state has been particularly clear about putting the finger on the issue, which must be resolved to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. The main challenge at the construction sites is the temporary energy needs during the construction period. During the construction period, which may last for 1-2 years, there is as great climate emissions as the following estimated years of the bulidings lifetime (30-60 years). There is far from enough electricity available at construction sites today, and this is today being solved with temporary power supply from polluting diesel and oil burners (for example, dryers).
It would not be expedient to build the main grid to handle the enormous energy demand needed during the construction period. Less energy is needed for buildings during the following years of construction due to better insulation and access to renewable energy locally from the building (solar cells on the roof, geothermal heat, wind, etc.). Battery as energy carriers on construction sites will not be appropriate. There is not enough power from the local power grid to meet the needs for building sites, as well as charging batteries is too time consuming. Filling of hydrogen takes a few minutes compared to several hours of charge needed using batteries alone.