The National Highway’s A63 Castle Street improvement scheme has energised Balfour Beatty’s first ever green hydrogen power unit (HPU), which has replaced the 100 kVA diesel generator powering site welfare and office accommodation. The GeoPura HPU will save 59,000 litres of diesel, and 164 tonnes of operational carbon emissions.
Additionally, the unit recycles waste heat, usually rejected to the atmosphere, to provide space and water heating to the cabins, using a combined heat and power (CHP) unit. It does this making a fraction of the noise of a diesel generator without creating any harmful pollution, such as NOx or particulate matter. As such, Balfour Beatty and GeoPura are helping to improve health and well-being in the local community. The only waste product is pure de-ionised water, which the project team are recycling in the wheel washer for vehicles leaving site.
Stuart McLeod, Energy Manager at Balfour Beatty, commented: “We are pleased to be leading the way in rolling out cleaner ways of working on our sites with the introduction of our first ever green hydrogen fuel cell generator. These new green hydrogen generators are quieter, emit no harmful pollutants and are recycling the waste heat they generate to warm the site cabins. The introduction of this new technology is another way that our dedicated and established energy team is edging Balfour Beatty ever closer to our Net Zero 2040 Ambition.”
Andrew Cunningham, Managing Director at GeoPura, added: “It’s fantastic to see our HPU technology being adopted by Balfour Beatty and being used on site to displace diesel power generation. The site is directly benefiting from an immediate reduction in carbon emissions, and also improving the air quality and the local environment for its employees and neighbours.
“We look forward to working with Balfour Beatty to roll this technology out across more sites and have an even greater environmental impact long into the future.”
The HPU provides a vast amount of data and analytics on the unit’s performance, which represents a significant improvement to the data available from the existing fleet of diesel generators. This provides an excellent opportunity to collaborate with industry partners, and competitors alike, for the advancement of the hydrogen agenda. The project has also provided an opportunity to create standardised processes and procedures which can be adopted across the industry.
Internally the project is a product of collaboration between the A63 project team, BB Highways and BB Plant & Fleet, who have worked tirelessly to bring this initiative from concept to delivery. Thanks to the amazing teamwork being leveraged to deploy innovative technology, Balfour Beatty Highways are one step closer to providing clients with Net Zero construction.