A group of pioneering graduates at Cadent have successfully introduced hydrogen fuel cell technology to the company’s construction activities for the first time using a GeoPura Hydrogen Power Unit (HPU) to power their welfare cabins at the Meridian Water Development, London.
Cadent supported by Fastflow Energy Services, a subsidiary of United Living, are currently constructing a new Pressure Reduction Station (PRS) to facilitate the Meridian Water Development, a major £6bn, 20-year London regeneration programme led by Enfield Council.
As part of its graduate programme, Cadent tasked a group of aspiring engineers with the challenge of finding a way to reduce emissions and decarbonise their operations on an industrial scale and this high-profile project was the ideal opportunity to trial a new approach.
The graduate team witnessed GeoPura’s fuel cell technology at the start of the year when a HPU was being used to provide combined heat and power in a world first for the construction industry at National Grid’s Viking Link construction site. Having seen the unit in action, they were determined to introduce this approach to their project, replacing conventional diesel generators to power welfare cabins whilst a connection to the DNO grid was not available.
The HPU uses fuel cell technology and hydrogen to generate off-grid electricity. The unit’s only emissions are pure water (H2O) and it’s estimated that this innovative solution will prevent circa 19,000kg of CO2 and other harmful emissions which would otherwise be emitted.
One of the graduates responsible for the design is Michael Sinclair, he said: ‘It has been incredibly rewarding to be part of the team that planned this project from its origins in October- to then see the fuel cell deployed and powering our site with clean energy only 8 months later.
“It was not easy – but change never is. The hope for the future is that by building upon our work in Tottenham, it is easier to set up the next green-site, and then the next one after that – until sites powered by green energy just become the norm for Cadent.
“I am really proud that we have challenged ourselves to do better – we have shown that we don’t just talk about cutting out our carbon, we actually do something about it”
Andrew Hejdner Senior Project Manager at Cadent, said: “The graduate engineers have a taken a theoretical problem and developed a tangible solution to work towards solving a significant industry wide problem on one of the UK’s largest regeneration developments.
“The trial of this hydrogen powered fuel cell could have a massive effect on how we work in Cadent on major projects in the future. I’m proud that we are the first Gas Distribution Network to use hydrogen in this way and its thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of the graduates and project team that we secured the fuel cell in an area of industry that is receiving a lot of focus. In conjunction with several other initiatives including HVO fuel (a diesel substitute) and hybrid construction machinery we are trialling on the project, we have taken another step towards Cadent’s NetZero ambitions.”