GeoPura and partner, Siemens Energy, are supplying continuous uninterrupted, emissions free, critical electrical power to BBC Bristol’s outside broadcast unit, powering Winterwatch for two weeks as the series trials more sustainable methods of production.
Powered by a GeoPura 250kW hydrogen power unit, this global first sets a new standard for broadcasters around the world, demonstrating how the uninterrupted critical power needed to keep live TV production facilities rolling can be delivered without any damaging emissions.
An entire episode of BBC Studios Natural History Unit’s Winterwatch was powered by the hydrogen power unit and energy saving batteries on Tuesday 26 January, making TV history as the world’s first large scale outside broadcast unit to be powered by green hydrogen.
During the full run of the Winterwatch 2021 series the hydrogen power unit provided critical back up and additional power augmentation capability, delivering around 6MWh of critical, uninterrupted energy to support the broadcast, with the only onsite emission being pure water.
In just one day of hydrogen-only powered production, the hydrogen power unit offset around 425kg of CO2 had the same quantity of electricity been produced via a diesel generator[i]. It demonstrates how the television and film industry can transition to ‘net zero’ for remote and studio broadcasting.
GeoPura’s Managing Director, Andrew Cunningham, said: “The BBC Studios Natural History Unit and the Winterwatch production team, are to be congratulated for taking their environmental responsibilities seriously, even when it means working with unfamiliar technology in a high pressure environment. They have clearly demonstrated what’s possible when broadcasters and film makers are determined to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to improving air quality and significantly reducing their contribution to climate change.
“The key is to ensure as a society that this behaviour is our habit and not a special case. This is why, working with our partner Siemens Energy, we’re providing our zero emission, clean hydrogen fuelled power solutions around the world to organisations who really want to reduce their reliance on fossil fuel based power generation systems.”
Siemens Energy’s Vice President UK&I, Steve Scrimshaw, added: “Reaching net zero in the UK is going to need all parts of the economy to play their part. By powering a live TV broadcast, we continue to show the powerful role hydrogen can play in reaching this goal by displacing high CO2-emitting diesel generators.
“This latest installation continues to demonstrate the versatility of the GeoPura hydrogen power unit technology which has huge potential to provide an alternative, emissions free option for our energy needs.”
The hydrogen power unit was developed through a partnership between Siemens Energy and GeoPura. It has been onsite at BBC Bristol outside broadcasting unit since 14 January and will remain onsite until the series finishes on 29 January. The installation uses green hydrogen produced using renewable energy and water electrolysis. The only exhaust from this system is pure water. No CO2 is produced during the production process of green hydrogen or by using green hydrogen as a fuel. Unlike generating electricity from fossil fuels, no NOx or other harmful particulate emissions are released.
The GeoPura hydrogen power unit provides 250kVA of standard three phase, 400V critical electrical power backed up by an integral 216kWh battery system. The unit can optionally also supply heating and hot water. The GeoPura unit has already displaced diesel generators used in construction, provided power for off-grid events and festivals, as well as supplying ultra clean, large scale rapid vehicle charging. The ongoing development of hydrogen fuel cell systems is being undertaken in collaboration with Siemens Energy at the Heaton Works site in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
[i] 42kW (ave) * 12 hours = approx. 500kWh.
From a diesel generator 500kWh * 0.850kg per kWh = 425kg of CO2
From the UK grid 500kWh * 0.250kg per kWh = 125kg of CO2
From green hydrogen 500kWh * 0kg per kWh = 0 kg of CO2