07 May 2020, Off Grid Energy
It wasn’t that long ago when the idea of fuel cell generated energy seemed futuristic, even implausible. Today, EFOY fuel cells by SFC Energy are providing fully autonomous, sustainable, off-grid power solutions all over the globe, in some of the most unexpected locations. Here are just a few of the surprising places they turn up:
Just west of the Alberta border sits Yoho National Park, where mean monthly temperatures sit below freezing for up to eight months a year and the average annual snowfall is just shy of eight feet. Threading through this stunning, high elevation, preserve is the Trans-Canada Highway, our country’s main east-west transportation route. It’s a road many drivers choose to avoid in the winter, but for trucks delivering goods to western Canada, the route is unavoidable. It can be treacherous, which is why there are trucking regulations about checking brakes and chaining-up/off tires at locations along the highway. Powering the lighting for those remote, mountain pass roadside safety areas is the 500 W EFOY ProCabinet hybrid solution. The solar/fuel cell system ensures that these critical safety check areas are never without power and lighting.
In recent years, Singapore has deployed over 1,500 “virtual guards,” security and surveillance systems created by SFC’s exclusive partner in Singapore, Oneberry Technologies. Oneberry integrates SFC Energy’s EFOY Pro fuel cells into their security and surveillance solutions to ensure power autonomy and reliability. Oneberry MobiCams, a rapid mobile surveillance solution enabled with intelligent cameras, use the fuel cell for long, unattended off-grid operation. Oneberry’s latest technology innovation, the Roboguard™ security robot, is powered by EFOY Pro fuel cells for autonomous, maintenance-free operation without intervention.
Oneberry Technologies also employs EFOY Pro fuel cells to power their Contactless Situation Awareness robots which are equipped with body temperature thermal cameras. These are currently used for health and security reasons in Singapore. SFC and Oneberry are exploring the deployment of the Contactless Situation Awareness robots to Europe, where they could be used as a tool to help control the spread of COVID-19.
In the icy, northern waters of Bristol Bay, about half-way between Alaska and Russia, sits Round Island — one of the most remote places on earth. The tiny island is a haven for wildlife, making it an ideal location for wildlife videographer, Tim Sears, to document the walruses that line the island’s shores. To capture the kind of extensive video footage Sears wanted, he needed to set up an ongoing wildlife video monitoring system with additional repeater sites on the island. Suffice it to say, Round Island is off grid — way off. It’s only accessible via helicopter or by a long boat ride during a few months of the year. The winter conditions are extreme, and the solar availability drops off dramatically. Sears needed a seriously autonomous, seriously rugged energy solution that could provide power with minimal user intervention. He installed an EFOY ProEnergyBox Fuel Cell Hybrid package, ensuring reliable power and fuel autonomy to accommodate a once yearly re-fueling schedule with no maintenance.
Once upon a time, northern travel was a pursuit only for the most rugged and extreme adventurer. These days, innovative tourism providers offer northern travel experiences with the creature comforts of home.
Recently, Finnish cabin producer, AuroraHut, added another unique option for luxury adventure travellers looking to experience the North Pole. They’ve developed a scenic hut can be used as a houseboat on water in summer and as an igloo on top of ice in winter. This glass-clad igloo can easily be moved to any spectacular location where travellers want to spend time. Igloo guests are treated to an unobstructed view of nature while enjoying all the comforts of a hotel. Key among those comforts, of course is power, which is provided by silent and ecologically friendly EFOY fuel cells.