Punch and Tecnogen add flywheel to hydrogen genset

To create a hydrogen-powered flywheel generator, Punch Group has partnered with the Italian generator manufacturer Tecnogen.

The Punch Hydrocells-developed hydrogen engine is based on a typical diesel engine that is already produced in large quantities for various applications. It is integrated into a generator set created in partnership with Tecnogen, a unit of Bruno Generators Group, and coupled with a flywheel power system by Punch Flybrid.

Originally designed for Formula 1 racing, the Punch flybrid flywheel power boost is currently utilized on building sites to reduce diesel fuel consumption in demanding equipment including tower cranes, hoists, chillers, and pumps. A smaller generator can be employed since the flywheel offers ‘ top-up’ power for sporadic times when a sudden rush of power is required. John F. Hunt, Select Plant Hire, and Bowmer & Kirkland are a few of the top companies using the technology and seeing significant savings. By employing a flywheel with a 500kVA instead of the 800kVA generator recommended by the manufacturer to power a tower crane, Select has recorded an 83% reduction in fuel usage.

Punch is currently adapting the same flywheel concept for use with hydrogen power.

“The flywheel power system is able to dramatically raise the transient load responsiveness of the genset as well as boost the peak power above the prime rated power of the hydrogen engine,” Punch Flybrid managing director Tobias Knichel said. As a result, the hydrogen generator set’s addressable applications are greatly expanded.

“A hydrogen-powered engine is particularly resistant to temperature changes and vibrations. Additionally, it can tolerate hydrogen of low purity. This is why the generator set application, which frequently operates in hostile settings, is so well suited to this technology.

The Punch hydrogen engine can operate in marine, mobile off-highway, and on-highway applications with a maximum power of 250kW at 3000 rpm. Port fuel injection and a Punch combustion system, both of which are highly efficient, were combined to produce this specific output of 38kW per liter. It produces 100kW (prime-rated power, or PRP) at 1500 rpm and 110kW (PRP) at 1800 rpm in the generator application. A unique Punch control system manages the hydrogen engine.

The Tecnogen generator uses unique variable speed inverter (VSi) technology, which gives it its distinctive characteristics. It can sync with as many as 32 additional generators. It produces 105 kVA (PRP) at 50 Hz and 120 kVA at 60 Hz of power.