In a pioneering move that could reshape the landscape of construction practices, Tokyu Construction and Teijin Limited have successfully completed a trial involving hydrogen fuel cell generators as power sources at a bustling construction site near Tokyo’s Shibuya Station.
The innovative trial not only promises to reduce noise and carbon dioxide emissions but also showcases the potential of hydrogen as a clean energy solution in the construction industry.
The successful trial, conducted from late June to mid-July 2023, marked a significant step forward in integrating hydrogen fuel cell technology into the construction sector. By substituting hydrogen fuel cell generators for conventional gasoline generators, the trial sought to address critical issues such as noise and carbon dioxide emissions.
One of the standout achievements of the trial was the substantial reduction in noise levels. The hydrogen fuel cell generators managed to cut the noise output from around 80 decibels to 60 decibels, providing a quieter and less disruptive working environment. This achievement aligns with the industry’s pursuit of minimizing disturbances to local residents and enhancing overall work conditions.
The trial also demonstrated the potential environmental benefits of hydrogen fuel cell generators. The use of these generators led to a significant reduction of approximately 6kg of CO2 emissions over ten hours of operation, with the potential to cut over 1,000 kg per year. This emission reduction could play a crucial role in supporting broader environmental initiatives and promoting more sustainable construction practices.
The hydrogen fuel cell generators proved not only effective but also highly practical. Tokyu Construction and Teijin evaluated the workability and portability of the fuel cell and pressure vessel units. Impressively, no specialized equipment was needed to load and transport these units, highlighting their adaptability and ease of use in various construction scenarios.
At the heart of these generators is a fuel cell unit developed by British manufacturer Intelligent Energy Limited. This fuel cell unit is complemented by a pressure vessel unit that supplies hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen, known as Green Hydrogen, is produced through water electrolysis using renewable energy, ensuring a carbon-neutral fuel source. The pressure vessel unit, developed by Teijin Engineering Limited, features lightweight and corrosion-resistant pressure cylinders, adding to the generators’ overall efficiency.
The positive outcomes of this trial have ignited enthusiasm within the construction sector. The fuel cell and pressure vessel units demonstrated their portability, quiet operation, and potential for reducing environmental impacts, positioning them as a game-changer for construction sites. In light of these findings, Tokyu Construction and Teijin have ambitious plans for the future.
Based on the successful trial, Tokyu Construction and Teijin are now focused on determining the feasibility of using the fuel cell and pressure vessel units in cold environments. This step reflects their commitment to refining and adapting the technology for broader applications. Moreover, with hydrogen’s prominent role in Japan’s Green Growth Strategy, these efforts align with broader industry-wide policies seeking carbon neutrality by 2050.
As the construction industry strives to harmonize with sustainability goals, Tokyo’s pioneering hydrogen fuel cell trial stands as a shining example of how innovation can drive positive change while setting the stage for a greener and quieter future in construction.