Combining Fuel Cells and TSI
Creating a compact AC Backup system using fuel cells as DC source!
A transportable Power Backup
Our society and commerce throughout the world today has become totally dependent on reliable communications.
This is especially true when violent weather, earthquakes and even volcanic eruptions call for a coordinated response
from the authorities and relief agencies. The continued
operation of telecommunications systems and data
centres is vital to bring assistance quickly to those who
need it. In these situations the mains electricity may
be disrupted and existing standby solutions may also
be knocked out. To get communications back up and
running it would be necessary to transport in a power
generator ready to go at a moment’s notice. The power
requirement for a telephone exchange or data centre
can be large, as much as 50kW. To build a generator
End user : CIFTIS 2013
Location : Beijing (China)
CE+T partner : Dantherm Power (Denmark)
Solution : 75kVA Modular Inverter System
TSI BRAVO 48Vdc/230Vac
capable of this output yet also transportable presents a significant challenge.
In 2013 the challenge was taken up by CE+T Power, the manufacturer of advanced power sources together with
Dantherm Power, a Danish subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems Inc. The two companies teamed up to produce
at short notice a 50kW transportable electricity generator unit for demonstration at CIFTIS 2013 – The China
International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing.
The electricity generator was designed to consist of three elements, a high power fuel cell system produced by
Dantherm Power, an inverter from CE+T Power and a rechargeable battery bank.
In a fuel cell a liquid or gaseous source material reacts with air directly without combustion to produce electricity.
Because there is no flame, boiler or heat exchanger the process is reliable, efficient, quiet and emission free. The
ElectraGenTM-H2 fuel cell system produced by Dantherm Power uses hydrogen as the fuel source, which reacts with
air to produce electricity and pure water. So the system has strong renewable credentials.
The fuel cell alone takes time to start up so
3 x 400Vac
cannot alone provide an uninterruptible power
supply. This is where CE+T Power comes in. The
inverter from CE+T Power ensures that power
12 x 5kW
is available at the output busses continuously
Fuel Cells Blocks
irrespective of any interruption to the supply
3 x 400Vac
from the mains power grid. CE+T Power is a
50kW / 50Hz
supplier of inverter solutions to several major
fuel cell providers around the world because
6 x 48Vdc
CE+T Power Inverters
of the key advantages of its double conversion
architecture. For the China Fair exhibit, CE+T
Power supplied a TSI Bravo inverter system. The
detailed makeup of the CIFTIS 2013 exhibit is
Figure 1 : System Block Diagram
shown in Figure 1.
When power is available from the 400Vac grid the TSI Bravo inverter takes in the AC mains and via a high
efficiency (95%) double conversion process delivers clean 400Vac to the load. The CE+T inverter consists of a three
pole TSI Bravo system capable of 75kVA/60kW. In the event of a grid failure or brownout the TSI Bravo system
instantaneously switches to the 48V battery bank to maintain power and sends a start-up command to the Dantherm
Power ElectraGen fuel cell system. When the fuel cells are ready to deliver power, the batteries are switched out and
the fuel cells take up the load. Throughout this process the TSI Bravo inverter continues to deliver a stable 400Vac
out without a single missed cycle or transient.
The TSI Bravo inverter also manages power delivery to a
6kW external charger to return the battery bank to a full
state of charge in readiness for any further interruption,
even when the fuel cells are in operation.
The bank of 12 Dantherm Power ElectraGenTM H2
5kW/48Vdc fuel cell units delivers power to the CE+T
inverter on a common 48Vdc bus. The fuel cells are supplied
with bottled hydrogen at a flow rate of 520 standard
litres/min when running at 50kW load and are capable of
delivering full power for as long as required.
The hot swappable modular design of the TSI Bravo enables
the same architecture to cover outputs from a single phase 2.5kVA up to a three phase unit delivering 225kVA. The
dual conversion technology provides high efficiency and 0ms transfer time for seamless switching without flicker or
With its unique features and functions, the TSI topology is a perfect match for any fuel cell application.
Beating the deadline
CE+T Power aims to be flexible in response to customer needs and focus its resources to meet tight lead times.
When Dantherm Power committed to exhibit at CIFTIS 2013, CE+T Power allocated manufacture of the TSI Bravo
75kVA system to its factory in Chennai, India. However, the completed
inverter system had to be shipped to Dantherm Power’s HQ in Denmark
“I’am pretty convinced that its possible to
find inverters that have the same efficiency
and then on to Beijing. Because of the extra shipping time, CE+T had to
and same level in functionalities. But the
manufacture and ship a complex industrial product from scratch in less
advantage of [CE+T’s] setup and the reason
than one week, a remarkable achievement.
why we choose [CE+T] was the integrated
solution – module based inverters placed on
There are two more reasons for which Dantherm Power chose to work
a backplane, easy to replace, communication
with CE+T Power : a perfectly fitting standard product and end-to-end
interface, breakers, connections all
combined in one cabinet.”
Indeed, the Bravo solution did not require any modification to fit with
Dantherm Power’s requirements which were full redundancy, hot
Electronics & Control Engineer
Dantherm Power A/S
plugability, visual interface and built-in breakers and switchgear.
Also, CE+T Power technical experts have collaborated with their counterparts at Dantherm Power during the whole
process from before the purchase and after the purchase, all the way to support during installation on site in beijing!