Integrated Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Project Wins Eurosolar UK Award

The Hydrogen and Renewables Integration (HARI) Project has been declared joint winner in the 2006 Eurosolar UK Awards under the nonprofit-organizations category. The announcement about the HARI Project was made at the Lord Mayor’s reception at the International Solar Cities Congress, which was held in Oxford in early April.

“As the world depletes its oil stock, something has to replace oil for transport, and hydrogen is a strong contender,” said the judges about the HARI Project. “This practical demonstration of diverse renewable energy capture integrated into a hydrogen system is truly inspiring.” The HARI Project is a research initiative investigating the provision of continuous power from a variety of renewable sources in a stand-alone energy system at West Beacon Farm in Leicestershire. It incorporates two 25 kilowatt (kW) wind turbines, 9 kW of photovoltaics, 4 kW of hydropower, a heat pump and 200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of battery storage supplemented by a hydrogen energy storage system consisting of a 42 kW electrolyzer (to produce hydrogen from collected rainwater), a hydrogen storage facility and two fuel cells of 2 kW and 5 kW that produce electricity, heat and water. The HARI Project shared this category’s award with the Springhill Cohousing Community in Stroud. The awards are given for projects covering a range of eight categories, including local authorities, commercial projects, private owners, solar architecture, media, transport and extraordinary personal commitment. According to Eurosolar UK, “Through these real projects, [the winners] have given outstanding service to the promotion of renewable energy.” Along with the other nine winners, the HARI Project will be put forward for consideration for the European Eurosolar Awards, which are presented annually to “inspiring renewable energy projects” by Energy21, the UK branch of Eurosolar, which links a national network of renewable energy groups. Eurosolar, the European Solar Energy Association, believes that “the development of renewable energy is the issue of key importance in the 21st century, as the basis of new lasting economic policies.” Its goal is “the replacement of nuclear and fossil fuels with environmentally sound energies such as sunlight, wind energy, biomass, hydropower and ocean energies.” Rupert Gammon, director of Bryte Energy, the company that manages the HARI system, said, “This prestigious award is a testament to the hard work that our team, CREST [of Loughborough University] and Prof Marmont [of Beacon Energy] have put into this unique project. Field trials like this provide crucial input to the vitally important debate on this country’s future energy supply that is currently underway. It is very gratifying to receive this award and it offers a platform for spreading the message about sustainable energy wider.”
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