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Mobis creates hydrogen emergency generator

Feb 14,2019
Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis has started using a hydrogen generator at its plant in Chungju, North Chungcheong, the company said Wednesday.

The generator, which uses five of Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cells, is already in use. It uses the same fuel cells used in Hyundai Motor’s Nexo and is capable of producing electricity a maximum of 450 kilowatts at once.

This is equivalent to 7 percent of the power consumed at the Chungju factory, Hyundai says. The hydrogen fuel cell generator will be mainly used for emergency situations like blackouts or during seasonal highs.

While the battery cells are the same as the ones made for hydrogen fuel cell electric cars, Hyundai developed additional components for the factory’s power generator, such as a heat control device and an uninterruptible power system that ensures the system provides emergency electricity when the main power source fails. This was possible because Hyundai Mobis is already responsible for producing all the components of a hydrogen fuel cell engine, while most component companies only manufacture specific parts.

Increasing the amount of power generated is not hard, the company says, as it only requires connecting more hydrogen fuel cells to the existing system. The advantage of the hydrogen-based system is that it’s eco-friendly and produces less noise. It is also less costly to operate compared to the diesel-based emergency power generators.

The disadvantage, however, is the expensive cost of installation, as the infrastructure to supply hydrogen fuel is not common.

Hyundai expects this problem will be gradually solved as the usage of hydrogen fuel cells for power becomes more common in the future.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]