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PowerUP Energy Technologies to address chicken and egg problem in the Hydrogen space

by PowerUP Fuel Cells 3 Jun 2021 15:07 UTC
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1. How is hydrogen facilitating the sailing industry?

The sailing industry is shifting from diesel to electric motors and electric propulsion engines already. Using batteries on a boat can be quite inconvenient as they are too heavy. In most cases, consistent power for long-duration is required. And the ways to achieve this by either using hydrogen fuel cell-based generators as the main power source or as a mileage extender. Overall, with the pace at which the industry is evolving, we see hybrid systems to be the future.

This means a smart grid will be built onto the sailing boat with solar panels, batteries (for storing the solar energy), propulsion motors, and obviously, hydrogen fuel cell generators which will work as a compensating mechanism or mileage extender. All these together will be an effective smart grid system to be used in the sailing industry.

2. What has been PowerUP's role in recently launching the smart hydrogen cabinet in Estonia?

There wouldn't have been a need for this smart cabinet without hydrogen fuel cells and of course our generators. Our customers are the main users of the hydrogen cylinders that can be dispensed from the smart cabinet. We identified the lack of hydrogen availability in Estonia and hence came up with this solution with our partner energy company, Alexela. I am proud to say we are the pioneers in acting fast to bring such technology and solution to the market. I am certain that this launch would also encourage other companies to start using these types of cylinders. Overall, it opens up the market for other hydrogen technology providers.

3. What has been the role of major stakeholders in distributing hydrogen?

Currently, major stakeholders and policymakers are focusing on the mobility sector for hydrogen distribution. This means their focus is car refilling stations. Probably this is the reason we decided to launch the first smart hydrogen cabinet together with Alexela, in Estonia. And we are glad we did! We have received a great response from the launch locally and also globally from USA to Japan. So, now our aim is to install similar cabinets in other European countries. Our industry has always faced the chicken and egg problem. And we are trying to overcome it by making hydrogen available for our consumers and collaborating with different industry stakeholders in the process. In order for the transition to happen to hydrogen fuel across industries, we see a huge role of stakeholders and policymakers in the future.

4. Can you specify different use case scenarios of hydrogen in Estonia and the Baltics?

In the Baltic states, transportation is definitely the first market segment that will see the transition to hydrogen on a large scale. This means we'll soon see hydrogen buses on the roads. Riga (Latvia) currently has these, and soon we'll have these in Tallinn, Estonia, hopefully together with PowerUP's support. Another market that is important in this region is sailing. Here the transition has already started. And PowerUP has been one of the few companies that are at the forefront of running collaboration in the Baltics and Nordic countries as we speak where our hydrogen fuel cell generators are accompanying sailors in their expeditions.

Other use case scenarios include camping cars, off-grid homes and different off-grid critical infrastructure solutions such as telecommunications, water pumping systems, construction sites, hospitals to name a few. And we are proud to say that PowerUP is already involved in a few such projects.

5. How is PowerUP contributing to the Hydrogen economy?

PowerUP has always worked towards bringing innovative solutions for its customers and promote smart grid solutions. We are the first who are not only acknowledging the chicken and egg issue but also introducing solutions to solve it. The best example of this has been our recent smart hydrogen cabinet launch in Estonia. We are developing small portable hydrogen fuel cell solutions which are easy to be deployed by any regular customer. This essentially means that we are covering the full vertical market including hydrogen supply via partners and of course our generators to supply power. As our future plans, we are planning to install similar cabinets across Europe which will provide hydrogen to customers in a way that has never been offered before. I am confident that such initiatives will open up the whole market for small portable generators.

Spokesperson's Profile: Dr. Ivar Kruusenberg

Dr. Ivar Kruusenberg is the CEO and Founder of PowerUP Energy Technologies. With a PhD in chemistry from the University of Tartu and a Post-doctoral degree from UC Berkeley, Ivar has more than 15 years of experience in the field of fuel cells and nanomaterials. In 2016, Kruusenberg switched his focus from academia to entrepreneurship. Besides from being a deep tech hardware start-up entrepreneur, he is also a senior researcher at the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, where he leads a few fuel cell, carbon nanomaterial and battery related research groups. Ivar actively provides consultation to private companies working in the hydrogen storage space and works closely with governmental bodies on developing policies for their hydrogen strategy. Ivar is the recipient of a 2015 Fulbright research scholarship and winner of the 2017 "I am a UC (University of Canada) Entrepreneur" contest. Being a veteran in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell in Estonia, Ivar is a well-known and nominated speaker in the industry.

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