GenCell A5 to power Iceland Emergency Communications System

By Dominic Ellis
The generator, which extracts hydrogen from liquid ammonia, will be shipped from Israel and is expected to reach Iceland in February...

Israel-based GenCell Energy is to deliver its GenCell A5 off-grid power generator to the Emergency Communications System in Reykjavik, operated by Neyðarlínan ohf, the state-owned Icelandic telecom provider.

The unit, which extracts hydrogen from liquid ammonia – one of the most effective carbon-free hydrogen carriers – will be shipped from Israel and is expected to reach Iceland in February, where it will power the ECS station on the outskirts of the city. It will ensure 24/7 uninterrupted power, in contrast to solar PV and wind resources at a price competitive to that of diesel. 

Deployment of the zero-emission A5 solution supports the environmental policy of the Icelandic government, which passed an action plan in 2018 calling to abolish the use of all fossil fuels before the year 2050 and banning all new registrations of diesel and petrol vehicles from the year 2030.  

“We are extremely excited and enthusiastic about the prospects for the A5 off-grid power solution,” said Thorhallur Olafsson, CEO, Neydarlinan ohf. “Here in the challenging climate and weather conditions in Iceland, we have deployed many different power solutions in an effort to ensure uninterrupted power for our networks and more recently in efforts to transition to clean renewable energy sources. 

"Especially now during the Coronavirus, we recognise that our customers – and among these especially our first responders - are in need of emergency access and continuous connectivity, including connectivity for critical applications such as our 112-emergency number, medical facilities, communications between emergency service providers as well as other public and private institutions that rely on mobile networks for e-commerce, remote work, tele-learning and many other digital services. 

“We are committed to delivering highest quality of service to our customers and to do so we rely on resilient, robust power. The versatile A5 stand-alone power source will not only back up our electric grid during outages and in dense network conditions, but will also replace the grid in remote locations. And it will do this while helping us meet our sustainability objectives. We look forward to positive results of the advanced testing unit to expand the A5 deployment."

GenCell CTO and VP R&D Gennadi Finkelshtain said the GenCell alkaline fuel cell technology can withstand operating temperatures of between -20⁰C and - 45⁰C.

Rami Reshef, CEO, GenCell, is confident that the advanced test unit will demonstrate superior performance and help Iceland maintain emergency service and constant connectivity while more quickly meeting its climate goals. 

He said GenCell is doing everything possible to accelerate the market entry of its A5 off-grid power solution to help reduce telecom operators’ dependence on pollutant diesel in poor and off-grid regions, increase market share in the telecom sector and maximise shareholder value.

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