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Digital Police Radio System in Germany to Use Fuel Cell Technology: Major Contract Worth over €6m
Date:2014-05-04

Source From: FUELCELLSWORKS


Berlin/Potsdam– The German fuel cell industry is taking a big step into the future. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is promoting a major project that will secure power supplies for digital radio systems operated by public safety authorities and organisations (German acronym: BOS) in the State of Brandenburg.

 

This is the sector’s biggest project to date, with a total value of €6,605,421. The BMVI is providing €3,170,602 in funding through the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme, says Clean Power Net (CPN), a representative consortium of 23 companies and institutions from the fuel cell sector.

 

According to Clean Power Net, Brandenburg’s public safety digital radio project coordination group awarded the contract for 116 fuel cells in Potsdam on 12 February 2014.

 

These are to be used as emergency power systems for base stations belonging to the BOS digital radio network.

 

The main aim of the project is to field-test fuel cells as uninterruptible (emergency) power supplies in so-called “critical infrastructures”. Particularly high demands will be placed on the infrastructure as the public safety radio network must ensure the operational readiness of the police and fire services. “The contract underlines the enormous confidence that the authorities are placing in fuel cell technology and also its potential. Any failure or malfunctions in the network would result in supply constraints and considerable disruption of public safety and security”, says Clean Power Net spokesman Henrik Colell.

 

With 500,000 users, Germany’s BOS digital radio communications network is reckoned to be the largest of its kind in the world. Among the advantages of digital public safety radio communications is the improved voice and reception quality. The network is used by all public safety authorities and organisations, including Federal and State police services, fire services, rescue services, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) and the customs authorities.

 

The BOS digital network conforms to the TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) standard, which has been widely adopted around the world. “This gives German fuel cell manufacturers a unique opportunity to assert themselves against international competition in important and highly dynamic export markets by developing fuel cell-based emergency power systems for use in digital public safety communications”, explains Colell.

 

This grant-funded project, which is being steered by NOW GmbH, will enable the State of Brandenburg to play a pioneering role in the adoption of alternative technologies – rather than conventional diesel generators, with their higher maintenance requirements – as emergency power systems in the public safety communications sector.

 

NOW (a German acronym standing for national organisation for hydrogen and fuel cell technology) was founded in February 2008 from a strategic alliance involving several Federal Ministries, industry and the scientific community. NOW is the central ‘go-to’ body for the entire hydrogen and fuel cell sector in Germany.

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