Dr Jack Fletcher and the HYENA team developed the POWER POD technology as a way to deploy fuel cell technology into Africa, where hydrogen distribution is all but non-existent.
Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is an ideal source of energy because its use as a fuel for cooking and heating are already widespread. By using the existing LPG infrastructure, HYENA makes localised power generation in remote locations a reality. The POWER POD generates the necessary hydrogen from LPG and water, and then converts it into electricity.
While methanol and ammonia gasses could also be used, these present the same challenge as hydrogen itself - there is no distribution infrastructure in Africa, making the barrier to entry very high.
HYENA’s POWER POD is silent, generates no vibration or unhealthy particulates, and does not require frequent maintenance as there are no moving parts. The POWER POD is specifically designed to be simple to manufacture and easy to service,. It uses exchangeable cartridges, much like the average printer, which can be swapped out when necessary.
The technology has many applications, but is particularly well-suited to power remote mobile phone towers where operators aim to have their towers operational for more than 99.95% of the time. Fletcher and his team have demonstrated the technology and developed several prototypes at a small scale. They are working on a pre-commercial, 5 kilowatt POWER POD for telecom towers.
“We want to make fuel cells possible and practical in Africa, where these new hydrogen technologies often face obstacles not considered in developed regions. The use of existing LPG infrastructure makes the POWER POD a real solution that we believe can be truly transformative.”
Dr Jack Fletcher