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Hydrogen centre opens in Glamorgan

A new £2.2m Hydrogen Fuel Research Centre at the University of Glamorgan has been launched with the goal of demonstrating how hydrogen can be produced using 100 per cent renewable energy.

The Centre - located at the Baglan Energy Park, South Wales - is one of the first of its kind and will produce hydrogen that will be used for fuel cell powered vehicles.

Hydrogen fuel cells have long been touted as a clean alternative to internal combustion engine, but the energy required to create the hydrogen typically means that the process does result in some carbon emissions. In contrast, hydrogen that draws on renewable energy during the production process can attain genuine zero carbon status.

Jon Maddy, who helped set up the centre, said that the Glamorgan was the ideal location for the facility. "Wales has an abundance of natural energy resources and this project will research and demonstrate the link between these renewables and the role of hydrogen energy," he said.

An alkali electrolyser will convert a combined solar photovoltaic input from panels on the roof and a simulated wind electrical input to produce a pure hydrogen product.

The hydrogen produced by the process will be compressed and stored, and then used to refuel fuel cells that power some of the university's buildings.

The centre will be used for exhibitions and lectures on hydrogen power and as a demonstration tool.

Companies and organisations with an interest in hydrogen are invited to join a sponsors scheme.

By Tom Young

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