Blog > Adelan helps HS2 to go low carbon using fuel cells

Posted 21 February 2020

A pioneering energy trial has seen silent and emissions-free power keep engineers going on dark winter nights as they build the massive HS2 rail infrastructure project. While construction workers are busy laying tracks their on-site power needs can be met through advanced fuel cell technology developed in the middle of the UK, at Birmingham.

Enabling battery technology by reducing maintenance costs from charging and replacement, the key advantage of fuel cells is the ability to generate off-grid power cleanly from commonly available infrastructure fuels such as methane and propane (LPG), while also being able to run on hydrogen. When operating on hydrogen, the technology is zero emission and almost silent operation.  This is an advantage for indoor work and meets the considerate construction agenda most construction firms now seek to follow.

Birmingham-based company Adelan have launched the innovative project after more than three decades of technical development of the unique and patented fuel cell technology.  This historic project puts fuel cells to work on the HS2 programme – the biggest infrastructure project in Europe – for the first time.  The purpose of the project was to identify where HS2 could deploy fuel cells to reduce costs and carbon emissions in the UK, where many City Councils have announced a “climate emergency”.

Mo Yazdani, the young fuel cell engineer behind building the system said “The Adelan system will help construction to address the noise and pollution produced by diesel generators.”

The Adelan fuel cells will be sited around HS2 construction sites, and compared with other fuel cell technologies being tested, solar panels and batteries, plus diesel generator sets.  One of the key advantages is that there are virtually no maintenance requirements, beyond an annual service, and has lower lifecycle costs than a diesel generator.

Dr Michaela Kendall, Adelan CEO, commented: “The unique Adelan fuel cell unit is fuelled by LPG, and hydrogen ready, offering customers a fuel flexible way to achieve net zero carbon emissions, and practice considerate construction using silent generators. That makes them ideal candidates to supply the needs of the construction industry and sectors like rail infrastructure. We are delighted to be scaling up our technology production and exploring these new markets for British technology with HS2.”

The company has been working on fuel cell powered products, with global corporations and OEMs, since 1996 and is the oldest fuel cell company in Britain. Not only was the core technology developed and built in The Midlands, the HS2 project is building on the technical skills and supply chains based in the region. Yazdani says, “It is exciting to be part of the scale up of fuel cell technology, especially working with local companies to solve local problems”.

Adelan Fuel Cell Technology

To discover more about how Adelan can support your future energy ambitions or to meet your requirements for clean, quiet and reliable energy for remote, mobile or any other applications, please contact Dr Kendall and the rest of the Adelan team at:

Adelan Ltd, 15 Weekin Works, 112-116 Park Hill Road, Birmingham, B17 9HD (UK)

Tel: +44 (0)121 427 8033

Alternatively, visit us at: www.Adelan.co.uk

About Adelan

First founded in The Midlands, Birmingham-based Adelan pioneered microtubular solid oxide fuel cell (mSOFC) technology more than 30 years’ ago. Adelan’s patented and scalable technology gives the fuel cell unprecedented flexibility, allowing the system to run cleanly on a range of commonly available fuels such as LPG, natural gas or propane/butane mix. As a result, though Adelan fuel cells can also run on hydrogen, they offer considerable additional operational flexibility and ease of use benefits whilst retaining a small, compact and lightweight footprint. Adelan staff founded and built up the University of Birmingham Fuel Cells Centre, and now aim to commercialise UK fuel cell technology through the Fuel Cell Incubator, with a first event in October 2019.


News >>> All Energy goes heavy on fuel cells to decarbonise UK

Posted June 1 2019

Of the thousands gathered in Glasgow at AllEnergy 2019 hoping for fuel cell content there was an embarrassment of riches. One of the clean energy sector’s key calendar events featured more than 50 conference sessions and a wealth of fuel cell presentations, discussions and exhibitors.

The show floor also included a Hydrogen Hub, further emphasising the role of fuel cell technology in realising the UK’s clean energy future. Together with Dr Kendall’s discussion on the opportunities available from commercialising fuel cell technology in the UK, there was a large number of other fuel cell presentations in the Showfloor Theatres.

Again taking place at the SEC in Glasgow, this year a bright red fuel cell-powered double decker bus was the star turn of the exhibition floor among companies like Engie, Urban Energy and Ecotricity.

Highlighting the tremendous intellectual resources available in the UK, as well as the strong engineering heritage and world-leading fuel cell technology innovations, Dr Kendall, the CEO of fuel cell pioneers Adelan Ltd and Chair of the Midlands Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Network, focused on the national opportunities available from the commercialisation of fuel cells in the UK, and the Midlands in particular.

Adelan Fuel Cell Technology

Speaking alongside energy industry heavyweights such as Matthew Knight, Head of Business Development at Siemens’ Power and Gas division, and Joanna Coleman OBE, UK Energy Transition Manager of Shell, Dr Kendall emphasised the scale of emerging global market for UK fuel cells and warned of the very real potential for nations such as China and South Korea to build unassailable market positions – despite the UK’s long-term premier role in technology development.

Commenting on the event Dr Kendall said: “All Energy 2019 is a clear signal that the industry is on the cusp of commercialisation and strong validation of the recently launched UK Fuel Cell Strategy. It’s vital that the UK seizes the opportunity to build a valuable fuel cell manufacturing industry by capitalising on our unique combination of innovation, intellectual capital and regional manufacturing capabilities.  We can decarbonise UK industry, ports and cities today using UK fuel cell technology, and it is key government articulate support for that aspiration.”

Developed by the Midlands Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Network and spearheaded by Adelan, the UK Fuel Cell Strategy offers a route to maximise the benefits emerging from the UK’s early leadership in fuel cell technology and covers six core areas. Measures include creating an inclusive talent pipeline and matching public-industry funding for fuel cell development – a Grove Challenge to complement the existing Faraday Challenge for battery technologies, and exceed it in terms of UK wealth creation. The strategy also emphasises how commercial endeavours could be supported and enhanced by government action to encourage UK fuel cell technology suppliers.

Birmingham-based Adelan Ltd pioneered microtubular solid oxide fuel cell (mSOFC) technology more than 30 years ago. Across automotive, stationary, or portable applications – wherever heat and power is needed – Adelan’s patented and scalable technology gives the fuel cell unprecedented flexibility. Allowing the system to run on a range of commonly available fuels such as LPG, natural gas or a propane/butane mix, as well as hydrogen, Adelan fuel cells offer multiple operational and ease-of-use benefits whilst retaining a compact and lightweight footprint.

To discover more about the UK Fuel Cell Strategy or to explore how Adelan and their unique fuel cells can support your future energy ambitions and requirements for clean, quiet and reliable energy, please contact the Adelan team at:

Adelan Fuel Cell Technology

Adelan Ltd, 15 Weekin Works, 112-116 Park Hill Road, Birmingham, B17 9HD (UK)

Tel: +44 (0)121 427 8033

Event >> Adelan completes successful fuel cell trade mission to China

Posted 28 Dec 2018

Based in Edgbaston, Birmingham, Adelan is an active supporter of the Midlands Engine, a coalition of councils, academia and business which is actively working to present the Midlands as an attractive business location.  Adelan chairs the Midlands Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Network (MFCHN), which is a collaborative network working towards commercialising fuel cell technology, the key to green energy.

Led by Sir John Peace and Anthony May, a small delegation of executives from key technology sectors met with senior leaders in Zhejiang and Guizhou Provinces as part of an on-going engagement programme to promote trade and investment. The trade visit marks the progression into a new, more strategic, phase of a regional relationship that has developed between the two provinces and the Midlands.

The Midlands Engine China Strategy focuses attention on developing relations with organisations in China across the energy and transport sectors, two industries that are expected to significantly benefit from the widespread commercial roll out of fuel cell technology like the micro-tubular SOFCs first developed by Adelan in 1994. There are already strong ties between China’s technology players and Midlands-based engineering. For example, Zhejiang based Geely Auto owns Coventry’s London Electric Vehicle Company (LEV). Following on from a significant investment programme for LEV, Geely is hoping to utilise fuel cell technology to power the next generation of electric vehicles.

Commenting on the trade mission Dr Kendall said: “China is actively embracing the clean energy revolution and it is very encouraging to experience the keen interest shown during this trade visit as China looks to embrace advanced technologies like Adelan fuel cells. UK enterprises could also benefit from our home grown Birmingham-based engineering talent and its technology breakthroughs.”

Both China and the UK have stressed the importance of adding value to their current economic connections, as well as engage and encourage more commercial relationships to be established. As a leading technology supplier, Adelan fuel cell technology is expected to play a key role in the clean energy future that is being actively embraced by China. A key delegate on the trade mission noted: “Going forward, we should describe Adelan as a green-energy company, providing products which result in a cleaner, carbon free environment.”

View our Timeline
  • Founded Adelan and made first Zirconia microtubes

  • Built first large demonstrator

  • First sales of demonstrators

  • First large commercial project; lab in Birmingham

  • First small demonstrator

  • The first sale of 250W system and UAV demonstrator

  • Portable Power Pack for camper van demonstrator

    Adelan microtubular solid oxide fuel cell battery range extender

  • Portable Power Pack for LNG truck demonstrator

  • Mobile and nano chargers

  • mCHP demonstrator

View opportunities at Adelan

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