A new mode of energy consumption in high mountains

News - 8 October 2018
inauguration col du palet

In June 2015, MAHYTEC and four other companies have started a project at the Refuge du Col du Palet in the national park of La Vanoise. The objective: to reach the total electrical independence of the shelter thanks to the installation of a hydrogen energy storage system and thus provide access to clean and reliable electricity to hikers. The proposed system is now used to provide the shelter electricity through the exploitation and storage of green energy produced from solar panels. It was inaugurated on Friday 28th September in the presence of local authorities, journalists and some industrials.

Inauguration of the hydrogen system at the Refuge du Palet

The geographic situation of le Col du Palet doesn’t allow it to receive a provision by the standard electric system. Before it was powered by a diesel generator, and to overcome to the lack of electrical access, the shelter decided in 2015 to install a system including the entire hydrogen chain in addition to its photovoltaic panels. From these, MAHYTEC, and the consortium of selected companies have developed a system that transforms excess energy into hydrogen to reuse when electricity needs are no longer covered by primary energy. Hydrogen is produced in the winter by electrolysis and redistributed, thanks to a fuel cell, during the summer at the shelter’s opening time to the hikers, period where the electricity demand is higher. This system is also automatically controlled by an intelligent control module, allowing remote monitoring of system operation, to continuously adjust and optimize the system.

The hydrogen system was installed in a dedicated room and designed to adapt to different weather conditions.

This project allowed MAHYTEC to increase its know-how of the hydrogen storage and distribution in a complex environment. This know-how has allowed it to develop a new product, the QUADRHY interface, a plug-and-play container included large volume hydrogen tanks and their safety devices, to be connected directly to the electrolyzer outlet and to the Fuel cell/battery inlet.

Mastering the entire hydrogen chain, MAHYTEC is also today able to offer complete solutions for production, storage of hydrogen and its conversion into electricity via fuel cell and batteries; it’s our product SECURITHY.

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