Fuel cell field test demonstration of economic and environmental viability for portable generators, backup and UPS power system applications

Project Information
Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Early markets

A total of 19 market-ready fuel cell systems from 2 suppliers will be installed as UPS/ backup power sources in selected sites across the EU. Real-world customers from the telecommunications and hotel industry will utilize these fuel cell-based systems, with power levels in the 1-10kW range, in their sites. These units will demonstrate a level of technical performance (start-up time, reliability, durability, number of cycles) that qualifies them for market entry, thereby accelerating the commercialisation of this technology in Europe and elsewhere.


The demonstration project will involve the benchmarking of units from both fuel cell suppliers according to a test protocol to be developed within the project. It will employ this test protocol to conduct extensive tests in field trials in sites selected by final users in Italy, Switzerland and Turkey. The performance will be logged and analysed to draw conclusions regarding commercial viability and degree to which they meet customer requirements, as well as suggesting areas for improvement. A lifecycle analysis using data from the project will be carried out to determine economic and environmental value proposition over incumbent technologies such as batteries or diesel generators.


The system producers use the results to obtain valuable first hand feedback from customers, optimise their systems as needed, and demonstrate commercial viability. On the other hand, final users from the telecommunications and hotel industry will experience first-hand the advantages of fuel cells for their applications under real world conditions. The optimisation potential is expected from the production process itself, from the installation of a significant amount of fuel cell systems and from the testing.


The project will also develop a certification procedure valid in all countries where the fuel cells will be either produced or tested under the expert advice of TÜV Süd. The dissemination of project progress will be geared mostly towards getting the word out to final users through presentations at specialised conferences, thus improving the visibility of market-ready fuel cells and pave the way for market penetration.


The consortium consists of large and small entities which are fuel cell suppliers, end users and R&D centres for data acquisition and analysis. The partners are located throughout the EU covering a range of environmental conditions, such as those found in Italy, Switzerland and Turkey. This spread will demonstrate the viability and enable the use of fuel cell-based UPS across the EU

Project details
Project reference: 
SP1-JTI-FCH.2009.4.2: Portable generators, backup ad UPS power systems
Project type: 
Contract type: 
Collaborative Project
Start date: 
Monday, November 1, 2010
End date: 
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
36 months (originally), extended to 42 months
Project cost: 
€ 5,289,900.72
Project funding: 
€ 2,475,825

Electro Power Systems, Italy

Mrs Ilaria ROSSO
Other participating organisations: 
Future Fuel Cell Solutions GmbH Germany
Parco Scientifico e Tecnologico per l'ambiente Italy
Fachhochschulke Zentralschweiz - Hochschule Luzern Switzerland
(United Nations Industrial Development Org.) Austria
JRC - Joint Research Centre - European Commission Belgium
TUV Sud Industrie Service Germany
Swisscom Switzerland
Wind telecomunicazioni Italy
Kanton Nidwalden Switzerland
(Kanton Luzern) Switzerland
Università degli studi di Roma Tor Vergata Italy
Istambul Bilgi Universitesi Turkey












































FutureE Fuel Cell Solutions Germany
Environment Park Italy
LucerneUniversity of Applied Sciences Switzerland
Joint Research Centre Netherlands
TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH Germay
Swisscom (Schweiz) AG Switzerland
Wind Italy
Betriebskommission Polycom Nidwalden Switzerland
Lucernecantonal police Switzerland