Hyundai put first hydrogen fuel cell generator into operation

SEOUL AJU - South Korea’s Hyundai auto group commercialized a hydrogen generation system that powers buildings with automobile fuel cell modules. The system was put into operation at the group’s fuel cell plant as a backup generator.

It’s the first application of core parts for hydrogen fuels cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to power generation, Hyundai Mobis, the group’s parts-making wing, said Wednesday. The generator was installed at Hyundai’s fuel cell plant in Chungju, 115 kilometers (71 miles) south of Seoul.

The generator, which consists of five modules used for Nexo, Hyundai’s fuel cell-powered sport utility vehicle (SUV), has a maximum power generation of 450 kW, accounting for about seven percent of the plant’s power requirement. Mobis said it has separately developed a parallel controller, a thermal management system and an uninterruptible power supply system.

The generator has the greatest advantage of being able to control the quantity of fuel cell modules, Mobis said, describing its hydrogen generation system as the first step to realize hydrogen society by utilizing core technology of hydrogen cars.

"Automotive hydrogen fuel cell modules can be applied to a variety of business areas such as power generation, hydrogen trains, ships, drones and construction machinery," Ahn Byung-ki, who heads the company’s electronic powertrain division, said in a statement.

Hyundai joined a demonstration project to acquire core technologies for a fuel cell system for power generation in the southeastern industrial city of Ulsan. Fuel cells produce heat, electricity and water through a thermochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Hyundai has touted hydrogen fuel as an alternative to solve global problems such as pollution and resource depletion.