Emergency Communications System (ECS) on Ice: GenCell Energy to Deploy its Innovative A5 Off-Grid Solution to Power an Advanced Test Unit at the Neyðarlínan ohf ECS Station in Iceland
Petah Tikva, Israel – January 12, 2021 – GenCell Energy, GNCL (TASE), a leading Israel-based manufacturer of fuel cell energy solutions, today announces that the Company has signed an agreement to deliver its GenCell A5 off-grid power solution based on alkaline fuel cell technology for deployment of an advanced test unit to power the active Emergency Communications System (ECS) station in Reykjavik, Iceland operated by Neyðarlínan ohf, the state-owned Icelandic telecom provider that operates 112, the National Emergency Number, the National Tetra Telecommunication Service and the Icelandic Maritime Service. The GenCell A5 off-grid power generator, which extracts hydrogen from liquid ammonia – one of the most effective carbon-free hydrogen carriers – will be shipped from Israel and is expected to reach Iceland in February, where it will provide 24/7 primary power to the ECS station on the outskirts of Reykjavik.
Deployment of the zero-emission A5 solution supports the environmental policy of the Icelandic government, which passed an action plan in 2018 calling to abolish the use of all fossil fuels before the year 2050 and banning all new registrations of diesel and petrol vehicles from the year 2030. Featuring GenCell’s unique and innovative ammonia cracker which extracts clean zero-emission hydrogen from economical and widely available liquid ammonia, the A5 solution ensures 24/7 uninterrupted power – in contrast to intermittent solar PV and wind resources that require complementary energy storage to maintain power when sunlight and wind are not available – and at a price competitive to that of diesel.
As the Icelandic national emergency number 112 service is on call 24 hours all year round, it is crucial for the system to have full access to uninterrupted power. Calls and messages come in through the telephone, the Deaf app, text message (SMS) or webchat. There are many tasks in progress at all times. In addition to requests which require the response of emergency operators and dispatchers, there are emergency calls from Tetra, SafeTravel or Search and Rescue teams and Civil Protection services.
“We are extremely excited and enthusiastic about the prospects for the A5 off-grid power solution,” remarks Thorhallur Olafsson, CEO, Neydarlinan ohf. “Here in the challenging climate and weather conditions in Iceland, we have deployed many different power solutions in an effort to ensure uninterrupted power for our networks and more recently in efforts to transition to clean renewable energy sources. Especially now during the Coronavirus, we recognize that our customers – and among these especially our first responders – are in need of emergency access and continuous connectivity, including connectivity for critical applications such as our 112 emergency number, medical facilities, communications between emergency service providers as well as other public and private institutions that rely on mobile networks for e-commerce, remote work, tele-learning and many other digital services. We are committed to delivering highest quality of service to our customers and to do so we rely on resilient, robust power. The versatile A5 stand-alone power source will not only back up our electric grid during outages and in dense network conditions but will also replace the grid in remote locations. And this while helping us meet our sustainability objectives. We look forward to positive results of the advanced testing unit to expand the A5 deployment.”
GenCell CTO and VP R&D Gennadi Finkelshtain explains, “GenCell’s hydrogen fuel cell solution is extremely reliable and resilient and as such well-suited to meet the needs of distant ETS stations and for supporting emergency services and first responders. Moreover, GenCell is pleased for this opportunity in Iceland’s harsh weather conditions to demonstrate that the robust and rugged GenCell alkaline fuel cell technology can withstand operating temperatures of between -20⁰C – 45⁰C.”
“We thank Neydarlinan ohf for their pioneering spirit and willingness to join us to prove the value of hydrogen for powering the emergency services sector,” states Rami Reshef, CEO, GenCell. “We are confident that this GenCell A5 advanced test unit will demonstrate superior performance and help Iceland maintain emergency service and constant connectivity while more quickly meeting its climate goals. Recognizing today’s substantial and growing demand for hydrogen-based solutions to decarbonize telecom as well as other industry sectors, and recognizing the significant market opportunity for transitioning the world’s 1.2 million telecom towers to clean power, a market which has been estimated at some US$ 12 billion, GenCell is doing everything possible to accelerate the market entry of our revolutionary A5 off-grid power solution to help reduce telecom operators’ dependence on pollutant diesel in poor and off-grid regions, increase our market share in the telecom sector and maximize shareholder value.”
Neyðarlínan operates the 1-1-2 National Emergency Number service, Tetra, the National Emergency Telecommunication Service and the VSS Icelandic Maritime Service. As part of the Tetra and VSS service Neyðarlína operates radio communications at over 200 remote sites providing mission- critical services to civil protection teams and first responders on land and sea. Neyðarlínan is a private company in majority ownership of the Icelandic State. The shareholders are the Icelandic State 81,5% and the capital city of Reykjavik 18,5%.
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