Proton Energy's Hydrogen Generator Making The Grade at Mirant Corp's Zeeland Power Plant

After seven months' testing of Proton Energy's HOGEN® H Series hydrogen generator to cool three of their electric generators, managers at Mirant Corp's Zeeland, Mich. power plant say they've got what they need to adopt Proton's onsite hydrogen technology for the long haul.

Reliability. Ease. A rapid payback on their investment. And no frozen fingers.

"Not every piece of equipment we bring into our plant works as well as the HOGEN H Series does," said Mirant-Zeeland Plant Operations and Maintenance Manager Brian Roth. "Proton's H Series hydrogen generator requires very little attention. We're no longer out there in extreme weather taking caps off hydrogen cylinders. Some days I forget it's even there!"

Mirant-Zeeland's generators require about 70 scf/hour of pure hydrogen gas, about 4-6 cylinders per day. Before installing Proton's H Series hydrogen generator, the plant paid $30,000-$36,000 per year for hydrogen cylinder deliveries, according to Roth.

"We have a small staff, 12 operators. This equipment saves them time and helps them focus on more productive tasks," he explained.

Since installing Proton's first HOGEN H Series hydrogen generator as a 'beta' unit at the Zeeland plant in March, Proton's Director of Applications and Technical Service John Speranza has visited the site regularly to check the system. "At its first three month test in June, wear was normal - the unit's tracking well against the maintenance schedule we've forecasted for this product," he said. "The entire system check takes a couple of hours, and preventative maintenance actions such as air, water, and gas filter replacement takes less than four man hours a year for the operator. Much like cylinders, the H Series automatically adjusts hydrogen output to match the amount of hydrogen gas required to meet demand -without the risk of running out of hydrogen from a finite cylinder supply. Once you've used this system, it's hard to imagine going back to delivered hydrogen."

The beta model H Series hydrogen generator that Mirant-Zeeland is currently testing provides 192 scfh of 99.999 percent pure hydrogen gas, Speranza said. "Based on their successful testing, the facility has expressed interest in purchasing an H Series generator with 112 scfh of capacity, which will give them some extra capacity and certain level of redundancy," he added.

H Series hydrogen generators, now installed at four power generation facilities in the U.S., offer 60-90 percent savings on power plants' hydrogen operating costs compared to deliveries of cylinder or tube based hydrogen. The H Series makes 99.999 percent pure hydrogen gas at up to 218 psig (15 bar) without use of a compressor.

Proton's HOGEN H Series and HOGEN 20/40 hydrogen generators offer fast, one day commissioning; full hydrogen production in seconds, and safe operation. The H Series generator's enclosure and ventilation systems are weatherproofed for outdoor installation. Built under Proton's ISO 9001:2000 quality system, the units are Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) approved for use within U.S. and Canada, and CE approved for use within the European Union. Seven capacities are available, from 78 to 228 scfh. The H Series generator can be easily upgraded in the field for additional capacity.

For more information on hydrogen, click here.

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