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Boundary Power’s Hydrogen Integrated Stand-Alone Power System (HiSAPS) demonstration unit is Australia’s first relocatable hydrogen SAPS. We take a look at this ambitious project, and how Boundary Power’s adaptability allowed it to work with multiple collaborators to deliver it.

The first HiSAPS demonstration unit was unveiled in October 2023, at the Ampcontrol manufacturing site in Ringwood, Victoria. Today, it is being used to power the facility’s internal lighting. In the future, the technological insights from this prototype can be used to develop a commercialised solution that could be transported to anywhere within Australia.

A leap into the future

Boundary Power’s HiSAPS is a leap forward in the development of future energy systems. Stand-alone power systems are designed to rely on a back-up diesel generator during times of insufficient solar, or battery charge.

This design replaces the diesel generator with a hydrogen system that uses excess solar to make hydrogen, which is stored and used to generate electricity when solar and battery systems are low. It uses 100 per cent renewable energy and it’s 100 per cent relocatable.

Portability changes the power equation, opening up more possibilities for net zero electricity generation.

The power of collaboration

HiSAPS is a collaboration between Boundary Power and hydrogen storage specialist, LAVO. An advanced all-in one hydrogen system was installed within Boundary Power’s award-winning Solar Qube® product, a modular, relocatable standalone power system.

HiSAPS gives a glimpse into the future of how Australia might balance remote utility-grade power generation needs, with pressing climate issues. This innovative technology is the result of an innovative working model.

The research, development and implementation were made possible with funding from the Victorian Government under the Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Plan. Boundary Power Director, Rod Henderson, said, “HiSAPS is a brilliant example of collaboration –investment from government, working together with industry to enable a smooth transition into a clean, reliable, and affordable energy future.”

Valuable learnings

This proof of concept project creates valuable learnings for the future of hydrogen power. As the system’s performance is monitored over the next 12 months, the joint venture partners will deepen their knowledge of the technical, safety and regulatory aspects of integrating a hydrogen fuel cell into a stand-alone power system.

The insights they’ve gained in building hydrogen systems to store and provide energy as required, will assist future designs of SAPS and renewable solutions. “Hydrogen power is ultimately human powered. In bringing this project to life, the skills and knowledge of everyone involved have increased dramatically,” Mr Henderson said.

“As the renewable energy sector continues to expand, a project like this ensures Australia’s workforce has the technical capabilities and experience for the jobs of tomorrow.” The HiSAPS project is also helping lawmakers prepare for the future, as the safe and efficient installation of hydrogen systems present new complexity to the gas certification regulatory frameworks at both a state and national level.

Although this current iteration of HiSAPS is not available for commercial use, the insights from this project are immeasurable, providing significant benefit to future-forward companies like Boundary Power, as they continue to make inroads into research and development, implementation and commercialisation of future net zero systems.

Victorian Minister for Climate Action, Lily D’Ambrosio, said that the government is proud to support initiatives like the HiSAPS, which will be critical to meeting its world-leading emission reduction targets and helping to create 59,000 jobs by 2035. “We’re supporting research and development in the renewable hydrogen sector to better understand the role it could play in Victoria’s renewable energy transition,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

Meeting emissions targets

Boundary Power has significant expertise in providing end-of-grid power solutions to remote and rural locations. The utility grade R-Series SAPS has been extensively deployed to regional Western Australia with the farming community being grateful recipients.

End-of-grid customers are accustomed to frequent outages as traditional poles and wires networks are subjected to the harsh climate, wildlife and even machinery damage.

“The SAPS solution gives them something that they thought they could never have – a safe and reliable power supply for uninterrupted farming operations,” Mr Henderson says.

As displayed with the HiSAPS, the core product range can be customised to meet existing and future power needs. From small loads through to large, more scalable SAPS, Boundary Power’s team can engineer a solution that can be readily deployed.

Like HiSAPS, Boundary Power is the result of a successful collaboration and was formed as a joint venture between Horizon Power and Ampcontrol. Horizon Power supplies energy to 35,000 residential and 9,000 business customers in regional Western Australia.

The energy provider has a demonstrated history of delivering successful world-first and Australia-first technical trials and is a progressive innovator on the journey towards net zero. Australian-owned and operated Ampcontrol prides itself in solving complex problems in energy with expertise in developing world-first innovations, helping industry to decarbonise.

Simon Duggan, Boundary Power General Manager, said, “Our vision at Boundary Power is to lead the energy transition with advancements in stand-alone power system design and technology. Our utility grade, renewable and reliable power solutions have been deployed across Australia since 2019.”

In its short history, this renewablesled company has already emerged as an industry pioneer and was awarded ‘Energy Innovation of the Year’ at the Australian Institute of Energy’s 2021 WA Energy Awards. Given the enormity of the challenge posed by a changing climate, hydrogen systems will only be part of the solution in achieving net zero.

What Hi-SAPS does demonstrate is that collaboration, innovation and forward thinking can create design synergy that exceeds the collective impact of its individual elements. HiSAPS is greater than the sum of its parts.

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