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Clean fuel and floating office come together to provide zero carbon work solution

Greenwise Staff
9th March 2010
A UK company that has found a way to store the energy from intermittent renewables, such as wind and solar, and turn them into hydrogen, is to test its off grid clean fuel technology in a Dutch-designed floating office, with the aim of delivering a world first in sustainable, zero carbon building solutions.
ITM Power, which is based in Sheffield, has teamed up with Dutch construction and infrastructure development company, Ballast Nedam, which is behind the ‘Autarc’, an innovative floating office that has been designed to be 100 per cent self-sustaining in both energy and water.

The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see ITM contribute its design and technology expertise to the Autarc project. ITM has developed a technology that generates hydrogen by water electrolysis, using polymeric ion-conducting materials.

“The Autarc is off grid and [ITM will provide] an electrolyser on board to produce ‘green hydrogen’ using renewable electricity and electrolysis of water,” explained a spokesperson for ITM. “The hydrogen can be used for cooking, heating and power.”

Dr Graham Cooley, ceo of ITM, said the agreement with Ballast Nedam would enable the two companies to “demonstrate the virtues of a green office or green home environment based on hydrogen technology.

“Ballast Nedam is a major player in infrastructure and construction projects in the Netherlands and we look forward to providing expertise to add value to the sustainable proposition of their projects.”

Ron Von Wilk, director of Ballast Nedam Sustainability Services, added: “ITM’s technology, combined with Ballast Nedam’s building design and construction expertise in deploying state of the art energy conservation methods, is just what is needed in order to enable buildings to become zero carbon for energy. We believe the Autarc project will mark the beginning of a very rewarding partnership for both companies in delivering truly world beating sustainable, zero carbon building solutions.”

The Autarc is being launched as a pilot project this Spring. It will be first showcased at the Nemo Technical Museum in Amsterdam, after which it will be located at various locations around world, including the UK.

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Clean fuel and floating office come together to provide zero carbon work solution
The Autarc floating office aims to be the first off grid building to be powered by hydrogen using water electrolysis
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