Commercialising Alternatives to Hydrogen

“While we technically work at the periphery of the hydrogen industry, our solutions still generated much interest, given the current energy price crisis”

There is little doubt that hydrogen will form a key part of the low-carbon energy systems of tomorrow. But what hydrogen insiders may forget is that the gas is just one of many carbon-reduction options available to a wide range of sectors.

A case in point is Emissis, a leading cleantech company based in Manchester, UK, which attended the Carbon Capture Technology Expo in Bremen, Germany, in 2022 to showcase a range of non-hydrogen energy management and carbon reduction products.

The company’s core mission is not to encourage the use of hydrogen, or indeed any other fuel, but to curtail demand through improved efficiency.

“While we technically work at the periphery of the hydrogen industry, our solutions still generated much interest, given the current energy price crisis,” says Raphael Dogon, the business development manager for Europe at Emissis.

Emissis offers four energy reduction products, one of which recently won a Wates and Lloyds Banking Group sustainable innovation competition.

The Coolnomix is a fast-fit, low-cost, high-impact thermostat that can be integrated with air conditioning systems and refrigerators to improve cooling efficiency and save energy.

Trials show that Coolnomix will, on average, reduce energy consumption by up to 70% in optimal circumstances. The return on investment is two years, on average. Coolnomix can be used by any institution looking to reduce its carbon footprint and energy consumption.

The offering is particularly interesting for warehouses, wholesalers, large office buildings, restaurants, supermarkets and gyms. It can be installed with existing equipment, meaning there are no modifications to the system and warranties remain valid.

More importantly, regulating cooling will expand a compressor’s lifetime and reduce dripping and icing in refrigerators. The Coolnomix is set up in line with the internal parts of the cooling system.

It has two sensors, one installed where the air enters the room and one where it exits the system.

Coolnomix takes the temperature between the two sensors every 30 seconds, determines the difference in real time and activates an expansion valve as needed to release the refrigerant through the circuit.

This contrasts with typical air conditioning systems, which have only one temperature sensor. They function by releasing a large quantity of refrigerant in one shot, which gets the compressor working in spikes.

The regulated activation of the refrigerant valve means the compressor works more often at a lower intensity. This is how Coolnomix reduces energy consumption and preserves the compressor.

Emissis also sells Maxwell, a product designed for industrial refrigerators that work with glycol water. Glycol reduces heat exchange in water; Maxwell is a liquid solution that can be added to the glycol water to increase the heat exchange again.

It contains aluminium particles that improve heat transfer in cooling and heating systems.

Trials indicate, on average, 15% energy savings and a payback period of 2.2 years.

Emissis’ third energy reduction product is a fuel optimiser that improves the combustibility of gas by taking advantage of the fact that fossil fuels contain hydrogen in two forms, ortho-and para-hydrogen, in a 3:1 ratio.

Ortho-hydrogen associates more freely with oxygen and is therefore more combustible. The optimiser uses a magnetic field to change para-hydrogen into ortho-hydrogen, to increase the combustibility of the gas.

“When combustibility increases, you can create more heat with the same quantity of gas. So, for the same output, you ultimately use less gas,” Dogon explains, adding that trials show at least a 7.8% reduction in fuel consumption, and an average 11%.

The fourth energy reduction product Emissis offers is a voltage optimiser initially developed for the UK, where electricity is at 243V compared to 220V in Europe.

While European products will function in the UK, the increased voltage will reduce their lifespan and force them to consume more electricity. The optimiser optimises the voltage between the grid and buildings.

As a result, electricity consumption can be reduced between 8% and 12% for entire buildings.

In addition to the company’s energy-saving products, Emissis offers a smart battery system so energy generated from renewables can be complemented with stored electricity instead of purchasing grid supplies. Emissis batteries are made of lithium and oxide iron.

Emissis provides a customised service, in partnership with AEG, to determine the most effective setup for each customer and optimise energy generation and storage.

Of the various products Emissis sells, Coolnomix has the most potential because installation is simple, it requires no maintenance and has the same added value worldwide, Dogon says.

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