AJC Trailers, a British company, has designed, manufactured, and supplied the world’s first solar & hydrogen-powered cabins that have been rolled out across the HS2 construction site in the United Kingdom in an effort to make the sites greener. The EasyCabin EcoSmart ZERO product is the world’s first solar and hydrogen-powered welfare unit, combining solar and hydrogen power to eliminate carbon emissions from construction sites, and is set to be rolled out further across the HS2 project. Data gathered from 16 Ecosmart ZERO cabins over a 21 week period on HS2 sites in Camden, Ruislip, and Uxbridge showed that 112 tonnes of carbon were saved – the equivalent of what would be absorbed by over 3,367 trees over a whole year. In comparison, a standard diesel generator running would have used 40,000 liters of diesel fuel.
The hydrogen technology has been developed by scientists at Loughborough University. With zero emissions, solar and hydrogen power replaces traditional diesel power systems and reduces the overall carbon footprint of a construction site, and more importantly, improves the environment for communities in the vicinity of operation. The unit is near silent and emits only pure water vapor. The cabins provide a kitchen, seating area, separate toilet, and changing room for workers, with the power to run the heating, sockets, kettle, and microwave coming instantly from the battery bank which is constantly fed by the built-in hydrogen fuel cell and solar panels.
HS2’s Minister comments at the site when he paid a visit were: “as we build back better from Covid-19, it is great to see how HS2 Ltd is using first class solar and hydrogen-powered staff welfare pods to cut carbon emissions while supporting workers on its construction sites. Not only are these British-made pods supporting hundreds of jobs, but it is a great example of how HS2 is realizing our ambition to be one of the most environmentally-responsible projects ever delivered in the UK, as we transition to carbon net-zero by 2050.”