Israeli hospital uses fuel-cell energy for cleaner, smooth power flow


Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera installs a fuel-cell based generator developed by Israeli startup GenCell, reducing dependence on polluting diesel generators.

Israel’s GenCell Energy, a maker of fuel cell energy said that the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera has installed its hydrogen-based long-duration fuel-cell power generator within its cardiac catheterization unit, to ensure continuous and smooth power flow.

The installation marks the first time a hospital in Israel has installed a fuel-cell power unit, GenCell said in a statement. The GenCell G5 Long Duration Uninterrupted Power Supply unit will ensure power continuity within the facility while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint of the hospital, by lowering its dependence on highly polluting diesel generators, the statement said.

“Preventing even the slightest interruption to power flow eliminates any possibility of damage to delicate equipment, crucially avoiding equipment downtime and interruptions to surgical procedures,” the statement said. “The project signifies an important step for medical and other public service institutions seeking to transition to clean energy and render diesel obsolete.”

The Petah Tikva, Israel-based startup, founded in 2011, makes fuel cell-based solutions to create electricity and has been supplying its products to electricity providers, including in Israel, the US and Europe.

The firm’s products are based on fuel cell technology — an electro-chemical process that happens between two gases, hydrogen and oxygen, generating clean energy. Spaceships and submarines use fuel cell energy because it is emission-free.

GenCell has taken this space technology and made the fuel cells cheaper to manufacture, replacing the platinum generally used in these cells with a combination of nickel and carbon and using a nanotechnology process.

Electricity companies and homeland security entities have been using the company’s generators as backup products for their electricity supply.

Complex catheterization procedures that use sophisticated equipment require imaging devices and computers that have high power-load demands. The hospital was therefore looking for a fail-safe backup solution that could absorb short, but intense peak loads. Installing GenCell’s G5 unit enables the Hillel Yaffe hospital to eliminate “any concerns that power spikes will interfere with surgical operations,” the statement said, with the Intensive Care Coronary Unit getting “a smooth and constant flow of electricity.”

The Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, which serves a population of close to 450,000 people, plans to install additional units to backup other sensitive and critical medical devices and systems, the statement said.

“In addition to its measurable contribution to smooth equipment operations, the reliability of regular power now enables our staff to carry out medical procedures with full confidence and peace of mind — undoubtedly, this has resulted in better patient care and personnel well-being,” said Ronen Edry, chief engineer at Hillel Yaffe in the statement.