Not known to many, the Planetary Power’s HyGen interesting story has begun way before its ‘official’ introduction into the general market. I mean, while most of us would agree that it’s straight up revolutionary and a badass among its kind–we didn’t know it was a private-space-exploration type of equipment badass. Apparently, this generator-on-wheels is the same de facto power generator used in Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano;s Mars simulation exercises a couple of years back.
Industry experts have been aware for some time regarding the really strong potential of HyGen, which is why finally seeing the innovative power-generating equipment take centre stage in the generator market is more of a validation than a surprise to them.
When compared to a traditional generator, HyGen clearly stands out since it can reduce diesel usage by 60 to 80 percent. This is possible by allowing the generator to run at peak efficiency and then shutting down when the batteries have been charged. During the four-month Mars simulation training, HyGen was able to power the NASA-funded exercise silently via batteries for as much as 20 hours a day before the diesel engine needed to kick in.
Advantages of HyGen
Planetary Power found that pairing energy storage and a smart control system with a high-efficiency diesel generator produces a wide range of advantages compared to a diesel-only generator:
1. The engine does not have to be running the entire time you need power.
2. When the engine is running, it is at its most efficient rpm, which extends engine life.
3. Total fuel consumption to meet load drops in some cases over 80 percent.
4. Engine noise is greatly reduced.
5. The quality of the electricity is improved to the level needed for some of today’s electronics thanks to the buffer of the batteries and the inverter between the engine and the output.
Aside from HyGen, Planetary Power is also exploring the upsides of a solar thermal generator they call SUNsparq, which will use mirrors to concentrate light from the sun to generate heat that will power the proprietary microtube engine.