JCB offers glimpse into the future of zero carbon worksites

JCB G60RS H genset

JCB unveiled a new concept at Hillhead 2024 – a generator powered by a JCB hydrogen combustion engine.

The move was described as another major step forward in the process of evaluating hydrogen as a fuel of the future with the first showing of a generator powered by the net zero fuel.

JCB is investing more than £100 million in pioneering hydrogen as a fuel solution for
construction and agricultural machines and has already produced 115 evaluation engines
which are powering backhoe loaders and Loadall telehandlers.

The G60RS H genset on show at Hillhead offered a glimpse into the future of zero carbon worksites and highlights how the hydrogen generator delivers the same power, performance, and efficiency as its diesel equivalent – but without the carbon.

JCB showcased how a hydrogen generator works in tandem with JCB’s three-phase
Powerpack to create on-site ‘microgrids’ – utilising both battery-electric and hydrogen
combustion technology. With energy supplied to the Powerpack from renewable sources, the generator, powered by hydrogen, effectively becomes a battery charger, only running for short periods when the battery needs topping up, or at peak load points.

JCB’s group director of special projects, Tim Burnhope, said, “Hydrogen generators coupled
with battery boxes really are the future, paving the way for the formation of on-site microgrids. Construction sites today rely on diesel power because there are insufficient or inaccessible grid connections, but because diesel is incompatible with net zero targets, customers are rightly seeking alternatives.

“A hydrogen generator offers that alternative, providing clean power on-site. It delivers zero carbon power to the worksite for anything from welfare units to lighting towers. It also works in the same way as its diesel counterpart, ensuring familiar operation, installation, maintenance, and servicing.”