“Will Spineless Si do the deed?” and “Will the cute baby barn owl chicks be brave enough to leave the nest?” These were just two of the questions that kept the millions of viewers enthralled throughout the BBC2 live wildlife series of Springwatch 2015.
BOC was proud to support the programme with its HYMERA portable hydrogen energy generators, providing an environmentally friendly power source for some of the vital webcams that were used in the filming of the series at RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk in May and June this year.
The much-loved programme provided a remarkable window on the natural behaviour of a variety of wildlife from stickleback fish to sea cucumbers and arctic terns. Over 30 hidden, remote controlled cameras were employed to film the activities of the wildlife in the nests, reed beds and waterbeds.
These enabled the programme’s presenters to see and talk about the wildlife using live close-ups while the programme was being broadcast and also enabled the audience to continue to watch the wildlife online outside the programme broadcast times.
BOC provided its HYMERA hydrogen fuel cell to power the BBC’s remote camera equipment and fibre transceivers on two of the far flung nests, those of Barn Owls & the Dartford Warbler.
The advantages of a hydrogen cell to applications such as this are that it is exceptionally quiet, which means that it doesn’t disturb the wildlife the programme is trying to film, and it can also run for a considerable period of time before refuelling is required.
In addition, the fact that the only by-product is water is important for filming in environmentally sensitive areas such as RSPB Minsmere.
BOC’s HYMERA generators provided a unique solution to the challenge of getting a temporary power supply to locations where no power is available. Traditional generators, which rely on diesel or petrol combustion engines, are noisy and this would disturb the wildlife and also interfere with the quality of the sound recordings. In addition, for these low power loads, the BOC HYMERA is a much lower cost solution than conventional generators.
BOC, the UK & Ireland’s largest supplier of industrial gases and related equipment, and a Member of The Linde Group, provided this much-loved television programme with a HYMERA generator supported by the lightweight GENIE hydrogen cylinder, a perfect solution for its temporary power requirements. The HYMERA portable generator is exceptionally quiet and incorporates ground-breaking hydrogen fuel cell technology that produces electricity. It’s also environmentally friendly, producing water as the only by-product.
Stewart Dow, Product and Market Development Manager – fuel cells at BOC, said: “Springwatch is a truly wonderful television series and BOC is extremely pleased to support these engaging broadcasts. The HYMERA generator can be used anywhere from a remote bird reserve to a street corner in London, and Springwatch is a wonderful example of its flexibility.”