27 Jan
Can personal hydrogen stations jumpstart the fuel cell movement?

Honda today began operation of a next generation solar hydrogen station (SHS) prototype, intended for ultimate use as a home refueling appliance capable of an overnight refill of fuel cell electric vehicles. Designed as a single, integrated unit to fit in the user’s garage, Honda’s next generation Solar Hydrogen Station reduces the size of the system, while producing enough hydrogen via an 8-hour overnight fill for daily commuting (10,000 miles per year).

The previous solar hydrogen station system required both an electrolyzer and a separate compressor unit to create high pressure hydrogen. The compressor was the largest and most expensive component and reduced system efficiency. By creating a new high differential pressure electrolyzer, Honda engineers were able to eliminate the compressor entirely – a world’s first for a home-use system. This innovation also reduces the size of other key components to make the new station the world’s most compact system.

Compatible with a “Smart Grid” energy system, the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station would enable users to refill their vehicle overnight without the requirement of hydrogen storage, which would lower CO2 emissions by using less expensive off-peak electrical power. During daytime peak power times, the Solar Hydrogen Station can export renewable electricity to the grid, providing a cost benefit to the customer, while remaining energy neutral.

While a great development, actualizing a network with sufficient home-based SHS systems seems economically nonviable at this point. A larger version would seem to make great sense for fleet cars, however…

One Response to “Honda’s New Solar Hydrogen Station”

  1. Daron Englar says:

    I’ve liked reading through these types of blogs. Exciting stuff! Solar energy has always been a fascination with me.

Leave a Reply