Honda Introduces New Solar Hydrogen Station Prototype
The unit uses a one-piece design and is meant to fit in the users’ garage. It has a relatively compact size and it produces enough hydrogen (0.5 kg) during an 8-hour overnight fill for the average daily drive of a fuel cell vehicle (10,000 miles per year).
Compared to its predecessor, the unit is 25% more efficient (theoretical value) through the use of a high differential pressure electrolyzer, which eliminates the use of a compressor. This is a world’s first for a home system and makes the unit the most compact system ever built.
The Honda solar hydrogen station is compatible with a smart grid energy system. This allows the overnight refill of a vehicle without requiring hydrogen storage. It also lowers CO2 emissions by using less expensive off-peak electricity. During peak power times (daytime) the station is able to export clean electricity to the grid, thus providing a cost benefit to the customer and remaining energy neutral.
The system has a ergonomic design, as its layout allows the user to easily operate the fuel hose, with no hose coiling when the hose is returned to the dispenser unit. The new station uses the same 48-panel, 6.0 kW solar energy capturing system from the previous generation. This features thin film solar cells made out of copper, indium, gallium and selenium produced by one of the company's subsidiaries, Honda Soltec.
To better serve its potential user, the new Solar Hydrogen Station was designed to complement a small public network of fast fill hydrogen stations already installed by the company in the Los Angeles Area. These can provide 5 minute fuel boosts for longer trips.
The company suggests the use of the FCX Clarity for this power scheme. This is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle developed by Honda, which was introduced to the Japanese and American Market in 2008, as a test vehicle.
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