HyWeb, 2010-02-01: Honda has begun demonstration of its next generation solar-powered home-refuelling station at its R&D Americas premises in Los Angeles.
Designed as a single, integrated unit to fit in the user's garage, Honda's Solar Hydrogen Station can refill 0.5 kg of hydrogen via an 8-hour overnight fill, sufficient for daily commuting with a fuel cell electric vehicle.
The previous solar hydrogen station system required both an electrolyser and a separate compressor unit to create high pressure hydrogen. The compressor was the largest and most expensive component and reduced system efficiency. Incorporating a new high differential pressure electrolyser allowed sparing the compressor entirely, however, allowing slow-fill only.
Overnight refilling has the advantage of using less expensive off-peak electrical power. During daytime peak power times, the Solar Hydrogen Station can export renewable electricity to the grid. 48 Honda Soltec CIGS thin film photovoltaic panels provide 6 kW of nominal electrical power.
Honda sees its residential system as a complement rather than a substitute to a public network of fast fill hydrogen stations (5 minutes fast fill for some 240 mile operating range).
The first Honda residential hydrogen refilling station began demo operations in July 2001 at the same LA grounds.
The new station meets the highest SAE J2719 and ISO 14687 specifications.