The new Solar Hydrogen Station is smaller than previous models and enables an electric car owner to refill their fuel cell overnight. The unit should easily fit into a homeowners’ garage taking up significantly less space than previous models.
The older model required a compressor and electrolyzer for it to be operational. One of the reasons the units were so big was because of the compressor that was required to run the unit. Not only that, the compressor was also the reason that the units were so expensive to produce and purchase.
The idea behind the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station is to complement fast filling public H2 refueling stations and not compete with them. The Honda Solar Hydrogen Station does not store hydrogen, but creates it on demand and thus is considered a slow filling (overnight) means of refueling one’s fuel cell vehicle.
The station uses 48 panels of thin-film Honda-developed cells to produce six kilowatts of electricity. It’s designed to complement the network of public stations that California has endeavored to create as part of its “Hydrogen Highway,” but which in practice is developing slowly.
Honda’s Soltec panels are also being used by Dongfeng Honda in China, the company said, providing lighting and air-conditioning at an administrative facility. According to Honda, the Chinese panels are capable of generating 100,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, and can displace 101 tons of carbon dioxide.
In addition to installation in the garages of those who own fuel cell electric vehicles, the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station was also designed with the intention of being employed at fast fuel hydrogen stations. For an idea of the distance users will be able to eek out of such vehicles, the Honda FCX Clarity electric vehicle, which is fast fill capable, offers an estimated distance of 240 miles before refueling is required.
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