A New Kind of Forecourt : Honda Opens Solar Powered Hydrogen Station

Many people are looking for ways to move away from using petroleum for transportation, and one alternative to using gas or diesel as a fuel is hydrogen, and companies like Honda and Toyota are developing vehicles that are powered by electricity generated from hydrogen fuel cells. This week Honda opened a hydrogen filling station at its factory in Swindon, UK at which the hydrogen provided is generated at the point of use using solar power. Hydrogen  for the station is produced using pressurized alkaline electrolysis of water powered by a solar farm.

Producing hydrogen on-site overcomes the need for expensive hydrogen storage and distribution systems, and this could be an attractive model for a new transportation fuel infrastructure.  The UK government, along with a consortium of industrial groups, provided funding for the creation of this station.

The filling station has the capacity to produce 20 tonnes of hydrogen per year, and will initially be used primarily to provide hydrogen to fleet vehicles, but Honda has its own fuel cell powered passenger car — the FCX Clarity — that can be refueled there.

An article at Autocar.co.uk provides more details.

We have often discussed the future of transportation here at E-Cat World, and the role that LENR technology could play in that future. It seems to me that generation of electricity will be the key if LENR is to have an impact with vehicles.

If LENR can be used to generate electricity efficiently, then hydrogen production would not be a major challenge, and fuel cell vehicles might make a lot of sense. Along with Honda, Toyota and Hyundai are moving forward with the development of fuel-cell vehicles. Also, LENR might also provide electricity for the charging of batteries used in electric vehicles — which are now becoming increasingly popular with companies like Tesla, Nissan, GM and Ford moving forward with all-electric cars.

It is possible at some point that on-board LENR power sources could be used — but probably not for passenger vehicles for some time. We already have nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carriers that have installed nuclear power plants which can run continuously for decades at a time without the need for refueling, and I think there’s a good chance that ships, subs and trains could the first kinds of vehicles to have LENR reactors powering them in similar ways.

 

 

  • bachcole

    This is a datapoint showing that the so-called powers that be still don’t know what is going to happen with regard the LENR++

    • US_Citizen71

      I disagree chemical fuels for personal passenger vehicles will be with us for decades to come with or without LENR, unless a lightweight LENR electric generator comes into being. Changing heat into motion by any currently developed means requires a machine that is both heavy and occupies a large volume.

      • LENR4you

        Highly efficient method of converting LENR energy into mechanical energy in decentralized CHP or mobile small systems as range extender for EV:
        https://www.google.com/patents/DE102011103832A1?cl=en&hl=de

        • US_Citizen71

          That appears to be nothing more than a patent troll. Claiming an idea and making a functioning engine that is lightweight, compact and able to produce useful horsepower for extended periods reliably are two different things.

  • Daniel Maris

    During WW2 planes would sometimes go from design to full production in a matter of six months, often with numerous technological innovations on board.

    I feel if the same level of effort were put into researching energy storage technology, artificial methane production, LENR, hydrogen and solar etc over a similar six year period (or even 4 if you’re American) then we would crack renewable energy.

    There isn’t really the political and commercial will to do it at present, sadly.

    • georgehants

      Very good point Daniel and exactly what I am saying about Cold Fusion if the main-line science where to start doing the job it is there for.

      How quickly could Cold Fusion be saving lives and making many more lives more comfortable if the subject where being handled as it should be?

  • Mark

    Wait a minute…didn’t that Solar Hydrogen Trends company say something about producing hydrogen? I wonder if this has anything to do with them…

  • US_Citizen71

    That appears to be nothing more than a patent troll. Claiming an idea and making a functioning engine that is lightweight, compact and able to produce useful horsepower for extended periods reliably are two different things.

  • jousterusa

    This is great – they get free energy from the sun, and use it to make free energy from water! And then they sell it…

  • There are a host of major infrastructure and storage problems with H2. But BEYOND all that, H2 will never be able to compete with it’s only clean energy source – ELECTRONS. Why? Conversion losses, that’s why. Even with the limitations of today’s traction batteries, using the electrons directly is a much more efficient way to go.

    Electrons can be harvested numerous ways, many of which are clean and easy. That, plus better solid state batteries/ultracapacitors (coming soon), makes for a unbeatable combination for transportation. Meanwhile lithium ion batteries (despite being chemically based) are good enough to get the electrification of road transport well under way.

    Despite the hype by a couple of major automakers, imo, the renewed push behind H2 exists simply because the vested interests in transportation fuel infrastructure are desperate to continue to sell you some kind of fuel by the Litre, from a pump. Unfortunately for them, chemical to electrical conversion losses and storage problems related to H2 means H2 will never be competitive on cost and convenience when compared to cheaply harvested electrons and cheaper, better batteries.

    The ICE is good as dead, and as a substitute for it, H2 is DOA.

    • As you say, the ICE must be doomed in any coming vehicle fuel economy. However there is still the possibility of using H2 fuel cells coupled to a relatively small traction battery that drives wheel motors. With fuel cell efficiencies of c. 55%, an overall efficiency of about 50% should be achievable. The problem as always is storing the H2 safely, and in a way that allows easy refilling or cartridge exchange.

      My money would be on exchangeable pressure vessels filled with light metal hydrides, with the heat for thermal decomposition supplied by exhaust gases. These would most likely be slung under a vehicle in a way that would allow automated exchange at ‘filling stations’, where they could be regenerated.

      http://www.hydrogenics.com/technology-resources/hydrogen-technology/fuel-cells