Honda Solar Hydrogen Station Begins Operation

Today Honda is beginning operation of its new Solar Hydrogen Station at its headquarters in Torrance, California. The new Honda Solar Hydrogen Station replaces the Honda Home Energy Station IV.

Back in November 2007, I had talked about the Honda Home Energy Station IV (which was in collaboration with Plug Power Inc.) as a piece of promising technology that would put consumers in control of their own refueling by putting a hydrogen station right in their own garages. In fact, Honda isn’t the only company developing home hydrogen fueling stations as there are a few others such as ITM Power.

Honda compares the new station to the old, “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, while improving system efficiency by more than 25-percent (value calculated based on simulations) compared to the solar hydrogen station system it replaces.”

But, even though the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station name implies that photovoltaic power is to be used to create H2, the device can also use “smart grid” technology from the electric company during off-peak hours for minimal cost. During the daytime, the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station can even sell electricity back to the grid.

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.

One might find parallels between slow fueling a hydrogen car and trickle charging an electric vehicle overnight, but there is a significant difference with the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station. The Honda device can also be used as a power station to supply electricity to one’s home as well as refuel the car and the H2 car will have a longer range.

9 Responses to “Honda Solar Hydrogen Station Begins Operation”

  1. There’s something fishy about a Solar Hydrogen Station for overnight refueling but I can’t quite put my finger on what is wrong ….

  2. Yes, I’m not sure why Honda gave it the name Solar Hydrogen Station. My understanding is that this home hydrogen fueling station can use wind power, geothermal, micro hydro, solar as well as electricity from the grid to create H2.

  3. I think this technoligy is way overdue to being avaiable to the masses! I am an electrician,this could boost our economy,installing hyddrogen fuel stations,solar-wind units,also providing hydrogen for car / truck all from home or groups of homes could share systems! Someone should hire me to promote and help the big job this really is.Owner of a electronic service co., and inventor something i would like to do! Living in palm bch county,FL. people need this and want this one way or another! It’s time now “oil spill’ ,power bills,jobs,ect.

  4. Why use fuel cell / hydrogen?
    Why not just use electric cars, with solar / grid going directly into the vehicle, instead of this multi-step process? Particularly since the new system is a “trickle” charger much like the electric?
    Somebody please explain the advantage.

    Chuck

  5. Battery electric cars are useful for short distance driving but they fall short of hydrogen cars that can drive 300+ miles per a tank with a 5 minute fill up. I’m all for hydrogen hybrid vehicles however, as this combines the best of both worlds.

  6. Please take a look at the road specs for the BMW H7 as well as some of the the H2 fueled ICEs. Using H2 in an engine results in more motive force. Yes Virginia, you can have an H2 powered sports car.

    The argument that H2 is cost prohibitive is no longer so true. We could all have small H2 plants in our homes, powered by the sun or any other renewable.

  7. Possibly so, but we still don’t have any idea of the cost for one of these home stations. Does anyone have a reference to the expected costs, near-term and eventual?

  8. the less energy transfers the less energy losses, using h2 would decrease that loss since it is being used on the site, powering vehicles or homes, but the economy of producing the fuel, h2 in this case, seems to be the prob, still havin difficulties to find a proper raport on h2 production, so if anyone has a good reference i thank u in advance

  9. approximate cost, at last count, is about $4000. I’m sold on this technology and Honda is not the only developer of home energy stations and for me a big selling point will be a storage tank. Why wouldn’t i want the ability to refuel quickly at home? Why are we looking out for BIG BUSINESS and their having the only fast filling public H2 refueling stations?

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