A UK firm called RE Hydrogen has invented a hydrogen compressor that is 30-percent the cost of others on the market. This means that not only can the compressors be smaller but the complimentary electrolyzers can be smaller and less costly as well.
According to The Engineer, “Small-scale hydrogen production is a potential way to capture and store energy from renewable sources and provide fuel for hydrogen-powered vehicles in place of large-scale infrastructure, as well as for industrial usage.
“RE Hydrogen has already developed an electrolyser that operates at up to 5KW at atmospheric pressure and is more than 90 per cent cheaper than most conventional models. Its latest compressor is designed to increase pressure from 1 to 350 bar in a single step.
“Most conventional devices would either require around five stages of compression with cooling in between to get up to the levels needed for storage or need the hydrogen to be produced at a higher pressure increasing the cost of the electrolyser.”
If low cost home hydrogen fueling stations can be developed this will significantly decrease the need for a nationwide buildup of larger hydrogen fueling stations across the highways of the nation. As EV and PHEV advocates say, most drivers on a daily basis travel less than 30 – 40 miles including to their jobs.
Home hydrogen refueling would offer the same advantages plus quicker refueling times. The compressor created by RE Hydrogen also has implications for larger hydrogen fueling stations as well since with this new, less expensive technology, more companies will be taking smaller risks in buying the equipment (especially fleet owners at first) and it will take less time to recoup their initial investments.