ITM Power, you’d better watch out because Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) of Japan has just introduced its own low-cost, compact, portable hydrogen fueling station called Hydro Shuttle. This will aid in Japan’s goal of creating 100 hydrogen fueling station in the nation’s four population centers over the next couple of years.
TNSC has stated, “TNSC has integrated the dispenser, pre-cooling device, compressor, and storage vessel — the four major devices that comprise hydrogen stations — into a single unit, thereby significantly reducing fabrication and installation costs. TNSC has also managed to lower the cost and reduce the size of the dispenser and pre-cooling device (able to cool hydrogen up to the temperature of -40ºC). The compressor uses an air-driven booster system while a Type IV CFRP vessel (the entire circumference of the plastic-lined vessel is wrapped in carbon fiber and possesses great strength) was chosen for the storage vessel (255 liters, 93MPa). By lowering the cost of each device, we were able to reduce the cost to half that of our previous model.
“The packaged-type hydrogen station is 7.0 meters long, 2.0 meters deep, and 2.6 meters high and has a maximum hydrogen supply capacity of 300Nm3 per hour. The hydrogen filling speed is five kilograms per three minutes, and three FCVs designed to run on 70MPa hydrogen gas can be filled consecutively. In addition, the hydrogen stations are of a common design and able to deal with all onsite, offsite, and mobile types as stipulated in the laws and regulations of Japan related to high-pressure gas safety. Additional cost reductions through standardization and mass-production are within sight. Further, airtight welding and sleeve nut-type joints were used to increase safety and, by adopting a maintenance-friendly design, we were able to substantially reduce the periodic voluntary inspection process.”
On August 30, 2012 I had talked about how Japan was aiming to build 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015. This was partly driven by the 2011 tsunami and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster plus a genuine drive for green innovation. The TNSC Hydro Shuttle takes Japan one step closer to achieving their goal of hydrogen independence.