By Larry Dignan
Posting in Design
Honda has started operation of a next generation solar hydrogen station prototype. This home fueling system is designed to refuel fuel cell electric vehicles.
Honda said Tuesday that it has started operation of a next generation solar hydrogen station prototype. This home fueling system is designed to refuel fuel cell electric vehicles.
Honda said it simplified the previous hydrogen station, which required and electrolyzer and compressor to create high pressure hydrogen. The latest version ditches the compressor completely. By eliminating the compressor, Honda's solar hydrogen station is 25 percent more efficient than the old one.
Among other key details:
- Honda's solar hydrogen station is compatible with smart grids;
- Users could refill the vehicle without storing hydrogen;
- The station could export power to the grid when not in use;
- The station is powered by a 48-panel 6.0KW solar array;
- The home system is designed to complement so-called "fast fill" hydrogen stations, which fuel up in 5 minutes.
Honda is betting on hydrogen cars and fueling is the biggest hangup. With a combination of overnight home systems and fast fill public stations a network of hydrogen fueling areas could be created. What are your thoughts on hydrogen vehicles. Can the infrastructure be put in place and would you buy a home fueling system?
- What is holding back hydrogen energy?
- Mercedes-Benz debuts hydrogen-electric, zero-emissions fuel cell car
- GM clings to hydrogen, 2015 set for launch
- A hydrogen car is not a hydrogen economy
Jan 26, 2010
There are currently 5KW, grid-tied, solar systems available. The prices keep dropping and there are government tax rebates that make it even less right now. That part shouldn't keep us from pursuing the goal. A system where we can produce our own fuel with little or no cost and have the ability to purchase it when we're away from home sounds like a great deal to me. I could even see a co-op type system where individuals trade hydrogen fuel so we remove the big oil and energy producer companies from the equation much of the time. To make this happen in a real way, it would need to be open-source, and I don't see anyone willing to give up that much money to make it happen ... yet.
Do we still want to support the oil companies, countries and the few people who make money from the oil industry? Or do we want to invest in something that will not hider us from driving or heating our home because of the cost of gasoline or home fuel? We still have to buy cars and fuel. With hydrogen we don't have to worry if the country we are getting the oil from is having a war or is peaceful at the time. I believe, as Americans, it is time to step up and get involved and state we want to use the hydrogen car and the it's fueling system. This will get us away from the flutuation of oil prices, wars, price fixing on oil because of the time of year, and the farmers can go back to growing food instead of crops for e-fuel.
6KW of raw solar panels costs $30K alone, without the structure, hydrogen creation parts, etc. Now add the price of the car.
Personally i think the decision to scrap the ability to compress and store hydrogen ludicrous. Where i live a commute may be 200km each way, if i had to rely on overnight fills only i would not be able to use this vehicle. Onboard storage of compressed hydrogen is the answer.
A 48 panel, 6kw solar system alone is ridiculously expensive, add to that the costs of other associated hardware required plus the car and in Australia the total cost would have to be around $100,000 minimum. At current exchange rates that equates to approx. $80-90,000 US. Still think it's worth it?
Hydrogen may ultimately the way to go BUT there has to be a way of efficiently producing the gas. Currently production is energy intensive. Electricity utilized from batteries is much more efficient to the wheels than that coming from a hydrogen setup.
@Keeping Current, perpetual motion machines are impossible. But anyway... I'm confused. "8-hour overnight fill" - does this mean it takes 8 hours to pump hydrogen into the car? Or do you, as I suspect, mean it takes 8 hours to generate enough hydrogen to power you to work and back? If the latter, it's not "overnight", is it? Solar cells don't work so well in the dark.
I currently spend about $1200 a year on gas for my Prius. I would be willing to spend a premium for a zero-carbon-emission vehicle, but not a ridiculous amount. Starman35's $40,000 limit is probably about right. And just so we're clear about one thing, the carbon emissions are NOT the whole story. There's also the fact that burning gas produces other emissions - cleaner than it used to be but not totally clean - as well as all of the energy cost that goes into oil production, refining and transportation (big diesel trucks aren't exactly clean burning).
All of these solutions are designed to perpetuate the supply and demand model to keep the oil companies in business. Instead of pumping gas they pump hydrogen. There has to be a way to efficiently extract hydrogen directly from water while in the vehicle. He may have been a fraud or he may have been able to do it but he urban legends surrounding Stan Meyer makes me wonder. Did he do it or was it conspiracy to suppress the technology. Either way, the right direction for this research is to make it efficient. Not to perpetuate big business and forced dependency.
I would like to get one when my current 2008 Accord is 10 yrs old, i.e. in 2018, provided it is affordable. If the thing (plus the car) is > ~$40K, it will probably be too costly. Gasoline is still the most energy-rich fuel available, and it is much cheaper than hydrogen, unless the Honda device is a lot more efficient than most hydrolysis devices. The fuel cell car would still need > 200 km (120 mi.) range to be useful for most people, though.