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Honda's home garage gadget: Here's your solar hydrogen fueling station

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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.

Here's the way it works: The single unit fits in a garage and produces enough hydrogen in an 8-hour overnight fill for a daily commute in a fuel cell vehicle.

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?

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Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure