Spring has been a busy period for hydrogen fueling stations, with five stations recently opening worldwide.

Hydrogen stations are springing up everywhere!

Sandra Curtin | FuelCells.org

Spring has been a busy period fo
Spring has been a busy period for hydrogen fueling stations, with five stations recently opening worldwide.
Hydrogen stations are springing up everywhere!
Sandra Curtin, www.fuelcells.org

In April 2007, the second hydrogen station in Nevada opened at the Las Vegas Valley Water District's main campus. The station generates hydrogen onsite, using solar-generated energy to drive the electrolysis generators. The station will be used to fuel several Water District vehicles that have been retrofitted to operate on hydrogen.

Also in April, Illinois' first hydrogen station opened at the Gas Technology Institute in Des Plaines. The station is publicly accessible by arrangement, with credit card access. The facility is capable of producing hydrogen from natural gas, ethanol, or electrolysis of water, and in the future, could produce hydrogen from the gasification of coal or biomass. The project was funded by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI).

Chevron and Southern California Edison (SCE) opened a hydrogen station at SCE's headquarters in Rosemead, California in May 2007. An alkaline electrolyzer is used to produce the hydrogen onsite. The station serves a small demonstration fleet of Kia and Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell vehicles operated by SCE meter readers. The Chevron Hydrogen energy station is one of up to six stations that Chevron plans to build and operate under a DOE contract.

A mobile Linde hydrogen station was also placed in service in May at Hamburg, Germany's airport. The station will fuel two fuel cell tractors and a people-carrier at the airport. Since the vehicles operate at different pressures (the tractor at 350 bar and the people-carrier at 200 bar), two separate hydrogen tapping systems are provided.

Finally, Norsk Hydro opened its first hydrogen station - the second hydrogen station in Denmark - in June near the Norsk Hydro Research Center in the city of Porsgrunn. The station will be part of a planned 360-mile Hydrogen Road located between Oslo and Stavanger. Nine Toyota Priuses, modified by Quantum Technologies to operate on hydrogen fuel, have been delivered to the site. Hydrogen for the station is being delivered via an undersea gas pipeline from a nearby petrochemicals plant, connecting the station directly to the source of by-product hydrogen production.

This is definitely a great start to the year, but there are still 13 additional hydrogen stations anticipated to debut before the end of 2007! Ten of the planned stations will be located in California, where the state is establishing a network of hydrogen fueling stations along the state's freeways and urban centers. The new stations will be located at:

  • Humboldt State University in Arcata. Schatz Energy Research Center and Chevron Technology Ventures are teaming to develop this hydrogen station, which will produce hydrogen on-site by electrolysis. The station will support a hydrogen-powered Toyota Prius for a two-year demonstration. Future plans include development of a hydrogen power park using renewable gas from a local landfill.
  • San Carlos. Scheduled to open in December, the San Carlos mobile hydrogen station will be located at publicly accessible, 24-hr CNG fueling station. Steam methane reformatting will be used to generate 10 kg of hydrogen/day from natural gas. The station will also feature a solar PV cell component.
  • San Diego. Hydrogen will be produced on-site by electrolysis, powered by a 600 kW solar photovoltaic array installed at a middle school. The station will have a storage capacity of 100 kg and will dispense up to 39 kg of hydrogen per day. Future plans are to generate hydrogen from yard trimmings and food waste. • California State University in Los Angeles. Hydrogen will be produce on-site using wind power. The facility will be able to fuel five cars per day.
  • UCLA in Westwood and Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton. Both stations will produce hydrogen on-site via steam methane reforming. The UCLA Station will support two demonstration DaimlerChrysler F-Cell vehicles and will have a fueling capability of 25 vehicles per day.
  • Menlo Park. San Mateo County and Distributed Energy Systems are teaming to deliver this station in 2007. The station will support California Fuel Cell Partnership vehicles and a possible fleet of city-operated hydrogen cars.
  • Westminster, Long Beach, and Los Angeles. Mobile hydrogen stations will be located in these three cities. The Westminster and Long Beach stations will each have a hydrogen storage capacity of 150 kg. The Los Angeles station will be operated by the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine and will be able to fuel up to 10 cars per day.

Also in the U.S., the University of Texas, Austin, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Gas Technology Institute will debut a hydrogen station in summer 2007 that will support operation of a fuel cell-hybrid bus.

Outside the U.S., several international hydrogen stations are presently under development. São Paulo, Brazil will soon begin operating a small fleet of fuel cell-powered buses that will be fueled at a hydrogen station provided by Hydrogenics Corp. Hydrogen will be produced on-site using an electrolyzer. In Munich, Germany, the first of three BMW Group/TOTAL hydrogen fueling stations will debut by the end of 2007 near the BMW Research and Innovation Center. The publicly-accessible station will feature Germany's first underground liquid hydrogen storage tank. The station will also offer both gas and diesel fuels.

At least 50 additional hydrogen stations are planned in the next few years in the U.S., Canada, China, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden. If you would like to stay up-to-date with hydrogen station openings, or view the listing of currently operable stations, be sure to check out Fuel Cell 2000's frequently-updated Worldwide Hydrogen Fueling Stations chart at: http://www.fuelcells.org/info/charts/h2fuelingstations.pdf

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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