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UK’s first public hydrogen refueling station opens at Honda facility in Swindon

The first open-access hydrogen vehicle refueling station in the UK has been officially opened at Honda’s car manufacturing facility in Swindon. The hydrogen fueling station was built and is operated by industrial gases giant BOC.

The new hydrogen station at Honda in Swindon is open to anyone developing or using hydrogen powered vehicles, both with hydrogen internal combustion engines or fuel cells. It can fill vehicles at either 350 or 700 bar (5000 or 10 000 psi), the two standard filling pressures adopted by the world’s major vehicle manufacturers.

The venture is a partnership between Honda, BOC – a member of The Linde Group – and economic development company Forward Swindon. The station aims to encourage the development of both hydrogen powered vehicles – such as the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell car – and the hydrogen refueling infrastructure to support them.

It also creates a strategic link half way along the M4 between London and Swansea. As a fully operational, commercial-scale hydrogen station using tested technology, it can be replicated across the UK – and so create the essential network necessary for the widespread uptake of hydrogen powered transport.

The innovations at the new BOC station include the ability to refuel vehicles back-to-back from a bank of hydrogen cylinders, i.e. vehicles can be fueled one after another without having to wait for more hydrogen to be generated.

The station looks just like a conventional filling station, and the time to fill a vehicle is comparable with conventional fuels. The Honda FCX Clarity, for example, takes less than five minutes. For the consumer, the experience should be very similar to refueling at a normal petrol station.

‘Hydrogen fuel cell technology is the ultimate transport solution: meeting environmental demands but also delivering the range and performance that customers expect,’ says Thomas Brachmann, Head of Electrical Powertrain R&D at Honda.

‘The cooperation on this project between vehicle manufacturers like Honda, infrastructure providers like BOC, and the public sector can be a blueprint for future development,’ continues Brachmann.

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Comments

Anumakonda said

26 September 2011
Interesting to know about the First hydrogen vehicle refueling station in the UK.

Hydrogen fuel does not occur naturally on Earth and thus is not an energy source, but is an energy carrier. Currently it is most frequently made from methane or other fossil fuels. However, it can be produced from a wide range of sources (such as wind, solar, or nuclear) that are intermittent, too diffuse or too cumbersome to directly propel vehicles. Integrated wind-to-hydrogen plants, using electrolysis of water, are exploring technologies to deliver costs low enough, and quantities great enough, to compete with traditional energy sources.
Many companies are working to develop technologies that might efficiently exploit the potential of hydrogen energy for mobile uses. The attraction of using hydrogen as an energy currency is that, if hydrogen is prepared without using fossil fuel inputs, vehicle propulsion would not contribute to carbon dioxide emissions. The drawbacks of hydrogen use are low energy content per unit volume, high tankage weights, very high storage vessel pressures, the storage, transportation and filling of gaseous or liquid hydrogen in vehicles, the large investment in infrastructure that would be required to fuel vehicles, and the inefficiency of production processes.

Here is the status of Hydrogen Fuelling Stations around the world:

“Hydrogen fueling stations are an essential component to the success of future hydrogen cars running upon the nation's hydrogen highways. With hydrogen fuel stations in place, one of the largest infrastructure challenges will be solved. But, this will not happen overnight. The hydrogen fueling stations of the future may be both standalone ports or a complementary part of current gasoline stations.

Currently, California has 23 active hydrogen fuel stations across the state, which are fueling 158 fleet vehicles. Fourteen more fuel stations are under construction. California's first hydrogen fuel station open to the public was christened on April 13, 2004 in Diamond Bar in the southern part of the state. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) hosts the Stuart Energy SES-f hydrogen fueling station, which has attracted international attention from the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Belize, Switzerland, Philippines, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, China, South Africa, Latvia, and the Republic of Georgia.
The Stuart Energy Station was also chosen by Toyota to provide hydrogen fueling infrastructure to its headquarters in Torrance, California.
Other hydrogen fueling stations across the world include those in Germany, Lisbon, Sweden, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, Italy, Belgium, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.”(Source: Hydrogen Fuel Cars Now).

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
E-mail: Anumakonda.jagadeesh@gmail.com

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