Horizon Fuel cell Technologies says the HYDROFILL™ desktop hydrogen fueling device will enable a lower-cost, scalable, and consumer-centric hydrogen supply model which eliminates dependence on large-scale investments in a hydrogen fueling infrastructure. It should also make possible many new fuel cell products, and unlock the age-old dilemma over whether clean cars or clean fuels will come first.
‘We no longer need to rely on nationwide networks of hydrogen fueling stations to enable large-scale fuel cell commercialization,’ comments Taras Wankewycz, one of the founders of Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies. ‘Horizon is initiating a transition that places consumers in the driving seat. Thanks to our innovation, each household can gradually become a major part of tomorrow’s hydrogen fuel supply infrastructure.’
The Horizon HYDROFILL personal hydrogen station will be unveiled at the CES 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which runs January 7–10. The small desktop device simply plugs into the AC mains, a solar panel or a small wind turbine, automatically extracts hydrogen from water in a tank, and stores it in a solid form in small refillable HYDROSTIK™ cartridges.
The Horizon HYDROSTIK cartridges contain metallic alloys that absorb hydrogen into their crystalline structure, and release it at low pressure – removing concerns about storing hydrogen at high pressure.
This storage method also creates the highest volumetric energy density of any form of hydrogen storage. These cartridges have a higher energy capacity than batteries, are cheaper, and do not contain any environmentally harmful heavy metals.
Horizon believes the HYDROFILL is the first step towards private refueling of next-generation fuel cell electric vehicles. Fuel cell technology can greatly improve the features and usability of many battery or engine-powered devices, and create the possibility for lower-cost electric cars that drive longer distances and recharge almost instantly.
The next phase for Horizon is starting with the market introduction of a complete line of fuel cell powered portable consumer electronic devices that address much larger markets. The first of these products include the MiniPak® micro fuel cell power supply, which extends the off-grid runtimes of small electronic devices including cell phones, lighting products, and USB-powered devices.
Horizon will also present at CES 2010 an upgraded version of its larger portable fuel cell off-grid DC power supply system, HydroPak®. While these and other products will start entering the market in 2010, Horizon is already developing larger fueling systems that will enable anything from garden equipment to transportation applications.