Honda Sets Up Hydrogen Station, PV System at Its Headquarters Building

2016/05/13 17:20
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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The "Packaged Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS)" installed at Honda's headquarters building in Minami-Aoyama (source: Honda)

Honda Motor Co Ltd announced May 11, 2016, that it has installed the "Packaged Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS)" using the "Power Creator" high-pressure water electrolysis system and a 20kW solar power generation system at its headquarters building in Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, and started to operate them.

Hydrogen is produced by electrolyzing water with solar electricity and supplied to Honda's "FCX Clarity" fuel-cell vehicles (FCV) as a fuel. Because no fossil fuel is used for hydrogen production, it is a CO2-free mobility system.

The SHS can produce up to 1.5kg of hydrogen with a pressure of 40MPa (400 atm) per day without using a compressor and store about 19kg of hydrogen. On fine days, it is possible to generate enough electricity to produce such an amount of hydrogen with the solar panels (20kW) installed for the system.

The FCX Clarity can travel about 150km (approx 93.2 miles) with 1.5kg of hydrogen. Because the vehicle can store about 6kg of hydrogen, the system can fully charge three units of the FCV when fully charged. The amount of hydrogen that the system produces in about four days is equivalent to the amount necessary to fully charge one unit of the FCV.

Honda started to sell the FCX Clarity in 2007. The vehicle stores hydrogen with a pressure of 35MPa in its high-pressure hydrogen tank. The SHS was developed for the FCX Clarity, and, therefore, its charging pressure is up to 40MPa. On the other hand, the "Clarity Fuel Cell" FCV, which the company released in March 2016, is equipped with a 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank.

The SHS installed at the headquarters in Minami-Aoyama will be used for supplying hydrogen to FCX Clarity FCVs owned by Honda for the time being. It can be used for charging the Clarity Fuel Cell FCV, which the company plans to introduce, but cannot fully charge it.

This is the second time that Honda has set up the SHS at its facility, following its headquarters building in Wako City, Saitama Prefecture. The system has already started operations for municipalities in Miyagi, Saitama and Tokushima prefectures and is being prepared for operation in Kumamoto Prefecture and Kobe City.

The SHS installed at the headquarters in Minami-Aoyama is not expected to be used for the general public and will be used only for charging Honda's FCVs for some time. However, in terms of specifications, it can also charge Toyota Motor Corp's "Mirai" FCV.