Honda-The Power of Dreams
Honda Starts Experiments with Hydrogen Production and Fueling for Fuel Cell Vehicles at New Station in California (U.S.)

California, U.S.A., July 10, 2001 --- Honda R&D Co., Ltd. and U.S.-based Honda R&D Americas, Inc. have established a hydrogen production and fueling station for fuel cell vehicles, utilizing solar energy to extract hydrogen from water. Experiments will begin this month with Honda's FCX series fuel cell vehicles, which are already in use in local public road testing.

Located on the grounds of the Honda R&D Americas Los Angeles Center in Torrance, California, the new station - the first in Southern California - will conduct experiments into hydrogen production, storage, and fueling, as a part of ongoing research into renewable energy sources.

The new station produces hydrogen using both solar energy and ordinary electricity. It is composed of the following major processes and components:
solar cells that produce electricity from the sun's energy;
a control system for using solar-generated electricity with maximum efficiency;
an electrolytic system that uses electricity to extract hydrogen from water;
a compressor for pressurizing the extracted hydrogen;
and a tank for storing the pressurized hydrogen.

When the facility runs exclusively on solar energy, it can produce 7,600 liters of hydrogen per year. Using both solar energy and ordinary electricity, it can produce up to 36,500 liters per year.

Several new technologies were developed for the new station. An innovative pure-water recirculation system keeps water consumption in the electrolytic system to an absolute minimum. A power control system maximizes hydrogen production efficiency by regulating fluctuations caused by the intensity of the sun. These systems have been designed in a compact package. By increasing the efficiency of each system, Honda has succeeded in minimizing energy losses associated with hydrogen production from solar energy.

Honda has long held that the fuel cell will be the next-generation power plant needed to address problems such as developing alternative fuels, reducing exhaust gas emissions, and reducing the effects of global warming. Honda believes that pure hydrogen represents the best choice for powering fuel cell vehicles in the long-term. Thus, Honda is working toward making the hydrogen-powered society of the future a reality by studying the entire process of hydrogen production, storage, and supply, while researching technologies to reduce the level of CO2 that is emitted even in the hydrogen production process.

The operation of this solar-powered test station will help verify more efficient production methods for renewable energy, while at the same time providing insight into the challenges involved in developing hydrogen production and fueling stations for the future.

Features of the Hydrogen Production and Fueling Station

Location: Honda R&D Americas. Inc.
Los Angeles Center
Torrance, California
System composition: Solar
Power converter
Electrolytic system
High-pressure storage tank
Hydrogen production capacity: 36,500L* per year
  7,600L* per year
(solar and electric power)
(solar power)
Hydrogen storage capacity: 200L*
Hydrogen filling capacity: 20L* / min.
  *250 atmospheres

Hydrogen Production and Fueling Station

Hydrogen Production and Fueling Station

Hydrogen Production and Fueling Station --- Schematic

Hydrogen Production and Fueling Station --- Schematic