Whereas most progressive car companies endeavor to eliminate the use of gasoline in vehicles, Honda continues its campaign to eliminate trips to refueling stations almost altogether with the announcement of a next generation solar hydrogen station prototype. Implemented at the Los Angeles Center of Honda R&D Americas, Inc., the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station is an all-in-one electrolyzer and compressor that provides 0.5kg of hydrogen (plenty for day-to-day trips such as work and assorted errands) over an 8-hour fill time, perfect for overnight use. Equally as impressive is the unit’s compact size: a single station is designed to fit snugly in a home garage while being as intuitive to operate as a gas pump at a station.
The Honda Solar Hydrogen Station is the evolution of Honda’s previous solar hydrogen station system, which required separate electrolyzer and compressor units. According to Honda’s announcement, the compressor was the most expensive element in the station’s composition. “By creating a new high differential pressure electrolyzer,” the announcement reads, “Honda engineers were able to eliminate the compressor entirely – a world’s first for a home use system.” The resulting station improves fuel efficiency by 25 percent, according to simulation-calculated values, and is also noteworthy for being the world’s most compact system.
In addition to installation in the garages of those who own fuel cell electric vehicles, the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station was also designed with the intention of being employed at fast fuel hydrogen stations. For an idea of the distance users will be able to eek out of such vehicles, the Honda FCX Clarity electric vehicle, which is fast fill capable, offers an estimated distance of 240 miles before refueling is required.