Honda Develops Home Hydrogen Car Refueler Prototype

For those who’ve been following alternative and renewable energy sources for a while, the hydrogen car may seem like one of those great ideas that’s still nowhere near reality–as opposed to, say, the electric car, which is expected to hit the nation’s roads in real numbers for the first time next year.

It’s not that hydrogen cars don’t exist. In fact, if you live in the right area, you can lease Honda’s limited-production FCX Clarity hydrogen sedan right now (or other models, by GM, Toyota and Mercedes). The real problem is refueling–a factor that has given electric vehicles the edge. After all, the option to plug in and refuel at home turns everyone’s house into a gas-station, so to speak; hydrogen fuel stations, by contrast, are few and far between.

Honda Hydrogen Station

image via Honda

Now it would appear that hydrogen fuel station technology has finally started to catch up with the development of hydrogen cars. The LA Times reports that Honda has developed a prototype of a residential hydrogen refueler at their Torrance, California, R & D facility (which we first mentioned in February). The system uses solar panels, in the form of a 6-kilowatt array of thin-film cells, to power a machine the size of a mini-refrigerator that sips in H2O and breaks it apart into hydrogen and oxygen gases. The hydrogen is then pumped directly into the car, which uses the gas to generate electricity for the car’s electric motor.

This is good news, as hydrogen-powered cars reportedly are likely to hit the market sometime in 2015.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

    • http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com hydrogen fuel

      Since Honda already has a handful of drivers testing the Clarity, I would also like to see Honda putting several of the home hydrogen refueling stations in these same drivers’ garages. That way both fuel cell vehicle and hydrogen fueling station can be tested concurrently.

      • Nino Marchetti

        That is logical. I wonder though how big of a garage you’ll have to have to fit that refueler into it?

    • Bryceboots

      Why dont we use this fuel now? Its safe and clean, and we have a universe full of hudrogen.