There’s been a lot of talk recently about the U.S. military getting a “green” makeover. Now, Proton OnSite, a manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells and fueling systems, is delivering a hydrogen generator to the iconic Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam outside Honolulu.
Proton OnSite’s FuelGen C30 proton exchange membrane electrolyzer will be used to power a variety of hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen internal combustion engine cars on the base, as well as U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored buses and other flight line support vehicles. It will be powered by a combination of solar and grid power.
The project is being made possible by a collaboration between the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies and the Air Force Research Laboratory. This is the second project Proton OnSite has installed in Hawaii. Earlier this year, the firm won a contract to build its biggest ever generator on an Army base, in Oahu. The electrolyzer at Pearl Harbor-Hickam will support the Hawaii Advanced Vehicle Working Group, which includes participation from all three U.S. Department of Defense branches operating in Hawaii – Army, Navy and Air Force and Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative, a partnership between Hawaii and the DOE, dedicated to reducing the island state’s fossil fuel dependence.
Proton OnSite estimates that an identical electrolyzer platform installed at the SunHydro commercial fueling station in Wallingford, Conn., which opened in October 2010, has dispensed more than 1,100 kilograms of hydrogen, the fuel equivalent to around 1,100 gallons of gasoline, and completed 365 fills since its launch. This year, OnSite has delivered three other FuelGens for vehicle fueling in the United States, in Flint, Mich., Emeryville, Calif. and Tracy, Calif.