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Forward Thinking From Honda

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On: Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 5:24PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Forward Thinking From Honda

Honda has taken steps forward in the fuel cell world by unveiling the next generation in the hydrogen refill station. Utilizing solar power and designed as a single, integrated unit to fit in the home garage, the station produces enough hydrogen in an eight-hour overnight fill to power a fuel cell electric vehicle for its typical daily commute. The unit was designed to complement a public network of fast-fill hydrogen stations by refilling overnight, letting owners take advantage of less expensive off-peak electrical power and remove the requirement of hydrogen storage. In other words the unit will use solar during the day and run off the power grid at night. . . Bravo!

Well-done, Honda! I commend you for not sticking a battery in a sedan and calling it a “Hybrid”. I now forgive you for producing the Insight. If the manufacturers out there had any regard for the future or forward thinking capabilities then they would be rushing head first into hydrogen from solar. It is refreshing that an auto manufacturer is putting forward thinking over green marketing. And the pièce de resistance: manufacturing this station so that it essentially could be used by those faithful to other brands.

The previous solar/hydrogen station system required both an electrolyzer and a separate compressor unit to create high-pressure hydrogen. The compressor was the largest and most expensive component, and reduced the system’s efficiency. Honda’s engineers were able to eliminate the compressor entirely, a world’s first for a home use system

Now I love the idea of solar powering the station, but as good as this is, it doesn’t show how much space 48 solar panels takes up. It would take up most of the space on the average roof. It wouldn’t be an option for people with small houses or apartments. It’s not the ultimate solution, but a damn good start. Honda already has a prototype (HES Home Energy Station) that works on natural gas.

Now while Honda is single handedly moving us forward in viable alternative fuel technologies, I wonder if Toyota has anything up their sleeves, other than a way to stop all their cars from running off and killing you and anyone in your way? Yes, they have: the iconic Prius; but what is next from them besides an all-electric car by the year 2012? By the way ,Toyota, you should have checked the Maya calendar before making that announcement since the earth is ending in 2012. . . bad timing

How about Nissan? What have you done for us lately? The Leaf is another all electric car that will not live up to realistic driving needs. That’s OK; just keep focusing on burnishing your performance image. Not that I’m complaining, but the company's apparent focus on these segments has me wondering about how they view their long-term energy responsibilities and goals.

I won't even go into the American manufacturers. . . I am depressed enough.

Honda also makes the FCX Clarity. The FCX Clarity is one of the few hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles built and sold to the public by a major carmaker. Has anyone seen any ads for the Clarity? Being on the east coast, I doubt that I will, but please drop us a line and let us know…

Read Hondas Statement;
“A key strategy in creating a solar/hydrogen station for home use was to create a new lifestyle with convenient, clean, energy-efficient and sustainable home refueling, by addressing the need for refueling infrastructure that can advance the wider use of fuel cell electric vehicles by consumers.

“The combination of a fuel cell electric vehicle and the solar/hydrogen station could help lead to the establishment of a hydrogen society based on renewable energy, resulting in a major reduction of CO2 emissions and greater energy sustainability.”

Fuel cell technology proves its worth every day, logging millions of miles in buses and trams around the world; well done, Honda….

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RoadKill | 12:00PM (Fri, Jan 29, 2010)

the fuel cell technology is being used all over the world with great success but for some reason we just cant get on board here in the US.

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