Honda reusing vehicle fuel cells to build 500 kW stationary fuel cell system


From pv magazine global

Honda has unveiled a new stationary fuel cell power station at its corporate campus in Torrance, California. The demonstrator will provide backup power to the campus data center and will be powered by green hydrogen.

“The demonstration stationary fuel cell unit has a capacity of approximately 500 kW and reuses the fuel cell systems of previously leased Honda Clarity Fuel Cell vehicles, with a design that allows the output to increase every 250 kW packaged with four fuel cells,” Honda said in a statement. “It features the flexibility to change the layout of the fuel cell units to suit the installation environment and to accommodate cubic, L-shaped, Z-shaped, and other packaging configurations.”

The Japanese group said the Clarity Fuel Cell’s fuel cell stack is four times more impact-resistant than other fuel cells, as it supports the cells with a fastening bar. It is designed to prevent hydrogen leakage in collisions. The Clarity fuel cell features a fuel cell powertrain, a hydrogen/air supply system, an air compressor, a fuel cell voltage converter unit (FCVCU) and a drive motor.

“With the Clarity Fuel Cell, improved cell performance allows a 30% reduction of the number of cells, and improved cell structure allows a 20% size reduction of each cell,” said the company. “These improvements lead to a 33% smaller fuel cell stack.”

In early February, Honda revealed plans to launch an all-new fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) based on the CR-V 5-seater SUV next year. It said it will also sell its fuel cell systems on the open market to promote its hydrogen fuel cell systems, in cooperation with General Motors. This will allow it to reach economies of scale.

Honda said fuel cell stack costs should become comparable with diesel engines by 2030, at about one-third to half of current costs.

“We have identified four core domains we will focus on during the early phase of our hydrogen business: Honda FCEV models, commercial vehicles, stationary power stations and construction machinery,” said Arata Ichinose, head of business development at Honda.

The company will also collaborate with original equipment manufacturers on commercial vehicles and construction machinery in Japan and China. 

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