Need for Hydrogen Filling Infrastructure

The world is continuing to look for and develop future vehicle technologies that can enable the expansion of personal mobility and freight transport with near-zero emissions. The aim is to improve the air quality besides seeking protection against increased climate change impacts and shifting to local renewable fuel sources. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles have emerged as a great option to replace gasoline and diesel fuels. As the market for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles expands, the need for having a comprehensive hydrogen filling infrastructure is also gaining momentum.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Companies


The fuel cell powertrains convert hydrogen to electric power to propel the vehicle and offer greater efficiency than conventional vehicles.

These vehicles are:

 

  • Capable of long trips and a short refilling time

  • Expected to be less expensive than conventional vehicles over the long run.


Different types of hydrogen delivery systems are in use currently and include liquid hydrogen delivery, on-site electrolysis of hydrogen from grid electricity and solar power and on-site natural gas reforming.

Barriers Facing Hydrogen Fuel Companies


The adoption of hydrogen fuel cells, an attractive zero-emission option, is constrained by the limited availability of hydrogen filling stations. The main area of concern is the high cost of producing and delivering hydrogen fuel to service stations because of the current low volumes. 

The essentials for the growth of the fuel cell market include:

  • Decline in the production costs of this technology

  • Increased acceptance and consumer understanding of this technology


Hydrogen Filling Stations: Technologies Used


Hydrogen companies are using different options to produce, distribute, store, and dispense hydrogen for use in fuel cell vehicles. The extent of emissions from each process depends on the source of energy used to produce hydrogen. 

Hydrogen can be produced from different energy sources with the most common being:

  •  Production from natural gas or methane via steam reforming

  •  From electricity via electrolysis


Hydrogen can be produced on-site or at a centralized facility with the latter offering efficiencies of scale while involving costs related to transportation. All production processes include energy to compress, pump, store and deliver hydrogen besides resulting in emissions. Studies have found that the liquefaction of hydrogen is useful in storing and transporting hydrogen but can reduce its lifecycle climate benefits if the energy used for liquefaction is not from renewable sources. We at GenH2 have developed unique and environment-friendly solutions for the on-site production of hydrogen besides its zero-loss storage and dispensing.  Our specialized solutions are aimed at promoting the use of hydrogen in fuel cell vehicles.

Need for More Hydrogen Filling Stations


A major factor constraining the use of hydrogen for transport is the lack of infrastructure or hydrogen filling stations. Storing gaseous hydrogen is more economical than liquid since liquefaction requires a great amount of electrical energy. But liquid hydrogen is much denser than gas so filling stations relying on liquid hydrogen can store more fuel and reduce the frequency of the delivery. Filling stations can also use cryogenic storage which requires less costly equipment for high volume dispensing as the number of fuel cell vehicles increases. GenH2’s environment-friendly solutions have been developed by a team that has the experience of working with NASA, DOD and DOE.