Home hydrogen production – brought to you by Honda

The world waits for a solar powered car that isn’t a science experiment. Due to the size of the solar panels required to provide enough energy to propel a car, we could be waiting a long time for solar production cars every to make it onto our roads.

In fact, it’s more likely that we see hydrogen fuelled production cars more quickly than solar powered. And we already have, with the launch of the FCX Clarity by Honda in 2008. However, that doesn’t mean that car manufacturers aren’t trying to harness the power of the sun in other ways.

Honda has long been in the vanguard of greener transport technology and its work on a prototype for a home solar hydrogen station using Honda original parts and components shows the company’s commitment to solar solutions.

The solar hydrogen station would be a way for people to be able to refuel their fuel cell electric vehicles at home using clean energy. It is on the back of the development and production of Honda’s only fuel cell electric vehicle – the FCX Clarity – that this work is taking place. It takes the idea of providing total self-efficiency for a vehicle owner when Honda parts of the future would include a home hydrogen production and filling station.

Honda’s solar hydrogen station would take eight hours to produce 0.5kg of hydrogen for a fuel cell vehicle. This would provide enough range for up to 10,000 miles a year – enough to cover daily commuting. The idea is that the unit would work during the night, so the car was ready to go each morning.

This is not Honda’s first attempt at a home solar hydrogen station. A previous version was much bulkier as it needed a compressor unit to produce high pressure hydrogen. The new version no longer needs the compressor unit, and is a far more suitable size for home use.

We don’t know when the solar home hydrogen station will make it from the lab to people’s homes, but when it does it will be a big step forward for solar and hydrogen technology.