Fuel Cell Scooters and Solar Hydrogen Refuelling Station Launched in Hawaii

16 Aug 2012

Hawaii-based Aloha Motor Company, a joint venture by H2 Technologies and Taiwan’s Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies (APFCT), has launched the world’s first commercial off-grid solar hydrogen refuelling station this week in Honolulu. It will be used to fuel APFCT’s new fuel cell scooter, which was also showcased at the 2012 Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo held in Hawaii from 13th to 15th August.

The hydrogen station uses solar power to drive the electrolysis of water, generating hydrogen. The 500 litre/hour electrolyser was supplied by Acta SpA, based in Italy, which is working closely with both APFCT and H2 Technologies to implement a convenient hydrogen refuelling system for the scooters.

Acta’s proprietary electrolyser technology significantly reduces the cost of small-scale hydrogen generation and can be powered directly from solar panels without energy loss from power conversion or hydrogen compression. Each scooter has two cartridges (see video) that store hydrogen at low pressure in metal-hydride form and can take the scooter 90 km (50 miles), with a 1.2 kW fuel cell that gives a top speed of 35 mph (~55 kph).

The fuel cell scooters are expected to be on Honolulu roads early in 2013, according to Honolulu Civil Beat. Guy Toyama, CEO of H2 Technologies, says that the initial plan is to begin offering the scooters as rentals for the tourist market to build an economy of scale that will drive down the price. Currently, the cost is about $3,500.

Reference: Acta Spa

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