Hydrogen Program

HYDROGEN PROGRAM

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Fuel cell hybrid
vehicle program

Hydrogen
fueling stations

Hydrogen
generation research

Education
and outreach


UC Irvine Hydrogen Station


UC Irvine Hydrogen Station

Overview

Working closely with Toyota and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., the NFCRC installed the first publicly accessible hydrogen fueling station in California.  The configuration and utilization of the “UC Irvine Hydrogen Fueling Station” has evolved over time, from the initial “First Generation” to a “Fourth Generation” system, as the need for hydrogen fueling in the area has increased.

First Generation Hydrogen Fueling Station  

The First Generation fueling system, the Air Products "SFC-2," was built with funding from Toyota, and commissioned in January 2003. Key features included

  • Trucked in gaseous hydrogen supply via a "jumbo" tube trailer, which could hold up to 280 kg of hydrogen fuel

  • Two fill per day design capacity

  • Pneumatically driven hydrogen compressor

photo of first generation fueling station
First Generation hydrogen fueling station

Lessons learned:

  • Positive: Fueling procedure is simple and easily learned

  • Negative: Hydrogen compressor reliability is a challenge

The NFCRC SFC-2 provided 76 successful hydrogen fills before it was replaced with the Second Generation system.

Second Generation Hydrogen Fueling Station

The Second Generation fueling system, the Air Products "Series 100," was funded by Toyota and commissioned in November 2003. Key features included:

  • Aesthetically pleasing "commercial" packaging

  • Trucked in gaseous hydrogen supply via a smaller tube trailer with up to 110 kg hydrogen storage capacity

  • Two to three fill per day design capacity

  • Pneumatically driven hydrogen compressor

photo of second generation hydrogen fueling station
Second Generation hydrogen fueling station

Lessons learned:

  • Positive: Packaging important in conveying viability of technology

  • Negative: Hydrogen compressor reliability is a challenge

The NFCRC Series 100 had provided hundreds of successful hydrogen fills by the time it was retired in June 2006.  The system was removed to make room for the Third Generation Hydrogen Fueling Station at UC Irvine.


Third Generation Hydrogen Fueling Station

The Third Generation fueling system, with the Air Products “Series 200” at its core, was built during the third quarter of 2006.  Funding was provided by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, U.S. Department of Energy, Toyota, Honda and BMW.  Key features included:

  • Trucked in liquid hydrogen supply

  • 25 kg/day design capacity (equivalent to 25 gal/day of gasoline, sufficient to refuel 8 fuel cell vehicles) with room to expand to 50 kg/day

  • 350 bar and 700 bar fueling capability

  • Standalone fueling island for more traditional fueling experience

UCIrvine Hydrogen Fueling Station
The Third Generation system was brought on line in the third quarter of 2006.

 

H2 refueling station @ UC Irvine. Media Event
UC Irvine Hydrogen Refueling Station media opening

Lessons learned:

  • Positive: Compressor reliability greatly improved over previous designs.  The station came to be highly regarded for its reliability.

  • Negative: Much more robust cooling block is necessary for 700 bar fueling to achieve multiple consecutive fills  with no wait time between fills

The NFCRC Series 200 had provided approximately 18,000 successful fills by the time it was retired July 2015, in preparation for the Fourth Generation commercial-ready fueling station.

Fourth Generation Hydrogen Fueling Station
The Fourth Generation fueling station was constructed during the summer of 2015.  Funding from the station was provided by the California Energy Commission. The station features the Air Products “S700” compressor at its core, and is the first generation station to be fully equipped to service the emerging commercial hydrogen vehicle market.  Key features include:

    • Fuel supplied via a 250 kg gaseous hydrogen tube trailer delivered to the site, then swapped out once depleted

    • Capability of accepting 500 kg tube trailers

    • 100 kg/day design capacity (equivalent to 100 gal/day of gasoline, sufficient to refuel 32 fuel cell vehicles per day) with the ability to dispense as much as 180 kg in a day as needed

    • Robust cooling system to accommodate multiple back-to-back fills with virtually no recovery time required

    • Dispenser configured to meet J2601 protocol for public hydrogen refueling

    • State of California Department of Measurement Standards (DMS) dispenser certification, allowing for retailing of hydrogen

    • Dispenser equipped with point-of-sale key pad and credit/debit card reader to facilitate commercial sale of hydrogen

    • Dispenser H70 nozzle equipped with infrared wireless communication capability to facilitate faster fills

    • Station is connected to the Station Operational Status System (SOSS) communication system, providing real-time station status to users via a smart phone app

    UC Irvine Hydrogen Station
    Fourth Generation Station 2015 – first generation designed to
    support the emerging commercial hydrogen vehicle market.

     

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