HyGen believes the hydrogen infrastructure is mostly in place. With electricity and water universally available, the missing piece is on-site equipment to extract hydrogen from water using electricity.
Major automobile manufacturers have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles ready for mass production with expected volume sales to begin in 2015. Vehicles need fuel like people need food. It’s a commodity that will always be required and will always be in demand. Supplying that fuel is a profitable business with predictable, very long-term revenues. Long-term revenues attract capital and capital expenditure is all that is required for the hydrogen infrastructure. No need for new pipelines, just the installation of profit-generating equipment. If the business model works in low volume, it will work even better as equipment costs reduce with mass production.
As developer of several Southern California renewable hydrogen fueling stations, including the world’s first in Los Angeles, HyGen has the necessary experience to oversee the planned rollout of hydrogen stations to meet California and the nation’s goals for an alternate solution to fossil fuels.
The above diagram outlines the HyGen process. Renewable energy is purchased from the utility company and is used to split water to obtain pure hydrogen which is held in a buffer tank. Oxygen is the by-product of this process and is currently released to the atmosphere in the majority of on-site hydrogen stations.
The next stage is to compress the hydrogen from x bar to x bar and pump the gas to storage vessels for delivery to the fuel pump. FCEVs are designed to accept 350 or 700 bar with the greater pressure adding to the cost per kg. 700 bar gives greater range at additional cost, leaving the choice to the consumer. HyGen uses a booster pump to achieve the 700 bar. Fueling time is 3 to 5 minutes.
HyGen believes the hydrogen infrastructure is mostly in place and the market will provide the missing piece.