|The more compact HES III|
Honda has officially introduced its third generation of a home combined heating, power and hydrogen system, the Home Energy Station III, in the US in conjunction with its partner Plug Power.
Honda had previewed the HES III system at the Tokyo Motor show in October, along with the introduction of its new FCX fuel cell prototype. (Earlier post.)
Located for testing at the company’s North American headquarters in Torrance, California, HES III is 30% more compact and delivers 25% more electrical power than previous Home Energy Station models. (Earlier post.)
Like its predecessors, HES III uses natural gas as its feedstock, and is designed to work in a home-based refueling environment. It is able to supply a sufficient amount of hydrogen to power a fuel cell vehicle for daily operation while providing 5 kW of electricity for a household.
Hydrogen storage and production capacity are both improved by about 50% percent with the use of a new, higher-performance, natural gas reformer.
The initial version of the HES, shown in October 2003, produced hydrogen at a maximum rate of 2 normal cubic meters per hour (2Nm3/hour) with a purity of 99.99% or higher. The system had a storage capacity of 400 liters @ 420 atmospheres (425.6 bar or 6,172 psi).
The new output rate, approximately 3 normal cubic meters per hour, is about 40% of the rate produced by Plug Power’s larger industrial GenSite 2 Hydrogen fuel reformer.
The Home Energy Station III is also able to function as a backup power generation system during power outages by using the hydrogen in the storage tank to power the internal fuel cell, providing as much as 5 kilowatts of electrical power to the home in normal and emergency conditions.