|Layout of the refueling station|
US Representative Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called a press conference to highlight the progress being made in a $2-million research project for Vermont, $1 million of that funded by the DOE, to build a renewable hydrogen fueling station (earlier post) and to convert a Prius to a hydrogen-burning hybrid for testing up to 350 bar onboard hydrogen storage and to validate the station.
The conversion of the Prius to an H2ICE hybrid is similar to a project being undertaken in Southern California by the Air Quality Management District. (Earlier post.)
The Vermont project, initiated in 2004 and due for completion in December 2006, is run by EVermont with Proton Energy Systems and Northern Power Systems building the fueling system and Quantum converting the Prius. It is designed to demonstrate:
Reduced cost of hydrogen production from a domestic renewable energy source (wind) and validation of a distributed hydrogen production pathway;
Improved electrolyzer efficiency;
Improved on-board hydrogen storage system, advanced systems integration and controls.
|The assembled fueling station under test prior to permanent installation|
The fueling station includes an Proton HOGEN H Series electrolyzer (12kg/day, 40 kW at peak production capacity) with a combination of electrochemical and mechanical compression for on-site storage at 6,000 psi in high-pressure cylinders.
The hydrogen production and fueling station is located adjacent to a 65kW AOC wind turbine. The electrical output of the wind turbine and the electrical demands of the fueling station will be monitored and correlated via the fueling station control system. Both systems will be connected through the utility grid, and part of the testing and data collection will include analysis of the optimal operation of the fueling station in relation to the output of the wind turbine and the other electrical demands at the adjacent facilities.
The car is already undergoing conversion to run on hydrogen fuel. The fueling station is already assembled and is currently being tested at Proton’s headquarters. The site, at the Burlington Public Works facility, is already permitted and the construction is 90% complete. Barring any glitches, the equipment should be up and running and the car should be driving the roads of Vermont by the spring!
And we cannot overstate the significance of the problem or our need to break away from gasoline-fueled cars. Cars are America's biggest reason for oil dependence and they represent the single biggest piece of our global warming problem. They not only spew out a huge share of the nation's global warming gases, but they also emit other harmful pollution that makes air unsafe to breathe. If we are serious about breaking our dependency on fossil fuels; if we serious about addressing global warming; if we are serious about cutting back on the pollution harming communities all over the country, we have got to move away from gasoline-fueled cars and this project can be of real help in that direction.—Rep. Bernie Sanders