Honda has begun using the Home Energy Station (HES) IV at its Honda R&D Americas, Inc. facility in Torrance, California. This fourth-generation experimental unit is designed to provide fuel for a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle, as well as heat and electricity for a home.
|HES IV and FCX Clarity.|
The new system is more compact and efficient, with a lower operating cost than previous models. (Earlier post.) The announcement coincides with the world debut of the all-new FCX Clarity hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Honda’s Home Energy Station technology is designed to facilitate the broader adoption of zero-emissions fuel cell vehicles, like the FCX Clarity, by developing a home refueling solution that makes efficient use of a home’s existing natural gas supply for production of hydrogen, while providing heat and electricity to an average-size home.
Compared to the average US consumer’s home with grid-supplied electricity and a gasoline-powered car, a home using Home Energy Station IV to help produce heat and electricity and also to refuel an FCX Clarity can reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 30% and energy costs by an estimated 50%, according to Honda.
Working with technology partner, Plug Power, Inc., Honda began operation of a Home Energy Station in October, 2003. Home Energy Station IV represents the latest evolution of the technology with a 70% reduction in size compared to the first unit, making it even more suitable for household installation. By combining gas purification and power generation components, overall size reduction and efficiency gains are achieved, while enabling it to switch from hydrogen refining to power generation when needed.