Cal State LA hydrogen station becomes first in state certified to sell to the public by the kilogram
The Cal State L.A. (CSULA) Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility has become the first hydrogen station in California to be certified to sell fuel to the public by the kilogram measure. Although the state currently has other other hydrogen stations “open to the public”, these stations have had to sell hydrogen by the tank, explained Michael Dray, the technical operations manager of the Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility at CSULA.
Selling by the tank required a flat price be paid, irrespective of the actual amount of hydrogen dispensed. The state Division of Measurement Standards barred even a mention of a sale price per unit, Dray said.
This is a milestone in the commercialization of hydrogen in preparation for the next generation of electric vehicles that will be powered by hydrogen. It’s equivalent to getting the first sticker from the state government to sell gasoline by the gallon.—Michael Dray
|Top: Cal State L.A. Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility. (Photo credit: Hasmik Simon)|
Bottom: The other side of the wall showing the hydrogen production and storage equipment. Source: Dr. David Blekhman. Click to enlarge.
Governor Jerry Brown’s office informed the university this month that the fueling facility had received the certification, known as California Type Approval. The state is leading the effort to develop such facilities and has allocated $200 million during the next decade to further the construction of a hydrogen-fueling network across California.
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) said the hydrogen station’s certification “demonstrates that close coordination between government and industry can enable a seamless and fair consumer experience for this critical technology.”
GO-Biz commends the entire team at Cal State L.A. for their work to advance the commercial success of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.—Tyson Eckerle, zero emission vehicle infrastructure project manager for GO-Biz
Opened last May, the fueling station at Cal State L.A. is the largest such facility on a university campus in the United States and produces hydrogen on site. The station is capable of using renewable sources such as solar and wind power for hydrogen production.
Half of the funding for the station was provided by the US Department of Energy (DOE). The CSULA hydrogen station has the capacity to produce 60 kg/day. The station utilizes a Hydrogenics electrolyzer, first- and second-stage compressors enabling 350- and 700-bar fueling, 60 kg of hydrogen storage, water purification and equipment cooling system. The station is grid-tied.
The CSULA team, led by Dr. David Blekhman, is in the middle of a follow-on DOE funded project that runs through September 2016, to test, collect data, and validate the hydrogen refueling architecture deployed at CSULA and its individual components in a real-world operating environment. The performance evaluations data will be provided to the Hydrogen Secure Data Center (HSDC) at NREL. Data is also being provided to state agencies such as the California Energy Commission and California Air Resources Board.
In the last six months, visitors from Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Germany and Scotland have come to Cal State L.A. to tour the facility.
Audi, Honda, Hyundai, General Motors, Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen have all fueled prototype hydrogen vehicles at the Cal State L.A. station. These vehicles hold approximately six kilograms of hydrogen and take about six minutes to fill. A kilogram typically allows a vehicle to travel about 50 miles.
David Blekhman, CSULA (2012) “Sustainable Hydrogen Fueling Station, California State University, Los Angeles” DOE 2012 AMR Project ID TV014
David Blekhman, CSULA (2014) “CSULA Hydrogen Refueling Facility Performance Evaluation and Optimization” DOE 2014 AMR Project ID TV024