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Powertech’s H2 fueling station increases number of fills

British Columbia—based Powertech Labs’ hydrogen fueling station, located onsite at the company’s headquarters, has increased the number of vehicles that it services. The station, the only 70 MPa fast-fill hydrogen fueling station in Canada, currently meets the fueling needs for Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai fuel cell electric vehicles, with a total of 9 vehicles using the station.

Since 1 February 2015, the station has dispensed more than 900 kilograms of hydrogen, and has seen more than 500 vehicle fills. Since July 30, as more cars were brought online, usage has more than doubled. Over the past 10 months, the station has had only three days of downtime.

Powertech’s station is self-serve with PIN access, and is open Monday to Friday. The station provides electrolyzer-produced hydrogen, and is capable of 70 MPa and 35 MPa dispensing.


Since 2001, Powertech has designed and constructed 12 turnkey, compressed hydrogen fueling stations across North America, including one current public retail location and three upcoming public stations in California. Powertech has partnered with a number of companies who were awarded California Energy Commission (CEC) grants by providing the hydrogen fueling station equipment.

The stations are designed to fuel 70 MPa fuel cell vehicles in accordance with industry standards as well as next-generation and custom fueling protocols. Powertech was also the first company in North America to get ETL National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 2 certification for its hydrogen station system.

The hydrogen station designs are supported by engineers from Powertech’s high-pressure testing facilities, used to test fuel systems, high-pressure components, and fueling protocols for hydrogen systems. The technical experience gained from testing hydrogen vehicle fuel systems is applied to the design of the hydrogen fueling stations to ensure that Powertech stays on the cutting edge of technology.

For continuous improvement, Powertech has access to feedback from three sources: the Testing group, the Fabrication group, and through the operation of its own station. This feedback is utilized to adjust and modify station designs for improved service and reliability.

The stations are designed, fabricated, and tested at Powertech’s facility. With the exception of the station at the company headquarters in Surrey, BC, Powertech’s Hydrogen Station business is focused on the sale of turnkey systems.

Powertech pioneered the design of turnkey, containerized hydrogen fueling station packages. Other firsts include the world’s first 700 bar fast fill station, first hydrogen station capable of fueling four fuel cell vehicles simultaneously, and first retail-style dispenser.

Powertech Labs Inc. is one of the largest testing and research laboratories in North America. Outside of the utilities industry, Powertech provides routine testing capabilities, product development, research and consulting services to support an array of industrial-type operations, electrical equipment manufacturers and automotive original equipment manufacturers.



The down time associated with these small H2 stations could be reduced to zero with twin and/or triple unit stations.

Adding more units would not only eliminate down time but would provide H2 fueling to many more FCVEs simultaneously and/or daily etc.

Operating those small H2 stations with clean Hydro-Wind-Solar (or NPPs) electricity would certainly reduce GHG and air pollution.

I would be interested to know the cost of producing hydrogen - compressed, dispensed, from these stations assuming $0.12 per kWh electricity.


It would be interesting to use a fuel cell as a range extender on a PHEV rather than an ICE.


I want to know how a kilo of hydrogen cost at that station, is it clear now.


Using special industrial Hydro low rate of $CAN 0.028/kWh or under $0.02 USD/kWh and generous subsidies for initial H2 station cost; producing one Kilo of H2 could below $4 USD.

Off peak hours, clean surplus (unused) electricity could sold for less than $0.01/USD/kWh or simply given away.

Yep, using free electricity to generate hydrogen would make it quite a bit cheaper.

If you have an aluminum smelter located right next to a hydroelectric dam, you might be able to buy electricity for wholesale rates. But a lonely little hydrogen station standing on the corner of suburbia is going to have to pay commercial rates, which include transmission, distribution, taxes, etc.

Coming back to reality now, I'd still like to know how much hydrogen from these stations will really cost, at commercially available rates, which are an average of about US $0.12. I'll give them a call tomorrow and find out. That way we won't be under any illusions about the cost of running one of these stations.



There are no reasons why our H2 stations would not get the same very low 24/7 rates as local aluminum industries.

Off peak rates could be much lower if our local Provincial Government (the real Hydro 100% owner) is serious about the promotion of electrified vehicles.

Secondly, our high profit (almost $4B/year) Hydro/Wind energy producer/distributor could build/operate the H2 station network to use excess/surplus clean e-energy to produce and store H2 as required.

Surplus H2 and large FCs (instead of NGPPs) could be used to produce clean e-energy for peak periods and to cover for low Wind production periods on an as required basis.

I'm in complete agreement that large scale H2 for stationary storage could be viable, because two of the technical challenges of light transportation don't apply.

A distributed system of hydrogen filling stations are going to have to face market realities on scale. The transmission and distribution costs don't go away, they can only be paid from the consumers other pocket.


It would be easy to channel/route a local 12,500/25,000 VAC line to every main/large H2 station.

H2 production could be adjusted/matched to the grid energy surplus periods or outside peak consumption periods, to ensure lowest rates.

H2 stations equipped with large FCs could use some of the stored H2 to produce higher value e-energy for the grid during extreme demand periods.

It would operate best if Hydro installs the power lines, H2 stations, H2 storage/distribution units, as an extension of Hydro's clean energy business.

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