Public access to hydrogen refueling
ITM Power has inaugurated its first publicly accessible hydrogen refueling station at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, just off Junction 33 of the M1 motorway in South Yorkshire.
The M1 motorway was highlighted as a key route for the early UK deployment of hydrogen refueling, in the UK H2Mobility Phase 1 report in early 2013.
Support from automakers is crucial
The M1 wind hydrogen station is funded by Innovate UK, and crucially has the support of Hyundai, Toyota and Honda. The automakers showcased the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, Toyota Mirai, and Honda FCX Clarity at the official opening of the station, alongside a UK-made Microcab H2EV micro car.
The Mirai will be launched in the UK in mid-October, while Hyundai FCEVs are already in service with several companies, including ITM Power.
Local backup power
The site comprises a 225 kW wind turbine coupled directly to an ITM HGas PEM electrolyser, 220 kg of hydrogen storage, a hydrogen dispensing unit supplied by H2 Logic, and a 30 kW fuel cell system capable of providing backup power generation for nearby buildings.
Future upgrade to 700 bar
The station, which has been supported by Innovate UK, currently offers hydrogen gas at 350 bar, which was a specification of the Island Hydrogen project (formerly known as EcoIsland). The station will be upgraded in early 2016 to provide hydrogen at 700 bar as a result of funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
This will provide FCEVs with a longer range of 350–400 miles (560–640 km), and extend their reach to hydrogen refueling stations elsewhere in the UK, including London.
Siting partnership with Shell
ITM Power has also signed a strategic siting partnership with Shell, for the delivery of hydrogen stations on three Shell retail forecourts in the UK. These will be the first hydrogen refueling stations in the UK to be integrated onto regular fueling forecourts.
ITM announced in March that OLEV has awarded it £1.89 million (US$3 million) to invest in two new stations in London, which will incorporate onsite hydrogen generation using ITM’s HGas electrolyser platform.
Additional financial support of £1.7 million ($2.6 million) is being contributed by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), to provide support for initial operation of these stations. Following the agreement with Shell, at least one of these will be built under the OLEV scheme.