Two trial hydrogen filling stations were opened simultaneously at two locations in Aichi Prefecture, with the view of them being commercialised in 2015 – reports the July issue of The Gas Review.

The two locations encompassed the Toyota Eco Full Town Hydrogen Station in Toyota City undertaken by Iwatani and Toho Has as well as the Kaminokura Hydrogen Station started by JX Nippon Oil and Energy in Nagoya City. Both of these were recipients of government support, and were constructed as aspects of the operation being promoted jointly by NEDO (the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation) and HySUT (the Research Association of Hydrogen Supply/Utilisation Technology). These stations, along with the Ebina hydrogen station, are the forerunners of the 100-station infrastructure to be in place by 2015. These are test models demonstrating what the commercial stations should even look like.

The three stations all have the complete specifications for fully achieving the fillings of a 70MPa fuel cell vehicle with 5kg of hydrogen in three minutes. They were each constructed as facilities having their own different features for going into commercial use.

As for the main features, the previous Ebina station is an off-site type, which in contrast to this the two currently opened stations are both the on-site types. Toyota Eco Full Town employs a direct filling type whereby hydrogen is created with city gas as the fuel and the FCV is filled with hydrogen directly using a large volume compressor with a capacity of 2,000 Nm3 an hour. This is a package facility complete with a large volume ionic compressor and a pre-cool facility and is produced by the German firm – Linde.

The Kaminokura facility creates hydrogen using LP gas as the fuel, and with a five stage reciprocal compressor (100 Nm3 an hour) increases the pressure to 82MPa and then fills a new type CFRP accumulator employing new standards. It fills the FCV with hydrogen by means of the difference in pressure.

The Toyota Eco Full Town Project is testing the filling not just of passenger care with hydrogen, but also of fuel cell buses which require large amounts of hydrogen. Foreseeing the activity of FC buses as part of the municipal transportation facility, plans call for the testing of technology for fuel filling in 10 minutes with 70MPa.

At Kaminokura, anticipating a revision of the fire prevention laws, filling facilities are being installed at self-service gasoline stations in various municipalities. This is the first station where hydrogen filling equipment and gasoline filling equipment are installed together without boundaries between them.