NHA NEWS

Developing a Blueprint for a Hydrogen Refueling Infrastructure


by Robert L. Mauro, Executive Vice President, National Hydrogen Association
A workshop on developing a blueprint for a hydrogen-refueling infrastructure was held in Sacramento, California, U.S.A., by the U.S. Department of Energy, California Air Resources Board, and California Energy Commission. The impetus for the meeting was the development early in 1998 of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CFCP). The CFCP plans to put fuel cell-powered vehicles on the road: up to 50 cars and 10 buses that are hydrogen- or methanol-fueled. The consortium is composed of automakers, energy companies, state agencies, and others. The workshop was convened to address this question: “What has to be done, starting today, to implement a hydrogen fuel infrastructure so that when hydrogen vehicles become market-ready in three to five years, the fuel infrastructure required for on-board direct use of hydrogen will be available?”

There were more than 50 industry, national lab, and governmental representatives attending the workshop, and they were asked to classify barriers to implementing a hydrogen fuel infrastructure, establish R&D needs and priorities, and identify stakeholder roles. After an overview, the attendees broke into three groups that focused on those areas.

The parameters set at the workshop focused on the number of vehicles that a hydrogen infrastructure would have to support by 2003-2005. The basic assumptions were that, of the 3,400 CNG buses currently in operation, five percent of these would be hydrogen-fueled by 2003 and, by 2005, the total number of hydrogen buses would be in the hundreds.

Number of Expected Hydrogen Vehicles
Number of H2 Fuel Cell Vehicles Year
  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Transit Buses 3 7 20 30 40 50
Light-Duty Vehicles 5 10 50 100 500 1,000

The significant outcomes of the meeting included plans to:

  1. Develop a roadmap for commercial hydrogen refueling infrastructure;
  2. Initiate a process facilitated by government for industry to grow that infrastructure;
  3. Develop standard refueling station designs;
  4. Test and certify 5,000 psi hydrogen storage for light duty vehicles; and
  5. Establish a national entity to prepare, validate, and promulgate uniform codes and standards for vehicles and buses.

The table below presents the timetable for the hydrogen community for providing the hydrogen infrastructure.

The next steps in this process will include the formation of a core group, which will begin developing detailed work plans for each of the tasks in the Action Plan. This Blueprint and Action Plan are posted on the DOE hydrogen website at www.eren.doe.gov/hydrogen.


Suggested Timetable for Providing the Hydrogen Infrastructure

Task Year
200020012002200320042005
Standardized
Dispensing
Station
Design
Establish
requirements,
draft and
validate design
Adopt and
promulgate
design
Install
dispensing
stations
OEMs build
standard
dispensing
equipment
Build
dispensing
stations
as needed
Build
dispensing
stations
as needed
Test and
Certify
Hydrogen
Containers
Adopt test
requirements,
conduct testing,
certify to DOT
standards
Validate
containers
systems on
vehicles
Conduct
fleet testing
for O/M
requirements
OEMs build
containers
to
certified
standards
  
Integrated
Codes and
Standards
Prepare
overall C/S
strategy
Submit
draft code
to ICC
ICC
publishes
code
Effective
date of
code
Prepare
revision if
needed
Submit
revisions
to ICC
Safety
RD&D for
Public Use
of H2
Prepare,
initiate
RD&D plan
Conduct
RD&D,
training
Conduct
RD&D,
training
Publish
safety and
training
guidelines
Validate
public
refueling
safety
Limited
public
refueling
Roadmap Core group
prepares and
adopts
Roadmap
Implement
Roadmap
Implement
Roadmap
Install
infra-
structure
Validate
fleet
vehicle
refueling

Revise
Roadmap
for
long-term

©2000. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of the National Hydrogen Association.
This material may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

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