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Hydrogen Refueling Stations Open in Japan
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by Lara Neer, Program Manager, National Hydrogen Association

During the month of February the first hydrogen refueling stations opened in Japan. They are located in Osaka and Takamatsu and are part of a WE-NET project that includes collaboration with major auto manufacturers and natural gas suppliers.

The opening ceremonies in Osaka and Takamatsu showcased fuel cell vehicles from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Daihatsu and Toho Gas. Both ceremonies received national media coverage and were broadcast on local television stations.

Attendees inspect the Toyota FCHV-4 at the Osaka refueling station opening ceremony.
The stations produce hydrogen from natural gas reformation and proton exchange membrane electrolysis. The stations will serve to establish technical guidelines for design and manufacture, operation, and safety of refueling at future hydrogen stations. Both refueling stations have a hydrogen production capacity of 30 Nm3/h, about one tenth the scale of a commercial station. The stations are equipped with low and high pressure dispensers to accommodate vehicles with onboard metal hydride storage or onboard compressed gas cylinders. The stations also have cooling apparatus that allow for a rapid fill of 10 minutes.

Daihatsu FuelCellVehicle being refueled at the opening ceremony in Takamatsu.
NHA is pleased to report that the Engineering Advancement Association of Japan and Honda, both NHA members, played a major role in the development of this hydrogen demonstration project. NHA President Jeff Serfass said, “The refueling stations being dedicated are important steps in the development of hydrogen fuel markets because they utilize two representative approaches to hydrogen energy production at the local refueling level: natural gas reforming and PEM electrolysis. On the road to commercialization of hydrogen technologies, hydrogen storage and cost issues remain barriers that must be overcome, barriers that these projects will help overcome.”

The NHA congratulates all organizations involved in these early market experiences, from the auto manufacturers, utilities and engineering and construction companies, to government and academia, for the success of these first Asian hydrogen refueling stations.

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