Vehicle Refuelling Hydrogen Stations

Better get used to seeing and hearing a few new buzz words as the green technology movement increases its popularity among mainstream consumer products.  VRAs (vehicle refuelling appliances) will replace service centre in the vocabulary of the next generation. Making reference to a gas station will relegate you to the senior citizen age group just as quickly as saying, ‘record player, answering machine and typewriter’.Many partnerships around the world have arisen from the need to explore and develop hydrogen power.  Hydrogen can be used to generate energy for everything from vehicles to professional buildings.  For most purposes, the hydrogen stream can come from a single conveniently located appliance.  The VRA can refuel the vehicle directly or the hydrogen stream can be stored and dispensed at a later time.Hydrogen Refuelling OptionsOther choices for refuelling include overnight filling.  This type of VRA utilizes times when the vehicle is not in use (usually at night) to refuel. A hose can be connected to the vehicle; it refills automatically and shuts down when the tank is full.  Faster filling, such as the type you would want at the roadside, uses compressed air inside a tank to release stored hydrogen. It takes about 2-3 minutes, sticking to the same comfort zone as gasoline occupies now. Another option is a combination system in which compressed air is used to dispense the stored hydrogen from a primary source on the spot.  This is the sort of VRA that would be appropriate for large public transportation fleets or school buses. A fourth option fulfills the need for residential or business use; the larger compressed air tank is kept outside, while the actual VRA is located indoors and controlled via a panel.Some automotive manufacturers have developed fuel cell powered vehicles (FCVs) that use hydrogen produced by solar-powered electrolysis.  This type of VRA stores compressed hydrogen in composite tanks.  When vehicles need to be re-fuelled, it is dispensed into the vehicle via a cascade system.Many municipalities, such as Dallas Texas, are beginning to allocate funds and incorporate budding green technology into the existing infrastructure.  Supporting hydrogen products and research will expedite the time we need to become less reliant on fossil fuels.  If necessity is the mother of invention, it is definitely time to stop using energy sources that will end up destroying the health of our planet.

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