The first public hydrogen fueling station has opened in Netherlands, on the 5th of December. The project belongs to Avia petrol company and the affiliated station will be unveiled in Arnhem.
The gas station also has a small-scale factory for converting the gas into hydrogen, which is stored in compressed form. The hydrogen fuel is fed through a special hose, just like ordinary LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and then converted in energy by means of fuel cell technology in the cars.
Some of the key advantages spring from the use of hydrogen: the energy provided increases proportionally to the one obtained from diesel or gasoline, doesn’t emit tailpipe pollution and has the potential to run a fuel-cell engine with greater efficiency than an internal combustion engine.
The hydrogen facility has limited capacity, for now. The clients are only local vehicles converted to hydrogen through automotive projects developed by students at the Hogeschool Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN) in collaboration with the industry sector.
One main obstacle that the students had come against was the space needed for the hydrogen tank and fuel cell wiring. “Only the tank for a hydrogen car is already twice as big as a normal tank, so you can imagine that the hydrogen system as a total occupies more space,” stated Bram Veenhuizen, lecturer at the high-school, for the Trouw newspaper.
Currently, in some converted cars, the hydrogen powering system is installed at the expense of the trunk and/or the backseat space. A smaller tank would seem unreasonable due to the limited range that the car would have, sometimes a little more than 150 km.