Solar-Powered Hydrogen Fueling Stations
Proton Energy Systems, the global leader in on-site hydrogen generation, and SunHydro, an upcoming chain of hydrogen fueling stations, celebrated the grand opening of its first station at 10 Technology Drive in Wallingford, Connecticut, the companies’ headquarters, on October 15th. Proton Energy Systems and SunHydro are sister companies and the station will run under the SunHydro banner. The solar-powered station in Connecticut marks the start of the East Coast Hydrogen Highway SunHydro is creating to make it possible to travel from Maine to Florida on sun and water.
SunHydro is the vision of successful entrepreneur Tom Sullivan, founder of Lumber Liquidators, who is expanding his business focus from hardwood floors to hydrogen fuel.
“This new SunHydro station is a step away from fossil fuels, and as a nation that’s a path we need to continue to explore,” said Sullivan, owner of SunHydro and Proton Energy Systems. “We believe one of the answers is hydrogen energy and we as a country should continue to evolve a variety of alternative energy options.”
The Department of Energy’s Gil Sperling, senior advisor for policy and programs in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, attended the event.
“This project shows SunHydro’s firm commitment to the advancement of the East Coast’s Hydrogen Highway, energy conservation, the environment, and the green collar job market. They are truly innovators and leaders in the green economy and I applaud them for their efforts,” said Gil Sperling of the Department of Energy on behalf of the Obama Administration.
United States Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro also addressed the audience and called the station’s grand opening an important step toward more goals.
“Investing in new clean and renewable energy technologies is vital for our security and our economy, for our nation’s future and for our children’s future. We have to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and stop sending money overseas. We must reinvest in our own clean energy sector to stay competitive in the 21st century economy. And we have to reduce our carbon emissions and find ways to stop the dangerous cycle of global warming,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “Today, with the opening of this Wallingford fueling station, we take an important step closer to all of these goals, and will help to create the jobs of the future here in Connecticut.”
The SunHydro hydrogen fueling station will be simple, with limited public access to start and full public access in the future. It will offer businesses and government vehicles a quick and easy option to fill up their fuel cell vehicles, and will provide the infrastructure to support broader availability of fuel cell vehicles, which is expected in 2015.
Taking The Technology To The Streets
This past August, SunHydro announced an agreement with Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. to place ten Toyota Advanced Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles in the Connecticut area this fall. The vehicles will support the new SunHydro fueling station, as part of a nationwide fuel cell demonstration program that will place more than 100 vehicles over the next three years. The ten fuel cell vehicles will be kept in Connecticut and will be used by SunHydro/Proton Energy Systems staff, in addition to other community members.
Generating Fuel On-Site Using Sun And Water
The SunHydro fueling station is powered by a new million-dollar system constructed by Proton Energy Systems, which privately funded the hydrogen fueling equipment and station installation. The fueling station generates hydrogen on-site using Proton Energy Systems’ enhanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology that derives hydrogen from water.
“Proton’s progressive and innovative technology that creates energy from sun and water really supports Tom’s overall vision,” said Rob Friedland, president and chief executive officer of Proton Energy Systems. “This station’s accessibility and availability to everyday community members via the fuel cell demonstration cars is a big component of the overall education and engagement process for the consumer.”
The hydrogen fuel developed will power cells that generate electrical power without pollution. Fuel cells enable an electrochemical reaction between the hydrogen and oxygen, which ultimately converts chemical energy to electrical energy. The only emission from this process in fuel cell vehicles is water vapor.
SunHydro is the world’s first chain of privately funded fueling stations that provides hydrogen to fuel cell cars. SunHydro’s hydrogen is produced right on-site using solar and water, which means zero emissions. The company is developing and building a network of hydrogen fuel stations all along the east coast with larger plans for national expansion.
Proton Energy Systems designs and manufactures proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrochemical systems to make hydrogen from water in a zero pollution process producing safe, pure, reliable onsite hydrogen to meet today’s global hydrogen requirements. Proton Energy Systems has been developing and manufacturing world- class electrolysis systems since 1996, with thousands of units deployed world-wide, on every continent. With a reputation for building robust, reliable, and safe systems, federal, state, and commercial partners repeatedly seek the creative solutions that Proton Energy Systems has proven it is capable of delivering.
Proton Energy Systems is also the creator and steward of the Proton Energy Scholarship, a program recognizing and awarding high school seniors who demonstrate outstanding achievement, excellence, and promise in the field of science or technology.