Hydrogen Fueling Station: 10 Times Less Efficient

Posted by Max Dunn Sat, 12 Apr 2008 20:21:00 GMT

A new $3.2 million hydrogen fueling station opened in Sacramento last week that has 80kW of solar PV panels are used to produce the hydrogen, so it won’t use any outside energy. Let’s take a look at how efficient this is:

  • 80 kW * 5hrs = 400 kWh per day
  • 400 kWh / 65 kWh per kG (Stuart Energy) = ~6 kG per day (AT 5000 PSI)
  • 6 kG * 45 miles per kG = 270 miles per day
  • 100,000 miles per year
  • 400 KWH * 3 miles per kWh (RAV4 EV) = 1200 EV miles per day
  • 438,000 miles per year

Considering the solar array probably cost probably cost around $10/watt, or $800,000 out of $3,200,000, the hydrogen “refueling station” cost approximately $2,400,000.

If that money had been used to build $2,400,000 of solar installation plus $800,000 of EV chargers – about 240 kW of solar and 160 EV charger stations – enough for well over a million miles per year (80 cars worth) instead of just a hundred thousand hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle miles (8 cars worth). So the hydrogen fueling station is only 10% as efficient as building solar recharging stations for battery electric vehicles.

(From RAV4-EV Digest, Vol 58, Issue 12, comment by William Korthof of EESolar)

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  1. TheSUBWAY.com said 4 days later:

    It’s good to hear BP & GM talk about alternative fuels, but 50 years to implement is too long.


    Perhaps this link will spark more attention:


    It is GM’s electric concept car the Chevy Volt. If more people begin to demand alternative fuel cars, we should be able to speed the rate at which the technology is developed.

    We have started an Investor Forum where Investors can meet and discuss topics like this:


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