Small-scale fuel cells on horizon

A small home hydrogen refuelling and storage station developed by a Singapore company could make fuel-cell vehicles a viable option for more drivers.

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies claims the refuelling device will lead to a lower cost, scalable and user-friendly hydrogen-supply model that eliminates the dependence on large-scale fuelling infrastructure investments.

The device, dubbed HYDROFILL, will be presented at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The desktop device has been designed to plug into an AC socket, solar panel or small wind turbine, and automatically extract hydrogen from its water tank and store it in a solid form in small refillable cartridges.

Horizon said that the cartridges contain metallic alloys that absorb hydrogen into their crystalline structure and release it back at low pressures, easing concerns about storing hydrogen at high pressure.

The company claims this storage method creates the highest volumetric energy density of any form of hydrogen storage, even higher than liquid hydrogen.

It stated that unlike conventional batteries, its cartridges carry more energy capacity, are cheaper and do not contain any environmentally harmful heavy metals.