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blog large image - FUELLING THE FUTURE AT THE TOYOTA HYDROGEN CENTRE

FUELLING THE FUTURE AT THE TOYOTA HYDROGEN CENTRE

Toyota's Altona hydrogen production facility at the Centre of Excellence uses a water-based electrolysis process to produce hydrogen gas.

An 87kW solar array supports the requirement for the electricity needed to operate the 200kW electrolyser which splits water into its oxygen and hydrogen components, making up to 80kg of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser can be operated at a variable capacity from 30 to 100 per cent to make the most of the available solar-generated electricity, enabling it to be fully carbon neutral.

During the electrolysis process, oxygen is dispersed into the atmosphere and the hydrogen is captured and stored in a 45kg (18,000-litre) tank at low pressure of 3 megapascals (MPa).

The hydrogen is then compressed and stored in medium and high pressure tubes at 50MPa and 90MPa with maximum capacities of 75kg and 56kg respectively.

Hydrogen is then fed into the refuelling station that can dispense at medium pressure (35MPa) for machinery like Toyota's fuel-cell forklifts and high pressure (70MPa) for vehicles like the all-new Toyota Mirai FCEV.

Hydrogen produced on site is also used to power a 30kW fuel cell power generator that supplies back up power for the Toyota Hydrogen Centre and feeds into the mains grid.

Toyota started development of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in Japan in 1992 and has continued to be one of the companies driving its development forward.

The technology was originally invented in the 1830s by William Grove in the UK and since then has been used in multiple applications, including the space program.

Hydrogen is the most common element on earth and can be produced from water, natural gas, biomass and waste products. It has a high energy density (nearly three times that of petrol by mass), can be stored in liquid or gas form in large quantities for a long period of time, is non-toxic and non-poisonous and emits no greenhouse gases or pollutants at the point of use.