Hydrogen infrastructure is the system that produces, compresses, stores, delivers, and dispenses hydrogen for an end-use transportation application. The ultimate challenge for introducing hydrogen in the transportation sector is to reduce the cost of hydrogen dispensed at the nozzle. In order to displace fossil fuels hydrogen must be economically competitive with other transportation fueling options. Light-duty vehicles such as cars have largely been designed to use high pressure (700 bar) onboard hydrogen storage systems while heavy-duty vehicles such as buses, use lower pressure (350 bar) storage systems. HNEI has been working on several major projects that address these infrastructure challenges. Our dual pressure hydrogen fueling station at Marine Corps Base Hawaii is demonstrating a state-of-the-art, dual pressure 350/700 bar fueling dispenser to fuel General Motors Equinox fuel cell electric vehicles. Our Hawaii Volcanoes National Park project demonstrates the use of 350 bar hydrogen dispensing for fuel cell electric buses. Hydrogen delivery from a central hydrogen production plant utilizing hydrogen transport trailers (HHT) is another area HNEI is investigating using our fleet of four HHTs. HNEI is also looking at novel ways of utilizing electrolyzers as variable loads to help regulate grid frequency. This has the potential for the grid to add bigger amounts of intermittent renewables such as solar and wind on the grid while at the same time offsetting hydrogen cost by providing an ancillary service for grid regulation that has a monetary value. This monetary value can be applied to offset the cost of the hydrogen. Our project based at the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority (NELHA) is testing the viability, durability, and performance of an electrolyzer to potentially regulate grid frequency and produce transportation hydrogen. In non-technical areas, HNEI is supporting state policy makers by developing implementation plans, and making recommendations for new policy to support the introduction of hydrogen infrastructure. Please follow the following links to learn more about our projects.
Research is being performed to develop new materials and new device structures for the photoelectrochemical production of hydrogen .