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First solar-powered hydrogen refuelling station opens in UK

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 15:02
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The UK’s first solar-powered hydrogen refuelling station

Designed and commissioned by a consortium of leading businesses, the UK’s first commercial scale solar-powered hydrogen production and refuelling facility is located at the Honda UK Manufacturing site on the outskirts of Swindon.

In a UK first, this enhanced facility will produce commercial volumes of hydrogen produced from solar power, by electrolysis, making it truly green. In addition, the station will employ BOC’s filling technology to serve a range of vehicles and uses including the world’s first hybrid vans, the UK’s first hydrogen powered fork-lift trucks and even a hydrogen-powered Education Centre on-site.

The new facility has been integrated into Honda’s existing hydrogen refuelling station and it is hoped that this facility will be a benchmark for other refuelling stations. It will also be used to reinforce the UK’s attractiveness as a location for major car manufacturers to roll out fuel cell vehicles and encourage the growth of a national refuelling infrastructure.

The Consortium, which comprises BOC, Honda, Commercial Group, Swindon Borough Council, Fuel Cell Systems, Briggs Equipment and Revolve, worked together to design and commission the facility, securing funding from Innovate UK to highlight the UK’s leadership in environmental technologies using hydrogen.

Jason Smith, Director at Honda of UK Manufacturing, said: “Through this project we, as a consortium, have made great advances in proving the commercial viability of truly ‘green’ hydrogen for a wide range of applications. We feel extremely privileged to be a part of this consortium and to host the facility on our site.”

Nathan Palmer, BOC Director of Bulk and Packaged Gases, commented: “This investment is proof of BOC’s long-term strategy, as a Member of the Linde Group, to deliver economically viable and sustainable technology solutions for our customers and society. We are extremely proud to be part of this ground-breaking programme and I would like to thank our partners in the consortium and the Technology Strategy Board (Innovate UK) for their assistance in making this happen.”

Honda and BOC are both members of the HyFive project which aims to create clusters of refuelling station networks in three parts of Europe. The BOC facility in Swindon is an inclusive part of this network.

The unveiling comes off the back of the UK government outlining its £11m funding for a UK hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure.

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