Hydrogen infrastructure

A hydrogen infrastructure is the infrastructure of hydrogen pipeline transport, points of hydrogen production and hydrogen stations (sometimes clustered as a hydrogen highway) for distribution as well as the sale of hydrogen fuel,[1] and thus a crucial pre-requisite before a successful commercialization of automotive fuel cell technology.[2]


Hydrogen highways

A hydrogen highway is a chain of hydrogen-equipped filling stations and other infrastructure along a road or highway which allow hydrogen vehicles to travel.

Hydrogen stations

Hydrogen stations which are not situated near a hydrogen pipeline get supply via hydrogen tanks, compressed hydrogen tube trailers, liquid hydrogen trailers, liquid hydrogen tank trucks or dedicated onsite production. Some firms as ITM Power are also providing solutions to make your own hydrogen (for use in the car) at home.[3] Government supported activities to expand an hydrogen fuel infrastructure are ongoing in the US state of California, in some member states of the European Union (most notably in Germany[2]) and in particular in Japan.

Hydrogen pipeline transport

Hydrogen pipeline transport is a transportation of hydrogen through a pipe as part of the hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen pipeline transport is used to connect the point of hydrogen production or delivery of hydrogen with the point of demand, pipeline transport costs are similar to CNG,[4] the technology is proven,[5] however most hydrogen is produced on the place of demand with every 50 to 100 miles (80 to 161 km) an industrial production facility.[6] As of 2004, there are 900 miles (1,448 km) of low pressure hydrogen pipelines in the US and 930 miles (1,497 km) in Europe.

Buffer for renewable energy

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory believes that US counties have the potential to produce more renewable hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles than the gasoline they consumed in 2002.[7]

As an energy buffer, hydrogen produced via water electrolysis and in combination with underground hydrogen storage or other large-scale storage technologies, could play an important role for the introduction of fluctuating renewable energy sources like wind or solar power.[2]

See also


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