Honda R&D Installs Hydrogen Refueling Station

New station on Honda R&D Americas' Torrance, California campus built in anticipation of Honda's next-generation fuel cell electric vehicle, due in 2015.

New station on Honda R&D Americas’ Torrance, California campus built in anticipation of Honda’s next-generation fuel cell electric vehicle, due in 2015.

Preparing for the 2015 introduction of the next Honda fuel cell-electric vehicle (FCEV), Honda R&D Americas has installed a new hydrogen refueling station on its Torrance, California campus.

This advanced station will serve as a platform for demonstrating and validating the enhanced hydrogen fueling protocol developed by Honda, named the MC Fill.

With the aim of standardizing this new protocol, Honda will make the new research station available to other automakers to further validate the MC Fill protocol’s performance and functionality.

The MC Fill fast-fill protocol is designed for fuel systems that store hydrogen at a pressure of 700 bar (70MPa or 10,000 psi). This new fueling protocol reduces 700-bar fueling times by up to 45 percent versus comparable fueling protocols, and can complete most fills in less than three minutes under normal temperature conditions, says the company.

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The MC Fill more precisely monitors the dispenser outlet temperature and uses this information to calculate the shortest fueling time possible. This dynamic, fast-fill control not only provides FCEV customers with shorter fueling times, but it also allows the dispenser to continuously adjust to current temperature and other conditions which normally affect the refueling time.

Derived from two key values in a heat transfer equation—”M” for mass and “C” for specific heat—the MC Fill name refers to the heat capacity of the hydrogen storage system and represents the capability of the system to absorb the heat that is generated during fueling.

The MC Fill protocol utilizes this value, as well as the dispenser outlet gas temperature and pressure, in its fill control logic.

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