Renewable Hydrogen Infrastructure
Evolving in Vancouver
In Vancouver, B.C., the Hydrogen Highways
project is building an infrastructure to
recover hydrogen from nonfossil sources,
and use it to drive cars, trucks, buses and
even a carwash.
Hydrogen has been promoted as an efficient way to store and transport energy. It’s
especially interesting as a vehicle fuel,
because the exhaust consists of hot water
vapor. Renewable energy advocates object
that manufacturing hydrogen uses a lot of
energy. If the process generates CO2 or
methane, then hydrogen is no solution at all.
If the hydrogen can be made through electrolysis powered by wind, solar or hydro,
then it’s carbon-neutral.
Hydrogen Highways (hydrogenhigh
way.ca), a suite of projects of the trade group
Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Canada ( h2fcc.ca),
has five Ford sedans with hydrogen fuel
cells and electric motors, and four transport
buses, two shuttle buses and nine pickup
trucks with hydrogen-fueled piston engines.
A fuel cell is twice as efficient as an internal
combustion engine, because
it incurs no mechanical-fric-tion losses. A kilogram of
hydrogen contains about as
much energy as 4 liters (1
U.S. gallon) of gasoline.
According to Gary
Schubak, project manager,
Hydrogen Highways has set
up four fueling stations
around Vancouver, with a
fifth in Victoria. Another station will be installed at Whistler, where fuel
cell buses will constitute most of the transport system for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Right now, most of the hydrogen used
by the project is a byproduct of sodium chlorate (NaClO3) production. Sodium chlorate is
used to bleach paper in a pulp mill. It’s made
through electrolysis of hot salt water, so it’s
a perfect product for British Columbia, which
has plenty of logging and plenty of hydroelectric power. The salt comes in by sea from
evaporation ponds in Mexico, itself largely a
This 150-watt fuel cell generates electricity
and hot water to run a three-bay carwash.
Smart. Simple. Sustainable.
1610 Wynkoop Street #105 4571 Broadway Street
Denver, Colorado 80202 Boulder, Colorado 80304
303.447.0300 • www.namastesolar.com
✺ The Solar Pathfinder with its reflective properties
gives an excellent “instant solar blueprint” of the
prospective site. ✺ The Solar Pathfinder Assistant
software carries that shading
information into a concise,
solar site analysis report
in just seconds.
• No internet connection
necessary (stand-alone software)
• Automatically adjusts for magnetic
declination, latitude, etc.
• Allows for changes in azimuth,
tilt angle & mode
• Can show “before/after” results of taking
trees or obstructions out of site area
• Automatically does computations
www.solarpathfinder.com ✺ firstname.lastname@example.org