Honda Develops Fast Filling Hydrogen Refueling Station
As part of the preparation for the 2015 introduction of Honda’s new fuel cell-electric vehicle (FCEV), Honda Research and Development has installed a state-of-the-art hydrogen refueling station on its Torrance, California campus. The new refueling 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.
MC Fill will have a vital role in validating the new infrastructure as well as making sure the practice of filling the new car is safe and easy. MC Fill is able to complete most fills in less than three minutes under normal temperature conditions. 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.
“In order to meet customer expectations, hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles need driving ranges and fueling times comparable to conventional gasoline vehicles,” said Steve Mathison, Senior Engineer at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “This new fueling protocol will allow FCEV customers everywhere to realize short fueling times over a wide range of temperatures.”
In November 2013, the new Honda FCEV Concept debuted at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, pointing the way to an all-new Honda fuel cell car launching in the U.S. and Japan in 2015. Honda’s next-generation fuel cell-electric vehicle will feature a fuel cell powertrain packaged completely in the engine room of the vehicle, allowing for a more efficient cabin space as well as flexibility in the potential application of Fuel Cell technology to multiple vehicle types in the future. The next-generation Honda FCEV is anticipated to have a driving range of more than 300 miles.