November 23, 2005 Further advancing its vision of a gasoline- and emissions-free transportation future, Honda R&D and technology partner Plug Power has unveiled the Home Energy Station III, which provides heat and electricity for the home as well as fuel for a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle. This third generation unit is more compact and efficient than previous Home Energy Station models and follows Honda’s strategy to develop intermediate as well as longer-term alternatives to traditional energy sources like gasoline. Using natural gas as its base energy source, the Home Energy Station III is designed to work in a home-based refueling environment and is able to supply a sufficient amount of hydrogen to power a fuel cell vehicle, such as the Honda FCX, for daily operation while providing electricity for an average-sized household.
A goal of this energy station is to provide high overall energy efficiency and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the more effective use of natural gas.
Home Energy Station III is roughly 30 percent smaller than its predecessor (Home Energy Station II) with an approximate 25-percent increase in electrical power output. Overall performance increases with more energy-efficient operation, increased hydrogen storage and production capacities, and a faster start-up time of about one minute.
Additionally, hydrogen storage and production capacity are both improved by about 50 percent with the use of a new, high-performance, natural gas reformer. The Home Energy Station III is also able to function as a backup power generation system during power outages by using the hydrogen in the storage tank to power the internal fuel cell, providing as much as 5 kilowatts of electrical power to the home in normal and emergency conditions.
"The third generation of Honda's Home Energy Station continues to push the limits with its innovative technology," said Ben Knight, vice president of Honda R&D Americas. "The combination of home energy generation and home refueling offers an attractive alternative to gasoline and takes us one step closer to a truly viable hydrogen-based transportation system."
The Home Energy Station III will be tested in conjunction with the Honda FCX fuel cell vehicle, at Honda R&D Americas Torrance, California, headquarters.