ECD Ovonics Plans Solid Hydrogen Test Facility

Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) is considering plans to open a solid-state hydrogen testing facility in Akron, Ohio, that will test and certify metal hydride storage containers for use with portable fuel cell generators, on-board storage of hydrogen for internal combustion engine and fuel cell vehicles, and solid hydrogen dispensing stations that will handle the refilling of canisters and vehicles.

As applications for hydrogen fuel increase, the testing facility may be followed by hydrogen storage canister and vessel manufacturing operations. According to the company, the hydrogen storage canisters, which operate at low pressures and offer fast refilling capability, will hold almost twice the amount of hydrogen as a similar size vessel holding liquid hydrogen, and more than three times the amount of hydrogen holding high pressure gaseous hydrogen. “This cooperation and enthusiasm of the city to support the Ovonic solid hydrogen test facility has been outstanding, ” said Stanford R. Ovshinsky, president and CTO of ECD Ovonics. “We appreciate the speed with which this important testing project is moving through the various approval processes and the high interest in Ovonic technologies. Particularly exciting is that the activity may lead to Akron becoming the center of the emerging hydrogen economy.” The existing industrial site in Akron, and its proximity to the University of Akron, offers adequate electric power, an abundance of skilled workers and room for expansion. The laboratory is expected to employ up to 25 people in the first three years of operation. Future considerations include Akron’s ample water supply, originally sized to support the tire-making industry needs, which is potentially a source of hydrogen using ECD’s United Solar Ovonic photovoltaic products to generate electric energy for extraction of hydrogen.