Home Hydrogen Refueling Partnership

While a genuine hydrogen economy is probably many years away, a new partnership aims to get it one step closer by focusing on home refueling units for hydrogen powered vehicles.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – June 20, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Shell Hydrogen signed a development, marketing and sales agency agreement with Belgium-based Vandenborre Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stuart Energy Systems Corporation. The agreement gives Shell Hydrogen access to Vandenborre’s electrolyser-based hydrogen home refueling products. A home hydrogen refueling unit consists of a small-scale electrolyser powered by grid electricity that converts water from the domestic supply into a slow stream of hydrogen. The only local emission is oxygen. The technology offers the prospect of drivers parking in their front drives or parking spaces at the end of the day and connecting their vehicles to home refueling units for a steady refill overnight. Under the agreement, Shell Hydrogen obtains non-exclusive rights to act as agent for Vandenborre’s home refuelling technology. Shell Hydrogen will conduct market analysis of the potential of home hydrogen refuelling, while Vandenborre Technologies will develop and manufacture home refueling units. The companies expect to introduce a first prototype for field testing within a year, in a European market. Shell Hydrogen is exploring the potential of home hydrogen refueling as part of its activities to develop a global hydrogen refueling infrastructure. These efforts also include work on solutions to technical problems such as hydrogen storage and participation in demonstration projects of hydrogen refueling stations. In April Shell Hydrogen opened the first Shell-branded hydrogen refueling station, in Reykjavik, Iceland. “Ultimately customers will decide how they want to receive hydrogen,” said Jeremy Bentham, CEO of Shell Hydrogen. “For widespread acceptance we believe refueling infrastructure will probably have to resemble existing infrastructure. But we can foresee that new and innovative solutions, such as home refueling, may be deployed and some may prove successful with consumers. In remote locations or regions with limited hydrogen demand, for example, home refueling may be an elegant solution.”

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