Honda Automobiles / FCX Clarity
Honda and Plug Power Announce Experimental Operation of Second-Generation Home Energy Station (HES II)
Honda R&D Americas and Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) today announced that they have began successful operation of the second-generation Home Energy Station (HES II) located at Plug Power's corporate headquarters in Latham, New York.
HES II is the further evolution of a joint development effort by Honda and Plug Power to produce a home refueling unit that provides hydrogen from natural gas for vehicle refueling, heat for domestic hot water use and electricity for the home. Testing of the HES II system will be done in conjunction with demonstration of Honda's 2005 FCX fuel cell car on public roads in the Northeastern U.S.
The development of this new, more compact, HES II, along with operation of the Honda FCX and Honda FC Stack in sub-zero temperatures, represent significant advancements in this industry-leading program to develop advanced, real world, fuel cell vehicle and hydrogen refueling solutions.
"Honda is taking a comprehensive approach that includes the development of both fuel cell and refueling technologies, " said Ben Knight, Vice President Honda R&D Americas. "We feel that home refueling could play an important role in the introduction of fuel cell technology and the development of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure."
"We have enormous respect for Honda's technical capabilities and are excited to be part of this collaboration," said Dr. Roger Saillant, President and Chief Executive Officer of Plug Power. "The development of a Home Energy Station represents an important milestone towards a hydrogen infrastructure and sustainable energy future."
In a continuation of earlier research efforts with the first-generation HES station - located on the campus of Honda R&D Americas in Torrance, California, the HES II incorporates several subsystems which utilize Plug Power's proprietary technology. By optimizing production and storage of hydrogen for home use, the space needed for natural gas reformation and hydrogen compression is significantly reduced. Previously housed in two separate units, it has now been internalized into one, significantly smaller package that includes the natural gas reformer, hydrogen purifier, fuel cell stack, compressor, fuel storage and delivery system. This fully integrated system now provides improvements in overall operation and efficiency.
By testing the HES II in conjunction with the 2005 Honda FCX, Honda is taking another step forward in its comprehensive approach to advancement of both the vehicle and refueling infrastructure components of a hydrogen-based transportation system. Honda began demonstration of its 2005 FCX with the Honda FC Stack on public roads in the Northeast in September of this year.
The 2005 FCX, the world's most advanced fuel cell vehicle, is the first
production fuel cell vehicle to be powered by Honda's own unique fuel
cell stack (Honda FC Stack) with the ability to start and operate in below-freezing
temperatures, a significant breakthrough in fuel cell vehicle technology.
The FCX is the first and only fuel cell vehicle to receive certification from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB), and in December 2002 became the first fuel cell car leased for everyday commercial use.
Honda (NYSE: HMC) is one of today's leading manufacturers of automobiles and power products and the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Honda has always sought to provide genuine satisfaction to people worldwide. The result is more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 30 countries worldwide, producing a wide range of products, including motorcycles, ATVs, generators, marine engines, lawn and garden equipment and automobiles that bring the company into contact with over 17 million customers annually.
About Plug Power
Plug Power Inc. designs and develops on-site energy systems based on proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Plug Power's strategic partners include GE Fuel Cell Systems, DTE Energy Technologies, Vaillant GmbH, Honda R&D Co., Ltd., Engelhard Corporation and Pemeas GmbH (formerly Celanese Ventures.) The Company's headquarters are located in Latham, N.Y., with offices in Washington, D.C., and The Netherlands. For more information on Plug Power, go to www.plugpower.com.