Honda's aging hydrogen fuel cells take on new life in the data center

Honda’s aging hydrogen fuel cells take on new life in the data center

honda on bail In Readability, its solely hydrogen-powered automotive within the US, nevertheless, the automaker hasn’t given up on gas cells.

That is the message Honda despatched out at the moment with an odd announcement: It is placing some previous Readability gas cells again to work by combining them in a backup energy system for the information heart simply south of Los Angeles.

Honda informed TechCrunch that is only a “proof of idea,” but it surely goals to commercialize the know-how and sees potential functions past serving to information facilities hold the lights on.

The spent gas cell methods within the backup energy present that Honda as soon as powered rental Clarities (through an electrochemical response that mixes hydrogen and oxygen to generate electrical energy). Honda has phased out these spent gas cells for transport, however they apparently work properly sufficient to maintain the server farm within the occasion of an influence outage. Beforehand, Honda relied on diesel for backup energy on the plant. (Honda stated it used this specific information heart to “securely defend and entry its personal information,” since “automotive design is data-intensive.”

It is good to listen to that Honda has discovered a use for previous gas cells, however most significantly, this present is not as environmentally pleasant because it may very well be. The corporate informed TechCrunch that it did not simply use inexperienced hydrogen within the pilot, which means that at the very least a few of it was produced from fossil fuels.

That is the issue with utilizing hydrogen to generate electrical energy: Gas cells do that by emitting solely water and warmth as exhaust, but when that hydrogen comes from polluted sources (as most hydrogen fuels do), they’re nonetheless not directly polluting. Fixing this is able to require far more inexperienced hydrogen manufacturing in addition to the infrastructure wanted to ship the hydrogen. Because of this, some automakers don’t imagine in the way forward for hydrogen-powered vehicles; they argue that going that route is an excessive amount of work.

Nonetheless! Honda nonetheless believes in hydrogen powered vehicles. In truth, this present can be a sort of commercial for Honda’s new era gas cells, which the corporate developed along with Basic Motors.

As Honda says, next-generation gas cell methods will energy its hydrogen-powered automobile, which is “primarily based on the Honda CR-V” and can debut in 2024.

Honda additionally plans to make use of these new gas cell methods for backup energy because the know-how scales up. Which means that as soon as commercialized, this effort won’t be cyclical. On the brilliant aspect, nevertheless, Honda stated it solely plans to make use of inexperienced hydrogen when it commercializes its backup energy models.

Honda added that it is evaluating different functions past information facilities, together with “peak shaving.” Which means that Honda thinks industrial prospects can use their mills at peak instances when electrical energy is most costly and grids are strained.

Honda stated it goals to remodel the proof-of-concept right into a “new enterprise mannequin.” Nonetheless, the pilot can be a viable approach for the corporate to speak about its new gas cells. As battery electrical vehicles penetrate the US market, Honda has loads to do with protecting hydrogen within the headlines.

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