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Hydrogen Filling Station Irvine, CA

Hydrogen Filling Station in Irvine, California

Here are some photos that I’ve taken of the hydrogen filling or fueling station in Irvine, California in early March 2007. The hydrogen station was recently upgraded from dispensing pressurized hydrogen at 5,000 psi (350 bar) to one that will also dispense hydrogen fuel at 10,000 psi (700 bar) as well. This same station is also scheduled for another upgrade in Fall 2007 to dispense liquid hydrogen as well.

The hydrogen filling station is manufactured by Air Products, Inc., one of the largest hydrogen producers in the U. S. The fueling station is located on the corner of Jamboree Blvd. and Campus Drive, residing at the University of California Irvine’s North Campus facility. This same facility hosts offices for studying air pollution and community and environmental medicine. The filling station is located in the back of the parking lot away from most of the other autos.

Air Products Hydrogen Filling Station in Irvine, California

Hydrogen fueling station frontal view

Huge liquid hydrogen tank “behind the scenes”

The photographs above show a frontal look at the Air Products hydrogen fueling station along with a “behind the scenes” look at the huge hydrogen tank supplying the station. The hydrogen tank has a large decal on the side stating “Liquid Hydrogen”, which is outside the picture. Presumably, liquid hydrogen is being shipped to this facility and then being turned into gas as needed to refuel the hydrogen autos.

Hydrogen fueling pump

Hydrogen fuel pump nozzles close-up

The hydrogen fuel pump nozzles pictured above show a close-up view of the two pressures of hydrogen gas that may be dispensed into a auto. The left nozzle dispenses hydrogen at 350 bar (5,000 psi) and the right nozzle dispenses hydrogen at 700 bar (10,000 psi). The green sticker in the upper middle of the photo says, “Intrinsically Safe Circuit”.

Hydrogen Fueling Pump Close-up
The photo to the left shows the controls on the hydrogen fueling station. The upper panel, from top to bottom, shows Total Sale, Quantity and Price. Note the current price here is $4.99 per gallon equivalent or the same price per kilogram (Kg).

The lower panel shows a keypad with numbers and arrows in the center and buttons on the right and left sides. Above the keypad it says, “Turn off and prep vehicle for fill. Enter PIN when ready.” Presumably, this unit is not yet equipped to accept credit autods or Speed Pass buttons and each user must have a unique PIN number to operate the pump.

I’ve taken photos of another hydrogen fueling station in Long Beach, California, which was a mobile station. But, the hydrogen filling station in Irvine, California is much, larger, equipped to handle a higher volume and is here to stay. This station has been around since 2003, when it first opened and has serviced hydrogen autos at the UCI campus and others in the area as well.

Don’t expect to see an attendant on hand, though and if you want your windshield washed, you’ll have to go somewhere else. But, for the time being, this hydrogen fueling station represents one of the many going up in California fulfilling the dream of the Hydrogen Highway network that is closer to reality than most people think.

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Written by Hydro Kevin Kantola

Photos by Hydro Kevin Kantola

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