In the movie “What About Bob?” Bill Murray talked about taking “baby steps.” An ancient Chinese proverb says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” At the upcoming Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, NV, Horizon will unveil its HydroFill home hydrogen fueling device which may mean we are a step away from hydrogen auto commercialization.
The HydroFill, when it becomes commercial is expected to be able to refuel hydrogen autos in the privacy of one’s own home. Now, I’ve talked about home hydrogen fueling stations many times in the past and this product may be just what the industry needs to jumpstart the chicken-or-the-egg syndrome when it comes to which will be built first, the autos or the fueling stations.
The Horizon Hydrofill can run off AC at night when the electricity rates are the lowest, electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen and refill their metal hydride canisters. The next day the hydrogen fuel cell auto or smaller device can be refueled from the canister.
The Hydrofill may not be introduced commercially in 2010, however as development is ongoing. Horizon is already selling, however, a 20-liter hydrogen storage tank made of aluminum alloy outside and metal hydride inside.
Now, while the HydroFill is a big idea that Horizon is still working on, this same company has decided to start a bit smaller and offer a commercial line of micro-fuel cell power packs for recharging small electronic devices such a lighting products, USB devices and cell phones.
In summer 2009, I had talked about how Horizon had created the fuel cell for the economical Riversimple fuel cell city auto. An affordable Riversimple Hydrofill home fueling station may be the ticket to sooner rather than later introduction of hydrogen autos and infrastructure into the marketplace.