Construction and operation of commercial hydrogen refueling stationsThe following introduces our views and future policy on the construction and operation of commercial hydrogen refueling stations as well as hydrogen refueling stations that are currently in operation.
With the emergence in recent years of environmental issues as a major social concern, hydrogen is attracting interest as a clean source of energy and its use is expected to spread in the future. Tokyo Gas is promoting the construction and operation of hydrogen refueling stations in partnership with the Japanese government, related organizations, and other companies with the aim of developing practical applications for hydrogen energy that leverage the characteristics of environmentally friendly natural gas.
The spread of onsite hydrogen refueling stations that produce hydrogen from reformed city gas to fuel cell vehicles should help cut CO2 emissions in the transport sector.
A fuel cell vehicle (FCV) is a type of electric vehicle which uses a fuel cell, to power its on-board electric motor, which have a compressed hydrogen tank. Two automobile companies are selling FCV. They realized a cruising distance and refueling time equivalent to those of gasoline.
〔Fuel cell vehicle and fuel supply〕
Adoption of “mother” (on-site city gas) and “daughter” method
Tokyo Gas is using its city gas pipeline network to build two types of hydrogen refueling stations: on-site “mother” stations that produce hydrogen from city gas, and off-site “daughter” stations that are supplied with hydrogen from nearby on-site stations.
Tokyo Gas aims to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency by maintaining higher capacity utilization of hydrogen production equipment during the early stages of development of the hydrogen refueling station network.
At present, we are operating two on-site hydrogen refueling stations in Senju (established in January 2016) and Urawa (established in February 2016), and one off-site station in Nerima (established in December 2014). The stations in Nerima and Urawa are commercial hydrogen refueling stations that also double as Compressed Natural Gas refueling Stations (CNG station). By sharing some facilities with the CNG station, we are able to reduce costs and operate the stations more efficiently.
Future prospects (mother/daughter growth model)
When fuel cell vehicles become popular in full swing, supply capacity will be expanded to meet demand by converting daughter stations to mother stations.