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Toyota Uses Solar Power-derived Hydrogen for Forklifts in Aichi

2019/04/06 20:19
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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"SimpleFuel" (source: Toyota)

Toyota Motor Corp announced April 4, 2019, that it has introduced a compact water-electrolysis hydrogen generating/filling unit capable of using solar electricity to produce, store and supply hydrogen at its Motomachi Plant (Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture).

The unit, "SimpleFuel," is a hydrogen station that can (1) electrolyze water by using electricity generated with solar panels set up on the premises of a factory to produce, compress and accumulate hydrogen and (2) charges fuel-cell (FC) forklifts with the hydrogen.

The unit can produce up to 99Nm3 of hydrogen per day (about 8.8kg per day), enabling to fully charge seven or eight FC forklifts. Its storage capacity and filling pressure are 72.18Nm3 and 35MPa, respectively. It has a compact size and can be installed in a relatively small space. Therefore, it is suited for hydrogen filling in factories.

At the Motomachi Plant, 22 FC forklifts of Toyota Industries Corp were introduced until the end of 2018. In 2019, the SimpleFuel and 50 forklifts were added by using the "Subsidy for Projects to Prevent CO2 Emissions, Etc (Project to Promote Low-carbon Social Infrastructures Using Renewable Energy-derived Hydrogen)" of Japan's Ministry of the Environment.

The latest effort to produce and use renewable energy-derived hydrogen was certified by the "System to Certify Low-carbon Hydrogen" of Aichi Prefecture. Toyota has been developing and introducing technologies to utilize hydrogen energy in the aim of (1) using hydrogen at factories and (2) achieving the "Factory CO2 Zero Challenge," which is part of "Toyota Environmental Challenges 2050" announced in 2015.