There is growing recognition of an increasing synergy between stationary and automotive fuel cell technologies, particularly as embodied in the hydrogen refueling “energy station” envisioned in the California Hydrogen Highway Blueprint Plan. In fact, the use of high-temperature fuel cells in “energy stations” may be the most efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sensitive means of generating hydrogen from natural gas.
You can download Volumes 1 and 2 of the Blueprint Plan by clicking on the documents shown below.
The energy station concept is addressed in numerous places in Volume 2 of the California Hydrogen Highway Blueprint plan including:
220.127.116.11 Distributed Generation Energy Stations, page 24
On page 99 in the glossary, the term “energy station” is defined as follows:
Energy Station — An energy station is designed first and foremost for the distributed generation (DG) of electric power and a waste heat recovery thermal product (e.g., heat and/or cooling) delivered to a local customer. Three attributes distinguish an "Energy Station" from a stand-alone "Hydrogen Refueling Station:" (1) The DG is operated on natural gas or alternative fuels such as digester gas, landfill gas, or biomass gas; (2) the principal commercial products are the export of electricity, thermal energy to a local customer or the grid and of hydrogen for vehicle refueling, and (3) the export of electricity and thermal energy is a commercially economically viable enterprise.
Stationary fuel cells fill the requirements for the distributed generation component of the energy station due to their many attributes, which include low emissions, high efficiency, a low acoustic signature, and high reliability. In addition, high-temperature fuel cells are capable of co-generating hydrogen and providing continuous production of hydrogen on demand to meet the station’s requirements for refueling.