Jan 052010

Singaporean company Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies will release a small home hydrogen refueling and storage solution at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas later this week that could kickstart mankind’s transition to a hydrogen-based economy. The HYDROFILL is a small desktop device that plugs into the power supply, a solar panel or a small wind turbine, and automatically extracts hydrogen from its water tank and stores it in a solid form in small refillable cartridges. The cartridges contain metallic alloys that absorb hydrogen into their crystalline structure, a storage method which the company claims offers the highest volumetric energy density of any form of hydrogen storage, even higher than liquid hydrogen.

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, which first became known to the general public with an exclusive Gizmag story in 2006 about the company’s educational toy solar hydrogen car. The Horizon toy cars quickly became the world’s largest volume-produced commercial fuel cell products and it is quite an irony that less than half a decade later, the company which launched with a toy car appears set to introduce genuinely disruptive technology into the home, finally enabling the long-touted futuristic vision of a hydrogen station in every home.

The HYDROFILL hydrogen refueling device will enable a low cost, scalable hydrogen supply model and may indeed eliminate the need for large-scale fueling infrastructure investments. As Horizon’s press statement so aptly puts it, the “game-changer innovation can unlock the age-old dilemma over which comes first: clean cars, or clean fuels.”

“We no longer need to rely on nationwide networks of hydrogen fueling stations to enable large-scale fuel cell commercialization,” said Horizon co-founder Taras Wankewycz. “Horizon is initiating a transition that places consumers in the driving seat. Thanks to our innovation each household can gradually become a major part of tomorrow’s hydrogen fuel supply infrastructure.”

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