Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

As the simplest and most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen can be used as a fuel for internal combustion engines (ICEs) or fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Fuel cells convert hydrogen into electricity through an electrochemical process, and are generally twice as efficient as a combustion engine. Fuel cells produce zero emissions and have similar range and refuel times as gasoline powered vehicles provide today.

Currently, fuel cell vehicles and the hydrogen infrastructure to fill them are in the final stages of development. It is expected that fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations will be publicly available in the near future. In Hawaii, public and private companies and organizations have partnered to facilitate the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations. The combination of access to a number of abundant renewable resources and limited driving distances make Hawaii an ideal location for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

For more information, please visit http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/fuel_cell.html.

Local Programs and Partners

h2i-logoHawaii Hydrogen Initiative (H2I) has the goal to make hydrogen powered vehicles, as well as fueling infrastructure, a reality. H2I will assist the State of Hawaii in its goal to reduce dependency on imported oil , reduce oil consumption, promote clean energy technologies, promote energy independence, and grow states clean energy economy. The initiative intends to make hydrogen stations readily available to all Oahu residents by providing 20-25 fueling stations by 2015.

danland_logoHawaii Natural Energy Institute, an organized research unit of the School of Ocean Earth Science and Technology of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, performs research, conducts testing and evaluation, and manages public-private partnerships across a broad range of renewable technologies to reduce the State of Hawaii’s dependence on fossil fuel.

GMBRANDMARK-150x150General Motors has deployed a fleet of 16 hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinoxes in Hawaii. GM has partnered with HawaiiGas to create H2I and support Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiate to generate 70% of the state’s energy from renewable resources by 2030.

Local Projects

For a list of Hawaii hydrogen research and projects visit http://www.hnei.hawaii.edu/research/hydrogen.

Local Publications 

Analysis of Geothermally Produced Hydrogen on the Big Island of Hawaii: A Roadmap for the Way Forward (pdf file; 5 Megabytes; 97 pages) – by Sentech (2008).

Nuturing a Clean Energy Future in Hawaii: Assessing the Feasability of the Large-Scale Utilization of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in Hawaii – Report prepared for DBEDT in 2002 by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and Sentech (pdf file; 3,302 kb)