Toyota is testing the use of fuel cells at one of its Japanese factories.
Toyota hydrogen fuel cells will be tested at the Japanese automaker’s Honsha Plant. With its experimental fuel cell “generator” the company will test to see if the generator can power the plant with clean energy. The Honsha Plant is located at part of the company’s main Toyota City campus in Japan.
The generator uses components from the Toyota Mirai.
The experimental fuel cell generator was built using parts from the Toyota Mirai sedan, the company’s fuel cell electric vehicle powered by hydrogen. The test will show how fuel cells could provide zero emission electricity to not only vehicles, but buildings as well.
According to the company, the Toyota hydrogen fuel cells used for the generator include two complete Mirai fuel cell systems. Each of the systems is equipped with a fuel cell stack (the component that turns hydrogen into electricity), a power control unit and a backup battery, reports Digital Trends.
Toyota says that by using the Mirai’s fuel cell technology, instead of developing new components from scratch, will help to keep the cost down.
Toyota hydrogen fuel cells could power more of its factories in the future if all goes well with the test.
As part of the initial test, the automaker intends to run the fuel cell generator 24 hours a day to produce electricity for the Honsha Plant. The company will monitor the generator’s efficiency, ability to provide consistent electricity, its durability and ease of maintenance.
If all goes well with the test at the Honsha Plan, Toyota hopes to power more of its factories will fuel cells.
What’s more, the company has plans to generate hydrogen onsite at its factories. The automaker believes that hydrogen can be created as a byproduct from making fuel cell systems components. However, it’s not entirely clear how the company will achieve this feat.
The reason is that one of the major obstacles of generating hydrogen is to produce it cleanly. It has not yet been revealed how the company will produce large quantities of the green hydrogen it would need to power Toyota hydrogen fuel cells for generators and its vehicles.