Honda fuel cells find new application as backup data center power

Honda fuel cells find new application as backup data center power

March 10, 2023 4 By Tami Hood

The automaker is no longer pursuing its Clarity model but is still pushing forward with H2.

Honda may have decided not to continue its Clarity model vehicles, but it hasn’t abandoned fuel cells altogether, as the automaker has found a new opportunity for the components it developed.

The company announced it is using the equipment for backup power systems for its data center.

hydrogen news ebookHonda recently revealed that it was putting the Clarity fuel cells it developed into a new application by adding them to a backup power system for its own data center located south of Los Angeles. Until now, Honda had been reliant on diesel generators to provide the facility’s backup power.

According to the automaker, this move remains just a “proof of concept”, according to a recent TechCrunch report. That said, the goal is to be able to follow this test with the commercialization of the technology. Furthermore, the company has stated that it also sees potential for the equipment in areas other than providing emission-free backup power for data centers.

Fuel cells - Image of front of Honda vehicle with company logo

It’s important to note that while the operation of the H2 generator units is emission-free, the company has pointed out that it is not using exclusively green H2. This means that some of the hydrogen used for the fuel cells has been produced using fossil fuels, so the entire process is not emission-free, only the operation of the generators themselves. That said, Honda has confirmed that when the technology is commercialized, its intention is to use green hydrogen exclusively.

Honda has not stopped believing in cars powered by fuel cells, even though it stepped away from Clarity.

The automaker may have taken the equipment it was using for its discontinued Clarity model and has repurposed it for backup power generation, but it has made it clear that it hasn’t moved away from H2 for transportation altogether. In fact, it has been working with General Motors on just that kind of next-generation project.

Honda plans to incorporation its next-generation fuel cells into a new hydrogen-powered vehicle “based on the Honda CR-V” as was recently reported by Hydrogen Fuel News. That vehicle is expected to roll out next year.

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