Toyota has installed stationary pure hydrogen fuel cells at a zero-emissions facility at its Honsha Plant in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The new building is part of the automaker’s efforts to achieve its 2050 global environmental goal to eliminate carbon emissions in all operations.
The pure hydrogen fuel cells, with rated power output of 3.5 kW, are new models developed for use in small office spaces. Toyota says this project is the first time such fuel cells have been operational in a commercial environment.
In addition to using hydrogen-based energy, the new energy management facility at the Honsha Plant will achieve zero-emission status through a combination of energy-saving measures and renewable energy sources.
The energy-saving measures include promoting conservation by allowing each employee to switch the air-conditioning and lighting on and off, as well as maximizing the use of natural lighting and natural ventilation. Toyota expects these measures to reduce electric power consumption and CO2 emissions by half.
Additionally, the automaker installed an energy management system that combines solar power generation with storage batteries made by recycling used batteries from Prius hybrid vehicles.
With this system, facility managers project the building’s energy demand, and a corresponding efficient energy supply is realized mainly through the fuel cells. These are supplemented by solar power in combination with storage batteries. The excess thermal energy generated by the fuel cells is then used for air-conditioning.
Toyota says it will also carry out technology development and testing with the aim of minimizing CO2 emissions from the building’s operation. While monitoring the results of the installation and testing of the pure hydrogen fuel cells, Toyota says it will move forward with the development and installation of efficient hydrogen utilization technology at the plant’s other buildings to achieve zero CO2 emissions in them as well.
The automaker is working toward zero emissions in its US facilities as well.
In June Toyota said it is seeking LEED Platinum certification for it’s new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. The $1 billion campus, slated to open in May 2017, will include a 7.7-megawatt solar array and will use 100 percent renewable energy.