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Facilities used in Japan's low-carbon hydrogen technology demonstration project begin operations

Published 17 July 2017

A Japanese partnership has announced all facilities to be used in the FY2015 Regional Cooperation and Low-carbon Hydrogen Technology Demonstration Project commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment have been completed, and full-scale operations have commenced.

The partnership includes Toyota Motor, Toyota Industries, Toyota Turbine and Systems, the Kanagawa Prefectural Government, Japan Environment Systems, Toshiba, the municipal governments of the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki, Iwatani,

The goal of the project is to implement and evaluate a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain which will utilize hydrogen produced from renewable energy in facilities along Tokyo Bay (in Yokohama and Kawasaki) to power forklifts.

A system has been created for using electricity generated at the Yokohama City Wind Power Plant (Hama Wing) to electrolyze water to create low-carbon hydrogen, which is then compressed and stored. The hydrogen produced at the site will be transported in a hydrogen fueling truck to a fruit and vegetable market, a factory, and warehouses. The hydrogen will be used in fuel cells to power forklifts at these locations.

The creation of this hydrogen supply chain in cooperation with local partners is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 80 percent when compared with a supply chain using forklifts powered by gasoline or grid electricity. The goal of the project is to establish a hydrogen supply chain, analyze costs, and estimate potential CO2 reductions that can be achieved with a full-scale supply chain in the future.

Project Overview

The project includes

a system to produce hydrogen by electrolyzing water using wind power

a system to optimize storage and transportation of hydrogen

use of fuel cell forklifts

a hydrogen supply chain feasibility study

Project System Flow

Specific items to be verified by the project

The business case for hydrogen supply chains and future expansion to other regions will be verified, through cost analysis and measurement of the project's contribution to global warming countermeasures.

Hydrogen cost

The demonstration project will use evaluations of current conditions (demonstration project costs) to examine future courses of action required to reduce hydrogen costs, including verification of savings from economies of scale and identification of the steps needed to implement deregulation.

The project will also examine the development of a promotional and deployment model through technological innovation, as well as the development of full-scale supply chains, based on projections of needs in 2030.

CO2 emissions reductions

The project aims to construct a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain that can reduce overall CO2 emissions by at least 80% when compared with conventional approaches.

The project will examine measures for further reducing CO2 emissions.

Overview of future full-scale operations (from July 2017)

Commencement of low-carbon hydrogen production using power from Hama Wing

Model of Hama Wing site premises (Japan Environment Systems) Co., Ltd.

Verification of hydrogen supply using 12 fuel cell forklifts and two hydrogen fueling trucks

Cloud-based management and operation, from hydrogen production to usage

Fuel Cell Forklift
(Toyota Industries Corporation)

Diagram of management system

Schedule

NoteFactors such as future discussions with the Ministry of the Environment may cause changes to the demonstration details and implementation plan.

Results of full-scale operation pilot trial (November 2016 to July 2017)

Trial objectives

To acquire proficiency in hydrogen supplying and filling work

To gain further knowledge of hydrogen and fuel cells

To complete the pilot deployment of fuel cell forklifts

Overview

One forklift was deployed to the Yokohama City Central Wholesale Market and one to Nakamura Logistics for test runs.

A hydrogen fueling truck from the Iwatani Industrial Gases Corp. Chiba plant was used to deliver hydrogen.

Evaluation of trial

Compared to forklifts powered by electricity, fuel cell forklifts had shorter recharging times, were used flexibly without issues, and were generally well reviewed.

There were requests for more frequent hydrogen deliveries in order to improve fuel cell forklift uptime.



Source: Company Press Release