Toyota Motor Sales USA has announced that it has installed and activated a new and very large hydrogen fuel-cell generator on the campus at its Torrance, California headquarters. The new fuel cell was activated yesterday and can produce 1.1-megawatts of electricity using hydrogen as the fuel. The gigantic fuel cell will be able to produce approximately half the electricity for six headquarters buildings during peak demand.
Like all hydrogen fuel cells, the newly installed unit at the Toyota HQ produces zero emissions. The fuel cell was designed and built by Ballard Power Systems and uses the company’s Proton Exchange Membrane stationary fuel cell. The company says that this is the largest Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell of its kind.
Hydrogen is delivered to the massive fuel-cell via a pipeline that also supplies a hydrogen filling station adjacent to the Toyota campus that is used to fill Toyota and other manufacturer’s fuel-cell hybrid vehicle fleets. The 1.1-megawatts of electricity that the fuel-cell produces would be able to provide power for about 765 homes.
That amount of electricity is roughly twice the capacity of the existing solar panel systems on the campus. Toyota expects the giant fuel cell to reduce CO2 emissions by 3.3 million pounds during summer peak period operation hours. That CO2 savings is equivalent to taking 294 cars off the road for a year. Toyota will save about $130,000 a year in reduced energy purchased from local power companies.