Unlocking the Future: Hydrogen Mobility Fueling Solutions

March 28, 2024

Plug recently hosted a webinar focused on hydrogen mobility fueling trends and solutions and, specifically, our portable refueler product. Tim Lowry and Adam Van De Mortel, integral to the development and launch of this technology, discussed the importance of hydrogen as a zero-carbon solution for mobility applications and provided a deep dive into the product. If you missed it, here’s a recap.

Hydrogen is an Efficient Solution for Commercial Transportation

Hydrogen is the best fit low carbon solution for mobility applications. It has several key attributes that make it uniquely suitable. It has a high energy content, beneficial for applications in transportation and industrial processes. Hydrogen is zero emission fuel at point of use and it’s extremely versatile, so it can be used across various sectors – lift trucks, vans, buses, and more. Hydrogen is abundant and can be renewably produced, captured, and stored to be used when needed. And hydrogen fueling for vehicles is very similar to filling up a truck with diesel – both in terms of process and time required.

Why choose liquid hydrogen for mobility fueling

The question of liquid hydrogen comes down to the increased density of liquid vs. gaseous hydrogen. It takes approximately 8 high pressure gas tube trailers to deliver the same amount of hydrogen as one liquid cryogenic hydrogen trailer. This leads to lower cost of transportation and lower cost of storage infrastructure on the end user site on a dollar per kilogram basis for liquid hydrogen.

Plug began providing liquid hydrogen for our material handling customers several years ago and we are now producing it ourselves. We transport, deliver, and store the liquid hydrogen outside our customers’ large distribution centers. We’re now seeing a similar model play out in stationary power and commercial transportation, where we’re beginning to transport and store hydrogen to fuel fleets of buses, vans, and semi-trailer trucks.

But building fixed refueling stations is highly resource intensive. When many of our customers begin pilot programs transitioning to hydrogen, they’re developing their market and their customer base. Having a bridge solution is crucial to get the ball rolling. To meet that need, Plug developed our self-contained cryogenic hydrogen dispensing trailer solution. The trailer can be delivered and deployed quickly – and is easily relocated if the client decides to change locations, leaving no stranded assets. The “filling station on wheels” allows clients to use hydrogen in small programs to test the concept before converting their entire fleet to hydrogen fuel.

Plug’s Portable Refueler

Plug’s portable refueler operates as a relocatable filling station, equipped with a cryogenic liquid storage tank, a cryogenic liquid pump, and a cryogenic vaporizer. These components work together to store the hydrogen as a liquid, and then heat it to deliver high-pressure gas to the hydrogen dispenser. The system also features a temperature control loop to adhere to fueling protocol standards, along with safety measures such as emergency stop capabilities and flame and gas detectors. The portable refueler provides several benefits. It offers a cost-effective infrastructure solution and a quick market entry asset, as it can be operational on-site within a few days. This also allows it to be relocated quickly and easily.  Additionally, it provides fueling times comparable to traditional diesel, ensuring a familiar experience for drivers.

hydrogen mobility refueler specs

Over the last several years, Plug has made strategic acquisitions of companies and technology that have led us to this place. Companies including ACT and Joule have brought decades of experience in cryogenics and liquefaction, enabling Plug to take leaps forward in technology development timelines. Plug’s strength is our end-to-end solutions: from hydrogen production and liquefaction to delivery fleets and on-site storage – and then power generation through fuel cell products, of course. If you’d like to learn more about using our portable hydrogen mobility fueling for your fleet, please contact us today.