In the pursuit for a cleaner future, Toyota has revealed one of its latest developments: none other than a fuel cell-powered generator. And it features technology straight from the Mirai fuel-cell car.
Toyota said on Wednesday the fuel-cell generator will be installed at its Honsha Plant in Toyota City, Japan. There, it will be the subject of numerous tests and a goldmine for data collection. Three components from the Toyota Mirai help make up the generator. First is the fuel-cell stack, followed by the power control unit, and finally, a secondary battery. The unit has two of each component housed within.
Verification tests are starting now and the generator will run for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Electricity produced from the generator will flow into the Honsha Plant and Toyota said it expects up to 100 kilowatts. The company plans to study its energy efficiency, the stability of the unit and its ease of maintenance.
Eventually, Toyota said it hopes to produce a commercial fuel-cell-powered generator for sale. But first, it needs to see how its first unit does in private use.
The company doesn't plan to simply top the tank off with hydrogen in a normal fashion, either. Instead, hydrogen from fuel-cell production processes will fill the generator to make things even more sustainable in the name of a circular economy.
Toyota hopes this first unit, which measures 7.5 feet wide, 14.8 feet long and 8.2 feet tall, will have a power efficiency of 50% or more. Of course, future prototypes will hope to squeeze more energy out of each unit of hydrogen. Like fuel-cell-powered cars, this generator has a way to go before it's ready for prime time.