Humboldt State University

Schatz Energy Research Center

HSU Hydrogen Fueling Station

Two hydrogen fueled vehicled parked in front of a hydrogen fueling station.

HSU’s Hydrogen Fueling Station with the Toyota Highlander Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle and Hydrogen Powered Toyota Prius.

Since 2008, SERC has operated a hydrogen vehicle fueling station on the Humboldt State University campus. The station, designed and built by SERC engineers with assistance from HSU Plant Operations, includes an electrolyzer, compressor, storage tanks, and a dispenser. The station currently fuels a Toyota FCHV-adv fuel cell hybrid vehicle based at SERC and has also been home to a second Toyota FCHV-adv and a Toyota Prius converted by Quantum Technologies to use hydrogen in its modified internal combustion engine.

Through this hydrogen fuel infrastructure project, SERC is demonstrating the potential benefits associated with hydrogen fueled vehicles and providing a testing ground for learning about the attributes and challenges of this new technology. SERC and HSU operate, refuel, and perform routine maintenance on vehicles and conduct education and outreach activities associated with hydrogen-powered transportation.

Peter Lehman grins while cutting a ribbon with dignitaries beside him.

SERC Director Peter Lehman makes the final cut at the opening ceremony as Congr. Mike Thompson (left), HSU President Rollin Richmond (back), and Project Manager Greg Chapman (right) look on. Photo courtesy of Daniel Solomon, Eureka Reporter.

Built on Toyota’s Highlander mid-sized sport utility vehicle platform, the FCHV-adv is a zero-emission vehicle equipped with a 90 kilowatt PEM fuel cell, four high-pressure hydrogen fuel tanks, an electric motor that directly drives the front wheels, a nickel-metal hydride battery, and a power control unit. The sophisticated power control unit determines the division of energy between the fuel cell stack and the battery to power the vehicle. The FCHV-adv has a driving range of 400 miles on a full tank.

With financial support from the California Department of Transportation, the station was upgraded to 700 bar capability in 2012. This allows the FCHV-adv to be fully fueled to increase the commuting distance; the vehicle can now reach the Bay Area on a single tank of hydrogen.

HSU’s Hydrogen Fueling Station is the northernmost fueling station on California’s Hydrogen Highway. Visit the California Fuel Cell Partnership’s Hydrogen Fueling Station map for more information.