The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) unveiled at its annual Green Day this week a demonstration of what experts call "the first renewable energy refueling station in North America." The station produces hydrogen by harnessing the power of the wind.
The refueling station, part of Toronto’s “Hydrogen Village,” has been designed and built by Hydrogenics Corp., a Canadian company. The plan includes the development and construction of other hydrogen stations around the city, including a backup power generator at a cell tower site and a hybrid fuel cell for a fleet of vehicles.
At present, the refueling station will supply hydrogen fuel for two John Deere vehicles that will be used on the CNE grounds for the next two years.
Hydrogen will be produced at the fueling station through a process called electrolysis, in which a wind turbine will create electricity, which in turn will extract clean hydrogen gas from water. This will be pumped into the refueling station and then into the vehicles.
The wind turbine will also continue to help light up the CNE and the Toronto homes that are part of the wind turbine co-op.
The station will be capable of producing enough hydrogen to fuel 20 vehicles a day, Hydrogenics officials said.