Lessons learned from the installation and operation of Northern California's first 70-MPa hydrogen fueling station


A hydrogen dispensing facility capable of providing rapid 70-MPa vehicle fills became operational in May 2011 as the first such hydrogen dispensing facility in Northern California. The facility is operated by the University of California – Berkeley in support of fuel cell vehicle research with automakers, regional and state agencies, and industrial groups. In addition to storing and dispensing high-pressure hydrogen fuel, the station also incorporates a number of key advances in hydrogen refueling system capabilities, including novel fuel pre-cooling, fuel storage, and system safety systems. Key lessons learned from the construction and initial operation of the station include: 1) extensive initial planning is essential for smooth project development; 2) permitting is a key step and early engagement with local officials is critical; 3) extensive safety reviews may be required; 4) site work should be conducted with careful planning and execution; 5) methodical system commissioning is a key step in the project development process; 6) careful station maintenance and operational planning is critical for minimization of station downtime; and 7) station upkeep and utility expenses can be considerable.

Timothy Lipman, PhD
Maggie Witt
Matthew Elke
Publication date: 
December 13, 2013
Publication type: 
Journal Article