Toyota Motor Corporation and its subsidiary, Woven Planet Holdings, Inc., have developed a working prototype of a portable hydrogen cartridge. This cartridge design will facilitate the everyday transport and supply of hydrogen energy to power a broad range of daily life applications in and outside of the home. Toyota and Woven Planet will conduct proof of concept trials in various places, including Woven City, a human-centered smart city of the future currently being constructed in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, the company says.
Toyota and Woven Planet say they are studying a number of viable pathways to carbon neutrality and consider hydrogen to be a promising solution. Hydrogen has significant advantages, the companies say:
- Zero carbon dioxide is emitted when hydrogen is used.
- When hydrogen is produced using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass, CO2 emissions are minimized during the production process.
- Hydrogen can be used to generate electricity in fuel cell systems and can also be used as a combustion fuel.
Together with ENEOS Corporation, Toyota and Woven Planet say they are working to build a comprehensive hydrogen-based supply chain aimed at expediting and simplifying production, transport and daily usage. These trials will focus on meeting the energy needs of Woven City residents and those living in its surrounding communities.
The companies say the benefits of using hydrogen cartridges include:
- Portable, affordable, and convenient energy that makes it possible to bring hydrogen to where people live, work, and play without the use of pipes
- Swappable for easy replacement and quick recharging
- Volume flexibility allows for a broad variety of daily use applications
- Small-scale infrastructure can meet energy needs in remote and non-electrified areas and be swiftly dispatched in the case of a disaster
- Prototype dimensions: 400mm (16 in.) in length x 180mm (7 in.) in diameter
- Target weight: 5 kg (11 lbs.)
The companies say the ultimate goal of this project is to realize a carbon-neutral society where everyone can access clean energy, first in Japan and then throughout the world. Toyota and Woven Planet aim to develop best practices for incorporating clean hydrogen energy into daily life by conducting human-centered demonstrations in and around Woven City. These real-life experiences will help us learn how to best transform hydrogen into a familiar, well-used, and well-loved form of energy.