The latest innovation to come from Woikoski - a hydrogen refuelling station - and Hyundai’s hydrogen car were introduced to the general public and the media in Voikoski on 23 January. Woikoski’s filling station was test run by the first Hyundai ix35 fuel cell vehicle in Finland, carrying the registration plate WOI-1. Hydrogen as a fuel has the benefit of being emission-free. This makes it possible to achieve notable reductions in CO2 emissions across the entire vehicle industry.
Another advantage offered by the hydrogen car is that it is almost silent to run, leading to a reduction in noise pollution. Woikoski’s goal is to launch its filling stations on the international hydrogen station market. A vehicle is filled with hydrogen at a pressure of either 350 or 700 bar. With filling-up taking only a couple of minutes, the range of a hydrogen car can reach up to 600km. A filling station consists of three main components: a compressor, buffer storage and a dispenser unit. The hydrogen at the station can either be produced on-site or transferred from a production facility located elsewhere. Hydrogen is produced from water with electrolysis and from natural gas or biogas using steam reforming, or it can be generated as a by-product in various processes in the chemical industry.
Hydrogen is not a new venture for Woikoski, as the company has experience spanning 101 years in hydrogen production. Hydrogen’s potential as a fuel was recognised as early as in the 1930s, when a 1927 Packard running on hydrogen raced along the roads of Voikoski.
|With a strong belief in the business potential offered by hydrogen production and related technologies, Woikoski is investing heavily in the field. The hydrogen car and filling station form just a part of the company’s investments in hydrogen technology. Work on a new hydrogen production facility is set to be completed in the Kokkola Industrial Park in summer 2014, and at the same time the company will also introduce new hydrogen transport units with cutting-edge composite technology at their core. The general belief is that hydrogen technology will expand to the energy sector, where it can offer an environmentally friendly storage option for electricity.||
Woikoski collaborates with the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes), Lappeenranta University of Technology, and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), which has also offered us the opportunity to work with Fukuoka University in Japan, the world’s leading hydrogen research facility.