Toyota and its subsidiary, Woven Planet, have developed a working prototype of its 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.
The portable hydrogen cartridge prototype is a cylinder, 400 mm (16 in) long and 180 mm (7 in) in diameter, with a target weight of 5kg when full. It will carry approximately 3.3 kWh/unit of useful energy, depending on the efficiency of the external fuel cell used to convert the hydrogen back and electricity.
Toyota calls them “portable, affordable, and convenient energy that makes it possible to bring hydrogen to where people live, work, and play without the use of pipes.” They are also swappable for easy replacement and quick charging.
Woven City will explore and test an array of energy applications using hydrogen cartridges, including mobility, household applications, and many future possibilities. It didn’t mention any specific uses but said that one hydrogen cartridge is assumed to generate enough electricity to operate a typical household microwave for approximately 3-4 hours.
In the press release, Toyota mentioned that today most hydrogen is generated from fossil fuels, so it is not exactly green. But in the future, it expects hydrogen will be generated with very low carbon emissions and used in a wider variety of applications, and the cartridges could help with some of the infrastructure issues.
Toyota and Woven Planet plan to 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, and Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan. Together with ENEOS Corporation, they are also working to build a comprehensive hydrogen-based supply chain aimed at expediting and simplifying production, transport, and daily usage.