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Gassing Up Gas-Free [Slide Show]

A look at the infrastructure necessary to make hydrogen hybrid automobiles a reality

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SMART PUMP:

Currently, the Equinox fuels with two connectors, as seen here at the Shell station in White Plains, N.Y. The rear cable sends pressure and temperature data to the fuel dispenser, while the side hose conveys hydrogen.....[ More ]

SAFETY CAMERA:

This spectral camera overlooking the hydrogen pump at the White Plains, N.Y., Shell station watches for hydrogen flames, invisible in daylight. Three more cameras surround the compression area of the station.....[ More ]

KEEPING TABS:

Maintaining the Equinox fleet requires special tools and diagnostic software. The retrofits on this whiteboard are all completed; for the first few months of the road test the Ardsley facility has seen less demand for maintenance than expected.....[ More ]

MAINTENANCE:

Douglas Baker, supervising engineer for the Ardsley facility, checks out an Equinox, which doesn't require much regular maintenance besides an occasional look under the hood to check the air filter.....[ More ]

FLUID-FREE:

Three layers of material guard the Equinox's hydrogen charge: a carbon-fiber tank, metal sheaths and a plated undercarriage to ward off debris. The sleek undercarriage is remarkably clean after 5,475 miles (8,810 kilometers) because of a lack of fluids in the Equinox: no oil, gas, transmission fluid or power steering fluid.....[ More ]

UNDER THE HOOD:

The Equinox is built on a conventional body with a fuel cell power train that includes a fuel cell system, a high-voltage battery, a bidirectional converter and a hydrogen storage system.....[ More ]

EAST COAST FLEET:

On the east coast, GM's hydrogen cars are retrofitted and maintained in Ardsley, N.Y.....[ More ]

TRAVELING LIGHT:

Helium is used to maintain pressure in the fuel tanks when the vehicles are prepared for overseas air or sea shipment. The inert gas allows the tanks to retain some pressure and reduces the potential of fuel tank contamination.....[ More ]

MAIN INGREDIENT:

Hydrogen travels to the Ardsley station in pressurized tubes. Once at the station, it is compressed to even greater densities of either 5,000 or 10,000 pounds per square inch (351 or 703 kilograms of force per square centimeter).....[ More ]

FILL'ER UP:

The East Coast Equinox fleet is fueled at either the Ardsley, N.Y., facility, which uses "green hydrogen" produced as an industrial by-product, or at a White Plains, N.Y., Shell station, which buys electricity generated by the Niagara Falls hydropower project in western New York State.....[ More ]

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