Interview: Dover Fueling Solutions reveals hydrogen plans

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Dover Fueling Solutions (DFS), a global supplier of cutting-edge technologies, services, and solutions for the retail of fuel and convenience products, spoke with EnergyNews.biz.

The company is part of the New York-listed Dover Corporation and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

During our interview, DFS shared, among other things, how hydrogen caught their eye and what prospects the market for hydrogen presents to the organization.
You may read the entire dialogue below.

Dover Fueling Solutions recently launched a hydrogen dispenser. What has prompted your decision to pursue hydrogen? How would you describe the demand for hydrogen in your field so far?

Dover Fueling Solutions (DFS) is a leading fuel dispenser manufacturer in the fuel and convenience retail market and has been for many years. Moving into clean fuels has been part of our natural evolution as a company, something which has been in development for several years prior to our Hydrogen dispenser launch in early 2022. We are committed to supporting the industry’s energy diversification through our hydrogen technology, alongside our portfolio of other clean energy solutions.

For decades hydrogen has been a promised “future fuel”. We have seen many prototypes in the field but over the last few years, the technology has matured into a regular and useable clean fuel, with reliable technology and a sufficient supply of hydrogen. When following the product life cycle of hydrogen, the industry is very much still in the early phase, but we are starting to see the infrastructure being created to support the building of large hydrogen stations in the near future. Demand is increasing and evolving from traditional road transport to opportunities within long-haul, heavy-duty, rail, and marine transport.

Interview: Dover Fueling Solutions reveals hydrogen plans
Interview: Dover Fueling Solutions reveals hydrogen plans

When it comes to having a dispenser, what does a customer desire and value the most?

  • Safety
  • Fast filling
  • Reliability
  • Flexibility
  • Communication
  • Ease of use

Safety is of paramount importance when it comes to clean fuel dispensers such as hydrogen. The DFS hydrogen dispenser integrated safety programmable logic controller (PLC) has logic to control the entire refueling process for autonomous operation, according to all safety codes and fueling protocols for compatibility with all available light and heavy-duty vehicles.

The DFS hydrogen dispenser provides the same fueling experience as a traditional/conventional fuel dispenser, so it’s as easy to refuel a hydrogen car, as it would be a diesel or petrol car. It also has a media screen that can utilize key safety messaging and instructions, guiding motorists through the refueling process as well as general site advertisements.

What opportunities does the hydrogen revolution offer to your business and businesses like yours?

It presents a valuable opportunity to participate in a growing market while providing us with the ability to contribute to the decarbonization process to power a cleaner, greener future.
Hydrogen technology is the next logical step for us to advance the market and support our customers’ needs to meet the growing energy diversification within the industry.

Where do you see fresh hydrogen market opportunities?

DFS is focusing on road mobility and the potential in this segment alone is quite significant, especially with long haul and heavy-duty transport. But mobility as a whole offers many opportunities when it comes to hydrogen.

How many hydrogen-related items do you currently have in stock, and are any more on the way?

DFS has an extensive technology roadmap that covers all types of refueling applications within various markets. We provide hydrogen dispensers, and hydrogen refueling stations and our technological spearpoint is on the actual dispensing and cooling of the hydrogen. A complete HRS system can be purpose-built or as a standard configuration and we have several standard configurations with specific capacity ranges. Next to this, we have our cooling and dispensing technology, which we also sell stand-alone.

We are always advancing our technology and developing our fuel and convenience retail offering, and hydrogen is no different. We can enhance our current H2 offerings with media integration (T-Media™), site connectivity options (Prizma), and nozzle orientation.

What are your predictions for product sales given that hydrogen has recently gained a lot of attention?

We see the market is moving from a pilot stage to a more mature phase, with many players in the mobility field interested to participate. As such, we predict a growing market over the coming years with an increase in speed as soon as original truck manufacturers (OEMs) release their fuel-cell electric vehicles.

What do you consider to be your competitive edge in the fuelling solutions market?

Our strengths lie in our knowledge of the retail refueling market, our connection and integration with DFS forecourt technology already being used by clients, and our technical knowledge and experience of clean fuels.

With centuries of fuel dispensing experience, we accelerated our clean energy journey with the acquisition of other companies/brands, such as LIQAL, to bring us to where we are today. We are a leading technology provider, leveraging decades of experience and bringing it to the clean fuel market.
DFS has been present in the clean fuel market for many years and, as such, has been a part of hydrogen adoption discussions for quite some time. This means that we are aware of the requirements and the needs of the industry as well as how we can be best placed to meet their energy demands.
Our core solutions can increase hydrogen dispenser uptime within the market – turning standard hydrogen refueling into professional hydrogen fueling forecourts.

Could you shed some light on your expectations for the market outlook given the current energy transition trends and the potential impact of the ongoing geopolitical situation?

Hydrogen technology is currently still quite expensive, in relation to other clean fuels; however, this will change with economies of scale. Therefore, it is important for governments to keep promoting and investing in the upstream side of hydrogen and in the development of the refueling infrastructure. Once the confidence in transport enterprises is there, and prices are more in line with consumer willingness to pay and convert to hydrogen, then the investment in hydrogen vehicles will come.

What remains the main obstacle to greater uptake of hydrogen on a global scale?

  • The upstream side must grow, substantially for the availability of green hydrogen
  • Green hydrogen at the right price
  • Availability for transporters for OEM trucks
  • Clean fuel infrastructure & investment (station networks)
  • Consumer willingness to invest
  • Economies of scale to decrease costs on a technology level.