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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 02:30 PM
Original message
In U.S., Hydrogen Cars May Line Up With Few Places to Fill Up
http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/in-u-s-hydrogen-cars-may-line-up-with-few-places-to-fill-up/
December 6, 2011, 6:00 am

In U.S., Hydrogen Cars May Line Up With Few Places to Fill Up

By JIM MOTAVALLI
Toyota http://www.toyota-global.com/tokyoms2011/car/concept/car_fcv_r.html">FCV-R concept, a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that had its debut at the Tokyo auto show last week. Toyota and other automakers eager to sell fuel-cell vehicles in America are facing what they call an infrastructure bottleneck.
Last week at the Tokyo auto show, Toyota unveiled its FCV-R concept. According to a Toyota spokesman, John Hanson, the vehicle was designed to give the public an impression of the hydrogen-powered fuel-cell sedan it expected to make available in 2015. With a projected range of more than 400 miles, a production version of the FCV-R would surely dodge the range-anxiety stigma that afflicts battery electric vehicles.

Fuel-cell cars are coming, and not just from Toyota. Daimler, http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/with-cross-country-trip-hyundai-highlights-need-for-hydrogen-fueling-infrastructure/">Hyundai and Honda have all committed to production on the same approximate timetable. Fuel-cell performance has increased, costs have come down and the cars should be ready, automakers say.



Hydrogen stations, which can cost more than $1 million to build, are few and far between in the United States, even in target states like California, which is creating bottlenecks for automakers that are rolling out or ramping up demonstration programs.



From an industry standpoint, vehicle deployment has been slowed due to a lack of infrastructure, the company said in an e-mailed statement. Hyundai also noted in the statement that it planned to build 1,500 hydrogen cars for the global market between 2012 and 2014, and could produce another 2,000 during that period. These vehicles will be active in both the United States and Europe, Hyundai said.

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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. The hydrogen car thing is still ridiculous.nt
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The car thing is still ridiculous. But airplanes are worse.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. No, the car thing is not ridiculous.
To say that, you have to be one of the very few extremely sheltered people who live where they can walk to everything they need. Most people aren't so lucky, and even if they were, I doubt most people want to limit their socializing to the people they can meet in their hometown.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Interesting contention
http://www.nrl.navy.mil/pao/pressRelease.php?Y=2009&R=99-09r
NRL Press Release
99-09r
10/14/2009


Contact: Donna McKinney
[email protected]
202-767-2541

Ion Tiger Fuel Cell Unmanned Air Vehicle Completes 23-Hour Flight

The Naval Research Laboratory's Ion Tiger, a hydrogen-powered fuel cell unmanned air vehicle (UAV), has flown 23 hours and 17 minutes, setting an unofficial flight endurance record for a fuel-cell powered flight. The test flight took place on October 9th through 10th at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The Ion Tiger fuel cell system development team is led by NRL and includes Protonex Technology Corporation, the University of Hawaii, and HyperComp Engineering. The program is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

The electric fuel cell propulsion system onboard the Ion Tiger has the low noise and signature of a battery-powered UAV, while taking advantage of hydrogen, a high-energy fuel. Fuel cells create an electrical current when they convert hydrogen and oxygen into water, with only water and heat as byproducts. The 550-Watt (0.75 horsepower) fuel cell onboard the Ion Tiger has about 4 times the efficiency of a comparable internal combustion engine and the system provides 7 times the energy in the equivalent weight of batteries. The Ion Tiger weighs approximately 37 pounds and carries a 4 to 5 pound payload.


Small UAVs are growing in importance for naval missions, as they provide capabilities ranging from surveillance collection to communication links. Electric UAVs have the additional feature of being nearly undetectable from the ground. Due to the high energy in the fuel cell system onboard the Ion Tiger, it is now possible to do long endurance missions with an electric UAV, thus allowing a larger cruise range and reducing the number of daily launches and landings. This provides more capability while saving time and effort for the crew.



Fuel cell technology is being developed to impact the operational spectrum of technologies including ground, air and undersea vehicles and man-portable power for Marine expeditionary missions. "The Ion Tiger successfully demonstrates ONR's vision to show how efficient, clean technology can be used to improve the warfighter's capabilities," comments ONR's Michele Anderson.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Youre entitled to your opinion
However, I disagree, and so (it seems) do most auto manufacturers.
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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Right now, at this moment...
Hydrogen fuel cell cars have one advantage over EVs - range.

EVs have three advantages over HFCVs - purchase price, cost per mile and in place infrastructure for refueling/charging.

For HFCVs to win they will have to get purchase price below the level of EVs very rapidly. Once/if EVs roughly double in range and drop a few thousand in price they are going to dominate new car sales and it will be very difficult to knock them out of place.

Why would we opt for a vehicle that costs more to drive per mile unless we can buy it for far less money? Unless we figure out a magical way to generate hydrogen we're going to be stuck with a higher per mile price than electricity. All the current ways of turning water into hydrogen are very energy wasteful. Better to use that power to charge batteries.

We can afford to build the hydrogen fueling infrastructure. A million is about what one spends for a new gas station (along with its mini-market). That's not undo-able. But as long as the overall price of driving a HFCV is higher than driving an EV we aren't going to be installing those hydrogen stations.

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I think youll see the cost of FCEVs below BEVs in a few years
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fcv_benefits.shtml


The chart below shows the GHGs generated by various vehicle types and considers all steps of the energy chain from fuel extraction or production to use by the vehicle, not just tailpipe emissions. Even when accounting for the GHGs emitted during hydrogen production, conventional gasoline vehicles generate roughly 2 to 10 times more GHGs per mile than FCVs.

Well-to-Wheels Greenhouse Gases Emissions for Future Mid-Size Car, 20352045

(grams of CO2-equivalent per mile)

U.S. Department of Energy. 2010. http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/10001_well_to_wheels_gge_petroleum_use.pdf">Well-to-Wheels Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Petroleum Use for Mid-Size Light Duty Vehicles. Hydrogen Program Record #10001.




Fuel cell system costs have decreased significantly over the past several years and are nearing DOE's cost goal for 2015.

Onboard hydrogen storage cost targets are currently being re-assessed by DOE.

Source: USDOE, http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/program_records.html">Hydrogen Program: Program Records 5005, 8002, 8019, 9012, and 10004.



To add to the potential range of a BEV, you need a larger/heavier battery, which means you need a beefier suspension, and a more powerful motor to move all of that mass.

To add to the potential range of a FCEV, you essentially need a larger tank.



Why do people opt for gasoline ICE cars over battery-electric cars today, even though the gasoline/ICE car is more expensive to drive per mile?
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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I'm not following you...
Obviously a BEV operating on 100% renewable electricity has the lowest CO2 output. Best case FCEV never gets close.

Now, where is the hydrogen going to come from for the FCEV vehicles of 2015? Mostly from converted natural gas? Is anyone making affordable hydrogen via any other method?

What are the cost projections for a FCEV in 2015? The expected lifetime expectancy of the fuel cells?
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. First off, when is this 100% renewable grid going to arrive?
These projections, by the US Department of Energy are based on the likely future carbon intensity of the US grid.

Secondly, once it arrives, what will power the 100% renewable grid? Will there be any biofuels involved? How do you power an electric car with biofuels? One way, is to burn them to power a generator, to create electricity which is stored in a battery to power a car. Or, you can use it in a fuel cell (which is more efficient.)

Even if you are dealing with electricity from a solar cell, the efficiency of a battery electric vehicle is not that much better than a fuel cell vehicle, especially as the range of the vehicle increases.



A battery electric car and a fuel cell car share many of the same components. The only real differences are that a battery electric car has a large battery, while a fuel cell car likely has a (smaller) battery, a fuel cell and a fuel tank.

The key expense in a fuel cell car is the fuel cell itself, and the price of fuel cells is rapidly coming down.
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fcv_benefits.shtml


The key expense in a battery car is the battery itself, and the price of batteries is coming down, however to increase the range of a battery car (something which most people will agree needs to be done) you will need a larger, heavier and more expensive battery. To increase the range of a fuel cell vehicle simply requires a larger fuel tank (with a negligible increase in the price over a smaller tank.)


Thats why Nissan, todays leading manufacturer of battery electric cars, is developing fuel cell technology.
http://www.green.autoblog.com/2011/10/14/nissan-develops-worlds-best-next-gen-fuel-cell-stack/

Nissan develops "world's best" next-gen fuel cell stack

By Eric Loveday RSS feed

Posted Oct 14th 2011 8:01AM

Nissan has just revealed its next-generation fuel cell stack, one that offers 2.5 times greater power density than the version the automaker created in 2005. Two-and-a-half times may not mean much to most readers, so how about this: Nissan says the fuel cell power density of 2.5 kW per liter is the "world's best" among automakers.

The Japanese automaker is in the process of developing production-viable fuel-cell vehicles and says much of its remaining work rests on breakthroughs such as this next-gen fuel cell. The new fuel cell stack features an improved membrane electrode assembly, which helped pave the way for the unit's boosted power density. What's more, Nissan's next-gen fuel cell uses one-fourth the amount of platinum compared to the now-dated 2005 stack, which enables Nissan to construct the power-dense unit for one-sixth the cost of the old version.

Nissan reportedly aims to launch a fuel cell passenger vehicle sometime after 2015 at a price of less than ten million yen ($130,170 U.S. at today's exchange rate).
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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I would guess...
That the green grid will evolve over the next 40 years. We could do the job in 20 years but we, at the moment, lack the will to do so.

Here's what I'm using as the base for my guess. Over the next 40 years our coal plants will die a natural death. Coal plants will not be replaced because renewables and gas turbines will provide cheaper power than new coal plants. (Construction costs are very high.)

Over the next 40 years the price of wind, solar and storage will drop lower and the price of natural gas will rise to the point where is will be cheaper to use renewables and storage than natural gas.

I think 40 years is an outside limit for ~90% of our electricity to come from renewables. I can see natural gas turbines hanging around for a long time for deep backup, for peak-peak power.

I can see us getting to ~90% from renewables in 30 years. Were I making a bet I think 30 years is about where I'd put my money.

Wind and solar prices are falling, solar falling quickly. In non-regulated markets wind and solar will force fossil fuels off the grid. That is already happening.

US citizens could become even more concerned about climate change and the health damage caused by burning fossil fuels. That could bring about a carbon price of some sort which would drive up the price of fossil fuel-electricity which would drive more of the market to renewables.

If the Arctic sea ice 'death spiral' continues expect a significant increase in climate change in the next few years.

If the current number of extreme weather events continue for a few more years look for people to start demanding that something be done about climate change. That, I think, will lead to more financial support for renewables and some sort of a price on carbon - either a carbon tax or a cap and trade system.

We are a small carbon charge away from creating a massive rush to install renewable generation.

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. The 100% Renewable Grid
You may be interested by this report: (Moderators, please note, report from US Government lab, unlimited release, copyright concerns are nil.)

http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/progress11/x_2_schoenung_2011.pdf

SANDIA REPORT

SAND2011-4845
Unlimited Release
Printed August 2011

Economic Analysis of Large-Scale Hydrogen Storage for Renewable Utility Applications

Susan Schoenung, Ph.D.

Prepared by Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185 and Livermore, California 94550
Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energys National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

Approved for public release; further dissemination unlimited.



Abstract

The work reported here supports the efforts of the Market Transformation element of the DOE Fuel Cell Technology Program. The portfolio includes hydrogen technologies, as well as fuel cell technologies. The objective of this work is to model the use of bulk hydrogen storage, integrated with intermittent renewable energy production of hydrogen via electrolysis, used to generate grid-quality electricity. In addition the work determines cost-effective scale and design characteristics and explores potential attractive business models.

Executive Summary


Results are presented for a base case in which wind energy is converted to stored hydrogen during the high-wind, low-load periods; the stored hydrogen is used to fuel a utility scale fuel cell during peak-periods of demand. Results are also presented for the case in which the excess wind power would otherwise be curtailed, or spilled, and thus is available for charging storage at no cost. Various energy storage technologies are compared, as listed in Table E1.

Table E1. Technologies compared in this study.
Technology
Advanced lead-acid batteries
Sodium sulfur batteries
Flow batteries
Compressed Air Energy Storage
Pumped hydroelectric storage
Bulk hydrogen energy storage from electrolysis with fuel cell power generation

Results of the comparison for the spilled wind case show a hydrogen system at DOE target costs to be competitive with other large-scale technologies, as shown in Figure E1.

Figure E1. Annual cost results for the case of spilled wind.


In a benefit / cost analysis, the present value of benefits exceeds the present value of costs, on a $/kW basis, for the case of spilled wind, especially at target costs, as shown in Figure E2. On a $/kWh basis, the comparison is even more attractive, as shown in Figure E3.


Figure E2. Present value of costs and benefits for hydrogen systems on a $/kW basis.



Figure E3. Present value of costs and benefits for hydrogen systems on $/kWh basis.


Some conclusions from this study include the following:
  • Hydrogen energy storage is an ideal match for renewables of all scales, especially large-scale wind.

  • Hydrogen with renewables is effective for reducing green house gases from power generation.

  • Underground storage offers opportunities to store H2 because of large capacity and competitive cost.

  • Stationary hydrogen and fuel cell applications complement the electric system across a spectrum of sizes:

    • Residential and communities

    • Distributed generation

    • Load and source - leveling

  • Market opportunities need development.
Not discussed in this report, but also true
  • H2 produced by electrolysis from renewable energy can also supply fuel for transportation.

Recommendations for further work include:
  • Add scaling considerations to utility business model, considering the spectrum of value propositions, both at much large scale of storage, and smaller scale of storage.

  • Add location considerations to cost and benefit analysis.

  • Build third-party (non-utility) opportunities into business model.

  • Continue discussions and deliberations with commercial interests regarding market potential.



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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Interesting, thanks...
It does look like hydrogen is a contender for storage. If they can hit the low target. There's a lot of space between "best case" and "worst case", the mid-range line is out of contention.

Left off this graph is the sodium-ion battery which is looking like a contender.



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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Fuel cell cars...
First, I'm not opposed to fuel cell cars. I welcome whatever gets us off fossil fuels. If we can do so with fuel cells and biofuel then GREAT!

But I'm not seeing FCVs beating out EVs. Two problems, cost of fuel and cost of infrastructure.

If we make hydrogen from electricity and water we encounter large energy losses over using that electricity to power EVs. That will make the $/mile costs higher for FCVs. I'm also not convinced that we have an affordable biofuel option. I see no route for petroleum becoming less expensive.

If we go the route of FCVs using a fuel other than what can be dispensed through our existing gas pump systems then we've got to create a lot of infrastructure.

Right now we have 164,000 (as of 2007) gas stations in the US. Someone posted a couple days ago that hydrogen fuel stations would cost $1 million each. $164,000,000,000 to replace our existing gas stations with hydrogen stations. That's a cost that would have to be passed on to FCV drivers.

FCVs have only one advantage that I can see over EVs and that is range.

EVs are likely to reach "normal" vehicle prices in the next few years. They are already very cheap to drive per mile. With what is happening in the lab we are likely to see range improvements soon. (Nissan has just said that their 2014 Leaf will have much better range.)

As I watch the progress away from ICEVs I see EVs more likely to solve their range and purchase price problems sooner than FCVs solving their purchase price, fuel price and infrastructure problems. Like I said, if FCVs get there first that's fine with me but it's not how I'm watching the horses round the far turn.

If EVs bump range up to about 175 highway miles and purchase price within a couple thousand dollars of ICEVs then I think they get firmly planted in position and it will become very difficult to dislodge them.

I can see a fuel cell plug-in hybrid somewhere out there. A fuel cell burning gasoline as a way to give extra power/range to those who drive a lot often and/or carry/tow large loads at times. But I don't think we'll build a hydrogen infrastructure for them. I think they might flourish while we use up our remaining ICEVs and then fade away.

I admit that I have considerable faith that we will develop much better batteries in the near future. If that does not happen then I suspect FCVs will be our future.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Fuel cell cars
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 09:54 AM by OKIsItJustMe
First off, generally fuel cells are associated with hydrogen, but thats not necessarily the case.

For example, Oorja produces methanol fuel cells.
http://www.oorjaprotonics.com/products/AboutMethanol.html


Or, if you like you can install a fuel cell stack in a Volt (instead of an ICE) to use gasoline more efficiently.
http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/39203/?p1=A1

Gasoline Fuel Cell Would Boost Electric Car Range

The advanced fuel cell could eliminate range anxiety and make electric cars more practical, while keeping carbon-dioxide emissions low.

Friday, December 2, 2011 | By Kevin Bullis

If you want to take an electric car on a long drive, you need a gas-powered generator, like the one in the Chevrolet Volt, to extend its range. The problem is that when it's running on the generator, it's no more efficient than a conventional car. In fact, it's even less efficient, because it has a heavy battery pack to lug around.

Now researchers at the University of Maryland have made a fuel cell that could provide a far more efficient alternative to a gasoline generator. Like all fuel cells, it generates electricity through a chemical reaction, rather than by burning fuel, and can be twice as efficient at generating electricity as a generator that uses combustion.




But, lets assume were using hydrogen. How inefficient is electrolysis? Daniel Nocera and company have produced catalysts which electrolyze water at close to 100% efficiency!
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1162018



Do you think we will need to replace all of our filling stations with hydrogen stations? Do you think if we did there would be any economies of scale? However, lets assume that there arent. Well go with 100% replacement at a cost of $164,000,000,000 (wow! thats a lot of money! Isnt it!?)

Of course, the only reason wed replace 100% of the stations is because were replacing 100% of the cars. (Right?)

OK, currently, we have about 250,000,000 cars. Lets say that our new hydrogen fuel cell cars cost what? $20,000 on average? OK, then in total, they will cost $5,000,000,000,000 (about 30 times the infrastructure costs.) Looked at another way, the infrastructure costs are about $656/car. (What are the per car infrastructure costs for BEVs? e.g. what does a home charger cost?)
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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Well....
We don't have $20k fuel cell cars. We've got some $100k fuel cell cars, last I heard. We'll have to see if it's possible to manufacture and sell FCV for the low, low.

Home charging for EVs. Many people need nothing but an extension cord. Others will need a 240vac outlet - the sort of small money you need to spend if you decide to put a clothes dryer in your garage. Almost no one will need a home rapid charger.

If we go FCVs then we will need enough hydrogen fueling stations to make it possible to drive from point A to point B. And eventually, if FCV is our future we will need as many hydrogen outlets as we currently have gas pumps. Can't get hydrogen out of a wall socket.

Now, I can't tell anything about "100% efficiency!" from your link. It does not address compression and shipping. It doesn't address the inefficiency of a fuel cell in converting the energy in hydrogen to motion.

There are many inefficiencies in the electricity -> hydrogen -> work chain. Each of them make FCVs less efficient. The question becomes whether it becomes cheaper to start with wind/solar electricity, go through the hydrogen chain to move vehicles or to go direct to batteries/electric motors to do the moving.

It's going to come down to cost. EVs are likely to get to the low cost point first (unless battery technology stalls).

If EVs can solve the range/cost problem first they will blow ICEVs out of the market. They are just too damned cheap per mile.

If EVs get firmly implanted before FCVs can get cheap and build fueling infrastructure then I don't see FCVs gaining significant market share. If FCVs were only a small percentage cheaper a switch from EVs to FCVs won't happen. The difference would have to be signficant.

It's a race. Seems to me that EVs are in the lead at the moment. Of course leaders sometimes stumble and sometimes contenders further back in the pack are able to surge ahead.

Perhaps EVs will win on everything but range. If so, then we might see PHEVs play a role. And we might use fuel cells for range extenders. If all we were doing with the fuel cells was providing for the infrequent long trip then we could get by with a few filling stations along our highways.







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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. We don't have $20k fuel cell cars. We've got some $100k fuel cell cars, last I heard.
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 01:27 PM by OKIsItJustMe
(So the infrastructure costs become less significant. Right?)


Remind me, what was the initial price of the Tesla Roadster again? What is the current price for other pure BEVs with a 200+ mile range? (i.e. the Volt doesnt count.)


Can't get hydrogen out of a wall socket.

Actually, you sort of can get hydrogen out of a wall socket (assuming you have water as well.)
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/epri_h2_market_study.pdf

EPRI Hydrogen Briefing to DOE

Home Electrolyzer Technology Assessment
An EPRI Technology Innovation Funded Project

The objectives of this project were to:
  • Demonstrate Proof-of-Concept by successfully operating its unique PEM IFF Electrolyzer/Hydrogen Generator.

  • Develop a specific electrolyzer system design and assess the technical and economic feasibility for a home automotive refueling (HHR appliance) sized to support the operation of a single passenger car.

  • Develop an R&D action plan for the next steps.


Or you can use natural gas.

http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/home-energy-station.aspx



All of the efficiency arguments that are raised against fuel cells do so, by obscuring key facts:
  1. Battery electric cars become less efficient as their range increases.
    Greater range requires a larger, heavier, more expensive battery. A heavier battery requires a larger motor, a beefier suspension
    (There are reasons why the LEAF and other EVs currently have a limited range compared to the Tesla Roadster.)
  2. For the next few decades (at least) we will be dealing with various sorts of fuel (gasoline, natural gas, bio fuels, etc.) starting with one of these, a fuel cell is more efficient.
    (Assuming that to run your EV, you will be burning a fuel to generate electricity.)



As for how many hydrogen filling stations we will need, what percentage of filling stations would you say currently have diesel fuel?
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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Stuff...
We would need a few hydrogen stations at first, many more if we go the FCV route. We can't say much based on the number of diesel stations, we drive few diesel vehicles in the US. It's mostly used for large trucks and commercial/agricultural machinery. We have a few diesel pumps along highways, not that many inside cities.

And diesel is just another liquid fuel like grades of gasoline. We can clean out a tank, make some pump adjustments, and sell diesel at any gas station.

--

Making hydrogen at home. I really don't see that happening. Lots of infrastructure costs. Hydrogen is a tricky beast to keep stored, it loves to leak. Then it loves to go Bang!

---

The 240 mile range Tesla Roadster started somewhere above $100,000. The Tesla S with a 300 mile range will be considerably less.

The Nissan Leaf with a 100 mile range is a bit over $30,000. Nissan has stated that their 2014 Leaf will have more range and be cheaper. How much, they haven't announced. But all of that shows that ranges are rising and prices falling.

Again, if we go to FCVs it will be because FCVs get very much cheaper than EVs and do so in a hurry.

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. As Ive said before, I expect FCEVs to get cheaper pretty quickly
My folks drove a diesel automobile in the 70s. In those days, they needed to know which stations had diesel, however, they never ran out. (My point is that we do not need to convert 100% of the stations to make hydrogen cars practical.)

(Home charging of BEVs is not practical for many apartment dwellers without garages.)


What, exactly, is the great hazard of home hydrogen? Its a small molecule, which can leak (slowly) out of a metal tank, at which point it rises quite quickly, and will be contained by conventional building materials?

Maybe, we need a better way to store it than in a metal can.

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/better-hydrogen-storage-0919.html

Findings could lead to better hydrogen storage

MIT-led research demonstrates method that could allow inexpensive carbon materials to store the volatile gas at room temperature.

David L. Chandler, MIT News Office

September 19, 2011

Hydrogen has long been considered a promising alternative to fossil fuels for powering cars, trucks and even homes. But one major obstacle has been finding lightweight, robust and inexpensive ways of storing the gas, whose atoms are so tiny they can easily escape from many kinds of containers.

New research by a team from MIT and several other institutions analyzes the performance of a class of materials considered a promising candidate for such storage: activated carbon that incorporates a platinum catalyst, so hydrogen atoms can bond directly to the surface of carbon particles and then be released when needed.

Such a storage system could avoid the cost and weight associated with conventional hydrogen storage: Current approaches either liquefy the gas, requiring energy-intensive systems and heavy insulation to maintain a temperature of minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit; or store it under high pressure, requiring powerful pumps and robust tanks to withstand 5,000 to 10,000 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure. Bonding the hydrogen to a highly porous, sponge-like material such as a metal hydride or activated carbon makes it possible to use ambient pressure and room temperature in storage tanks that could be lighter, cheaper and safer.



This storage system, once tuned to achieve the desired capacity, should be capable of storing hydrogen under moderate pressure (possibly around 500 psi), then releasing the gas on demand simply by releasing the pressure, Chen says. When you break the hydrogen molecules down to atoms using the spillover effect, it binds with the material with much less binding energy, so you can pump it out easily, he says.




Personally, as an initial step, I would like to see all dealerships that sell hydrogen cars, sell hydrogen as well. That would help with the chicken/egg paradox.


About that Tesla S can I buy one today? (The Tesla Roadster, once it went on sale, cost more than it was projected to.)
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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Hydrogen at home...
I have to vent my storage batteries to the outside to keep hydrogen from building up to dangerous level in a normally constructed room.

Tesla S should be available for purchase in a few months. They are now going into production. The Roadster price did go up about 10%. There were higher priced Roadsters which had more 'goodies'.

There's a route to switching from oil to hydrogen rather than electricity. It's an economic question as to whether it makes sense to choose that route. If we go the hydrogen direction then we're likely to see hydrogen fleet vehicles first, just like we're seeing some natural gas fleets. Then we'll see a few hydrogen stations in the first places where FCVs will be sold, just like we're seeing Level 2 and 3 charging stations installed in EV markets.

You do realize that you are building your FCV case on "could happen" stuff, don't you? We might be able to make hydrogen from water efficiently, but no one has done so in a real world condition yet. We might learn how to store hydrogen more efficiently, but there are none of these systems up and running. We might be able to get fuel costs down and lifetimes significantly longer, but we haven't so far.

There are significant problems yet to be solved with hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

EVs are on the road and electricity in the grid. If batteries get no better in order to give us great range we could either go the Volt route with PHEVs or the Bright Place route and do battery swaps for long distance driving. These are up and running technologies.

Honda is introducing an EV next year with a 123 mile range and batteries rated to last 400,000 miles. Nissan is promising increased range and lower prices in 2014. Over the next few years we are likely to see increases in EV range and decreases in price. FCVs would have to get to the cheap point first to grab market and I don't see signs of them doing that.

Lots of us thought hydrogen FCVs would be the dominate technology for future driving a few years back, but then EV battery technology made major gains. It's all about the batteries, get capacity up and price down and we have an affordable, clean personal transportation solution.


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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Fuel Cell Vehicle Fleets
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 03:14 PM by OKIsItJustMe
http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/news-events/news-archive/2011/october/london%E2%80%99s-fuel-cell-taxi-fleet-confirmed-under-new-hytec-project

Londons Fuel Cell Taxi Fleet Confirmed Under New HyTEC Project

31 Oct 2011



The Intelligent Energy/Lotus London hydrogen fuel cell black cabs are to be deployed under a new European consortium HyTEC Hydrogen Transport for European Cities, which consists of sixteen companies from five European countries and is part-funded by the FCH JU. The deployment will consist of: one new Air Products refuelling station, fifteen black cabs and five Suzuki Bergmann scooters.

The new hydrogen station will be used in conjunction with the two existing stations used to service the fuel cell buses on the RV1 route, creating the foundation of a London hydrogen infrastructure. The fuel cell taxi, first http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/news-events/news-archive/2010/june/fuel-cell-hybrid-london-taxi-unveiled">announced in June 2010 has a top speed of over 80 mph and a range of more than 250 miles has received widespread press over the last year. It was hoped that the entire fleet would be deployed in time for the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games but todays release only confirms that some will be ready; it also does not explain how the scooters will be used.



http://www.ballard.com/about-ballard/newsroom/news-releases/news02151103.aspx

Ballard Fuel Cell Modules To Power Fleet of Clean Energy Transit Buses in Norway

February 15, 2011

Demonstrates Europes commitment to state-of-the-art public transportation
Clean power well-to-wheels, including hydrogen production

For Immediate Release February 15, 2011

VANCOUVER, CANADA Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD; NASDAQ: BLDP) announced that it has entered into a contract for the supply of fuel cell power modules to power five zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell buses operated by the HyNor Oslo Buss group, to service the greater Oslo area.

This contract is a further sign of the growth potential that clean fuel cell power has in the larger global transit bus marketplace, as transit agencies implement environmental improvements, said Michael Goldstein, Ballards Chief Commercial Officer. And, it is an important step in the execution of our strategy toward commercialization in the short-term.

Under the contract announced by Ballard, Belgian coach manufacturer Van Hool NV has contracted with Ballard following a competitive bidding process to use the companys FCvelocity fuel cell module in the buses it will provide to the HyNor Oslo Buss group, comprised of the Ruter transit agency, Akershus County Administration, Oslo Municipality and Zero, an environmental organization. Siemens will also be a participant in the project, providing electric drive systems that will draw power from the Ballard fuel cell modules. Increased volumes of fuel cell-powered buses are expected to support cost and price reductions through scale economies, enabling fuel cell solutions to compete effectively with incumbent transit technologies.



The zero-emission 13-meter (43-foot) fuel cell buses will be put into regular passenger service by the end of 2011 and will be fueled by clean hydrogen produced locally at the Rosenholm bus depot. Hydrogen will be generated through electrolysis of water, using electrical energy from renewable sources. As a result, the Oslo bus fleet will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100% on a well-to-wheels basis, compared to diesel or diesel hybrid alternatives, eliminating as much as 4,000 tons of CO2 over the first five-years of use.




http://www.ballard.com/about-ballard/newsroom/news-releases/news11141101.aspx

American Fuel Cell Bus Program Delivers Buy America-Compliant Fuel Cell Bus to SunLine Transit Agency

November 14, 2011
For Immediate Release

VANCOUVER, CANADA Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) today announced that it has, together with consortium partners BAE Systems and ElDorado National (California) Inc., successfully deployed a Buy America-compliant, zero-emission fuel cell bus for SunLine Transit Agency in Palm Springs, CA. The Buy America regulation requires the manufacturing of the bus and key components in the United States, in alignment with objectives set out by the Federal Government.

This bus was developed under the Federal Transit Administrations (FTA) National Fuel Cell Bus Program, which facilitates the development of commercially viable fuel cell bus technologies and related infrastructure for deployment in revenue service. The FTA has played a key role in accelerating fuel cell bus deployments and providing greater public exposure to the safe operation of zero emission vehicles, which is leading to a broader acceptance of this technology. FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan spoke at todays unveiling event in Palm Springs.




http://www.ballard.com/about-ballard/newsroom/news-releases/news11171101.aspx

Ballard To Provide Fuel Cells For Two Additional SunLine Transit Buses Under FTA Award

November 17, 2011

Follows earlier launch of first Buy America-compliant fuel cell bus, also powered by Ballard

For Immediate Release

VANCOUVER, CANADA Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) will be providing fuel cell modules to power two new fuel cell hybrid buses, funded under the Federal Transit Administrations (FTA) Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program. As per todays announcement by the FTA, Ballard will work together with consortium partners BAE Systems and ElDorado National (California) to deliver these buses to SunLine Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, CA.

The TIGGER Program works directly with public transportation agencies to implement new strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering energy use within transit operations. Through this Program, the FTA is playing a key role in accelerating fuel cell bus deployments, providing greater public exposure to the safe operation of zero-emission vehicles and encouraging broader acceptance of the technology.

Bill Foulds, Ballards President of U.S. Operations said, Earlier this week the very first All-America fuel cell-powered bus, using a Ballard module, was unveiled by SunLine Transit Agency and FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan. The additional funding announced today by the FTA to grow SunLines fuel cell bus fleet is further validation of our Buy America-compliant technology.

Under this new award, Ballard will supply FCvelocitytm-HD6 power modules for ElDorado fuel cell hybrid buses featuring a series hybrid electric drive from lead integrator BAE Systems. It is anticipated that these buses will be operational in 2013, bringing the total number of Ballard-powered buses in use at SunLine Transit to four.


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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Electrolyzer to provide energy storage for wind-hydrogen installation
http://www.windpowerengineering.com/design/electrical/grid/electrolyzer-to-provide-energy-storage-for-wind-hydrogen-installation/

Electrolyzer to provide energy storage for wind-hydrogen installation

December 1, 2011 by Paul Dvorak

A manufacturer of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products says it has been selected by the City of Herten, Germany to store hydrogen generated from wind power. Herten is a major German hydrogen cluster for electro-mobility as well as renewable energy projects.

Renewable wind energy is a good source of power for communities to offset the demand traditionally served by electricity from fossil fuels. Wind energy also has significant potential as part of Germanys commitment to phase out nuclear power by 2020. By incorporating hydrogen energy storage, excess wind power can be stored and redeployed when the wind is not blowing, ultimately supplying a greater percentage of the communitys overall power requirements with improved stability and reliability.

To meet the project requirements, Hydrogenics will provide one HySTAT 30 hydrogen generation unit and a HyPM 50 kW fuel cell power system to Herten in 2012. This combination will demonstrate the advantage of hydrogen with its ability to scale and store significant amounts of energy for long periods with negligible loss. From storage, the energy will be redeployed through fuel cells as electricity to the grid, or as fuel for zero emission vehicles and other devices, such as industrial equipment.

Electrolyzing water into hydrogen using excess intermittent renewable energy is the optimal clean pathway to smart-grid stabilization and energy storage. It has real advantages over alternative energy storage solutions, said Hydrogenics CEO Daryl Wilson.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Electric vehicles are tip of the iceberg
http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/feature/electric-vehicles-are-tip-of-the-iceberg/41756/

Electric vehicles are tip of the iceberg

Mention alternative fuels and most minds will turn automatically to electric vehicles.

Considering the number of newspaper column inches that have been devoted to EVs, thats no surprise. But there are currently just four models available (excluding the Tesla roadster and G-Wiz), while the Governments incentive scheme has paid out on only 800 vehicles.



Many commentators point to EVs and their ilk as stop-gap measures until hydrogen fuel cell becomes viable. This, they claim, is the real future for vehicles.



In 2010, Kia was one of seven manufacturers to sign an agreement to make fuel cell vehicles available by the middle of this decade.

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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Just four EVs...
Refresh my memory. How many fuel cell cars are on the market today?

The four - Nissan Leaf, BYD e6, Volvo C30, Renault Fluence, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, THINK City, CommuterCars Tango, Fisker Karma, Citron C-ZERO, Smart EV, Wheego Whip LiFe. And a whole bunch of electric delivery vans and trucks.

New math at work....

How many manufactures have EVs scheduled for release in the next couple of years?

The Ford Focus EV, Tesla S, Honda FiT and GM Spark are some of the new EVs coming to the market in 2012. At least four more EVs from companies that have a proven track record. Oh, and the Toyota Prius PHEV.

Here's what I think. I think oil refining and distribution companies are praying that hydrogen fuel cell cars can get a foothold in the market so that they can morph from selling us gasoline and diesel to selling us hydrogen.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Oh no! Its big oil again!
You know they run the world!

:tinfoilhat:
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
25. Difference in system efficiency of batt elec vs fuel cell for transport is extremely large.
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 04:03 PM by kristopher
OK wrote, "Even if you are dealing with electricity from a solar cell, the efficiency of a battery electric vehicle is not that much better than a fuel cell vehicle, especially as the range of the vehicle increases."

IIRC when we are looking at the amount of noncarbon generation needed to be deployed to meet transportation energy needs, the overall system efficiency of FCV requires 60% more generating infrastructure than does battery electric. That is a HUGE difference and it is the primary reason the DOE has shifted emphasis to battery electric drive. There are also very important value streams related to various storage applications that can be stacked on the battery electric fleet that simply don't exist for H. That not only applies to the batteries in the vehicles being driven, but to the used ones that are rotated out when they eventually drop to only working at 80% of their original capacity.

The decline in energy density is significant for mobile applications, but the residual storage capacity for fixed applications is not at all impacted. In other words when doing a legitimate benefit/cost analysis of EV battery packs you must consider not only transportation value but also their value as grid storage as well as the residual resale value for uses after they are removed from EV service.

It is really a no brainer from the macro view. That's why FERC loves battery EVs.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. 60% more noncarbon generating infrastructure
60% is significant, but not a factor of 2 or 3.


However, todays grid is primarily powered by burning fuel. Taking that same fuel and reforming it to make hydrogen for use in a FCEV would be more more efficient than burning it to generate electricity for use in a BEV.

When the magic day arrives, and we have an non-carbon grid, or even a majority non-carbon grid, lets review the state of automobile technologies.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. 60% is HUGE.
You are making an obviously absurd self-serving argument.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. OK, so in 25-30 years, maybe BEVs will have a clear advantage
However, today, they do not.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Yes they do. You are just in denial.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. OK, got it!
So, about the business of burning stuff as opposed to reforming it

You believe thats hogwash I guess.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. New Energy Sources Fuel Interest from Secretary of the Navy
http://www.onr.navy.mil/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2011/Fuel-Energy-Secretary-Navy-Hawaii.aspx

New Energy Sources Fuel Interest from Secretary of the Navy

Office of Naval Research
Corporate Strategic Communications
875 N. Randolph St., #1224
Arlington, Va. 22203-1771
Office: 703-696-5031
Fax: 703-696-5940
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.onr.navy.mil
Facebook: www.facebook.com/officeofnavalresearch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DEC. 8, 2011

By Katherine H. Crawford, Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va.Underscoring the importance of alternative energy for the military, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visited Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Dec. 7 to learn about possible Department of the Navy-wide applications for http://www.onr.navy.mil/">Office of Naval Research (ONR)-funded fuel cell vehicles (FCV) and high-efficiency trash disposal technology.

Mabus, who also attended events marking the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, was updated on progress with General Motors Equinox FCVs sponsored by ONR, five of which are located in Hawaii. The vehicles are being tested for possible use at DON installations, and fuel cell technology is being considered as a potential power source for unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV), auxiliary power units, pier-side generators and other applications.

To meet the secretarys energy goals, we need alternative, clean and reliable energy sources, said Dr. Richard Carlin, director of ONRs http://www.onr.navy.mil/Science-Technology/Departments/Code-33.aspx">Sea Warfare and Weapons Department, which has a focus area on alternative fuels. Fuel cells provide a means to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by using sustainable alternative fuels and by increasing energy efficiency. They also provide advantages to tactical platforms, including ships and unmanned vehicles, by increasing platform ranges and reducing detectable heat and acoustic signatures.

The FCV program at Marine Corps Base Hawaii has increased the percentage of green vehicles at the base to 30. It is anticipated that by the end of 2012, more than 50 percent of the base vehicle fleet will use alternative fuels, with that number increasing to 70 percent by 2015.

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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. They invested heavily in SUVs, too.
It was still ridiculous. As is hydrogen cars. The economics are grossly impractical, the technical challenges are an order of magnitude higher than battery electric vehicles, and for what? So you can still go to a gas station and stick a tube in your car to refuel it, instead of plugging into a wall socket? The "range phobia" of EVs is grotesquely exaggerated, particularly now when you've got vehicles coming out with a 300 mile range that can pick up an 80% charge in 45 minutes. So you stop for 45 minutes every 5 hours on your cross country road trip, instead of for 10 minutes. You'll probably be happier.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I guess youll need to explain these things
|The economics are grossly impractical
Why?

|the technical challenges are an order of magnitude higher than battery electric vehicles
Why?


|you've got vehicles coming out with a 300 mile range that can pick up an 80% charge in 45 minutes
Which vehicles are these?
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