Featured Review of hydrogen

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by bwilson4web, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Prashanta

    Prashanta Active Member

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    Propaganda dressed as facts.

    You're aware that EVs and ICE cars were competitors 100+ years ago? For a variety of reasons, ICE won. Turns out that things could still change, right? Even if it took 100 years to get there.

    You admit that EVs will not replace everything. But all fossil fuels will have to go. That leaves room for something. And that something couldn't possibly be hydrogen, eh? What other possibilities do you have in mind?

    Yes, there's no arguing that BEVs are further ahead than HFC vehicles. And I don't expect that HFCs will catch BRVs in the car market. That doesn't make it a hoax.
     
  2. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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  3. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Don't underestimate our ability to alter infrastructure, quickly.

    Example - when I was growing up, we got our phone calls by wire and our TV through the air. Now we get our phone calls through the air and our TV by wire. That's a big infrastructure shift.

    Some goes with energy. 25 years ago, solar and wind together were around 0.1% of US electricity. Now they are over 10% - a 100 fold increase.

    There are other examples (the airplane shift from internal combustion to jet/turbo prop, the collapse of coal-generated electricity, the shift from nickel-based batteries to lithium-based batteries, the switch from CRT to LCD screens, and so on). When something becomes economically advantageous, we switch to it very quickly.
     
    #23 Lee Jay, Feb 7, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2021
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  4. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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    I agree LeeJay and I think you make a key point-
    "When something becomes economically advantageous, we switch to it very quickly."
     
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  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Guess I'm piling on.
    Of course fuel cells and hydrogen have their own high costs, and the mass production of the cells hasn't happened yet. Considering fuel prices, the ID 3 likely costs as much as a Corolla to own in Europe.

    There is room for other technologies, but it's preposterous to suggest hydrogen is the only one. There are several renewable fuel options to pursue. The likely outcome will be a blending of technologies. Renewable fuels will have a higher cost, and those that can't drop into the current infrastructure will have further costs. Using them as a range extender to a plug in eases those costs.

    Hydrogen is only going to work out as a buffer for the grid in niche applications; mainly in cases where renewable electric production is curtailed for extended periods. Such as during monsoon seasons when solar output is reduced for weeks to months. Batteries win out in day to day buffering.

    Hydrogen from landfill gas seems like a poor use of resources. Several places already use that gas for electric generation, and there is still plenty of fossil fuels to displace from the grid.

    :LOL: It is usually the hydrogen proponents here that act as if battery technology will be stagnant.

    Work is going on in making what are essentially reverse fuel cells. Feed it water and electricity, and you get hydrogen and oxygen. These should reduce the cost of hydrogen production, but that is just one part of hydrogen's high cost. The rest is in getting it to where you want it. It takes a lot of energy to compress, liquidfy, and move around. That is so daunting that hydrogen supporters are looking to transporting hydrogen in another chemical, like ammonia.

    Ammonia already has extensive distribution networks. A researcher in Australia has made reverse FCs in the lab that spit out ammonia directly. Another group came up with an economical way of stripping the hydrogen from the nitrogen. But the wrinkle is that ammonia is a fuel on its own; in fuel cells or engines. Small amounts can even be mixed into current gasoline without changes to cars on the road. Why take the hydrogen off, and then pressurize it to really high levels to fast fill a car when the ammonia can go in directly for lower costs because of the lower pressures and no need for chilling. The same for other potential renewable fuels, like methanol and even methane.

    In shipping, it will be competing with ammonia and methanol. Weight of the hydrogen systems need to be addressed for aviation; hydrogen cars weigh as much as BEVs. Maybe long haul trucking, but batteries and other fuels may make better sense. Personal cars, no. In addition to the higher costs, the hydrogen tanks take up more space than a battery. The new Mirai has a middle rear seat hump like a gen2 Volt, and trunk space like a Fusion Energi, while being around the size of an Avalon on the outside.

    That is a broad brush to a strawman. The Tesla owners here originally has a hybrid, and may still do for their other car. And they bitched about FSPs too. None oppose hybrids, and I haven't seen opposition elsewhere.

    There is a set of EV, not Tesla, supporters that are mostly in Europe that are upset with PHEVs. Their anger is misplaced. PHEVs aren't the problem in Europe, it's the incentive structure. Businesses buy them for the tax benefits, and give them to employees that can't charge them. The Prius PHV is not among the top three sellers there. They are a SUV from Mitsubishi, Volvo, and BMW. None of which has a major gas efficiency advantage over the non-plug model. So PHEVs in Europe aren't helping to reduce carbon emissions to the extent that they could. Some do recognize the source of the problem, and are trying to fix the incentives.

    Tesla people don't discount other BEVs anymore than Toyota people discount GMs. The fact is that until recently, the other manufacturers weren't taking the BEV market seriously, and there hasn't been another BEV that matches a Tesla on range, performance, and price.

    Let's see...
    • Ammonia - has large distribution network for agriculture and industry; storage requires a few hundred pounds of pressure vs CNG and hydrogen; built in leak detection. Down sides are nasty caustic burns with direct exposure, potential NOx emissions, and development level for 100% engines is low.
    • Methanol - also has a large distribution network for industry; plenty of research on engines because it is used as a racing fuel, and there was briefly a methanol flex fuel standard in the US; several ways to make renewably; is a liquid; there already a couple renewable plants for shipping. Downside is toxicity.
    • Methane - also has several paths for renewable, can be transported in the million plus miles of NG pipeline in the US alone; natural gas/methane engines already exist commercially. Downside is the need for high pressure tanks that up limited space in a car.
    • Ethanol - we already make a lot of it, and there are the issues of food for fuel with it, but work is ongoing to address those issues
    • Gasoline and Diesel - once you make methane renewably, you can make these; Audi had pilot plants for methane and fuel oil; Porsche is building a commercial plant for gasoline from wind power in Chile. There is already biodiesel available. Downside is the cost, but the public may accept it as a some time payment for a range extender.
    • There are other bio and renewable fuels in development, but the ones that come to mind are more application specific(jet fuel) than broad use like the above.
    In contrast, there is virtually no hydrogen distribution infrastructure; hydrogen plants and the industries that need it are build near each other. Pipelines and transport for it costs more than any of the above. To be practically used in transportation, it needs to be compressed to extreme pressures or liquidfied. That takes a lot of energy, and is a big part of why hydrogen is over $16/kg in parts of California. The tanks to hold it in cars are heavy and bulky; more so than for CNG. Other storage methods may come along, but so will better batteries and charging.

    The only advantage hydrogen has over the above is in being zero emission at the tail pipe, but PHEVs of those can greatly reduce the daily emissions.

    Was there any errors in his math?
     
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  6. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Trollbait, you are assuming all hydrogen production is to be centralized. This is not the case. Central hydrogen production can be used for major users, such as airports and industry. However, hydrogen for light vehicle use (such as out on the open highway as fuel for a range extender) should be produced on-site by low-power, low-cost electrolyzers. We did this where I work. We had a 75kW electrolyzer, a compressor and a commercial tube trailer for storage. This was not an expensive system. I don't recall the exact number but it was well under a million, including the hydrogen fueling station. And that was a one-off for research. As I recall, it produced something over 1kg per hour, on average, from wind and solar energy also made on-site.
     
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    On site production stations already exist in California. The $16+ per kg price I quoted above was at one such station. On site production isn't as efficient as central, but it can be better than distribution costs. It doesn't get rid of the energy and equipment costs for compressing and chilling the hydrogen for refueling cars. The only solution for that is another storage method that isn't available yet, and will render all the stations and FCEVs build now a loss if it happens. Which is why I say hydrogen cars aren't ready for commercialization.

    We might see onsite renewable ammonia production for a lower capital and production cost for cars before that.
     
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  8. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Ammonia is corrosive and can be fatal if inhaled. It's nasty stuff in large volumes and concentrations. I'm not sure if I'd rather have it or gasoline in my car, but both are way worse than hydrogen from a human-safety point of view.
     
  9. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Why chill the hydrogen? We never did. We just pumped it into the tube trailer and let it drop to ambient. The trailer held 2-3 days of production.
     
  10. t_newt

    t_newt Active Member

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    You have to cool the hydrogen when filling an FCEV because it is getting pressurized to 10,000psi when it gets loaded into the car, which generates enough heat to be dangerous.
     
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  11. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    We pressurized it when going into the tank. I know it had to increase some between the tank and the car, but it was thousands of psi in the tube trailer so it wasn't a lot of additional compression to the car.
     
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Hydrogen needs to be chilled to -40 at a refueling station in order to provide repeated 3 to 5 minute fills. Warmer temps will soon have fills reaching the length of a fast charge.
     
  13. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Why? You must be assuming compression is being done real-time. Further, an additional fill won't heat the outgoing gas more than the first one.

    I don't follow how commercial hydrogen stations work but at ours, we stored it at high pressure so it didn't get hotter when pumping it into a car.
     
  14. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    o_O It is so multiple cars can fill up as fast as a gasoline car, one after another, and even at the same time. The holding tank feeding the dispensers is at a higher pressure. That pressure drops as it fills cars up, so a compressor fills it back up. When the station is busy, the compressor will be filling the holding tank while cars are being refueled.

    Between hydrogen heating up while expanding and being compressed, and avoiding composite tank degradation in the car from heating it too much, the gas needs to start at a low temperature to reliably get those fast fill times. Older hydrogen stations that only took the gas down to 0C could take over 20 minutes to fill 5kg of hydrogen.

    https://www.osti.gov/pages/servlets/purl/1389635
     
    #34 Trollbait, Feb 8, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
  15. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    No, but the equations were picked by an EV supporter, it is a long time battle that consistently give good results when compared some aspects, forgetting others.
     
  16. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    • 3x cost per mile of electrolysis hydrogen generation
    • impractical storage
    • cell poison risk from both hydrogen (must be pure) and even air (intake air risks)
    • still requires a battery buffer, smaller but another design, complicating factor
    Otherwise, hydrogen fuel cells work great in large vehicles, non-nuclear submarines, and older design spacecraft. Battery technology is and continues to improve and become cheaper. So the old joke, 'first prize is one hydrogen powered <anything> and second prize is two.'

    Bob Wilson
     
  18. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    That's why we didn't use one. Our tank was, if I recall correctly, 68kg so it represented about 2-3 days of production. It was an outdoor steel tube trailer so it rapidly reduced the compressed hydrogen to ambient air temperature.
     
  19. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Okay Bob, read this:

    Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report - EIA

    Specifically, this:

    [​IMG]

    Let me do the math for you. The difference between the peak and the trough on that chart is around 1 million gigawatt-hours of net seasonal energy storage. Now, imagine you have to do that using batteries. A giga-factory is, what, 150GWh a year of total production? How are you going to do seasonal energy storage using batteries?
     
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