Skip to comments.Fuel cells: is the future now?
Posted on 01/20/2011 7:13:44 AM PST by Red Badger
Some new developments indicate that the once "future" fuel cell technology for commercial vehicles may be "now." Green Car Congress recently reported that, under the terms of an agreement drawn up earlier this year, Vision Motor Corp., designers and manufacturers of hydrogen fuel cell Class 8 heavy-duty commercial trucks, would deliver two of its H2-fueled big rigs and a single terminal tractor to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in early 2011.
According to the announcement, all of the heavy-duty trucks are driven by electric motors, with battery packs that are recharged by the vehicles on-board hydrogen fuel cells. The trucks will undergo 18 months of real world testing under conditions that any diesel-fueled short-haul vehicle would typically encounter. Each of the two ports has agreed to dish out $212,500 from a Technology Advancement Program fund to buy the trucks. The H2-fueled vehicles will be operated by Total Transportation Services Inc., a trucking firm that operates at both ports, while the lone yard tractor will be under the control of California Cartage Express.
In addition, Indias leading automaker, Tata Motors, has developed a range of hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial vehicles like buses and light trucks. The fuel cell powered commercial vehicles are now under trials in the companys European Technical Centre.
With the trend of eco-friendly vehicles on the way and scope for more subsidies from the governments, the international auto majors are testing their expertise in coming out with vehicles having less pollution. And in this trend of green technology, many other global car companies like Nissan, Honda, BMW, and Daimler Benz have also joined.
The technology has been introduced into test motorcoaches in the U.S. previously. Four next-generation fuel cell-powered hybrid-electric transit buses were introduced last month in Hartford, joining an earlier generation bus that began service in 2007. The new buses will be operated by Connecticut Transit (CTTransit) and are equipped with UTC Power fuel cell systems. UTC Power is a United Technologies Corp. company.
The new buses, part of the Federal Transit Administrations national Fuel Cell Bus Program, recognized Hartford for adopting fuel cell technology to power transit buses. Only the Greater Oakland/San Francisco, Calif., area will have a larger fuel cell bus fleet in the United States, also equipped with UTC Power fuel cell systems. Fuel cell buses run on hydrogen and produce no harmful tailpipe emissions; they emit only water vapor. Their clean operation can have an immediate positive impact on street-level emissions.
According to CTTransits Assistant General Manager-Maintenance Services, Steve Warren, The fuel cell bus weve been operating since 2007 has demonstrated that the technology works and its fuel efficiency is about two times better than a standard diesel powered bus. With the reduced weight of the new model bus, our fuel economy should get even better. And drivers and the riding public tell us they love the quiet, smooth ride and appreciate the environmental benefits.
Rest In Peace, old friend, your work is finished.....
If you want ON or OFF the DIESEL KnOcK LIST just FReepmail me.....
This is a fairly HIGH VOLUME ping list on some days.....
So how much subsidy is required? What about hydrogen stations? Who pays for that? Who pays for the conversion costs? Who pays for the increased cost of production? Who pays for the production of significant amounts of hydrogen? Who pays to store it? Who pays to transport it?
Probably the taxpayers. Again. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
How much energy is expended in obtaining the hydrogen?
Yard tractors are a long way from over the road trucking, let alone over the mountain trucking.
Fuel cell tech sounds like it might be fine for cars and local fleet vehicles.
But a fuel cell combined with regenerative braking may be cheaper overall than a natural gas or diesel powered bus.
“Indias leading automaker, Tata Motors”
(hee hee hee hee?)
“Car fire raises safety concerns for Tata Motors”
Published: Thursday, March 25, 2010, 6:42 PM Updated: Thursday, March 25, 2010, 6:50 PM
I expect to see Apple jump to the forefront on Fuel Cells. The Liquid Metal patent they now own, sounds almost ideal for use in Fuel Cells. The metal has to be very corrosion resistant, capable of handling high temperatures, and very conductive (Liquid Metal is ideal).
I expect Apple to release a Fuel Cell powered product in the next year. Imagine an iPod that can run for a day or two off a tablespoon of water.
I was in Japan last year and all the Tokyo city busses and maintence vehicles were hydrogen powered. Honda has an Accord that is hydrogen powered, with a home power station,and 55 mpg, but the U.S. will not let them import it
Just moved from my home in CA. It was on a street served by the transit bus system. Would have been greatful if those busses had been quiet electric!
The answer is FAR more than you get from burning (oxidizing) the hydrogen in the fuel cell! More than half the electricity in the US comes from burning coal. A hydrogen fuel cell vehicle simply is an inefficient coal powered vehicle.
1) how long before the truck needs to be refeuled?
2) doesn’t it take more energy to put the hydrogen INTO a cell than you get out of it?
Intel has bought a company with a fuel cell product ready to go to market which will use butane to power the fuel cell recharging device. Hopefully, one of those will soon be replacing the rats nest of cables I lug around!
gas -> combustion-> mechanical motion -> electrical current
gas-> electrochemical reaction -> electrical current
No moving parts, no energy lost to friction and wear. Hence, almost 2x as efficient as internal combustion engines.
“So how much subsidy is required? What about hydrogen stations? Who pays for that? Who pays for the conversion costs? Who pays for the increased cost of production? Who pays for the production of significant amounts of hydrogen? Who pays to store it? Who pays to transport it?
Probably the taxpayers. Again. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Yeah but it gives the enviro Nazi’s a nice warm fuzzy feeling all over so it is worth it at any price.
The most sensible solution is to co-generate hydrogen from water with the huge amount of unused electricity generated by nuclear power plants.
Per norwaypinesavage, more efficient if the hydrogen were free.
So if the fuel cell is gas> electro-chemical reaction> electrical energy, what type of gas is used to charge into the cell?
Granted, the 'easiest' is using Hydrogen gas - but that does not leverage the built-in infrastructure we already have with these other fuels.
The hyperlink above is to Wikipedia - which lists 22 types of Fuel Cells. What may be practical for a RV or truck, may not be practical for your laptop, or your cell phone. Cost, output power, size ane efficiency vary. But generally, they are all much more efficient than what we have now.
Knowing this, effort is expended to liberate Hydrogen from molecules that are much more losely bound. That's why we burn gasoline in our cars instead of water. The hydrogen in gas, diesel and other fuels is much easier to liberate than in water.
So, yes the Hydrogen in water is 'free'; but you spend >$10 in energy getting it liberated for the $1 you get out of it.
All of the nuclear plants in the US today are running 24/7/365 with just a short downtime for refueling. The priority for trimming power goes windmills first, then hydro, natural gas, coal, and finally nuclear. It has to do with ease of dumping excess power. Where is this "huge amount excess nuclear power" you speak of?
Statement World's 1st "green" Class 8 Truck
Zero Fossil Fuels
Zero Noise Pollution
Zero Carbon Footprint
Presentation - Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
Vehicle - Hydrogen powered Tyrano
Status - Pre-Production Prototype vehicle. Demonstrations in Q4 2010
Weight - 80,000 lbs (GVW)
Propulsion - Electric Drive with Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Fuel / Storage - 20 to 40 Kg of Gaseous Hydrogen
Range - Standard drayage range: 200 miles over 8 hour shift. Extended range: 400 miles over 8 hour shift.
Horsepower - 400-536 hp
Torque - 3,200-3,300 lbs.-ft. available. Torque is electronically limited to the maximum transmission torque input.
Source, link www.visionmotorcorp.com
Financial $40,000 Federal tax credit, state incentives avaiable
There is not unused power from nuclear power plants. They are base loaded plants.
Actually, YOU are confusing a practical fuel cell with an ideal fuel cell. There are a number of challenges of producing a fuel cell that can be used by the general public. Remember Apollo 13? Its problems were all because of a faulty fuel cell. There are many serious issues to solve before a fuel cell can receive, store and deliver as much energy as a 20 gallon fuel tank.
Granted, there are issues to be solved.
However, as we solve them - we will find that we may wind up getting 2x as much energy out of that same 20 gallon fuel tank, as we presently get today.
Personally, I believe we have pushed the internal combustion engine about as far as we can go. The Fuel Cell (and there are 22 models that I’m aware of) can use a wide variety of fuels. Obviously, the ‘cleanest’ would use Hydrogen - but, this does technology does appear to be a worthwhile investment.
What is going to be an unfortunate, but time tested and proven method - is the Gov’t leading the way. NASA did an admirable job, back in their heyday. The spinoff technologies they created more than paid for the investment.
I’d like to see the military use funding to do research on this. Get tanks that can double their range between refueling, where the supply lines we need could be farther apart, or have a reduced amount of fuel they would have to carry. If a tank went to a 200 mile range, instead of 75 miles - this would extend our fighting capabilties.
I am not a fan of Hydrogen Fuel Cells. Strapping two pressurized bombs under my family, then driving down the highway seems too dangerous for serious consideration. The tanks I have seen are 8 ft long SCUBA type tanks - pressurized to 3000psi. Not counting the flamability, even if it were just air - 3000 psi released in a collision will be explosive and will likely kill the occupants simply from the shock wave.
Initial risks and investments will be shared between industry and government through a public-private partnership. Specific mechanisms for funding will be developed in conjunction with the Legislature.
The current pace to develop hydrogen-fueled vehicles and products is hindered by the need to solve the so-called chicken-or-egg question: which should come first, commercialization of vehicles that run on hydrogen, or building of the fueling stations that dispense it? Who should take the initial risk with expanded investments: hydrogen producers or vehicle manufacturers? What is the appropriate role of the government? Past experience with clean, alternative fuels in California has helped answer these questions: the early risks must be shared in order for a technology to progress. -CA H2 NET BLUEPRINT PLAN
And we know Calforina HAS NO MONEY!!!so..
Department of Energy did in Dec. 2010 launch a $74 million funding program to support R&D of fuel cell technologies for stationary and transportation applications.
The conversion from gasoline-powered internal combustion engines to hydrogen powered combustion engines is agreed upon by most scientists and engineers to be a particularly easy transition.- Source
President Bush when he was in office allocated approximately $2 billion in hydrogen highway research funds. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was pushing to get 200 hydrogen filling stations built by 2010 stretching from Vancouver, British Columbia, all the way down to Baja, California (but has fallen short of this goal because of a poor economy and lack of political will).
Entrephreneurs: The United States is currently home to major fuel cell manufacturers and start-ups, fuel providers, as well as hundreds of component suppliers and end users involved at one point or another on the development and manufacturing spectrum. Fuel Cells 2000 estimates that there are more than 630 active companies and laboratories in states involved in the fuel cell and related fuels industry, investing an estimated $1 billion a year.
We need NEW industry and jobs--who am not to say this won't be another form of industrial revolution like our last Telecom/Internet revolution which the US is the best at [Apple, Google... etc]?
..or we can just drill for some more oil someplace and/or remain dependent. However, I suspect oil/gas products will still be around, they not going anywhere.
It is true that most nuclear power plants are base loaded precisely because if they were designed for peak load they would not be able to easily "throttle down" and would produce excess power. Because of this, utilities must have additional, less efficient power plants to add power to the nuclear plant when load is greater than base. If a nuclear plant was built in conjunction with a hydrogen production plant, the nuclear plant could be built to efficiently provide peak power without any additional generation from other plants necessary, and when off peak, which is most the time, the excess power could be used to produce hydrogen.
“Indias leading automaker, Tata Motors”
Darn. The call center business must have been very good to them. Must be nice to have so much money.
We also sell 400 KW fuel cells for business and residential use, they are cost prohibitive even with state and federal grants.
The hydrogen used to fuel the buses sold here in Connecticut is purchased form Praxair, the hydrogen is hydroelectrically produced at Niagara Falls and trucked to the fueling station at our facility in South Windsor.
The 400 KW fuel cell cracks the hydrogen from natural gas, the byproduct is CO2, water and heat. The efficiency is much greater(up to 90%) than grid delivered electricity and allows the excess power to be sent back to the grid and sold back at the wholesale price.
Our biggest customers are the "green" countries overseas, their governments are financing these power generating facilities since they view them as much more green than oil or coal.
As the price of oil rises these power plants will eventually become cost effective and no longer require Government subsidies to generate sales.
The whole thing is at present nothing more than a delusion of the greens and the left, it does whoever keep me employed and so I keep my opinions to myself and hope we can generate enough sales to keep me employed
BTW ,the buses and cars use PEM technology and the power plants utilize phosphoric acid.
Warning advance,any replies to this post need to be kept on a very limited technical level, I am not an engineer.
Oh, and what do we do with the “leftovers”? We are therefore wasting the energy that Oil offers, spending more energy to break down the oil to make just a fraction of the energy that barrel of oil produces.
In other words, Pixy Dust Technology, cutting our noses off to spite our face.
“Tata Motors”....”hee hee hee hee”.
Yes, I too was picturing the stripper with the little electric fans glued to her nipples.
Tata toured our factory about a year ago, not sure if that was possible development of fuel cells for their cars or off loading business overseas, I'm guessing the prior since we have developed fuel cells for hyundai, toyota, BMW and others.
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