Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 250 total)
  • Hydrogen Cars – something doesn’t smell right
  • chewkw
    Free Member

    A bit more this week on Harry’s Garage about EVs – range, battery degradation, depreciation, etc. Also this rather interesting remark from head of Toyota.

    I agree with Toyota. Definitely a good approach.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Oh and someone mentioned 80A fuses. Just for clarity, an 80A fuse gives you a 100A supply

    Electric car charging installers don’t see it like that.

    I can only have a fast charger if I give up my electric shower on the incoming set up I have so they say.

    Shower kettle toaster- a perfectly reasonable trio to be on at the same time.

    If the car were also to be charging for some reason . Uno wahalla and a heat pump only compounds that.

    CountZero
    Full Member

    Is there a push for hydrogen cars? I’ve not heard much about them for ages.

    There was one came into the Cazoo site I was working on for repair/refurbishment, and my first thought was where the chuff is the plater who comes to pick it up when finished going to find somewhere to fill the bloody thing up?

    EV’s weren’t a problem, we had a bunch of charging stations around the outside of the workshops, but one LH2 vehicle out of thousands that went through the workshops meant no justification for any kind of facility for the fuel, as of this time last year there seems to be only six LH2 filling stations open in the U.K. down from ten in March ‘22, three within the M25, one in the Peak District and two in Scotland!

    I can’t say that that’s a ringing endorsement for the industry…

    wbo
    Free Member

    Well Mr Toyota is right about customer choice as chinese customers are choosing his products so much anymore.

    Must be about the time of month to announce a new miracle engine/battery/solid state battery/hydrogen cell/hydrogen burning technology

    wbo
    Free Member

    I’d agree with Harry garage that good information on degradation on used cars would be useful

    thepurist
    Full Member

    So Toyota, who seem to have rather missed the boat with the current wave of BEVs and who make one of the few hydrogen cars that you could actually buy right now, say that hydrogen cars have a big part in the future of transport.

    Well that’s a surprise.

    J-R
    Full Member

    So, the company I worked for manufactured H2 and also ran an H2 refilling station in southern Germany.

    The H2 was mainly made from methane and the carbon is removed at the start of the process: so you are just moving the CO2 emissions upstream. (Green H2 can be made but has lots of barriers to making it in the industrial quantities needed to power vehicles in the short term).

    In all the visits I did to the office where the H2 filling station was located I never saw it being used. I guess it was there to demonstrate the technology is possible and to supply the handful of H2 demonstration vehicles the car manufacturers run.

    only six LH2 filling stations open in the U.K. down from ten in March ‘22

    doesn’t surprise me at all.

    PS I think the H2 filling stations will be for high pressure compressed H2 not LH2: liquid hydrogen is quite problematic to handle.

    euain
    Full Member

    Hydrogen is more energy dense than petroleum? Really?
    … yes? By… lots.

    I see this has been debunked above – no it’s not. Per kg, yes it’s energy dense. You are not going to get many kilograms  of hydrogen in a car though.

    For comparison, 50L of liquid hydrogen contains about 500MJ whereas 50L of petrol (well octane) about 1800MJ.  And that assumes you can get 50L of Hydrogen into a tank in a car – that would be quite a feat compared to 50L of petrol.

    wbo
    Free Member

    I believe the hydrogen filling stations store liquid H2, and turn it to highly pressurised gas form as required.  The high pressure H2 is then used to fill the car BUT there is a problem around the deliquification can’t be done super often as the kit gets too cold to work.

    B.A.Nana
    Free Member

    None of the independent sources agree with the nat grids assessment of the situation.

    As far as I’m aware national grids assessment of the situation (Graeme Cooper – head of futures or new technologies or something) is that the network can handle EV adoption with some local DNO infrastructure updating in areas. Mass domestic electric heating adoption is the big problem.

    The reasons behind this are obvious and made sense to me, they can control encourage and incentivise ToD car charging, they can’t control when everyone wants to turn their heating up to max at the same time. Igm on the previous page (who appears to be in the industry) is saying the same thing.

    Have you got any examples of reputable, credible and qualified independent sources agreeing otherwise (ie not the daily mail and Sun)

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    I can’t decide if Zoolander 3 will be better or worse with hydrogen cars?

    J-R
    Full Member

    I believe the hydrogen filling stations store liquid H2

    Three different strategies are used: external supply by liquid H2 and storage in a vacuum insulated tank, external supply of gaseous H2 and storage in tube trailers, or on site production by electrolysis and storage as high pressure gas.

    Each method has its own pros and cons and as it’s is such a young technology there is not yet a single industry standard method.

    intheborders
    Free Member

    If a hydrogen car takes 3x as much electricity as an equivalent EV car to cover the same distance does that mean all these anti-EV folk I see on social-media will have to drop their “the grid can’t cope” theories?

    dmorts
    Full Member

    This popped up today (good explainer?) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2024/feb/13/will-hydrogen-overtake-batteries-in-the-race-for-zero-emission-cars

    Will most hydrogen be grey, with some token blue and green? Green doesn’t even seem to make sense given you could use the electricity directly for other things. It does store the energy but its quite “lossy”

    J-R
    Full Member

    By chance today the Guardian (how very STW) have a good analysis of H2 vs EV:

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2024/feb/13/will-hydrogen-overtake-batteries-in-the-race-for-zero-emission-cars

    Their answer is EV has already won the race for cars, but H2 is a good contender for large vehicles.

    does that mean all these anti-EV folk I see on social-media will have to drop their “the grid can’t cope” theories?

    No – because it’s the internet: It’ll be a conspiracy by the big evil EV manufacturers.

    beej
    Full Member

    Graeme Cooper – head of futures or new technologies or something

    I know Graeme, was on a panel with him then a few follow up meetings. He’s at Jacobs now.

    National Grid Transmission, and all the DNOs, are fully aware of the challenges and model different scenarios well into the future (alongside the Electricity System Operator/soon to be National Energy System Operator). Yes, there’s a huge amount of work to be done (look up “The Great Grid Upgrade”) at both transmission and distribution levels but I’d trust the views of people who do this for a living.

    Anyway, article on hydrogen cars in Guardian today. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2024/feb/13/will-hydrogen-overtake-batteries-in-the-race-for-zero-emission-cars

    Michael Liebreich is well worth following on LinkedIn, he’s quite direct with his views so there’s often some interesting debate on his posts and with his comments on other posts.

    dmorts
    Full Member

    That’s a hat-trick!

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    apparently there’s an article in the guardian today. The race for green fuels for cars is only eclipsed it seems by the race to post the link to the article 😉

    As it happens I was at a lecture yesterday; every year there is an internal competition for the best paper published by a staff member and this year it was won by a new measurement technique for measuring the (voltage) potential profiles in electrolyser technologies which in combination with new materials had the (actual) potential to substantially reduce the capital cost of the kit and the reliance on scarce metals, etc.

    Doesn’t answer the electricity need but there is a lot of research in the area and it’s definitely not being given up on.

    It will be presented at an IOP public lecture in April as well – tickets FoC in link below, along with the runner up and the Early Career award. The runner up in particular is a great speaker and with some ‘wow!’ science as well (nothing wrong with the others but Giuseppe is fab)

    https://www.npl.co.uk/news/npl-celebrates-excellent-scientific-research

    https://www.iop.org/events/national-physical-laboratory-rayleigh-award-celebration#gref

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I asked a question about energy costs (electricity) needed to create green hydrogen, even if the kit gets cheaper and more efficient. A knowledgeable speaker in the room reckons that will eventually be overcome not least because renewable electricity will eventually become efficient and abundant enough that at times it will be free. So there won’t necessarily be a problem that it’s up to 3x less efficient than using it directly, if it’s going spare.

    Doesn’t overcome issues of infrastructure to build and store the gas somewhere, so that’s not necessarily the fix but was an interesting intervention.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    So there won’t necessarily be a problem that it’s up to 3x less efficient than using it directly, if it’s going spare.

    But 3x the windfarms and solar panels won’t be free either in monetary cost or land usage etc.

    You can store electricity in battery cars better than you can store it in hydrogen to then put in cars. I’m sure there’s a big role for hydrogen but I don’t think cars is it.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    You won’t necessarily need 3x the windfarms, because in order to meet peak demand you will need have to work on average case generation, etc. When off peak, or when above average generation is being achieved then that excess needs to be used and while you could put it into battery storage you could also be then using that ‘free’ electricity for hydrogen.

    I think short term (short as in NZ terms, not next year) then you’re right, cars won’t be the big users but technology has a long development and gestation period and hence hydrogen isn’t off the table is what I took away from it. Info from people far cleverer and closer to the action that I am, so I tend to listen to them.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Info from people far cleverer and closer to the action that I am, so I tend to listen to them.

    People with a vested interest in the technology tend to overlook the downsides even if they are very intelligent when it comes to solutions.  I’m not saying that’s happening here because I wasn’t at the lecture, but it happens.

    What I’m not exactly clear about is this: when you have BEVs, what problem are H2 cars solving?  It seems like a hell of a lot of extra effort and money just to save a bit of time for some people on long trips.  I mean cars here specifically.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    A knowledgeable speaker in the room reckons that will eventually be overcome not least because renewable electricity will eventually become efficient and abundant enough that at times it will be free. So there won’t necessarily be a problem that it’s up to 3x less efficient than using it directly, if it’s going spare.

    Doesn’t overcome issues of infrastructure to build and store the gas somewhere, so that’s not necessarily the fix but was an interesting intervention.

    It’s a fine theory, but as said before you only need ~1.2x to do it with batteries, not ~3x. And while batteries are heavy, bulky and hard to store/transport, so is hydrogen. The problem with large volumes of free off-peak electricity is that people are still bidding for it, and suppliers are under no obligation to supply it (no point wearing out your wind turbines gearbox, they can be feathered and switched off). 1kWh of electricity @ <25p/kWh is a good deal to a battery user, so they’ll buy it and sell it back to the grid at 30p during a peak. So the market will have to saturate all that demand first, before the hydrogen users get a look in at 10p or whatever they need to make it worthwhile. [there’s charges to be paid, differences between the buying and selling prices, etc, but those apply equally to both].

    At the moment hydrogen is a solution looking for a problem. I still think the biggest it’s ever going to be is a niche, someone will figure out a way to generate it from low grade waste heat in a powerplant or similar, and it’ll be used to fuel copper smelting* or something.

    *hydrogen won’t reduce iron oxide or I’d have gone with blast furnace.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    I suspect synthetic fuels will become more useful than H2 for transport or other portable applications.

    I can imagine something like an off-grid energy generation system in a remote location that has lots of sun – you could create the H2 via solar power when the sunshines and generate power when you need it. But again, this is a lot more complex and expensive than simply using a battery.  Given the work being done on battery tech, I reckon the downsides of current battery tech (rare metals etc) will get solved before the problems with hydrogen.

    Also, BEVs are flying off the shelves right now.  There’s a long running thread where loads of people are asking about BEV purchases every week – I haven’t seen one person considering an H2 car.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    I’m not sure I entirely believe that article in the guardian. To suggest there is only a 6% loss in energy in the equivalent phase of “well to tank” strikes me as entirely optimistic. My understanding is that all forms of renewable are not that efficient at extracting energy from their source be that wind or solar. Equally I don’t believe any electricity generated by fossil or nuclear is that efficient so it’s not a like for like comparison. If the energy used in separating petrol from oil is included then surely the energy lost generating electricity from the source should also be included.

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    As I’ve said before in this thread electrolysers, fuel cells and adapted engines to burn H2 and other alternative fuels are very much being developed for multiple use cases. Cummins, who I work for have quite a bit published on this under our “accelera” brand name – some links below.

    https://www.accelerazero.com/fuel-cells

    https://www.accelerazero.com/electrolyzers

    thols2
    Full Member

    I suspect synthetic fuels will become more useful than H2 for transport or other portable applications.

    Ultimately, it will be a matter of finding the most efficient way of storing and distributing energy for different purposes. You can create synthetic fuels by using electricity to produce hydrogen, then produce methane (CH4) or methanol (CH3OH) from hydrogen and CO2. For commuting in a city, a battery EV will be much more efficient, but for uses such as aviation or the military, chemical fuels have some big advantages.

    All the energy we use comes from either nuclear fusion (the sun), nuclear fission, or residual heat in the earth’s core (geothermal). Also, a significant proportion of geothermal heat comes from nuclear fission of naturally occurring radioisotopes, so nearly all our energy ultimately comes from nuclear fusion or fission. Fossil fuels were created from plants that converted solar energy to chemical energy, hydroelectric comes from solar energy that increases the gravitational potential energy of water. Wind energy also comes from solar energy. So, basically, we are talking about finding the most efficient way to use nuclear energy from either the sun or from nuclear reactors on Earth. Using biomass to create sustainable chemical fuels is one way, using a solar array to create hydrogen and then convert that to synthetic chemical fuel is another way to doing the same fundamental thing. It’s just a question of what is the most efficient way.

    Focusing on hydrogen is a red herring – the hydrogen is just one possible way of storing and transporting the nuclear energy that has been collected. The more important question is what mixture of different storage and transportation systems will be needed for the different end uses.

    roverpig
    Full Member

    A knowledgeable speaker in the room reckons that will eventually be overcome not least because renewable electricity will eventually become efficient and abundant enough that at times it will be free.

    “Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter…” Lewis L. Strauss 1953 🙂

    kelvin
    Full Member

    My understanding is that all forms of renewable are not that efficient at extracting energy from their source be that wind or solar.

    then surely the energy lost generating electricity from the source should also be included

    Why… because some wind, or some sunlight, or some tidal movement, or some wave energy, is not captured? I genuinely don’t get your point.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I’m not saying they were right, just feeding back an (expert) opinion. What problem does it solve that BEV’s have? IDK, i’m not the expert but charging infrastructure / time to charge, degradation, limited supply o fthe materials needed for batteries, etc….. and I’m not talking in the next 5 years, I’m talking decades eventually, probably.

    People with a vested interest in the technology tend to overlook the downsides even if they are very intelligent when it comes to solutions.  I’m not saying that’s happening here because I wasn’t at the lecture, but it happens.

    We’re a metrology lab, we don’t develop the technology particularly but support people to understand how well it works. Of course we do have knowledgeable people that are also aware of the market / future market – we have to build capability to be able to support the right areas.

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    @molgrips

    I can imagine something like an off-grid energy generation system in a remote location that has lots of sun – you could create the H2 via solar power when the sunshines and generate power when you need it.

    A bit like this? (a real project) https://www.cummins.com/news/releases/2021/05/24/cummins-selects-spain-its-gigawatt-electrolyzer-plant-partners-iberdrola

    Effectively it’s the “front half” of your description. In an area with plentiful sunshine and lots of empty space it makes sense to generate a lot of solar power – this could be distributed via cables but in this case will be turned into Hydrogen for use by applications than need its benefits vs batteries or simple cables and the business case is strong enough to pay the premium vs using the electricity directly (so likely to end up in mobile industrial equipment etc).

    5lab
    Full Member

    I think it could work for cars, but it’ll rely on commercial vehicles building enough infrastructure (ie filling stations) for the cars to be feasible. Which is probably at least a decade out

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Why… because some wind, or some sunlight, or some tidal movement, or some wave energy, is not captured? I genuinely don’t get your point.

    The article uses as its starting point for fossil fuel as the point the fuel left the ground up until it hits the fuel tank of the vehicle. For electricity it claims only 6% loss for the energy hitting the solar array, or the turbine blades or coal,  gas or nuclear energy being extracted from the ground to make electricity is simply not that believable. Are they really trying to suggest that only 6% of energy is lost between gas coming out of the ground and electricity coming into the car battery, same with coal or nuclear as it doesn’t discriminate as to how the electricity is generated

    For example say 100w  of energy hits a solar panel or a wind turbine to the pint that energy gets into the car only 6w is lost? If 100w worth of cost or gas come out of the ground and used to make electricity 94w of it will go into the car?

    thols2
    Full Member

    For example say 100w of energy hits a solar panel or a wind turbine to the pint that energy gets into the car only 6w is lost?

    That’s massively off the mark. The conversion efficiency of solar panels has some fundamental limits so about 40% is more like it. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is the cost per kw/h for a given location. A near the equator with a lot of sunlight hours will be more economically efficient than somewhere near the poles with a lot of cloudy weather.

    With fossil fuels, what really matters is how much total CO2 is produced for the energy output at the end. Low grades of coal will be much worse than natural gas, for example. If you need to use earthmoving equipment to dig coal out of the ground, the fuel for those machines counts towards the CO2 footprint.

    intheborders
    Free Member

    I’m not sure I entirely believe that article in the guardian. To suggest there is only a 6% loss in energy in the equivalent phase of “well to tank” strikes me as entirely optimistic. 

    And that would impact Hydrogen cars more than EV’s as it needs 3x the electricity.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    The conversion efficiency of solar panels has some fundamental limits so about 40% is more like it. But that doesn’t really matter

    Indeed – average solar energy landing on every single square metre of earth is 341W.  The amount of renewable energy available is astronomical.  Think about those giant offshore wind farms, then think about how much air is moving around the earth but not going through those turbine blades.

    5lab
    Full Member

    That’s massively off the mark. The conversion efficiency of solar panels has some fundamental limits so about 40% is more like it. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is the cost per kw/h for a given location. A near the equator with a lot of sunlight hours will be more economically efficient than somewhere near the poles with a lot of cloudy weather.

    it doesn’t really matter though – as there’s no “cost” from the 900W or whatever is just bounced off the solar panel back towards the sun. Once the energy is in the power grid it starts being counted (I’d assume after inversion) and thats the point at which total consumption is of interest.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    I suppose you could argue that a new 600W panel and an old 400W panel of the same size take the same maintenance and cleaning , and therefore the carbon footprint of that is relevant. But really you’re talking the differences between very small numbers, and really small numbers.

    To suggest there is only a 6% loss in energy in the equivalent phase of “well to tank” strikes me as entirely optimistic.

    Sounds about right TBH, around 5-10% of oil is used up in the processing depending on the feedstock.

    So when people say “Oli companies’ carbon footprint is ………. , why should I reducer mine”, really yours (as a consumer of the oil companies’ products in your car and home) is about 10-20x bigger than Shell’s

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