Hydrogen cars could be headed to showroom near you (Update)

Nov 20, 2013 by Tom Krisher
The 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell hydrogen-powered electric vehicle is introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Cars that run on hydrogen and exhaust only water vapor are emerging to challenge electric vehicles as the world's transportation of the future.

At auto shows on two continents Wednesday, three automakers unveiled hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to be delivered to the general public as early as next spring.

Hyundai Motor Co. will be the first to the mass market in the U.S. It unveiled a hydrogen-powered Tucson small SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show that will be leased to consumers. Honda also revealed plans in Los Angeles for a car due out in 2015. Earlier, at the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota promised a mass-produced fuel cell car by 2015 in Japan and 2016 in the U.S.

Hydrogen cars are appealing because unlike electric vehicles, they have the range of a typical gasoline car and can be refueled quickly. Experts say the industry also has overcome safety and reliability concerns that have hindered distribution in the past.

But hydrogen cars still have a glaring downside—refueling stations are scarce, and costly to build.

Consumers can expect costs in line with some luxury models. In Tokyo, Toyota promised a price of $50,000 to $100,000, and as close to the lower figure as possible. That's comparable to its Lexus luxury sedans, but a range that makes the once space-age experiment with fuel cells more credible.

Hyundai said it will lease the Tucsons for $499 per month for three years with $3,000 down. And Hyundai is offering to pay the hydrogen and maintenance costs. The company will start leasing in the Los Angeles area, where most of the state's nine fueling stations are located. California lawmakers have allocated $100 million to build 100 more. Honda wouldn't reveal any pricing details.

Honda FCEV Concept is debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Even as battery-powered and hybrid-electric cars took on conventional gasoline models in the past decade, automakers continued research into hydrogen fuel cells, said Paul Mutolo, director of external partnerships for the Cornell University Energy Materials Center. Manufacturers now are limited only by costs and the lack of filling stations, he said.

Tetsuo Iwamura, president and chief executive officer of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is reflected in a window as he talks about the Honda FCEV Concept during it's debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Hydrogen cars, Mutolo said, have an advantage over battery-powered electric cars because drivers don't have to worry about running out of electricity and having to wait hours for recharging. "It's very similar to the kind of behavior that drivers have come to expect from their gasoline cars," he said.

Hydrogen fuel cells use a complex chemical process to separate electrons and protons in hydrogen gas molecules. The electrons move toward a positive pole, and the movement creates electricity. That powers a car's electric motor, which turns the wheels.

Tetsuo Iwamura, president and chief executive officer of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. talks about the Honda FCEV Concept during it's debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Since the hydrogen isn't burned, there's no pollution. Instead, oxygen also is pumped into the system, and when it meets the hydrogen ions and electrons, that creates water and heat. The only byproduct is water. A fuel cell produces only about one volt of electricity, so many are stacked to generate enough juice.

Hydrogen costs as little as $3 for an amount needed to power a car the same distance as a gallon of gasoline, Mutolo said.

Manufacturers likely will lose money on hydrogen cars at first, but costs will decrease as precious metals are reduced in the fuel cells, Mutolo said.

The 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell hydrogen-powered electric vehicle is introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Toyota said its new fuel cell vehicle will go on sale in Japan in 2015 and within a year later in Europe and U.S.

Toyota's fuel cell car is a "concept" model called FCV that looks similar to the Prius gas-electric hybrid.

Honda, which has leased about two-dozen fuel cell cars since 2005, took the wraps off a futuristic-looking FCEV concept vehicle in Los Angeles. It shows the style of a 300-mile range fuel cell car that will be marketed in the U.S. and Japan in 2015.

Tetsuo Iwamura, president and chief executive officer of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., talks about the Honda FCEV Concept during it's debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Stephen Ellis, manager of fuel cell marketing for Honda, also wouldn't say where vehicle will be marketed in the U.S. But he expects hydrogen fueling stations to be abundant first in California, and then Northeast states. He predicts it will take five years for the stations to reach significant numbers outside California, and up to 25 years to go nationwide.

Hyundai wouldn't say how many fuel-cell Tucsons it expects to lease. The company believes that fuel cells will power the next generation of cars, appealing to affluent, environmentally conscious customers because affordable battery technology has not advanced enough.

John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, introduces the Tucson Fuel Cell hydrogen-powered electric vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

"This is the sort of technology that makes batteries look old-fashioned," says North American CEO John Krafcik.

But skeptics say hydrogen fueling stations are more expensive than electric car charging stations, partly because electricity is almost everywhere and new and safe ways for producing, storing and transferring hydrogen will be needed.

A Toyota FCV concept car is displayed at the media preview for the Tokyo Motor Show at the Tokyo Big Sight convention hall in Tokyo, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. The biannual exhibition of vehicles in Japan runs for the public from Saturday, Nov. 23 through Dec. 1. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan Motor Co., which has bet heavily on electric vehicles for its future, is one vocal skeptic.

Honda FCEV Concept is debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

"Having a prototype is easy. The challenge is mass-marketing," he told reporters. He said he did not see a mass-market fuel cell as viable before 2020.

Toyota's FV2, left, and FCV concept cars are displayed at the media preview for the Tokyo Motor Show at the Tokyo Big Sight convention hall in Tokyo, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. The biannual exhibition of vehicles in Japan runs for the public from Saturday, Nov. 23 through Dec. 1. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)


Explore further: Hyundai to market hydrogen vehicle next year (Update)

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User comments : 73

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holoman
1 / 5 (11) Nov 20, 2013
I will start making my own fuel from water using electrolysis !
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (7) Nov 20, 2013
How soon before they make one with an inflatable gas bag for emergency escapes or just to putt around in the sky? Possible? How much H2 would you need to lift a car?

This sounds like a problem for lurker to figure out.
GraemeMcRae
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2013
"Since the hydrogen isn't burned, there's no pollution." -- Huh? Burning hydrogen doesn't cause pollution!
Telekinetic
1.7 / 5 (10) Nov 20, 2013
How soon before they make one with an inflatable gas bag for emergency escapes or just to putt around in the sky? Possible? How much H2 would you need to lift a car?

This sounds like a problem for lurker to figure out.

It was already solved by Von Hindenburg, and laid to rest. Is a hydrogen balloon your idea of pushing the tech envelope?
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (11) Nov 21, 2013
If hydrogen was available for free, it would be too expensive to use for any terrestrial transport/power generation purpose, basic thermodynamics & the close relationship between energy, materials & time show that rather definitively.

I can see that the bulk of those that offer comments on this site have not had the opportunity to analyse, read or understand a full & complete thermodynamic study.

We get Terrawatts of insolation free, lets instead work out how to use that by the most direct & efficient methods for transport & power.

Battery research is diverse & already made great improvements, it's not only logical but visionary to accelerate this & engage more people through education & experiment to develop truly free resources to offset the wide range of pollutants produced through fossil fuels & to avoid wastage of advanced materials/time trying to contend with hydrogen.

More hydrogen in a litre of petrol than in a litre of liquid hydrogen !

Continuing education is essential.
jumbonaoki
4 / 5 (4) Nov 21, 2013
Well, they won't be coming though.

"Hydrogen cars are appealing because unlike electric vehicles, they have the range of a typical gasoline car and can be refueled quickly".

The range of electric cars will be greater than that of gas cars by 2025. This is clear from the battery work being done in labs around the world now. And the distribution system for electricity is a lot safer and easier than hydrogen. Charge speeds are also improving along with capacity and as we've seen from Tesla's demonstration it's pretty speedy to swap them out anyway.

Hydrogen offers literately no advantages even in the mid-term and a whole host of safety and logistical problems without being brilliantly efficient.
Sanescience
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 21, 2013
It also wouldn't surprise me if energy companies start shifting to hydrocarbon fuel cell research and leverage their existing distribution system to undercut competition from hydrogen. A renewable bio-fuel hydrocarbon that is carbon neutral used in a fuel cell electric-hybrid vehicle would be very compelling.
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (10) Nov 21, 2013
Sanescience had an obtuse perturbed moment with this gem
"It also wouldn't surprise me if energy companies start shifting to hydrocarbon fuel cell research and leverage their existing distribution system to undercut competition from hydrogen."
It would surprise me significantly & I doubt seriously the energy company had *any* competency !

H2 has not & never will be competition as a terrestrial fuel !

Since we have immense oil & gas reserves & even if those ever ran out & we had cellulosic based biofuels then insolation would still be far ahead of H2 even until sun expired.

We know this because energy (oil) companies go to great lengths to arrange their stacks/crackers to minimise H2 as much as possible. They run the numbers by the second.

Other than specific orders for H2 they will not waste energy/time/resources at all !

Re other comment, doesnt have to be carbon neutral locally, as long as the overall equilibria is carbon neutral or negative in global sense then its fine.
EnricM
1 / 5 (9) Nov 21, 2013
hydrogen in a litre of petrol than in a litre of liquid hydrogen

Sure about that?
Please demonstrate
antialias_physorg
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2013
"Since the hydrogen isn't burned, there's no pollution." -- Huh? Burning hydrogen doesn't cause pollution!

Any burning process causes other components to form (e.g. there's nitrogen in the air. Any high temperature burning process will cause some NOx to form). Only if you were to add pure oxygen to pure hydrogen and burn that would you get no other byproducts (might get some ozone in that case, still).
Fuel cells work differently, so there's no pollution of that type there.

As to the hydrogen vs. battery debate:
I see hydrogen as promising for heavy transport vehicles (trucks, ships, planes) and vehicles that need frequent refueling (service vehicles) - whereas batteries seem more useful for personal transport where nightly recharging is enough.
antialias_physorg
3.5 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2013
H2 has not & never will be competition as a terrestrial fuel !

Don't be so sure. H2 has a huge advantage in that it is easily produced by anyone - not just companies with significant infrastructure/investment potential. If need be fully autonomously off-grid.
It's also a fuel that cannot be threatened through geopolitical issues.

It's an ideal storage medium, as it's ecologically safe. Not even the most pessimistic catastrophe scenario can lead to something that cannot be cleaned up within a very short time.

Not to mention that at some point people will invest their wealth in quality of living. And having hydrogen powered vehicles certainly results in better air quality in cities than any carbohydrate alternative.

Energy content is not the ultimate figure of merit (nor is 'cost at the pump').
Eikka
1 / 5 (9) Nov 21, 2013
I see hydrogen as promising for heavy transport vehicles (trucks, ships, planes) and vehicles that need frequent refueling (service vehicles)


Unlikely. Even with ordinary passenger vehicles, the consumption of liquid hydrogen is enormous. A small passenger vehicle will consume on the order of 25 liters per 100km, and a heavy truck will consume 250 liters, or roughly 1 MPG.

The problem is that hydrogen has low volumetric energy density. It's the least dense element there is. Carrying a thousand gallons of liquid hydrogen in an insulated dewer flask to get you a thousand miles down the road is frankly not very convenient.
Eikka
1 / 5 (9) Nov 21, 2013
Don't be so sure. H2 has a huge advantage in that it is easily produced by anyone


Anyone with abundant clean desalinated water and energy. Don't forget that the ground water tables worldwide are dropping due to overuse.

It's also a fuel that cannot be threatened through geopolitical issues.


See above.

It's an ideal storage medium, as it's ecologically safe.


Plain hydrogen is a CHG if released into the atmosphere. It increases the lifetime of methane and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere by scrubbing out free -OH radicals that would otherwise oxidize them.

It's estimated that if we were to set up a hydrogen economy, about 5% of stored hydrogen would be lost annually by diffusion through container walls and venting.

having hydrogen powered vehicles certainly results in better air quality in cities than any carbohydrate alternative.


An SOFC that burns methane outputs just CO2 and water, and works off of the existing gas networks.
Eikka
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 21, 2013
Energy content is not the ultimate figure of merit (nor is 'cost at the pump').


To put things into perspective, this is how big a tank of liquid hydrogen you need to drive an 18-wheeler some 1000 miles down the road. Twice that if you're running a heavy load.

http://www.pbmspr...trlr.jpg

With trucks it's kinda important that you don't need to stop to refuel every 100 miles, because it seriously slows you down taking a detour to the filling station. Of course you have to stop to rest for 30 minutes after 7½ hours, but that's still 400 miles on a stretch that you may need to go, and up to 800 gallons of liquid hydrogen spent.

antialias_physorg
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2013
Carrying a thousand gallons of liquid hydrogen in an insulated dewer flask to get you a thousand miles down the road is frankly not very convenient.

Not as much an issue as one might think - as truck drivers are required by law to take breaks. They won't get 1000 miles without a break in any case. Filling up during a break isn't a hardship.

If we think ahead to autonomous freight vehicles then occasionally pulling up at a refilling station won't bother anyone at all. If that's the price for clean air then I'd like to see the person who would NOT pay it.

Anyone with abundant clean desalinated water and energy

There's hydrogen extraction methods from wastewater. Clean water is not a prerequisite. And if water is that scarce: collect it at the filling station. It's not used up in the process. You can cycle it indefinitely.

An SOFC that burns methane

Again: a dependency (on companies or even other nations)
QuixoteJ
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 21, 2013
The range of electric cars will be greater than that of gas cars by 2025. This is clear from the battery work being done in labs around the world now.
I don't think it's very clear at all. There are experimental results without a clear practical solution, and 2025 is just around the corner. And one would still rather run out of energy in a gasoline car on the side of the road, instead of in an electric car.
Battery research is diverse & already made great improvements, it's not only logical but visionary to accelerate this & engage more people through education & experiment to develop truly free resources to offset the wide range of pollutants produced through fossil fuels
Maybe visionary. But where will the electricity come from to charge 75% of all electric cars in the next 50 years? Follow the wires to the power plant now, and in the future, and take a look at what they're burning.
Waaalt
1 / 5 (9) Nov 21, 2013
With trucks it's kinda important that you don't need to stop to refuel every 100 miles,


That would be long haul transport trucking. Many trucks and large work vehicles don't have such a large daily range.

Construction vehicles mostly only travel to job sites from a central depot. What they would need is a permanent fueling station at the depot and a portable fueling station they can take to job sites. They already do that with gas/diesel tanks.

City busses fuel at a central depot as well. Many already have their own natural gas fueling stations; they should sell natural gas to the public for profit, and if they did hydrogen busses, do the same thing.

Any site based industry like mines and quarries.

Airplanes are very significant.

Container shipping boats dwarf pretty much everything that moves for emitted pollution.

Overall, new passenger cars are the least of our worries. We can't expect private individual use to make up for allowing industry a free pass to pollute.
Eikka
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 21, 2013
Again: a dependency (on companies or even other nations)


Biomethane and power-to-methane processes are available everywhere hydrogen processing would. The difference is you already have a natural gas infrastructure to use.

They won't get 1000 miles without a break in any case. Filling up during a break isn't a hardship.


I already pointed out that you may need close to 1000 gallons of LH2 even within the constraints of duty hours.

There's hydrogen extraction methods from wastewater. Clean water is not a prerequisite.
For electrolytic methods it is, because it tends to foul the electrodes. You end up with dissolved junk concentrated in your electrolyte and coating everything.

And if water is that scarce: collect it at the filling station. It's not used up in the process. You can cycle it indefinitely.


Complex, costly and inconvenient.

You're just increasing system complexity and arguing that it's better when it's obviously worse.
Eikka
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 21, 2013
SOFCs have the ability to burn any hydrocarbon you can turn into a gas and pump in. They're not limited to methane or hydrogen, they can be fitted to burn ethanol, methanol, butanol, propane, butane, gasoline, diesel, technically even wood and corn cobs if you really need to; they fit the existing infrastructure because you don't have the same sort of limits as PEM fuel cell hydrogen vehicles do and the potential replacement fuels are easier to handle and cheaper to produce.

And you don't need to collect the water coming out the tail pipe because synthesizing methane needs less than half the water.

If we think ahead to autonomous freight vehicles then occasionally pulling up at a refilling station won't bother anyone at all.


We're talking about the next ten years. Not gonna happen. Besides, it takes 20 years to replace the entire fleet if we started now and sold nothing but hydrogen vehicles.
Forestgnome
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 21, 2013
Ever notice how much scientific knowledge shows up in the comments vs. the original articles? The management should take note and review who they accept as writers of "science articles".
Eikka
1 / 5 (9) Nov 21, 2013
As far as non-electrolytic methods to produce hydrogen go:

http://en.wikiped...entation

the main challenge observed with fermentative H2 production processes is the relatively low energy conversion efficiency from the organic source. Typical H2 yields range from 1 to 2 mol of H2/mol of glucose, which results in 80-90% of the initial COD remaining in the wastewater in the form of various volatile organic acids (VFAs) and solvents, such as acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, and ethanol. Even under optimal conditions about 60-70% of the original organic matter remains in solution.


So the problem is that the process makes the waste water environmentally worse.
Eikka
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 21, 2013
Construction vehicles mostly only travel to job sites from a central depot. What they would need is a permanent fueling station at the depot and a portable fueling station they can take to job sites. They already do that with gas/diesel tanks.


The problem of hydrogen in this case is that it won't stay in the tank. There's no vessel that keeps liquid hydrogen liquid under pressure because it expands 851 fold as it boils. A construction company can't just leave a tank of hydrogen sitting for a month, it has to be used as soon as possible.

That means instead of driving in a tank and leaving it there, they have to shuttle small quantities of fuel continuously from the central cryogenic facility, or hook up the tank to mains power and cool it continuously, which is is again very inefficient and costly.

The alternative is pressurized hydrogen, which takes three times more space and presents an obvious hazard due to the high pressures involved (~30 MPa / 4500 PSI)

TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 21, 2013
How soon before they make one with an inflatable gas bag for emergency escapes or just to putt around in the sky? Possible? How much H2 would you need to lift a car?

This sounds like a problem for lurker to figure out.

It was already solved by Von Hindenburg, and laid to rest. Is a hydrogen balloon your idea of pushing the tech envelope?
Not me dumbledore. Dirigibles are being developed for the future
http://en.wikiped...lopments

-and there are a few thousand flying today. BTW they were invented by a Frenchman. Hindenberg was a politician. Do you have trouble discerning between politicians and inventors? How about fantasy and reality?

Your Grand Wizard tesla even conceived an electrically-powered airship, drawing energy from the atmosphere did you know it?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 21, 2013
If H2 cars are going to look like that Honda then they will never catch on. That is one ugly car. Have you noticed how stylists put grins on the front of many cars and frowns on the rear? See the camaro for the most obvious.

I think this has something to do with psychology. 'I am confident that I will overtake you' is what you see approaching in your rearview mirror. 'Dont try to pass me or else' is what you see as you approach from behind.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2013
Biomethane and power-to-methane processes are available everywhere hydrogen processing would.

Currently the land use for that would be exorbitant. At a 5% supplement to regular gas people are already complaining about taking away land from food production. I don't think 100% would be supportable (unless there are breakthroughs in algae farming or the like). The ramification for third world countries would be much worse than they are right now (where desparately needed land is already abused for biofuel production).
Locking energy from the sun into biological matter (and then burning it) is extremely inefficient when compared to a hydrogen infrastructure.

Complex, costly and inconvenient.

Dumping water is costly and inconvenient? How so compared to the complexity of attaching a hydrogen pipe? You could probably just dump it on the ground and have it collected via a sink/grille. It's not like it's a toxic substance.
krundoloss
1 / 5 (9) Nov 21, 2013
For the short term, if we can produce cheaper plug-in hybrids, the ones with a small, efficient gasoline motor being used as a generator only, then add some solar cells on it and there you go, you can run off gas, recharge batteries while on the go, and charge the batteries in the parking lot at work (solar).

For the Long Term, I think electric vehicles will prevail as technology progresses. The concept of biofuels, hydrogen, etc, just leads you down a path of "Where does this energy come from?". Creating a new infrastructure is very costly and limiting. Creating novel technologies that work for people in the big cities is just that, novel, interesting, but ultimately not serving the vast amounts of people in rural areas.

The most interesting technology in biofuels production is genetically engineered bacteria that produce fuel naturally. Now that is high tech (but organic), reliable, and easily distributed.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2013
then add some solar cells on it and there you go

Do the math on that one. Even if you plaster an entire car with solar cells it's going to be enough to run the AC - but not the car.
That sort of stuff works in the solar challenge (with severely weight limited cars and under the australian sun at daylight with cloudless skies and no obstructions)...but not in real life situations elsewhere.

Batteries and fuel cells do have a future. Burning stuff just feels so primitive.
Telekinetic
1.7 / 5 (12) Nov 21, 2013
" How much H2 would you need to lift a car?"- G. of O.

Your question should read, "How much H2 would you need to blow the car and its occupants to smithereens." That would be fitting for your agenda to reduce populations, Ghost, especially if the occupants were "religionists".
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 21, 2013
" How much H2 would you need to lift a car?"- G. of O.

Your question should read, "How much H2 would you need to blow the car and its occupants to smithereens." That would be fitting for your agenda to reduce populations, Ghost, especially if the occupants were "religionists".
Well I am pretty sure youre never gonna breed so - yay.
Telekinetic
1.3 / 5 (12) Nov 21, 2013
There's still time for me, but you would be foolhardy to try to feed a family on a monthly mental disability check from S.S.I.
Eikka
1 / 5 (8) Nov 22, 2013
Currently the land use for that would be exorbitant.


Power-to-methane processes use CO2 extracted from smokestacks or the atmosphere. They use no farming land. Biomethane is produced from agricultural and municipal waste.

At a 5% supplement to regular gas people are already complaining about taking away land from food production.


That's due to the inefficient conversion to ethanol. Methane doesn't mix with regular gas.

Dumping water is costly and inconvenient?


Yes. You have to carry it along which increases energy consumption, then you have to collect it, which requires infrastructure, and you have to store and transport it to where the hydrogen is made.

How so compared to the complexity of attaching a hydrogen pipe?


Well, it's like another hydrogen pipe. Twice the infra.

You could probably just dump it on the ground and have it collected via a sink/grille.


You could, but then you'd have to clean out all the junk.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (9) Nov 22, 2013
FTA:

Cars that run on hydrogen and exhaust only water vapor are emerging to challenge electric vehicles as the world's transportation of the future.


Here we have this;

http://en.wikiped...er_vapor

I'm sure this has been taken in to account, but can someone tell me as to exactly how this isn't a potentially big problem?
Eikka
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 22, 2013
More to the point, collecting water at refilling stations to be turned into hydrogen locally is costly because you lose the efficiency of scale and you have to pay for all those redundant systems.

Scale is everything here. For example, making your hydrogen tank twice as large cuts the rate of evaporation to 1/8 per volume because the surface area grows less than the volume of the tank. Conversely, making your liquid hydrogen tank half the size speeds up the evaporation 8 times, so you need to use 8 times the power per gallon of liquid hydrogen to keep it cold. Obviously then, it makes sense to store it at a central location in one big tank instead of spreading it into a thousand smaller tanks across the county.

Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (9) Nov 22, 2013
EnricM doubted by quote me
hydrogen in a litre of petrol than in a litre of liquid hydrogen

Sure about that?
Please demonstrate


Its called high school chemistry EnricM - education is so very useful because you don't get misled easily by unintelligent propoganda :-)

Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (9) Nov 22, 2013
antialias_physorg has forgotten or doesn't know how to read or construct a "thermodynamic analsis" with this bad thinking quote me with his dumb retort
H2 has not & never will be competition as a terrestrial fuel !

Don't be so sure. H2 has a huge advantage in that it is easily produced by anyone - not just companies with significant infrastructure/investment potential.
Thermodynamic analysis antialias_physorg, to produce *any* useful hydrogen consumes energy which is best used elsewhere, its called "Economics" (doh)

H2 has not & never will be competition as a terrestrial fuel !

Work it out please ?
Mike_Massen
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 22, 2013
Modernmystic worried unnecessarily with
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas#Role_of_water_vapor

I'm sure this has been taken in to account, but can someone tell me as to exactly how this isn't a potentially big problem?
Its not a problem at all because water vapour so very easily comes out as precipitation (rain) where almost all other GHGases don't. Almost as soon as water vapour is added, it finds a way very soon to drop out as rain or snow or as energies and winds increase bigger and bigger hail-stones !

Its called equilibria.

Though, We had hail stones the size of cricket balls in Australia recently - rather uncommon...

Should we instead be concerned just 'how' it falls back to earth - shit yeah !

Either way water vapour has a reliable and easy method of back to earth, not so for CO2, CH4 etc... :-(
Modernmystic
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 22, 2013
Either way water vapour has a reliable and easy method of back to earth


So what I'm hearing is that putting huge amounts of water vapor in the air via anthropogenic means isn't going to warm the planet, but it is going to make it rain more?

Isn't THAT a concern too? Isn't that changing the climate too? I'm not trying to be difficult or sarcastic, I just want to be sure this has been looked at and gamed out...
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2013
FTA:

Cars that run on hydrogen and exhaust only water vapor are emerging to challenge electric vehicles as the world's transportation of the future.


Here we have this;

http://en.wikiped...er_vapor

I'm sure this has been taken in to account, but can someone tell me as to exactly how this isn't a potentially big problem?
Go piss in the ocean for an apt comparison. The atmosphere is full of water vapor. Clouds are water vapor.

'Water vapor concentrations fluctuate regionally, but human activity does not significantly affect water vapor'

-from your link.
putting huge amounts of water vapor in the air via anthropogenic
Cooling towers, water parks, irrigation, reservoirs, dams, golf course sprinklers and backyard swimming pools all generate FAR MORE water vapor than H2 vehicles ever will, and per your article they have no effect whatsoever.
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (9) Nov 22, 2013
Modernmystic thought & deduced
So what I'm hearing is that putting huge amounts of water vapor in the air via anthropogenic means isn't going to warm the planet, but it is going to make it rain more?

Isn't THAT a concern too? Isn't that changing the climate too? I'm not trying to be difficult or sarcastic, I just want to be sure this has been looked at and gamed out...
Sure, quite right, more rain & more energy in the atmospheric climate system means more powerful storms, more rain and not where you necessarily expect. I saw the BBC Impact news just a few mins ago, floods in Iraq & Dubai - desert nations - seems somewhat strange, though havent had the chance yet to check what the average incidence is in those regions regarding floods...

btw: Before the water vapour descends as rain it will (on average) be more in the atmosphere so yes it will have an additive factor but it is a huge dynamic, the air can only hold so much for so long - and it ain't that long at all...

TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2013
I forgot car washes. Industry generates enormous amounts of steam which is vented to atmosphere.
Sure, quite right, more rain & more energy in the atmospheric climate system means more powerful storms
Manure. H2 vehicle emissions will have absolutely NO effect on weather because the amount of vapor they would ever generate is insignificant in comparison to the amount already generated artificially. And this amount has NO EFFECT on climate whatsoever.
Mike_Massen
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 22, 2013
TheGhostofOtto1923 offered this
..H2 vehicle emissions will have absolutely NO effect on weather because the amount of vapor they would ever generate is insignificant in comparison to the amount already generated artificially..
But, isnt all H2 artificial, what r u getting at TheGhostofOtto1923 ?

H2 has some generally unknown properties, it seeps into things, it has electrostatic attraction to various surfaces and forms a potentiall combustible explosive layer, it can be absorbed by metals. So u say "..in comparison.." with what non-artificial source, I am puzzled by your choice of language. Eg. From Food Science and Microbiology there is no natural process that emits H2 - please clarify the details as they are so important - the truth has a knack of hiding in the details - either by fear, complacency or intent, lets hope its not either of those ?

Besides, thats a rather ambit claim because, iirc, H2 factor re future non-combusted emissions have to be taken into account ?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2013
One thing more to consider - 12% of gas or diesel engine exhaust is already water vapor, a lot of which condenses in the exhaust system and dribbles out the tailpipe. The same thing would happen with H2 fuel cell vehicles.
what r u getting at TheGhostofOtto1923 ?
We were talking about
huge amounts of WATER VAPOR in the air via anthropogenic means
- What are you talking about?

BTW

Ambit: n. 1. scope or extent. 2. limits, boundary, or circumference.

-You misused the word.
Modernmystic
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 22, 2013
Go piss in the ocean for an apt comparison. The atmosphere is full of water vapor. Clouds are water vapor.


So which study are you basing that opinion on? Do you have any actual hard data on the amounts of water vapor that would be produced by billions of automobiles run by fuel cells? Or were you just guessing?

'Water vapor concentrations fluctuate regionally, but human activity does not significantly affect water vapor'


AT PRESENT. The whole point I was making is that since we currently aren't running most of our automobiles on fuel cells and we would be under the scenario being proposed then the amount put into the air by human activities would be significantly different.

Cooling towers, water parks, irrigation, reservoirs, dams, golf course sprinklers and backyard swimming pools all generate FAR MORE water vapor than H2 vehicles ever will, and per your article they have no effect whatsoever.


Sorry, that's an opinion, backed up by no facts at all. Go fish.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2013
Its not an opinion its common sense. But lets do a little research.

"...over two times as much low-temperature water per energy released is emitted by a hydrogen fuel cell compared to the high-temperature water vapor emitted by gasoline combustion..."

-So by calculating we determine that 2 x nothing = nothing. Lets see... rainstorm = something. Dew = something. Gasoline-powered cars = not ever nothing. Twice that = still nothing.

Ever hear of or see problems in traffic jams or congested tunnels from auto exhaust water? No.

"Newsflash - A traffic jam produced large quantities of water on the thruway yesterday leading to many accidents... film at 11" -??

"Fog generated by heavy traffic in the lincoln tunnel yesterday caused many accidents..." -??

Cooling tower = something
http://www.youtub...4XtUzczI

-But per your link, this has NO effect on weather or climate.

-So now lets see some research to lend credence to your opinions.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2013
AT PRESENT... the amount put into the air by human activities would be significantly different
No because the quantities generated, either net or gross, are MINISCULE in comparison to all the others I listed.

"Golf course irrigation is estimated to use more than 476 billion gallons of water annually in the
United States... The average U.S. golf course uses 51,000,000 gallons of water annually..."
http://mcmahongro...l-d.html

-much of which either evaporates or runs off, same as H2 cars.

-4.2-kg maximum capacity [tank]... the Equinox's claimed 150-mile range; 100k miles = 666 tanks or 2800 kg
-a mole of hydrogen gas and a half-mole of oxygen gas from their normal diatomic forms produces a mole of water
-1 mol of hydrogen atoms = 1.0794g
-one mole of water = 18.015g; 1 kg of H2 produces 18 kg water; 2800 kg H2 produces 50400 kg or 13314 gals of water, which is .14 gals/mile.

-How much piss do you produce per mile?
Modernmystic
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 22, 2013
"...over two times as much low-temperature water per energy released is emitted by a hydrogen fuel cell compared to the high-temperature water vapor emitted by gasoline combustion..."


I see a statement but not a source.

-So now lets see some research to lend credence to your opinions.


I have stated no opinions. That's you projecting your defensiveness, fear, and hostility. I asked questions.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2013
I see a statement but not a source
STILL havent learned how to use google eh? COPY it and PASTE it and hit ENTER.
that putting huge amounts of water vapor in the air via anthropogenic means
-is an opinion.
isn't going to warm the planet, but it is going to make it rain more?
-is conjecture (an opinion.)
I'm not trying to be difficult or sarcastic
Maybe just a little obtuse?

.14 gals per mile per car, as vapor or dribble. YOU produce more moisture than that, in the same forms.
Modernmystic
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 22, 2013
STILL havent learned how to use google eh? COPY it and PASTE it and hit ENTER.


If you haven't learned to paste a link I can walk you through it, otherwise you still have no source.

that putting huge amounts of water vapor in the air via anthropogenic means
-is an opinion.


No, it's a fact. It's stated in the article. Huge amounts is relative, but compared to nothing .14 gallons per mile times several billion is quite huge.

isn't going to warm the planet, but it is going to make it rain more?
-is conjecture (an opinion.)


See the question mark at the end of the sentence I wrote? That means it's a question.

.14 gals per mile per car, as vapor or dribble. YOU produce more moisture than that, in the same forms.


Where's your source for that? I don't accept that on face value because you said it. Moreover it's a non sequitur, it doesn't address my point at all.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2013
If you haven't learned to paste a link I can walk you through it, otherwise you still have no source
Sorry a quote and a link are redundant. Youre being lazy.
Where's your source for that? I don't accept that on face value because you said it
-and laziness is certainly no excuse for being wrong.

.14 gals per mile.
Moreover it's a non sequitur, it doesn't address my point at all
Your opinion was
putting huge amounts of water vapor in the air via anthropogenic means
-and .14 gals/mi is a miniscule amount.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2013
compared to nothing .14 gallons per mile times several billion is quite huge.
No its not if divided by the surface area of the planet or the volume of the atmosphere affected.

-254,212,610 US-registered passenger vehicles x 13314 gals of water each, over the entire life of the vehicle = 300 billion gals
-as compared to Golf course irrigation - more than 476 billion gallons of water ANNUALLY. And per your ref, neither golf course irrigation nor ANY anthropowhatsis affects weather nor climate at all.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2013
No, it's a fact. It's stated in the article
Nope it only says

"creates water and heat. The only byproduct is water"

-The 'huge amounts' and 'ecological ruin' stuff came from you guys.
Modernmystic
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 22, 2013
Sorry a quote and a link are redundant. Youre being lazy.


Still don't see a source so I'm going to ignore that point in the conversation and assume you made it up or don't know how to link.

-and .14 gals/mi is a miniscule amount.


140000000 isn't. There are currently over a billion cars on the planet.

http://www.huffin...291.html

As to the rest of your argument, since a lot of it hinges on the quote to the link you won't provide I can't respond to it.

TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2013
MM whines
I need a source
So stay stupid. Provide a source for your unwarranted opinions. Even a quote will do.
14 gazilion cars on the planet
-which only compares them with planetwide sources of water vapor which I listed. Irrigation and golf courses in the middle east add a greater proportion.

And please remind yourself that all those vehicles are already producing fully HALF as much water vapor as H2 vehicles would, with absolutely NO EFFECT on the environment, per your link. Two times nothing is still nothing.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2013
Here's another statistic for ya. The avg thunderstorm contains 275 million gals of water.
http://usatoday30...orms.htm

-So H2 cars would add a few thunderstors worth of water to the environment, over the course of an entire year and spread out over the entire continent. Nada.
holoman
1 / 5 (9) Nov 23, 2013
Okay, Hydrogen Nay sayers !

I say in a few years pull up to your water hose in the backyard and fill the tank, electrolysis while you drive.

For those tesla-phytes , producing hydrogen as it is needed changes the landscape !!
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2013
I say in a few years pull up to your water hose in the backyard and fill the tank, electrolysis while you drive.

That makes no sense whatsoever.
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (8) Nov 24, 2013
holoman might be best called hollowbrain with this sheer idiocy
..I say in a few years pull up to your water hose in the backyard and fill the tank, electrolysis while you drive
Please please get, read or perform a full end to end thermodynamic analysis !

As I said before:-
"If hydrogen was available for free, it would be too expensive to use for any terrestrial transport/power generation purpose, basic thermodynamics & the close relationship between energy, materials & time show that rather definitively."
holoman/hollowbrain continued without any depth of thought with this
"..producing hydrogen as it is needed changes the landscape !
If you have the energy to produce H2 "as needed" then it will always make more sense to use that same energy directly "as needed" as its far more efficient and sensible.

Energy/resources required to produce, transport /utilise H2 are not trivial, they waste useful energy.

Get hold of a full & complete end to end "Thermodynamic Analysis"
djr
5 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2013
"If you have the energy to produce H2 "as needed" then it will always make more sense to use that same energy directly "as needed" as its far more efficient and sensible."

Not the whole picture Mike. For example - if wind or solar become the source of choice - then you need some form of storage. Hydrogen can be used as storage. You are correct - that from a straight thermodynamic perspective - we always lose some efficiency. This loss may be acceptable - if the source is cheap enough. In many parts of the states now - utilities are using tiered pricing to try to affect the demand curve. If the cost of storage, outweighs the cost of tier differential - it becomes cost effective for the customer to install storage - buy the power at lowest rate, store it, and use it when needed. I think we will see a lot more of this kind of set up as we move forward.

antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 24, 2013
You are correct - that from a straight thermodynamic perspective - we always lose some efficiency.

Efficiency isn't the end-all. If you only have direct methods of using the energy produced (no storage) then that will mean that you have to dump energy that you produce in excess of what is needed at that very moment.
This happens all the time - even in the time of pure conventional power sources - as the production capacity has to always be inexcess of demand for grid stability.

Now if you can store any excess in a medium that can be quickly used to produce energy then you've got a win/win situation: Unavoidable excess production isn't wasted and you need less excess production from fossil fuels/nuclear to ensure grid stability (to the point where you can get rid of them entirely).

At the very least when looking at the cost of health and ecological ramifications of old style power production methods we'll come out way cheaper in the end, too.
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (8) Nov 24, 2013
djr assumed I did't consider
"Not the whole picture Mike. For example - if wind or solar become the source of choice - then you need some form of storage. Hydrogen can be used as storage."
Nah H2 bad, do an end to end thermodynamic analysis, compare it with suitable battery arrays & Super-capacitors, which would be pertinent to antialias_physorg's quote in the post after yours djr
"Now if you can store any excess in a medium that can be quickly used to produce energy then you've got a win/win situation"
Super-capacitors getting cheaper & if in conjunction with suitable batteries these can do useful work such as pump water, de-humidify to produce potable water etc but H2, no, it is still no-where near as effective or safe. What to use the excess power on depends highly on the site, local water supply issues, full set etc ie. Needs imagination.

In respect of power generation, one might contend even if H2 were free it would be too hard, read 'expensive', to use !
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 24, 2013
Supercaps only store for very short periods. Along with batteries they suffer from one flaw as a large scale storage solution: Cost while scaling the system.

Batteries (and supercaps) don't scale well as the cost of needed material (some of which is scarce) goes linear with the capacity. Hydrogen on the other hand has no such limitation, as the compression/fuel cell part has to be invested in only once - then it's just a matter of adding more/bigger tanks.

Pumping water is ideal - however the capacity for that is already well developed in many countries (i.e. no additional capacity can be easily added)
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Nov 24, 2013
How soon before they make one with an inflatable gas bag for emergency escapes or just to putt around in the sky? Possible? How much H2 would you need to lift a car?

This sounds like a problem for lurker to figure out.
For the curious (me), 2.4 kg of H2 is needed to lift 71 lbs, which is about 1/2 tankful for an H2 car.

But wait! Bond dons his instant personal dirigible backpack and exits his H2 car through the sunroof as it heads over the cliff... His inflation tube snakes out, following his doomed car to the ground, but filling his dirigible enough for him to circle back and strafe the KGB agents on his tail...

Ya think?
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (8) Nov 24, 2013
Where does antialias_physorg get his experience from - is it merely extrapolation of other's experiences via google
"Supercaps only store for very short periods.."
Given they do 10,000 cycle & up it's not a problem, they're cheap, rotate & bleed into batteries, many modern sealed batteries can handle high charge rates too.

Then antialias_physorg guessed with this gem
"Hydrogen on the other hand has no such limitation, as the compression/fuel cell part has to be invested in only once.."
Really ? put the cost/energy of compressing H2 (& from what source ?) into a thermodynamic equation, it is 'very bad indeed' !

Obviously antialias_physorg hasn't traveled much
"Pumping water is ideal - however the capacity for that is already well developed in many countries (i.e. no additional capacity can be easily added)"
Where do you get your examples from; gated communities close to infrastructure ?(ugh), Defraying centralisation re pumping water is ideal in so very many regions.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2013
How soon before they make one with an inflatable gas bag for emergency escapes or just to putt around in the sky? Possible? How much H2 would you need to lift a car?

This sounds like a problem for lurker to figure out.
For the curious (me), 2.4 kg of H2 is needed to lift 71 lbs, which is about 1/2 tankful for an H2 car.

But wait! Bond dons his instant personal dirigible backpack and exits his H2 car through the sunroof as it heads over the cliff... His inflation tube snakes out, following his doomed car to the ground, but filling his dirigible enough for him to circle back and strafe the KGB agents on his tail...

Ya think?
Quad tiltrotors would deploy for lift assist and maneuverability. These would be powered by ancillary H2 cells.

I think this will have to be in the next movie.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 24, 2013
Given they do 10,000 cycle & up it's not a problem

That's not the issue I was alluding to. Supercaps have the tendency to lose their charge in a relatively short time. What an energy grid fueled by renewables needs is a storage solution that can cover several days (maybe a week). Supercaps don't allow that.

put the cost/energy of compressing H2 (& from what source ?) into a thermodynamic equation, it is 'very bad indeed' !

I don't disagree that storage in supercaps/batteries is more efficient. But neither are a viable solution for storage (as noted, because of cost and tendency to lose stored energy for supercaps),

It doesn't matter how efficient a system is if it doesn't solve the problem it's supposed to.

e pumping water is ideal in so very many regions

It is. That is why the capacities for it are already built. You need appropriate geography for it and that is already largely in use for that type of storage. But we need much more.
Mike_Massen
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 24, 2013
antialias_physorg stated
"..lose their charge in a relatively short time. What an energy grid fueled by renewables needs is a storage solution that can cover several days (maybe a week)..
Yes but, you totally ForGot I stated "..in conjunction with batteries..", surely you know what that means, surely we don't need spoon feeding, I used the word 'bleed' also, you argue a simplification never uttered.

antialias_physorg also betrayed narrow focus with
"That is why the capacities for it are already built. You need appropriate geography for it and that is already largely in use for that type of storage."
No unfortunately not, many in the 1st world have old infrastructure & water demand increasing. Localised pumping has value in 1st world in many places when in conjunction with local renewable grid support (as well).

You seem antialias_physorg to take adopt narrow focus of some posts to argue with what you incorrectly think is a banal simplistic position, not good !

tut tut
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 24, 2013
ForGot I stated "..in conjunction with batteries.."

The combination makes little sense. Supercaps are supreme when it comes to leveling fast shifting supply/demand scenarios. But the speed at which supply and demand shifts in national energy grids would be sufficiently slow for batteries to handle alone (which have much greater energy density than supercaps)

Localised pumping has value in the 1st world in many places

You need a place to pump TO. You need a place that's not already in use for that purpose. E.g in germany all those places are already in use. We currently have a capacity for 0.6TWh storage. We'd need about 20 TWh and Europe as a whole about 85TWh (Norway would have that potential but they have until now refused to develop it as it would mean massive ecological changes). There's pilot projects for using old mines and the like - but to make pumped hydro a significant contribution to the storage problem we need some radical new approach.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 24, 2013
tut tut

You may tut all you want - but your arguments from ignorance don't cut it.

You have to look at realistic scenarios. You have to look at the magnitude of energy involved and the demands of the whole system in concert with the means of energy production. Only if a proposed technique can fulfill ALL the requirements of such a complex system is it a sensible choice.

Then you have to let go of stuff that is cool (like supercaps and batteries, which I think are supremely cool - and have a great future in scenarios like like getting solar-thermal powerplants through the night; powering EVs; providing private energy storage and whatnot).

But at the end of the day buffering national powergrids for days/weeks with batteries - barring some massive breakthrough in energy density and cost - is just wishful thinking.
holoman
1 / 5 (9) Nov 24, 2013
Mike Massen,

All of us who have been on the blog for sometime know who you are sir.

You need to tone down your disrespect for other posters on the blog.

antialias_physorg for example has been a valued contributor for many years.



TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2013
Mike Massen,

All of us who have been on the blog for sometime know who you are sir.

You need to tone down your disrespect for other posters on the blog.

antialias_physorg for example has been a valued contributor for many years.
But alas he gets stuff wrong a lot. Nobodys above criticism. Nobody has special status here. Everybodys a target.

Got it?
holoman
1 / 5 (7) Nov 24, 2013
Mike Massen,

All of us who have been on the blog for sometime know who you are sir.

You need to tone down your disrespect for other posters on the blog.

antialias_physorg for example has been a valued contributor for many years.
But alas he gets stuff wrong a lot. Nobodys above criticism. Nobody has special status here. Everybodys a target.

Got it?


Your absolutely right dear.

I will try to keep that in mind.
Ducklet
1 / 5 (7) Nov 24, 2013
Perfectly clean combustion of Hydrogen and Oxygen produces no pollutants. But it produces H2O, CO, CO2, O2, O3... etc although they're not technically pollutants. And real air contains nitrogen, setting the stage for more interesting products. So yeah it's clean, but it produces a fair amount of CO2 although clearly an improvement over coal and many other fossil fuels. The switch to natural gas is the main reason the U.S. is currently the world leader in reduction of CO2 emissions. It's low-hanging fruit for sure and can only help so much, but it's also more or less economically sensible so doesn't require heavy-handed legislation or decrees. Save the bullets for changes that will face real opposition.
suheir
not rated yet Nov 27, 2013
New Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars Provide Opportunity for HyperSolar's Renewable Hydrogen Technology
http://everything...ide.html