Say What? Check Out This Hydrogen Charger For Electric Cars

JAN 19 2019 BY DOMINIK WILDE 111

It comes after 10 years of development.

Industrial fuel cell power company AFC Energy has announced the successful deployment of CH2ARGE, the world’s first electric vehicle charger based on hydrogen fuel-cell technology.

The technology, which could enable 100 percent clean electricity for future EV charging, was demonstrated at Dunsfold Aerodrome, the home of BBC’s Top Gear, and showcased a BMW i8 being charged by power generated by a hydrogen fuel cell.

The demonstration came 10 years after AFC Energy began its research into fuel cell technology, and marks the beginning of a journey towards commercialization for the technology.

“By 2030, it is estimated that there could be nine million electric vehicles on the roads of Britain, up from 90,000 today,” said Adam Bond, Chief Executive Officer at AFC Energy. “For this transition, we need charging stations to be embedded throughout the country, as well as seeking innovative solutions to overcome the severe limitations of centrally generated electricity.”

“By developing and demonstrating the effectiveness of our hydrogen fuel cell in the application of EV charging, AFC Energy has shown it is ready to lead the way not only in solving the challenges of increased demand for electricity, but also doing so in a truly zero emissions approach.”

The system features a small-scale fuel cell connected to an inverter similar to those used by Toyota at its Electric Vehicle research centre. The inverter transfers energy created by the fuel cell to a charger. The system is also supported by a 48V battery pack to assist with peak power demands.

AFC Energy hydrogen fuel-cell charging system with Adam Bond

AFC Energy says that its CH2ARGE system could potentially deliver locally-generated electricity through thousands of installations that generate completely clean electricity. If electricity was to be generated from a central location, it would require massive investment in re-working the distribution network. It has now begun talks with OEMs over integrating the technology on a wider scale.

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111 Comments on "Say What? Check Out This Hydrogen Charger For Electric Cars"

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What a waste of energy. With a 30% efficiency to produce hydrogen from electricity plus the waste in the charging of the car. would it be more efficient to simply put solar with battery on site?

That’s BS. Siemens presently sells the Silyzer 200/300 system with H2 conversion efficiency of 75%. Do your homework.

Forgot all the electricity needed to make the hydrogen first. There goes an other 40%. Unless you use natural gas to make hydrogen?

The Silyzer is an electrolyzer that produces H2 from electricity. What’s proposed here is a system that then turns that hydrogen back into electricity using a fuel cell. If a fuel cell is 60% efficient, that would be 45% overall, assuming we’d be starting with H2 produced by an electrolyzer as you suggest. And that’s ignoring the fact that you’d need to expend energy to compress or liquify the hydrogen to be able to store it on site, although maybe these guys have a vision of running distribution pipes of hydrogen all over the place. It’s hard to imagine that being cheaper than just using the existing electrical distribution and upgrading it where necessary, either with bigger wires and transformers or onsite renewables and energy storage.

quote: “although maybe these guys have a vision of running distribution pipes of hydrogen all over the place. It’s hard to imagine that being cheaper than just using the existing electrical distribution ….”
————
Well, you said it! Hydrogen is far more difficult to pipe anywhere than natural gas, the hydrogen would attack normal pipes as used for gas and they have to be of special material. Coupled with the inefficiencies involved in producing the hydrogen in the first place and compressing it, upgrading the electricity grid will be cheaper and far more efficient overall.

And delivery by road tanker is very inefficient – the weight of the pressure container is such that each tanker can only carry about 400kg of hydrogen. That’s why about 15 hydrogen tankers are needed to caryy the same energy equivalent as a single diesel tanker.

>Hydrogen is far more difficult to pipe anywhere than natural gas,

600 miles of hydrogen pipeline on the US Gulf Coast built by just one company -Air Products. You simply have no idea what you’re talking about- but that is to be expected on hydrogen threads.

That some specialty gas company build a 600 miles pipeline especially for H2, does not negate the fact that hydrogen is much more difficult to transport than natural gas.
This NG (methane) is pumped all over the world in all kind of scales millions of miles, in central Europe millions of houses have a natural gas connections for heating, warm water and cooking.

Hydrogen (single protons circled by an electron) is diffusing thru most materials including steel pipes and makes them brittle, so special materials are needed for pipes and seals, density is lower than methane so bigger pipes are needed, hydrogen has to be compressed to 700 bar for storage and so on and on — all steps (from electrolysis to filling station) costing a large percentage of energy, so that from the renewable electricity finally less than 1/3 will end up at the wheels.

“You simply have no idea what you’re talking about…”

Those who promote the “hydrogen economy” hoax either don’t have even the most basic grasp of science, or they are practicing wholesale lying… or both.

texash2fan – quote: “You simply have no idea what you’re talking about- but that is to be expected on hydrogen threads.”
————————
Before you slag off others for “having no idea what they’re talking about”, I suggest you check your facts. In this case, try:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_pipeline_transport

From that: “Piping – Hydrogen has problems with both hydrogen embrittlement and corrosion. Hydrogen has an active electron, and therefore behaves somewhat like a halogen.[9] For this reason, hydrogen pipes have to resist corrosion. The problem is compounded because hydrogen can easily migrate into the crystal structure of most metals.”

I didn’t say piping hydrogen was not possible – rather “far more difficult”. Which is absolutely accurate. (It’s not just needing different and more expensive materials, but more difficult to pump as well.)

You don’t have a freaking idea what you are writing about.

H2 conversion efficiency of 75% means a round-trip efficiency, when that H2 is used to generate electricity again, of (0.75 x 0.75 =) 56%. That’s pretty typical for stationary H2 energy storage systems.

Do we really need to explain to you why throwing away nearly half the energy is an extremely bad idea?

Hydrogen is abundant and fuel Charging is fast.
Solar charging takes forever.
Natural gas is still ice fuel.

And you can dig up Hydrogen from anywhere for free and sell it for $16.50/kg to unsuspecting fool cell users!

Yes, that’s sarcasm. You ever wonder why H never took off when 3/4 of the planet is covered with molecule with 2 hydrogen?

Yes with that unfortunate tendency to hook up with Carbon and Nitrogen lol

“Hydrogen is abundant…”

…in compounds like water. Free hydrogen… not so much on planet Earth.

And you’ve been told that many times, so why are you still promoting the “hydrogen economy” hoax?

I read somewhere that electrons were even more abundant than hydrogen. Go figure…

“would it be more efficient to simply put solar with battery on site?“

Try solar at night or when it is cloudy. Sorry, but solar has it’s own drawbacks.

My point is solar isn’t a panacea.

Do you know what a battery is?

This is nonsense. Technically possible, but with so many reasons why it’s a bad idea it’s difficult to know where to start……..

It’s almost like using 1,000,000 hamsters to power electric car charging station.

That’s not a bad use of 1 million hamsters. This is a solution in search of a problem, I think we all agree.

If they use up all the hamsters, what is going to become of the Kia Soul’s marketing program?

Haha! 9 demerits… The overly Constipated here have no sense of humor.

What have you got against hamsters? OTOH, maybe universe 25 can be converted.

Replace 1,000,000 hamsters with 1,000,000 humans. There you go, just solved the unemployment problem and the obesity problem, get a new age job running the electric treadmill 🙂

What job? People will pay to generate electricity. “At Sacramento Eco Fitness, exercise machines convert human energy into electricity, which is pretty mindblowing.”

https://www.brit.co/green-fitness-tech-turns-workouts-into-electricity/

Yes, but you will need 10Ft wheels for those humans to run in…

I thought Toyota announced 2 years ago that they were building a MW fuel cell with Fuel Cell Energy at Long Beach Port that was going to supply Hydrogen for vehicles operating at the port.
Later Toyota and Shell announced a similar plan at Los Angeles Port. Have either of these projects been completed.

This is about as stupid as building Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars. Its game over for Hydrogen.

More stupid, if you ask me… Unless I’m missing something very important here.

Yes, it’s even more stupid. That in itself is a remarkable achievement!

Agreed. As a card-carrying economist, I would remind everyone here of an expression economists use: The market will sort itself out. Yes, hydrogen fuel cells as a way to power cars is phenomenally stupid, and it’s being artificially supported by bad government policies plus plain old stubbornness in some corporate board rooms. Is that enough to overcome brute force economics? Uhh… no. The large and growing advantages of EVs vs FCVs will win out, in time. In the short run, though, we’ll have to endure this nonsense.

“Yes, hydrogen fuel cells as a way to power cars is phenomenally stupid,…”

For now. Technology is always improving. Just a few years ago, BEV’s were not consider to be viable much less end the ICE age. Many people forget it was ICE that displaced BEV’s over 100 years ago (in the US).

Btw, when I was learning econometrics in graduate school, I was warned about forecasting outside the sample data.

There are many uses for LiIon batteries besides EV. There’s very little use for H besides cars. That will mean high price of H that cannot be scaled to bring the price down.

Forecasting outside sample is hard, so take H price in past few years. It hasn’t moved. No one’s going to pay 5X gasoline price so that other guys may pay less.

Actually, many buildings are fueled by fuel cells. Do you know what’s in the basement of the World Trade Center? Yep – 12 400KW fuel cells that produce a combined 4.8MW of electricity. There is no easy way to upgrade the grid in downtown Manhattan to supply the needs of all these buildings, each the size of a small town.

And most of those fuel cells are natural gas powered, i.e. fossil fuels. One of the reasons for their higher efficiency is that they use the heat byproduct instead of using primary energy as a heat source.
This product uses electrically generated hydrogen and appears not to use the heat byproduct, so loses efficiency.

quote: Jason “Technology is always improving. Just a few years ago, BEV’s were not consider to be viable …………”
———-
Yes, but there are some things technology can make a difference with, and others that are fixed by the laws of physics – and the energy needed to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and compress the hydrogen is one of them.

So technology may mean fuel cells may come down in price, but hydrolysis/compression/use in fuel cell will ALWAYS be far more inefficient than putting the same electricity into a battery.

If you want an analogy, then SpaceX seems (via technology – landing and reusing rockets) to have brought down the cost of satellite launches, but it will always take at least a given amount of energy to put a given weight into a given orbit. Otherwise, you’ve effectively got a perpetual motion machine.

This is the huge problem hydrogen for energy storage faces. Yes, technology may bring down fuel cell costs, but likewise for batteries. But it can do little for intrinsic inefficiencies regarding hydrogen production and use.

Clearly, you didn’t study chemistry or physics at high school. Because of the rapid evolution in BEV technology Hydrogen is dead in the small vehicle sector. It will always be too expensive and impractical for reasons of physics and chemistry.
There are plenty of other use cases where it might work- storing large quantities of energy from renewables on site to smooth electricity supply. Shipping where refuelling can happen from a central depot in port. Locomotives. Air transport. Large long haul trucking companies may also benefit but I’m sceptical.
Hydrogen works best where it can be made and used in large quantities at the one location.

But over time as BEV technology continues to improve(we have a long way to go to reach theoretical energy density limits in batteries) the places where Hydrogen might be economic will continue to shrink. That does not bode well for Hydrogen investment going forward.

“For now. Technology is always improving. Just a few years ago, BEV’s were not consider to be viable much less end the ICE age.”

Yeah, fool cell fanboys keep telling us that the price of H2 should drop significantly because of all the new H2 fueling stations being built. How’s that working out for you, hmmm? Oh, the price of H2 fuel has actually gone up in the years since they started building H2 fueling stations in California?

What a surprise that nobody has invented a better H2 molecule. It’s almost like that was an immutable part of physics and chemistry, or something. 🙄

Meanwhile, batteries are improving and dropping in price year after year, without letup.

The 11,000 reservations for Nikola’s hydrogen trucks suggest hydrogen still has a future.

Tid: “The 11,000 reservations for Nikola’s hydrogen trucks suggest hydrogen still has a future.”
—————–
The question will be how many of those “reservations” actually turn into firm sales. At the moment, I could make a “reservation” for my own Nikola truck without even making a deposit, let alone a non-refundable one.

But using hydrogen to actually power a vehicle – car or truck – is one thing, this is completely different, and completely stupid. Nikola’s plans are undeniably technically feasible, the question is whether they are financially viable. The scheme in this article is just the worst of all worlds. If you’re determined to use hydrogen, then just put it in the vehicle and use a fuel cell there!

Yes, it costs nothing to reserve, but why would you do that unless you believe it makes sense to operate a hydrogen truck? As long as there is a large enough number of people/companies that believe hydrogen is right for them, then hydrogen has a future. These are large relatively expensive trucks, so it wouldn’t take a huge number of sales to support a company making them.

The people considering using those trucks won’t be bleeding heart environmentalists that can be swayed by arguments about being as green as possible. What they really care about are cost of operation, reliability and flexibility. Availability is also a major factor, and if Nikola’s trucks will be available sooner than Tesla’s, then Nikola has an advantage.

Nikola claims it will sell H2 at a fueling station for a profit at $2-3/kg. That isn’t a business plan, it’s a fantasy.

Pinning your hopes for a “hydrogen economy” on a sham company like Nikola is even more deluded than pinning them on the Mirai and other fool cell cars.

Tid – quote: “Yes, it costs nothing to reserve, but why would you do that unless you believe it makes sense to operate a hydrogen truck?” —————– Fair question. As I recall, Nikola are talking of relatively low monthly figures for lease, including a million miles of hydrogen. If that’s on offer, and nothing to lose, why not make a reservation? Hedge your bets? But I’ve seen figures which indicate that at such rates, Nikola seems virtually certain to make a huge loss on every such deal. Maybe a few such deals could be offered as a loss leader for publicity – so why not register in case you should be the lucky one? ——————- quote: “……..it wouldn’t take a huge number of sales to support a company making them.” ——————- But it would need a large number to support the infrastructure. ——————- quote: “The people considering using those trucks won’t be bleeding heart environmentalists that can be swayed by arguments about being as green as possible. What they really care about are cost ………..” ——————- Yes – i fully agree. And this is exactly why there is such scepticism re Nikola. Leaving aside the cost of the truck itself,… Read more »
Well Tunny have you reserved a Nikola hydrogen truck yourself? If that is the case then it would be easier to accept your argument that people who think hydrogen is dead would bother to do such a thing. Nikola is offering hydrogen trucks because their market research and financial analysis tells them there is enough demand to support a viable business. They know what their costs are going to be much better than you and I. Remember how many times people have proclaimed they don’t see how Tesla can possibly survive, and yet Tesla is still here. Keep in mind that the Nikola trucks are battery electric trucks that happen to have a hydrogen range extender. I understand the battery is good for 100-200 miles of driving, so conceivably one could use those trucks on shorter routes without ever loading a single molecule of hydrogen in them. I expect that, like any business run by rational people, Nikola will adapt to what the market demands. I see nothing preventing Nikola from offering a version of the truck where the fuel cell is removed and extra batteries are added. They can sell pure battery right alongside the battery + hydrogen if… Read more »

“The 11,000 reservations for Nikola’s hydrogen trucks suggest hydrogen still has a future.”

It only suggests that to those who think the laws of physics can be changed by a popularity contest.

Also, a “reservation” that’s made by simply clicking on a website, without having to put down any deposit at all, isn’t an indication of much of anything.

I’m sceptical of the claim of a pollution free electric charging station. Hydrogen is usually produced in a rather “dirty” fashion. It can be produced electrically using solar or wind power so it’s possible though. The chief advantage is fuelling these stations with hydrogen instead of coupling them to the electrical grid makes them easier to install in remote locations or just places where it’s inconvenient to do so.

Hydrogen is made off processing natural gas, which is in surplus due to all the oil drilling (they are found together, as I understand it).

This site uses Hydrogen created from renewable materials such as waste/refuse/trash and not from commercial methane. It can also run from bio-digesters. That alone makes these attractive to say Dairy Farmers. They have a lot of slurry and I know several who have invested in bio-digesters and create Methane that is supplied to the grid. One of these is just a few miles from Dunsfold.
Within these limits, I think that there is a place for systems like this when there is a ready supply of Methane or Hydrogen that is obtained from renewable sources.
These are the exceptions rather than the rule I’m afraid.

The problem is that sustainable biogas like that is relatively scarce, and IMHO should be reserved for use cases which are really tricky to convert to other energy sources. This is not such a use case — it’s just a waste of a valuable resource.

Also, if the hydrogen is created from methane, my assumption would be that it should be more efficient to use a direct methane fuel cell, or perhaps even a traditional gas generator?…

Sewage Treatment plant in Los Angeles uses the Methane to produce electricity and I believe hydrogen.

Interesting idea. I would be curious to know how much methane is produced by say a 200 head dairy operation, or here in the US, a large pork operation. My guess is that you wouldn’t have enough to support much car charging at a single location, but you could store, transport and combine across multiple producers.

“Within these limits, I think that there is a place for systems like this when there is a ready supply of Methane or Hydrogen that is obtained from renewable sources.”

That may be a realistic view of things. I question the EROI will ever favor using hydrogen for widespread use as an energy source or an energy carrier, but there might be room for a small-scale system supplying some specific narrow market niche.

What is most definitely not realistic is believing that a system dependent on the very limited supply of waste products from other industries, could ever provide enough power to have a serious impact on how much we’ll need to improve and build up the electric power grid over the coming 20-25 years or so, as EVs replace gasmobiles and diesel trucks.

It might be easier to install in some cases than an electric grid connection — but the hydrogen needs to be supplied somehow, too… Considering the costs and low efficiency of hydrogen systems, I really can’t imagine a use case where it would be cheaper or more convenient than building a local renewable micro-grid for the charger.

Instead of “WASTING ELECTRICITY” to Make Hydrogen., ! ! ! You Can Input The Electricity Directly into The Batteries …

Model3 Owned- Niro EV TBD -Past-500e and Spark EV,

only makes sense where there’s no reliable electricity at point of charge AND you pipe H2 to the spot — which is probably nowhere.

Now, you can have a charger say in the middle of Alligator Alley that a tanker tops off every month and allows midpoint charging effectively without electric support lines there — that makes sense.

Stretches of flyover country where tankers will refuel stations that don’t have electrical lines — that’s doable too

I’d rather see a solar+ battery solution in the middle of “who put this road here, FL.”

ALL RIGHT. What a GREAT WAY to do this.
First, you convert methane to H2 while dumping the CO2 into the air.
Next, you run it through a fuel cell losing 5-10%, then into a battery (which is DC) losing 5%; then into an inverter losing a minimum of 5% (now AC), then dump it into the car on level 2, which then converts the AC back into DC (again losing 5% or more), and then finally INTO THE BATTERY.

Does anybody else see issues with this?
If not, I am guessing that you work for big oil.

This seems like the idea “let’s see if we can take one of the most inefficient methods to charge a car and make it MORE inefficient!”

Since DC fast charging puts DC directly into the car anyways, why don’t they just bypass the inverter and make it a DC charger? There are low-power DC charge units that push 12kW. There used to be a CHAdeMO one that pushed 12kW and would run directly off of a 360v battery. It would save 10% to 20% of their energy.

This storage buffer battery runs on 48V – so you have to transform it up to DC 400V for charging the car.
And the fuel cell has limited KW output and is costly, so this whole Hydrogen to electricity charging system seems to be a low/slow single phase AC charger — as the example using a 5 KWh battery plug in BMW i8 suggests.

You forget the bit where the spatially distributed emissions go from zero (BEV) to H2O which is 3x worse a greenhouse gas than CO2.

Source?

Is he trying to claim that water vapor (“H2O”) is a 3x worse greenhouse gas than CO2?

That’s 100% B.S. Water vapor doesn’t build up and linger in the atmosphere; it condenses and rains out. Contrariwise, CO2 builds up and stays in the atmosphere for long periods of time. If it didn’t, then we wouldn’t be having a problem with global warming.

“Does anybody else see issues with this?”

Not to dispute your entirely correct overall point, but it’s even worse than you’re saying. Your figure for losing 5-10% of the energy in the fuel cell is much, much too low; the actual figure is between 40-50% loss.

Converting methane into hydrogen while dumping CO2 in the air is a good thing. Methane is a much more potent GHG than CO2.

Natural gas is mostly methane. Burning either results in far lower pollution than burning gasoline, when comparing equal amounts of energy released.

It’s true that methane by itself is a pretty potent greenhouse gas, but burning it for fuel is an entirely different matter.

Another foolish attempt to break the law of thermodynamics?

Yeah, I think the goal was to make something even more impractical than fool cell cars. And I think they succeeded!

OH no, another self-appointed Big Expert.

Which law of thermodynamics are you referring to this time?

While it is clear as a day that fuel cells and high pressure hydrogen tanks do not make any sense on board of any vehicle, these AFC lads managed to climb to a higher level of stupidity I have to give them that. Talents.

I’m struck by the fact that on a “well”-to-wheels basis, this whole system of production, delivery and fuel usage has all the same processes and components as fueling and using a bog-standard HFCV. That is, except for the convenience of having a ready made true EV in the loop.
Perfect for Rube-Goldberg (or Heath-Robinson for our Brit cousins) enthusiasts.

What’s not to like?

I should have added that this scheme embodies all the advantages of an EV (when NOT charging from this misbegotten “CH2ARGE” thing) with all the disadvantages of an HFCV when using the CH2ARGE.
What a way to go!

Long term hydrogen storage to later produce electricity (in stationary applications or in cars) is rendered useless by the fact that electricity could be produced without involving hydrogen any time, any day, cheap overcapacity of renewable wind, solar, biomass which is also dispatchible. Renewable Hydrogen could still be used in Non-Fuel Cell applications, where there is no replacement for hydrogen, like steel making, fertilizers, refining processes, some food industry, some special power cooling.

These afc lads achieved basically nothing. Wasted subsidies.

This is how all hydrogen fuel cell cars work, isn’t it? Hyundai is already selling them.

Not exactly. There are huge space, shape, and weight constraints in the car for the high pressure hydrogen tanks and the fuel cell stack. These guys from the article are stationary, and couldn’t care less about the weight, space, shape, they can even use low pressure tanks… plenty of volume.

You can use renewable methane and an SOFC,
Bloom outputs 200 kW and lots of heat for the home or business.

Just read about this on CleanTechnica also. Guess what: “The company (AFC) also makes it clear that renewable H2 is part of the business strategy”.

At last! “Renewable Hydrogen”. The new “Clean Coal” for the elites.

Just as the term “Organic” gets corrupted through legally slackened labelling, now it’s energy’s turn with Neo “Renewable”.
Good grief!

B.S. claims for “renewable” hydrogen are nothing new. That’s been part of the “hydrogen economy” hoax all along. From comments written by fool cell fanboys, you’d think that all the H2 dispensed into fool cell cars was renewable, when the majority of it is “frackogen” reformed from natural gas… and of course releasing CO2 into the atmosphere during the reforming process.

No matter how clean that would be, why waste 80% of the energy generating hydrogen to generate electricity ? Just generate electricity from the start, or keep that for the VE.

Nah, that would be too simple, too inexpensive, and too energy-efficient. Can’t have that!
/s

Well let’s see. Ten years huh? There’s a Holiday Inn in the Buffalo, NY area that for decades has had a fuel cell taking methane and making some electricity for the Motel and discharging the waste heat into the hot water system, so it was one example of 100% efficiency.

Now, I routinely throw an extension cord out of a 2-star motel window when I’m traveling and trickle charge my ELR overnight.

I could have saved this guy 10 years.

Starting with methane means it still pollutes. But if otherwise the methane would be wasted, this is still a good idea.

Oh yes, that horrible plant food. We can’t have that!

Good grief!

This must be an Onion joke…

A group of people sitting in the meeting. Let’s come out with the most complicated plan to charge a EV.

We should give them the Rube Goldberg award! 😉

Euro Funds for pointless projects. Wasting taxpayer money.

Just pump electricity from the grid into your BEV. Why do all these somersaults just to prove H2 has a purpose? Wasteful too.

Maybe they could do V2G to power the electrolysis process and then use that to power the car?
/s

How do guys with crazy ideas like this get funding?

Corruption.

I like the idea. Fast DC charging takes high demand charges and is hard on the grid. Make hydrogen from excess wind and solar and in effect one has a hydrogen based battery.

Electrolysis stations are hugely expensive, so to be remotely viable need to be operated as close to 24 hours a day as possible at a constant rate. That makes them totally unsuitable for the idea of “soaking up excess wind and solar”. Far more cost effective nowadays to use battery storage.

A quote that I archived applies here perfectly:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Perhaps they could add a few extra steps:

1) Use the hydrogen in a fool cell to generate electricity
2) Use the electricity to electrolyze water to hydrogen and oxygen

Steps one and two can be repeated as many times as necessary to get to the desired level of inefficiency.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
– John Hollenberg, comment at InsideEVs.com, September 24, 2015

* * * * *

But John was being sarcastic. Sadly, the guys responsible for this hydrogen-powered EV charger are apparently serious!

“If electricity was to be generated from a central location, it would require massive investment in re-working the distribution network.”

So… the suggested “solution” here is — rather than beefing up the existing electricity generation and distribution system — to build a new and much, much less energy-efficient infrastructure system that would take an investment that is 10x or 100x more massive?!?

The amount of ignorance and wishful thinking here is positively staggering. To merely say ::facepalm:: or even ::triple facepalm:: is utterly and completely inadequate!

I realize that Britain in the past has prided Herself on unique solutions but this statement:

“… If electricity was to be generated from a central location, it would require massive investment in re-working the distribution network…”

Makes me wonder why not just buy an inverter that puts out exactly what the EXISTING (50 Hz) Central Stations put out, and just re-use the wiring. Or don’t they have anybody at Top Gear who knows anything any longer to challenge ridiculous claims?

I mean, the Solar panels and sync inverter contraption in my basement efficiently (like 97%) make due with the existing Central Station power distribution infrastructure quite nicely without re-inventing the wheel. Whatever the central station is doing, my little system just works right along with it, matching cycle per cycle. Perhaps this great brain never heard of home solar panels?

Humm, apparently 5 commenters had no idea what I was talking about…. Maybe they are not familiar with how the typical home installation works…

Don´t understand this hate towards Hydrogen and Fuel-cell technology
Yes it has been uses to stall the process of electrifying cars for many years.
Battery efficiency to store energy is about 90%, this is good for storing energy for short time about 1 week, but not for storing for though the winter. And battery has vampire draining if power is not used soon.
Converting to Hydrogen and back again will never be as effective, but you will be able to store it for a long time without loss, it would be way more cheaper to lose 50 -60 % energy using hydrogen than to sell your solar electricity though net metering, at least in DK
I would like to see a household hydrogen system, in summertime converting the leftover to hydrogen, that can be used though wintertime converting it back to electricity and for a reasonable price

JR – quote: “Don´t understand this hate towards Hydrogen and Fuel-cell technology…………I would like to see a household hydrogen system, in summertime converting the leftover to hydrogen, that can be used though wintertime converting it back to electricity and for a reasonable price”
——————
It’s not “hate” as far as I’m concerned, rather acknowledgement that hydrogen as energy storage has intrinsic problems. What you describe is – in principle – very sensible, but unfortunately not viable now (or anytime soon). Such a “household hydrogen system” would be very expensive, need considerable maintenance, and be pretty inefficient in terms of energy in – energy out. On top of that, I’ll repeat the previous comment about using such a system to soak up excess solar:

“Electrolysis stations are hugely expensive, so to be remotely viable need to be operated as close to 24 hours a day as possible at a constant rate. That makes them totally unsuitable for the idea of “soaking up excess wind and solar”. Far more cost effective nowadays to use battery storage.”

No hatred here man – Utilities, for one, have a fleeting interest in using H2 for energy storage, but then the concern there is the pollution that will result from them burning the stored H2 in their existing gas turbines, and the smog-like junk as a result.

No problem with the cars myself – If manufacturers are DUMB enough to provide Carte Blanche for Mirai purchasers, or Clarity FC purchasers to the point where they give you MORE than the price of the car as free fuel, then I’m all for it. I just can’t believe manufactures will for all time subsidize this train ride.

No hatred here – Utilities, for one, have a fleeting interest in using H2 for energy storage, but then the concern there is the pollution that will result from them burning the stored H2 in their existing gas turbines, and the smog-like junk as a result.

No problem with the cars here – If manufacturers are foolhearty enough to provide Carte Blanche for Mirai purchasers, or Clarity FC purchasers to the point where they give you MORE than the price of the car as free fuel, then I’m all for it. I just can’t believe manufactures will for all time subsidize this train ride.

It always surprised me how many people must chime in with “breaks laws of thermodynamics” or “fool cells” comments in anything hydrogen. Normally, people just glance past things that don’t interest them. Why worry about something that laws of economics will sort it out anyway? If hydrogen fueling stations can be built for less money, if electrolysis can be efficient and scalable, it hydrogen can double as an energy storage medium for renewable energy, there could very well be a market for hydrogen cars even if the cost of fueling is much higher than that for electric cars. Or it’ll just fall apart if battery chemistry and charging network keeps improving at the current pace for a few more years and hydrogen hasn’t gotten a foothold. This is something that the market can easily sort out. Bickering and vulgarity is just not necessary.

To Prsnep – First off, I will fully agree that vulgarity, name calling and such are not necessary, and in the main are counter-productive to anyone in advancing their views. So why comment, about such as hydrogen as vehicle fuel? It’s not long ago I myself thought it was the way forward, but now realise that I didn’t take into account a lot of very relevant facts. I was simply unaware of them. And unfortunately, companies with vested interests in the technology are happy to push the benefits (clean exhausts) whilst being very quiet about the downsides (you still get CO2 if via reforming, via electrolysis is very inefficient). You say “Why worry about something that laws of economics will sort it out anyway?” For one thing, it’s attracting a lot of money in subsidies around the globe, and that’s a waste. And whilst many people – including some with influence – are still unaware of the full story, nothing will change. Vested interests are very keen to promote a one sided view – it’s important they should be challenged. Posts pointing out some of the problems of hydrogen were useful in making me better able to appreciate the drawbacks.… Read more »

The one who always states ‘breaks laws’ and ‘fool cells’ (who will never own any kind of electric vehicle, and is not even legally allowed to drive anything), is one of the most totally clueless commenters who comment here. Some of us have received “A” ‘s in Calculus-based thermodynamics engineering courses at major Universities and I personally have been told I know nothing about electric cars even though I’ve drive them solely for the past 8 years and have owned 5 of them.

This dim bulb also told me I know nothing about EV engineering yet I repeatedly break news of things I’ve found out about certain cars prior to it being generally reported, since I can do what one is supposed to do – namely predict the outcome of something prior to its realization.

So the discussion about Fuel Cells degenerates into a kindergarten peanut-gallery argument because that is about the speed of the loud mouths here. Supposedly Hydrogen Technology for cars is going great guns in China.

While personally not particularly interested in purchasing an H2 vehicle myself, I wouldn’t mind learning what they are doing lately.

“If electricity was to be generated from a central location, it would require massive investment in re-working the distribution network.”
This is the part of the equation folks might have overlooked. No matter how good the battery is, it still needs to be charged. But where, given our anemic electric grid.

Maybe your grid is anemic but the one near me is pretty good – excepting the 3rd world electricity in my neighborhood – but that is an extreme exception to the job the utility generally does for the vast majority of customers.

haha – the same 5 commenters (or sometimes 3 since sometimes the system double counts) are just blindly flagging me. I should expect that.

You have got to be effing kidding me with this crap.

What this says is “fuel cells do not scale to utility generators.” If a fuel cell made sense for power generation, they would replace existing natural gas and coal fired power plants. But it fails.

So they look for less technically skilled, easily fooled consumers … and CARB.