CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®

Previous in Forum: UAV's   Next in Forum: How to Optimize Website?
Close

Comments Format:






Close

Subscribe to Discussion:

CR4 allows you to "subscribe" to a discussion
so that you can be notified of new comments to
the discussion via email.

Close

Rating Vote:







30 comments
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12

Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/02/2012 2:05 PM

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-06/toyota-may-make-tens-of-thousands-of-hydrogen-cars-by-2020s.html Will fuel cells ever be able to compete with other vehicle power systems? Will the cost of platinum be overcome somehow, with other elements. Is hydrogen preferable to natural gas for the fuel, since natural gas is already very cheap?Will fuel cells ever be a good choice for large vehicles? What is the estimated fuel savings with fuel cell technology? Will fuel cells allow homes and businesses to produce their own electricity and bypass power plants by using natural gas?

Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 9634
Good Answers: 523
#1

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/02/2012 2:47 PM

For just $3 you too can have the ability to peer into the future...

But seriously, all these technologies you speak of already exist, they are just being tweaked...imo each will have it's 15 min of fame....The production and utilization of energy will continue to evolve until it becomes unrecognizable to us...

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/02/2012 4:12 PM

You gave me a big smile with your eight ball. I am thinking that Toyota may know something we don't.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 9634
Good Answers: 523
#3
In reply to #2

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/02/2012 4:21 PM

I just spotted this the other day....

"The official production announcement this week concerning Ford's lowest CO2 car in its history was full of firsts, mosts, and bests. The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic models are the most frugal cars the company has ever made. They are the most fuel efficient, put out the lowest CO2 levels and get the best mileage of any non-electric car, at 86 mpg. The very short video clip gives a decent all-around look at the car, which is set to take Europe and India by storm. The ECOnetic technology will be in half of all Fords sold in Europe by the end of this year, making the clean diesel wonder cars one of Ford's most popular engine types ever. In 2013, almost two-thirds of all European Fords will be ECOnetic models.

Besides the clean diesel component, Ford lists several energy-saving systems under the ECOnetic definition, namely start-stop technology, low-rolling resistance tires, better gear ratios, and several other features that are typically considered micro-hybrid science. The 1.6-liter clean diesel engine is the linchpin of the entire concept, however."

http://www.myperfectautomobile.com/ford/fiesta-econetic-diesel-game-changer.html

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#4
In reply to #3

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/02/2012 4:39 PM

I would like to find out more about the 86 MPG. Sounds too good to be true. The stop/start technology should become an option on all vehicles. I would rather it ran on CNG though due to the price of diesel. Too bad we have to be last to get all the most fuel efficient models. Even at 60 mpg on the road it would be a no brainer choice.

Register to Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 9634
Good Answers: 523
#5

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/02/2012 6:04 PM
__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2713
Good Answers: 37
#6

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/02/2012 8:50 PM

If fuel prices keep rising, some of these technologies which were deemed to expensive become viable.

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 9634
Good Answers: 523
#7

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 12:29 AM

F-CELL Hydrogen Electric Drive

Sustainable mobility for the long road ahead.

Nearly 20 years ago, Mercedes-Benz created the world's first fuel-cell vehicle, the experimental NECAR. Today, from buses and vans to the new B-Class F-CELL you can drive today, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler has the world's largest stock of fuel-cell vehicles in operation. (Disclaimer)

B-Class F-CELL available for lease in select markets.

The F-CELL converts compressed hydrogen into electricity to deliver spirited performance, a range of up to 240 miles, the equivalent of nearly 90 highway mpg, and only water vapor as its emissions. Far beyond the gasoline, diesel, hybrid or even electric cars, the F-CELL envisions a future of mobility that's unconstrained by range anxiety, nonrenewable fuels or worrisome emissions."

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#11
In reply to #7

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 10:51 AM

When I got out of the army in 1965 I went to the Los Angeles Auto Show at the Pan Pacific Auditorium. There was a fuel cell vehicle on display there. Either that or it was a non working concept, but that was not my impression. 47 years ago. I remember wanting a Jeep Wagoneer on display.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 9634
Good Answers: 523
#8

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 1:04 AM

"Will fuel cells allow homes and businesses to produce their own electricity and bypass power plants by using natural gas?"

Well you might have heard of Bloom Energy or "The Bloom Box", and this is a fuel cell targeting homes and businesses converting natural gas to electricity...It works well by all accounts and is ramping up to go big time as we speak...They have in excess of 80 installations already, and the company is set to go public in the near future...Bloom Boxes are solid oxide fuel cell stacks and the unit is about the size of a refrigerator for a home, placed outside...The company claims a 3-5 year payback on initial investment...

This is a commercial installation...

http://www.bloomenergy.com/fuel-cell/solid-oxide/

http://bloomboxenergy.us/category/daily-news

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 333
Good Answers: 10
#9
In reply to #8

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 8:11 AM

They didn't calculate their emissions accurately unless they have their own emission factors from testing these units. Below is what I calculated the emissions from the ES-5400 unit. It is still better than liquid fuels!

Pollutant
PM*PM10*SO2NOxVOCCO
lbs/MW-hr0.010.050.000.200.030.53
__________________
"We cannot sow thistles and reap clover. Nature simply does not run things that way. She goes by cause and effect." Napoleon Hill
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#12
In reply to #8

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 11:20 AM

My take is that they can only compete if they are selling in artificially high electrical cost areas, or lease out their equipment. One attraction is the green publicity. I wish them well, but don't know if they will be successful in the long run. I am wondering how they compare to microturbines, considering maintenance costs.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 9634
Good Answers: 523
#13
In reply to #12

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 12:31 PM

Well the're quiet and reliable, these qualities make them ideal for UPS applications... A large and growing market....

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: MA 01864, USA
Posts: 453
Good Answers: 7
#10

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 8:42 AM

I believe one day this will happen and path will be

1. Stationary fuel cell based on local need --> Like grocery store may use gasification of waste and hydrogen produced out of waste end up in stationary fuel cell. This will be based on Nickel as catalyst and is slowly establishing this business

2. Reduction of toxic gas in the ware house ..> This will happen based on hydrogen and air as fuel and moisture and heat as byproduct. This technology is now popular in ware houses and most of them is based on platinum catalyst but can be converted to nickel and cost will come down.

3. Mobile fuel cell: This is to charge cell phone ipad and computer and is for fast moving business personnel and this nich will come from SOFC MEMS based technologies and these product will show up in market before 2014 from USA, Korea and Japan.

This will be be based on platinum as catalyst and initially will be for business executives followed by general mass

__________________
Masyood
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 9634
Good Answers: 523
#14

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 2:22 PM

Here's a TDI hybrid coming from volkswagen....check this 0-60 in 6.5 sec..

VW's Cool Concept: Diesel Hybrid

The unveiling of VW's concept, a cool, clean dieselhybrid, at the recent Geneva Motor Show turned plenty of heads. Fans of all-wheel-drive, Volkswagens, and clean diesel fuel were inhybrid heaven. What the carmaker is calling the Cross Coupe is also very nice to look at. On the serious side of things, VW will be using this specific design for testing purposes. Their goal is to use identical components on various versions of the Cross Coupe's platform.

The crossover compact SUV, the Cross Coupe runs on a combination of TDIclean diesel and electric power. In pure electric mode, the vehicle can cruise along for almost 30 miles at speeds in excess of 70 mph while using only the rear wheels. There is also an electric motor in the front, which can be used to increase the all-EV range if necessary. The Cross Coupe goes from zero to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds.

Like many other well-engineered Volkswagen models, this concept SUV offers several driving modes, five in fact. One is an off-road mode, while another uses very little diesel fuel, which is called eco-mode. What is interesting about the car's interior design is the seating. Typically a humdrum afterthought on cars with superior engineering, the Cross Coupe's seats number four, and they are all individually separated, and have built-in head restraints. Comfortable, futuristic looking, and supportive, VW did not miss a beat when putting together the insides of this classy concept.

Beautiful on the inside too

As European automakers get creative with hybrid engine design, look for more clean diesel choices to arrive in the U.S. between now and 2015. Clean diesel hybrids offer the best of both worlds by pairing an environmentally friendly liquid fuel with a non-polluting electric motor.

For more about VW's cool diesel hybrid concept car, and everything else they are up to, see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#15
In reply to #14

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 3:00 PM
Register to Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4900
Good Answers: 240
#16

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 8:59 PM

To get the same mileage as a tanker truck of gasoline will require 24 trucks of hydrogen. So don't hold your breath on fuel cell autos. Milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#17
In reply to #16

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/03/2012 9:15 PM

Here is a chart showing the energy density of common fuels.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 9634
Good Answers: 523
#18
In reply to #17

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/04/2012 1:21 AM
__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Power-User
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Aloha or
Posts: 482
Good Answers: 14
#19

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/09/2012 7:52 PM

-- tongue in cheek--

Should we allow fuel cells? Their main byproduct is water vapor. It is at least four times stronger than co2 as a green house gas.

???????

If you are going to push fuel cells for profit, this is a question you will eventually have to deal with. the green lobby is well funded.

__________________
Closed biased minds are utterly impervious to any factual evidence which contradicts their beliefs
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4900
Good Answers: 240
#20
In reply to #19

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/09/2012 8:07 PM

Rhetorical but deserving of an answer. Milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#21

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/16/2012 2:13 PM

http://www.torquenews.com/1080/hyundai-roll-out-1000-hydrogen-cars-year Hyundai is going to be the first out of the gate. Price seems very uncompetitive though. What are they thinking? Lowering price later? Why hydrogen instead on natural gas?

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4900
Good Answers: 240
#22
In reply to #21

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/16/2012 2:29 PM

There is an institutional inertia that prevents critical thinking and assures folks just delivering the G***amned assignment. Even at the leading Korean companies.

The assignment was to develop a hydrogen fuel cell car, not to actually do work on its practicability. The work was solely about showing off engineering, not actually adding value.

I did my first business intelligence report on Hydrogen fuel cells for our industry in 2004; I updated it last year and was asked not to distribute it. The limiting factor is the poor mileage content of hydrogen as fuel, not to mention the energy budget to create the hydrogen fuel. Lose Lose.

The fact that we have just "discovered" more Natural Gas than anybody thought possible (Some authorities say we've discovered more energy reserves in the last few years than total world known reserves just a few years ago,) makes a shift to NatGas rather than Hydrogen a low risk conjecture here in North America. And no need to create a brand spanking new Hydrogen infrastructure either; we have a great foundation of Natural Gas service / infrastructure throughout the country.

"But my boss wants to demonstrate our technological superiority with hydrogen fuel cells."

Alrighty then.

Keep Rearranging those chairs at the cancelled fuel cell dance. The rest of us will be working on NatGas technology. Let's check in in a few years to see how those Fuel cell cars are selling.

Milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#24
In reply to #22

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/17/2012 10:29 AM

I can see this is frustrating for you, as for me. Could you explain the difficulties of using natural gas versus hydrogen as the fuel for fuel cells. Is hydrogen superior in any way?

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4900
Good Answers: 240
#25
In reply to #24

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/17/2012 11:15 AM

I don't see any difficulties for Natural Gas as a combustant, not as a reactant for fuel cells. It is already in use and infrastructure is proven and basically in place. Our factories have been running lift trucks on propane for decades, and the Gas utilities have been running much of their vehicle fleet on NAtGas for years. My last trip to toronto There was a shell station just down the street from my hotel. They had a Natural gas filling station and it took about the same amount of effort and time to fill as it did for me to fill my car with liquid fuel.

Hydrogen is undeveloped, and no infrastructure even "proven."

The energy density of Hydrogen is a nonstarter.

I understand the army is trying out demos of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. They are not limited by market forces that the rest of us are. I am certain that there is some possible use for a non hydrocarbon vehicle for some of their operations.

The advantage of Hydrogen fuel cells is they don't emit CO2 which is considered a bad greenhouse gas; Ignoring for a moment that Water which is emitted by fuel cells is an even more potent greenhouse gas and thermal climate modifier.

Milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Florida & Ireland
Posts: 601
Good Answers: 31
#26
In reply to #25

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/20/2012 3:58 PM

It's pointless to even mention that water (vapor) is a "greenhouse gas." The world is awash with it. We have evolved because of it. It's in everything we eat and drink. Burning any fossil fuels or bio-fuels produces water vapor, as well as carbon dioxide. We don't have anything to fear from water vapor - how can we?

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4900
Good Answers: 240
#27
In reply to #26

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/20/2012 4:15 PM

The comparative thermal properties of water make those of CO2 gasses trivial. They are less than the error in the estimates of water effects. Give a monkey a tiny correlation and he'll invent a complex model and get govt funding and scare the world.

"The world is awash with it. We have evolved because of it. It's in everything we eat and drink." - could equally apply to carbon dioxide and its progenitors and metabolites.

If we want to tilt at windmills, we should tilt at all windmills, not just the windmills d'jour.

Milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Florida & Ireland
Posts: 601
Good Answers: 31
#28
In reply to #27

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/21/2012 9:15 AM

My point is that all the water vapor that we may produce from burning fosil fuels and fuel cell use (remember: the hydrogen itself may have come from the electrolysis of water!) is nothing compared with the water already on this earth. That doesn't apply to carbon dioxide, which has increased significantly during the last 200 years.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4900
Good Answers: 240
#29
In reply to #28

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/21/2012 10:12 AM

Understood.

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#30
In reply to #22

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/21/2012 1:56 PM

Milo, I have no preference for hydrogen over natural gas unless it is nearly as cheap as n.g. My understanding is that there is , theoretically at least, an advantage with using fuel cells. Also my understanding is that natural gas is used to fuel the Bloom Box and some other fuel cells. Can you clarify for me? am I wrong? Microturbines seem more economical right now at least. Is there a problem with using very small microturbines, or are there better options for HVAC or hybrid vehicles? I understand that the cost of microturbines would be high initially, as would fuel cells. I thinking that the price could be driven down with volume, as seems to happen with all new products. Possibly a conventional generator makes more sense? Related article:http://www.microcogen.info/index.php?topic=2665.0

Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#23

Re: Will Fuel Cells Become Economical and Competitive?

04/17/2012 10:26 AM
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 30 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

energyconversion (2); Epke (1); Masyood (1); Milo (6); ronwagn (10); silvCrow (1); SolarEagle (8); WWkayaker (1)

Previous in Forum: UAV's   Next in Forum: How to Optimize Website?

Advertisement