Fuel Cell Roundup

According to a CNET blog, Toyota is saying the cost of fuel cells will plunge by 2015.

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-20040144-48.html

A lot of this has to do with technology coming into play that will remove platinum from the equation of fuel cells.

Toyota is also slated to release it’s first fuel cell car by 2015.

 

 

Also, theres a different kind of fuel cell being used in a green manner.

http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/top_stories/135116/efficient-fuel-cell-powers-roosevelt-island-residence

This fuel cell works on the same principles, but converts natural gas into electricity with no combustion.

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New Hyundai

Hyundai seems to be the first big auto-maker serious about using hydrogen.  The real interesting pieces of information is that fuel cell vehicles have a much better range than  regular hybrids traditional electric cars.  South Korea is also planning a hydrogen highway system that’s due out in 2012, which is basically a large number of government subsidized hydrogen fueling stations near urban areas.

http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/hyundai-tucson-hybrid-fcev.htm

http://www.rushlane.com/hyundai-tucson-ix-hydrogen-ev-revealed-at-geneva-auto-show-1212025.html

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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Expo

There’s a lot of news streaming out of Tokyo this morning.  I was completely unaware that such a hydrogen fuel cell expo existed.  I’ll get to more of these tonight but this is one I found really interesting.

This little gadget: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/03/powertrekk-hydrogen-fuel-cell-recharges-iphones-etc.php

It’s a hydrogen fuel cell cell phone recharger.  Potential applications such as this are not something I typically thought about when I thought about fuel cells.  The importance of this is that fuel cells are generally geared towards automotive technology, and this represents a break away from the standard thinking.  The only issue with this at the moment is the fuel cells for this product do not currently appear to be reusable.

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Not a short term solution?

Politics may end up killing another useful technology.  Obamas latest budget overhaul severely slashes funding for hydrogen fuel cell research, citing that the infrastructure for fuel cells is not there and it does not represent a short term solution to the energy problem.  I will agree that it does not represent a short term solution, but situation dictates that there is no short term solution to our problem.  There has got to be a better way to go about this where a field is not abandoned just because it will take a while to implement. Perhaps if our politicians weren’t so concerned about saving rich people money, we’d wouldn’t need these budget cuts and could work towards a better future.  Dangerously close to a rant this morning.

You can find information on this on most any news site, but this site seems to cover most of the bases from the hydrogen fuel cell side

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/02/obama-moves-to-cut-fundinging-hydrogen-fuel-cell-research.php

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Energy costs.

For this post I wanted to discuss the efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells and their resulting impact on CO2 emissions.  It’s important to know that the electrolysis of water does take a lot of energy to produce the hydrogen for the fuel cells.  In places like America, this might have a detrimental effect overall due to our reliance on coal and natural gas to produce electricity.  However, in places such as Iceland, they use geothermal power plants to produce their electricity.  So the resulting energy spent to create the hydrogen from electrolysis does not add to it’s CO2 footprint.

But this still does not mean that hydrogen fuel cells can’t have a future in the US.  I ran across an article today about how advances in nanotechnology can create more efficient hydrogen fuel cells.  The fuel cells themselves can be smaller and lighter.  They are also more efficient, allowing them greater power output than previous material, while remaining less expensive.

The article unfortunately does not get into the specifics about how it makes the process of hydrolysis more efficient through nano technology, but the project seems new so concrete information may take a while.

http://www.energydigital.com/sectors/renewables/nanotechnology-creates-efficient-less-expensive-hydrogen-fuel-cell

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Woops

My last edit on the previous post didn’t seem to go through.  I’m choosing Hydrogen cells because I think they represent a more sustainable alternative energy solution.  I’ve watched some documentaries on the subject and iceland has an interesting approach of making the cells with geothermal power, and it seems like a good carbon neutral approach.

 

My last post was about some large companies getting in on the market, recently Mercedes-Benz seems to be exploring the subject as well.   Germanys Federal Ministry of Transport employees are now going to use some of Mercedes-Benz fuel cell vehicles.  Theres an interesting article on it here.

http://www.emercedesbenz.com/autos/mercedes-benz/b-class/mercedes-benz-electric-vehicle-with-fuel-cell-presented-to-federal-ministry-of-transport/

Something that stood out to me was that Germany is shooting for having 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.

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Japanese automakers pushing for hydrogen fuel cells

http://www.thegreencarwebsite.co.uk/blog/index.php/2011/01/16/japanese-carmakers-unite-behind-hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles/

 

If some major automakers start working together to push for hydrogen fuel cells, this mode of transportation may have legs.

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