Honda release new Solar Hydrogen Station

The new Solar Hydrogen Station  is smaller than previous models and enables an electric car owner to refill their fuel cell overnight. The unit should easily fit into a homeowners’ garage taking up significantly less space than previous models.

The older model required a compressor and electrolyzer for it to be operational. One of the reasons the units were so big was because of the compressor that was required to run the unit. Not only that, the compressor was also the reason that the units were so expensive to produce and purchase.

The idea behind the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station is to complement fast filling public H2 refueling stations and not compete with them. The Honda Solar Hydrogen Station does not store hydrogen, but creates it on demand and thus is considered a slow filling (overnight) means of refueling one’s fuel cell vehicle.

The station uses 48 panels of thin-film Honda-developed cells to produce six kilowatts of electricity. It’s designed to complement the network of public stations that California has endeavored to create as part of its “Hydrogen Highway,” but which in practice is developing slowly.

Honda’s Soltec panels are also being used by Dongfeng Honda in China, the company said, providing lighting and air-conditioning at an administrative facility. According to Honda, the Chinese panels are capable of generating 100,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, and can displace 101 tons of carbon dioxide.

In addition to installation in the garages of those who own fuel cell electric vehicles, the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station was also designed with the intention of being employed at fast fuel hydrogen stations. For an idea of the distance users will be able to eek out of such vehicles, the Honda FCX Clarity electric vehicle, which is fast fill capable, offers an estimated distance of 240 miles before refueling is required.


New meeting in the California Hydrogen Business Council

California is where hydrogen gets down to business. And the California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC) is the vital link between hydrogen-technology developers, businesses, energy leaders, government, and infrastructure providers. A non-profit organization, members share a common vision of clean energy and transportation fueled by hydrogen.

If you are interested about the hydrogen business technology, this is the place to be. Some of the goals of the council is promote the conduct and growth of hydrogen business, support access to hydrogen business information, identify opportunities for hydrogen technology and coordinate with and support the National Hydrogen Association.

The next month the council promote this meeting.

Hydrogen: The Next Step for Infrastructure and Fuels

when:Thursday, March 4, 2010

where: SCAQMD in Diamond Bar, California

Starts promptly at 9:00 A.M. and concludes at 4:30 P.M.

9:00 A.M. – 9:20 A.M.

Introductory Comments, Paul B. Scott, D.Sc, President, California Hydrogen Business Council
9:20 A.M. – 9:50 A.M.

South Coast Air Quality Management District Hydrogen Infrastructure Projects, Dipankar Sarkar, Technology Demonstration Manager, Technology Advancement Office, South Coast Air Quality Management District
9:50 A.M. – 10:20 A.M.

Progress and Next Steps for the CaFCP Action Plan, Bill Elrick, Technical Program Manager, California Fuel Cell Partnership
10:20 A.M. – 10:50 A.M.

Self-Introductions, Coffee and Conversation
10:50 A.M. – 11:20 A.M.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Mobile Lighting: A Market Transformation Partnership, Lennie Klebanoff, Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories
11:20 A.M. – 11:50 A.M.

Hydrogen Highway Review and Update, Gerhard H. Achtelik, Jr. , Manager, Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure, California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resource Board
11:50 A.M. – 12:20 P.M.

End-user Requirements for the Tri-generation Fuel Cell Power Model, Darlene Steward, Senior Analyst, Hydrogen Infrastructure Analysis Group, National Renewal Energy Laboratory
12:20 P.M. – 1:30 P.M.

Lunch (1 hr 10 min)

1:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.

The BNSF Hydrogen Fuel Cell Switch Locomotive, Mark Stehly, Assistant Vice-President, Environment and Research and Development, BNSF
2:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M.

Bringing Hydrogen to the Fuel Retailer: Focus Group and Workshop Results, Chris White, Communications Director, California Fuel Cell Partnership
2:30 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Afternoon Break
3:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.

New Directions for the Clean Fuels Outlet Regulation, Leslie Goodbody, Air Pollution Specialist, Sustainable Transportation Technology Branch, California Air Resource Board
3:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.

Review of BC Transit and London Fuel Cell Bus Programs, Paul B. Scott, Sc.D, Chief Scientist, ISE Corp.
4:00 P.M. – 4:20 P.M.

Closing Remarksv

CHBC General Meeting Reservations and Info

Some Facts About Hydrogen

Hydrogen is Clean and Safe

1. Fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen produce ZERO green house gases – the only emissions are a bit of clean water that come out of the “tailpipe.”

2. Hydrogen fuel can be produced with zero air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions using renewable energy like sun, wind, hydro and geothermal to separate hydrogen from water by water electrolysis.

3. When hydrogen is made on-site from water and using a renewable energy source (solar, wind, etc.) no fossil fuels are involved.

4. Hydrogen is the lightest gas known and is non-toxic, non-poisonous and will not create ground water or other pollution.  Any leaks are diluted up and away.

Hydrogen is Efficient and Safe

5. One kilogram of hydrogen fuel is the energy equivalent to one gallon of gasoline, yet in a fuel cell vehicle it affords the range of approximately 2.2 gallons of gasoline.

6. Fuel cell vehicles are exceeding 400 miles on a single H2 filling.

7. Hydrogen is a major industrial commodity that has been used in various industries for more than  100 years.

What is the hydrogen fuel?

Ok maybe a lot of people don’t know about the big issue of hydrogen fuel,  well , we need learn about the basics.

What is the hydrogen?

Hydrogen is one of two natural elements that combine to make water. Hydrogen is not an energy source, but an energy carrier because it takes a great deal of energy to extract it from water. It is useful as a compact energy source in fuel cells and batteries. Many companies are working hard to develop technologies that can efficiently exploit the potential of hydrogen energy.

and what’s the hydrogen fuel?

In a flame of pure hydrogen gas, burning in air, the hydrogen (H) chemically combines with oxygen (O) to form water (H2O) plus a lot of heat is produced. It does not produce other chemical by-products. Hence a key feature of hydrogen as a fuel is that it is non-polluting (since water is not a pollutant). Pure hydrogen does not occur naturally; it takes energy to manufacture it. The energy is eventually delivered as heat when the hydrogen is burned. The heat in a hydrogen flame is a radiant emission from the newly formed water molecules. The water molecules are in an excited state on initial formation and then transition to a ground state, and the transition unleashes thermal radiation. This heat can provide motive power for cars, boats and airplanes. Smaller devices can also be powered by hydrogen through the use of hydrogen fuel cell batteries, which can power an electric motor.

At the gas pressure that hydrogen is typically stored at, hydrogen requires four times more storage volume than the volume of gasoline that produces the equivalent energy, but the weight of this hydrogen is nearly three times lighter than the gasoline.With regard to safety from unwanted explosions, hydrogen fuel in automotive vehicles is at least as safe as gasoline.The advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen fuel compared to its competitors are discussed at hydrogen economy.

The new hydrogen highway

Everyone is excited about hydrogen cars, but there is always the challenge of how they are going to fill up. Most cars are restricted by the distance that they can travel on a full tank and nothing more. Few places, especially on the East Coast, offer a refueling station to allow the cars to travel any further. If the hydrogen highway plan comes to fruition, that will finally change

The reality of the situation is that something has to change if we are going to cut back on the massive carbon footprint that is being left because of daily commuting. There has been a lot of progress in the electric cars, but there are still a lot of challenges. There is a nice little niche of green people that believe that the hydrogen powered cars are the true out to get away from gasoline powered vehicles.

The challenge of course is that they can only travel where a single tank will take them. SunHydro is trying to change all of that as they are making plans to literally create a hydrogen highway that will enable cars on the East Coast to travel from the tip of Maine to the southern-most point of Florida. All in all, the plan calls for 11 solar refueling stations.

There will need to be some public support if they are going to be successful. The stations are not exactly cheap and need public funding in order for them to be installed. At $3,000,000 each, it is quite a bit to ask from John Q. Public. For this to work, we will need private investors and companies that have the foresight to invest in something that is obviously the future of motor vehicles. Things are going to change, it just a matter of who is going to be smart enough to jump on ship and make it happen sooner.

For more info click here

Some stations location are

Phase 1

Portland, ME
Braintree, MA
Wallingford, CT
S. Hackensack, NJ
Claymont, De
Richmond, VA
Charlotte, NC
Atlanta, GA
Savanah, GA
Orlando, FL
Miami, FL

Flowers Can Produce Bioethanol

Surplus biomass from the production of flax shives, and generated from Brassica carinata, a yellow-flowered plant related to those which engulf fields in spring, can be used to produce bioethanol. This has been suggested by two studies carried out by Spanish and Dutch researchers and published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

These studies evaluate, from an environmental point of view, the production of bioethanol from two, as yet unexploited sources of biomass: agricultural residue from flax (for the production of paper fibres for animal bedding), and Brassica carinata crops (herbaceous plant with yellow flowers, similar to those which carpet the countryside in spring),” Sara González-García, researcher of the Bioprocesses and Environmental Engineering Group of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC),  said.

González-García, along with other researchers from USC, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of Leiden (Holland), has confirmed that if bioethanol is produced from these two types of biomass “both CO2 emissions and fossil fuel consumption will be reduced, meeting two of the objectives established by the European Union to promote biofuels.”

These works have analysed the environmental load associated with the different stages of the process: the harvesting of flax or Brassica; the production of ethanol (through enzymatic hydrolysis followed by fermentation and distillation); mixing it with petrol (in varying proportions); and its use in passenger automobiles.

The results of both studies show that the use of ethanol-based fuels can help to mitigate climate change (by reducing greenhouse gases).

However, these fuels also “contribute to acidification, eutrophication, the formation of photochemical oxidants and toxicity (for people and the environment).” According to the experts, these negative effects could be lessened with the use of high-yield crops, as well as through optimisation of agricultural activity and better use of fertilisers.

Which is better: Flax or Brassica?

The studies developed by the researchers reveal that flax (which is richer in cellulose) can produce up to 0.3 kg of ethanol for every kg of dry biomass, compared with 0.25kg/kg of Brassica. However, when the whole production cycle is analysed, the yellow-flowered plant offers a greater production of biomass per hectare and has a lesser environmental impact.

The biofuel produced from these two plants is “second generation bioethanol,” which is obtained from forest or agricultural residues, or from herbaceous crops, and does not enter into direct competition with agricultural crops intended for animal or human consumption.

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund are promoting the development of these types of biofuels. Spain is the third largest producer of bioethanol in Europe, after France and Germany, although its use still only represents 0.4% of total energy consumption.

for more info click here

Renewable energy from the deep ocean

Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is the method of generating electrical energy which uses difference in temperature that exists between shallow and deep waters of the oceans. Sun continuously warms oceans’ surfaces which cover about 70% of the Earth’s surface and in this process considerable temperature difference is creating itself, between surface and deep waters and can be used for generating enormous quantities of electrical energy with advantage that it doesn’t pollute environment nor exhaust dangerous greenhouse gases. Warm surface waters and cold deep waters are the result of ocean streams which are heating the water in parts of the ocean near the equator, and cooling water in areas near North Pole and this cold water streams on ocean’s bottom towards equator.

The basic principle of generating electrical energy is quite simple. Warm surface water is used for heating the liquid that has low boiling temperature (like propane gas), created steam is driving turbines of the electrical energy generators, and afterwards this steam is cooled by the cold water from ocean’s deep and with which gets transformed back to liquid state. Total amount of the energy which can be gained by using this method of energy transformation is one to two orders of magnitude bigger from other methods of exploiting ocean’s energy like for instance using wave power or tide power. Big problem when using this form of energy is expensive equipment and small total efficiency of the process. Because of small total temperature difference efficiency is small, it is between one and three percent. Major advantage of this process is the ecological purity of gained energy and enormous stores of this energy that can be used.

For more detailed information’s featuring exploitation of this form of energy check this video clip:

Researchers found how to improve hydrogen storage

An international team of researchers has identified a new theoretical approach that may one day make the synthesis of hydrogen fuel storage materials less complicated and improve the thermodynamics and reversibility of the system.

Many researchers have their sights set on hydrogen as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal that contain carbon, pollute the environment and contribute to global warming. Known to be the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen is considered an ideal energy carrier — not to mention that it’s clean, environmentally friendly and non-toxic. However, it has been difficult to find materials that can efficiently and safely store and release it with fast kinetics under ambient temperature and pressure.

The team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University; Peking University in Beijing; and the Chinese Academy of Science in Shanghai; have developed a process using an electric field that can significantly improve how hydrogen fuel is stored and released.

“Although tremendous efforts have been devoted to experimental and theoretical research in the past years, the biggest challenge is that all the existing methods do not meet the Department of Energy targets for hydrogen storage materials. The breakthrough can only be achieved by exploring new mechanisms and new principles for materials design,” said Qiang Sun, Ph.D., research associate professor with the VCU team, who led the study.

“We have made such an attempt, and we have proposed a new principle for the design of hydrogen storage materials which involves materials with low-coordinated, non-metal anions that are highly polarizable in an applied electric field,” he said.

“Using an external electric field as another variable in our search for such a material will bring a hydrogen economy closer to reality. This is a paradigm shift in the approach to store hydrogen. Thus far, the efforts have been on how to modify the composition of the storage material. Here we show that an applied electric field can do the same thing as doped metal ions ,” said Puru Jena, Ph.D. , distinguished professor in the VCU Department of Physics.

“More importantly, it avoids many problems associated with doping metal ions such as clustering of metal atoms, poisoning of metal ions by other gases, and a complicated synthesis process. In addition, once the electric field is removed, hydrogen desorbs, making the process reversible with fast kinetics under ambient conditions,” he said.

The team found that an external electric field can be used to store hydrogen just as an internal field can store hydrogen due to charge polarization caused by a metal ion.

“This work will help researchers create an entirely new way to store hydrogen and find materials that are most suitable. The challenge now is to find materials that are easily polarizable under an applied electric field. This will reduce the strength of the electric field needed for efficient hydrogen storage,” said Jena.

The research is published online in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and will be highlighted in the front section of the print edition, “In this Issue.”

The research is based on a 1992 published polarization theory by Jena, the late B.K. Rao, a former professor of physics at VCU, and their student, J.Niu.

This work is supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Foundation of National Laboratory for Infrared Physics, the National Grand Fundamental Research 973 Program of China, the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

For more info and other researches click here

How to make hydrogen

Dedicated biomass gasification technologies are presently being developed in many countries for the production of second-generation liquid biofuels. Both fluidised-bed gasification and special entrained flow systems are under intensive development. These technologies can also be used for hydrogen production, which may become an interesting alternative in replacing part of fossil fuel input in oil refineries and chemical industries. In addition, fuel cell technology is being developed for hydrogen-rich gases.

New and revolutionary production methods, capable of replacing the classical process routes, can not however be foreseen to emerge in the medium-term. Also the new hydrogen separation technologies, presently under development, seem to have only limited potential to reduce the production cost of hydrogen compared to commercially available technology.

However, with rising prices of fossil fuels and locally depleting natural gas reserves, gasification route is likely to gain more ground as a credible production technology for hydrogen. The global needs to cut down the CO2 emissions can also make gasification of biomass an interesting possibility. Several biomass gasification processes are presently at demonstration phase, mostly aimed for the production of liquid transportation fuels. If and when this technology will be commercialized, it could easily be adopted to the production of hydrogen

For more info, click here