Hydrogen Fuel Project in Hawaii

Hawaii’s race to adopt green-energy automobiles picked up speed yesterday with the announcement of a collaboration between The Gas Co. and General Motors Corp. for vehicles powered by hydrogen.

The companies agreed to work in concert, with The Gas Co. pledging to provide the fueling network for the cars, and GM saying it may send dozens of its hydrogen fuel-cell cars here.

“We’re not doing this to show what the technology can do,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s global fuel cell activities. GM hopes to start commercial production of hydrogen fuel cell cars in the next five years.

“We want to make it part of growth. We want it to be a beginning.”

The partnership was the latest in a series of Hawaii announcements this year related to the ramping up of vehicles using renewable sources of power.

Hawaii is becoming one of the leaders nationally in alternative fuel vehicles, with Nissan announcing that its much-anticipated electric car, the Leaf, will be sold here starting early next year and South Korean automaker CT&T saying it wants to build a $200 million electric-car assembly plant here.

Hawaii, as the most oil-dependent state in the nation, has announced an ambitious plan to wean itself off of petroleum-based energy, including electrical generation and transportation needs. About one-third of the petroleum consumed here goes to ground transportation, according to the state.

The Gas Co.-GM announcement marks the first significant hydrogen-fuel effort aimed at consumers in the state. GM said Hawaii presents an unusual situation for its hydrogen cars because a network of fueling stations can easily be developed.

There has been a chicken-and-egg dilemma to the advent of hydrogen-powered vehicles, because unlike electric cars that can be plugged in, a network of service stations where people can gas up with hydrogen is needed.

Drivers won’t buy the cars without the fueling stations available and fueling stations won’t be built without the cars being sold.

“The goal here is to provide an attractive place for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and other fuel cell technology,” said Jeffrey Kissel, Gas Co. president and chief executive officer.

GM is seeing the collaboration with The Gas Co. as the start of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure that could support tens of thousands of fuel cell vehicles eventually.

For more info click here

AT&T will buy Connect Electric vans

AT&T announced about a year ago that it would spend up to $565 million to introduce 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles to the company’s fleet over the next decade, starting with CNG vehicles. AT&T’s first electric vehicle, a Smith Electric Vehicles Newton, joined the fleet last November. For the run-down on the Transit Connect Electric, including our first drive report,

he Transit Connect Electric will operate like any other Transit Connect, except that running costs should be far lower than versions that burn CNG or gasoline (or, in Europe, diesel fuel). Turning the key, as in a standard vehicle, brings up the dashboard lights and turns the van on. At this point, the range and battery state of charge gauge come to life. While the Transit Connect Electric has an official range of 80 miles (depending on drive cycle), when we sat down in the driver’s seat, we had just under 50 miles on the range gauge and just over half of the battery left in the state-of-charge indicator. This seemed a bit high to us, and reminds us that companies that opt to add some of these vans to their fleets shouldn’t rely on these indicators until they’ve had some experience with just how quickly the last 20 miles might drop away. We’re not saying drivers will get stranded, just that we’re heard an ounce of prevention makes a lot of sense.

The Transit Connect is small, but there’s a lot of practical room in back. Furniture stores probably won’t want to invest in a fleet of these, but we can see telephone repair crews and food delivery companies seriously considering them. Scott Staley, chief engineer of HEV/FCV technology development for Ford and the leader of the technical team from the Ford side, rode with us and said the whole reason the Transit Connect Electric exists today is because customers came to Ford and expressed an interest in an electric delivery van. Fleet operators like the post office and AT&T are the most interested in the electric van, he said. For companies looking for something a bit larger, Azure does offer Ford’s E-450 chassis vans and shuttle buses upfitted with the Balance hybrid electric drive system. 

Driving the city-sized Transit Connect Electric, though, proves just how well all of the bits fit together well and it feels like you’d want a production EV to feel. This isn’t a highway-ready long haul vehicle, but for scooting around corners and fitting in with traffic, the Transit Connect Electric performs as expected. The 0-60 is about the same as the gas version, for example, and the electric version has the same 39 foot curb-to-curb turning radius.

for more info click here

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.


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

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:

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

Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle Demonstration Program

Toyota Motor Sales announced today that more than 100 Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles will be placed in a nationwide demonstration program over the next three years in universities, private companies and government agencies in California and New York.

A little piece of history

In December 2002, Toyota began limited testing of fuel cell vehicles in the U.S. and Japan.  A total of 20 first generation fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHV) are in service in California with universities, corporations and government agencies.  Toyota enlisted the University of California, Irvine, University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Davis to test different aspects of consumer acceptance and market dynamics of fuel cell vehicles.  FCHV also are placed with the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a public-private partnership organization to promote the adoption of hydrogen vehicles in California.
Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology has advanced at an impressive pace since the FCHV introduction in 2002.  Toyota engineers have consistently improved vehicle range, durability and efficiency through improvements in the fuel cell stack and the high-pressure hydrogen storage system, while achieving significant cost reductions in materials and manufacturing.  When the FCHV-adv was introduced in 2008, it boasted an estimated range increase of more than 150% over the first generation FCHV.
In late 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy, Savannah River National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, approached Toyota to participate in a collaborative evaluation of the real-world driving range of the FCHV-adv.  When the range evaluation was completed in 2009, the FCHV-adv averaged the equivalent of 68 mpg and achieved an estimated range of 431 miles on a single fill of hydrogen compressed gas.  To compare, that’s more than double the range of the Highlander Hybrid with zero emissions.
In late 2007, the technology improvements implemented in the FCHV-adv were road tested in extreme conditions on a 2,300 mile trek from Fairbanks, Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia along the Alaska-Canadian (ALCAN) highway.   The seven day trip confirmed substantial progress in reliability and durability, cold-weather operation and extended range capability of the hybrid fuel cell system.
I  think that we need  this kind of programs !!! They are so  necessary , is the next step to educate and prepare customers for the arrival of  sustainable mobility
Do you live in California or New York???
For additional information on Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle program, visit www.sustainablemobility.com