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Toyota introduces advanced FCV.

21522 Views 86 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  MarcDannenberg
Toyota introduces advanced FCV:


Please forgive the author's ignorance of hybrid vehicles. The author tries to compare a parallel hybrid to a fuel cell vehicle, and totally botches it. It's best to stick to the first couple paragraphs.

The race for fuel cell vehicles is on.
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... additional energy is used to compress and store that extremely light gas....
There is a very efficient process that removes this step, and it is very simple. Do the electrolysis under very high water pressure. The separated gasses are already compressed. Compressed gasses stores energy, aside from the energy of hydrogen itself. The compressed gasses can also be utilized just like in cars running on compresed gas, but after the decompression step, you can use the gasses for the fuel cells. The Dutch were the first to pioneer the approach of doing electrolysis under high pressure and temperature... The overall efficiency if you can recapture the energy of the compressed gasses plus the energy value of hydrogen is nearing 90%, but still not as good as some energy recharged unto batteries.
References please. Let me check things out and see why they are not being used today.
As soon as I'm not busy, I'll try to search those papers. Many great technological breakthroughs are not in the market today doesn't mean they are not great. Proper timing and public demand has a lot to do with the success of building a better mousetrap. Another big factor is the patent. If the patent prices are exhorbitant, then the innovation may not move further. And if it indeed was marketed by others, the patent troll attorneys will have a field day. Still others, some oil companies, using some third party representations, are behind the killing of the innovations. They buy these patents and shelve them. And if it was done by another, there will be hell to pay. I have seen many innovations that were killed. A better mouse trap is not a guarantee that they will be sold or adopted.

No one is disputing that fact, but hydrogen has other attributes that make it valuable is certain applications:

1) rapid refill - you can recharge your fuel tank in 5 - 15 minutes with hydrogen, while BEV's require a min of 3 - 4 hours in the best cases, and 6 - 8 for the typical vehicle. Military applications will demand rapid refill, while automotive customers will prefer it - paying a premium

2) specific energy - energy storage in hydrogen is much lighter than batteries, making it an optimal aviation fuel

Nanoptek has created a solar hydrogen generator that skips the electrolysis step and uses sunlight to directly generate hydrogen very efficiently.
I really used to push for hydrogen as the best solution there is. But with the new development in batteries, I scaled back on that recommendation.

I used to argue that for machines or equipments that cannot be connected to electric sources, they needed fuel, and the best fuel is hydrogen. The direct solar hydrogen generation to storage, then to machinery would have been several times more efficient than from solar to biofuel (even using algae that is several times more efficient than terrestrial plants), until there were ideal batteries.

Still by and large, I agree that hydrogen are still useful in many cases and even in some large applications such as military, aviation, and even space exploration. But for now, electric batteries would seem to be geared for success, with almost certain probability. But I do love that people still work on Fuel Cells and its further improvements, like bringing the total costs down. Solving our problem should be multiple approaches and try to perfect its approach. It could provide diversity and stability in ever changing needs, so one technology may be appropriate in another changing situation compared to the current ones.

I used to keep track of several companies in solar hydrogen production using solar concentration and catalysts. The best efficiency that I have seen is around 46%, from the sun's energy into the energy of hydrogen. Compared to the best terrestrial plants in the world, from the sun's energy unto the energy of the biofuel, the best would be around 1% overall efficiency. And there is still room for improvement in the field of solar hydrogen. For example, using cheaper electrodes that can survive high temperature and pressure and the splitting of water is triggered by electrolysis that require only minimal electric current. It has been patented and I cannot find the patent number or reference currently. But suffice it to say that they do have many exciting research development in this field, but it is really too bad that the Australian companies and the Canadians have advanced much more than the US companies in the field of solar hydrogen. I did not continue to keep track about solar hydrogen when I got excited about the new batteries, Volt and Aptera. I will get back to it again at the appropriate time.

One of those companies, IIRC, is Shec-Labs, aside from Nanoptek. I wondered what happened to Shec-Labs. They used to have a demo of solar hydrogen in Southern California. Then there were several turnover of CEO and board of directors, and I was suspecting some third party investors of Oil companies, and pfftt... they're off the limelight.

But with many exciting companies now such as Aptera Motors and Sapphire Energy, whose fundings are seemingly clean from the owners of oil, I think there is a big chance to take off of oil. I'm still worried that GM has Oil companies as the major investors thru convoluted relationships with other holding companies and I really hope I am wrong on this. I don't want them to shelve the Volt by influencing the direction of GM right now. We believe that we have the best direction right now, starting with the Volt.
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EEStor is still a dream. Unless they come out of stealth mode and into the open and show scientific proof or white paper or technical paper in peer reviewed journals, then they're still unrealized dream. I'm hoping that what they've achieved is real and is commercially viable. It would be the next revolution alongside with the battery revolution.
Tom, the link to GM site is broken. Can you repost that one? Thanks.
One of those companies, IIRC, is Shec-Labs, aside from Nanoptek. I wondered what happened to Shec-Labs. They used to have a demo of solar hydrogen in Southern California. Then there were several turnover of CEO and board of directors, and I was suspecting some third party investors of Oil companies, and pfftt... they're off the limelight...

Mark of SHEC Labs called me about an hour or so ago and told me that they are very much alive. He called me from Spain and reminded me of the excellent progress they're making. They need investors to go full scale, so there's hope:
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