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Just a few days ago, we told you about Germany's commitment of $2 billion for the construction of at least 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations. A month ago, we learned about London's decision to build a network of hydrogen filling stations in time for the 2012 Olympics. But, outside of California's Hydrogen Highway, we don't hear too much about the progress of hydrogen infrastructure and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles here in the U.S. Don't worry; this story is no different.

Researchers in Israel say they've come up with a very novel way of storing hydrogen. Gone are the bulky, super-insulated tanks that can keep coffee hot for 28 days. The Israeli team has figured out a way to pack hydrogen into glass filaments that, once completed, will be slightly thicker than a human hair. The glass hairs, or "capillaries," are then bundled into a glass tube, 370 at a time, forming a "capillary array," about the width of a drinking straw. The scientists say that 11,000 of these arrays will fuel a car for 240 miles. Not bad considering they'll also take up less than half the space and weight of a conventional hydrogen storage tank. "We have shown new materials that can store more hydrogen than any other system," says Dan Eliezer, chief scientist of C.En Ltd., the company based in Geneva, Switzerland, where the Israelis are developing their invention.

The hydrogen array system was unveiled in Berlin at the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, known by the awesome acronym "BAM." No word on if any automakers are interested in the technology or developing similar technology of their own. So far, the only major financial backers are Italian-based Generali Insurance, which has invested $10 Million in the project. Read the full article here.

[Source: MSNBC | Image: spacepleb - C.C. License 2.0]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 64 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I propose a Zeppelin-type balloon attached to the roof rack of your car. No need
      for on-board storage.

      Seriously, if the capillary idea works, is anyone experimenting with other materials
      beside glass?
        • 6 Months Ago
        Yes. Several researchers are trying various metals and alloys that absorb H2. The best, Palladium, can absorb some 800 times its volume in H2, unfortunately it is far too rare and expensive for mass market use. None have yet hit the right combination of low cost and high absorbancy, all add considerable weight.

        There have also been tests of certain plastics, zeolites, and various forms of carbon, none of which have high enough absorbancy to be worthwhile.

        The hydrogen hype continues...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry, I needed to back up here a minute to verify a definition. What is considered "boatload of PROFIT" or "obscene Profit" on this board? Is 5 % profit "obscene"here? Is it 10%, 15% , 20% or what.

      I see printed in the news a headline "Oil company profits up 75% this quarter" Do you take that as they "made" 75% ? That is NOT what the headline says. It says they INCREASED 75%, not MADE that much. Remember, if your profit goes from making 4% to 7% a quarter, that is a 75% INCREASE, you did not make 75%.

      Oil companies for the last 40 years have averaged 9% , health insurance co. average 4%, and hospitals get paid about 4 cents for every 1.00 they bill.

      Which one of these "obscene" profits would you want to receive at what ever little business you open up next?
      • 5 Years Ago
      "We have shown new materials that can store more hydrogen than any other system,"

      Well, not so sure.
      A carbon atom can store 4 hydrogen atoms in gaseous form.
      Add an oxygen atom, and you can carry lots of hydrogen in liquid form at normal temperature and pressure.
        • 6 Months Ago
        You have just discovered hydrocarbons.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds nice. In other news, you can now sign up to buy a Nissan Leaf BEV for $33,000. BEV's will always be more efficient and cheaper to run than a FCV simply because of the nature of the energy sources and conversion devices. In a few years we can expect 300 km range, great temperature robustness and 10 minute recharge time, all for the same or lower price, along with a nationwide network of fast charge stations to eliminate range anxiety. Why do we need H2 again?

      I guess this news will get the trucking industry excited.... probably not.
      • 5 Years Ago

      I do not see H2 technology applicable for cars. Maybe for others applications (massive energy storage from solar/wind, alternative fuel to gas in separated areas). A part of the cost/efficiency/non freedom issues, the main issue with H2 is about safety. Use, transportation. storage, manipulation in populated areas is just a risk, and a easy target against security
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder how those hair-thin glass tubes would do in a major crash.
        • 6 Months Ago
        I wonder how those hair-thin glass tubes would do in a major crash.

        Depends if they are half empty or half full!

        It makes a lot more sense to use this sort of storage techniques for natural gas rather than hydrogen
        • 6 Months Ago
        The Germans have already tested them and found them to be quite safe:

        "On Nov. 25 [2009], Germany's Federal Institute for Materials Research & Testing (known by its German acronym, BAM) released results of nearly two years of tests on C.En's technology, which involves the storage of compressed hydrogen inside bundles of thin, strong tubes of glass, known as capillary arrays. "The lightweight storage and safety factors give the technology a huge commercial potential for a whole range of industries," says Kai Holtappels, who heads up the working group at BAM that has been testing the technology since February 2008."

        http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/dec2009/gb20091211_676932.htm
        • 6 Months Ago
        "safe" in reference to what? Exactly what tests were done. The only thing I saw was a claim that its "leak proof" and I'll wait on the independent verification before I believe that.

        • 6 Months Ago
        Thanks Joeviocoe, for approaching the concept rationally.

        It's like a single twig, vs. a bundle of twigs. Many small tubes bundled together can be surprisingly strong.
        • 6 Months Ago
        "It's like a single twig, vs. a bundle of twigs"

        A bunch of twigs....each with diameter of a human hair, made out of glass, and containing extremely volatile and explosive hydrogen.

        Whatever the strength it has, is it enough to survive a severe impact or fire though? This needs to see ALOT of testing and independent verification. Twig analogies aren't gonna cut it here.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Inner diameter or outer diameter? The difference determines the thickness... right now, there is not enough information.

        The thickness matters much less when using proper geometry. A flat pane of glass 1/2" thick is MUCH weaker than a cylinder of glass only 1/4" thick (given the same surface area).
        • 6 Months Ago
        letstakeawalk , I wonder if these German scientists are the grandchildren
        of the scientists who tested the Hindenburg and found it to be safe !
        • 6 Months Ago
        And bulletproof glass is the stuff of science fiction.

        Well, bullet resistant anyway.
        • 6 Months Ago
        In engineering, you learn how certain geometries found both in nature and artificial are unintuitively strong. Arches and domes in gravity are very strong. Spheres without significant gravity are very strong. And honeycombs are very strong.

        While a single capillary is weak if you bent it or subject it to strain... a bundle of capillaries (all in one direction) is much stronger that a single tube of the same total diameter.

        Like a honeycomb lattice, I would imagine they might be right about it being stronger and lighter than the equivalent volume of a single tank.

        • 6 Months Ago
        "I'll wait on the independent verification before I believe that. "

        LOL! I'm sure Germany's Federal Institute for Materials Research & Testing is really concerned about whether you believe them or not.

        "Whether or not we will be able to manage future technological challenges depends primarily on the innovative ability in industrialized countries – efficient research is a prerequisite for this. BAM has actively undertaken research in key areas of safety engineering and new analysis and test methods such as energy and environmental protection, materials engineering and safety engineering for a number of years."

        http://www.bam.de/en/ueber_uns/bam_einfach_erklaert/index.htm

        (I'd love to see who polo would suggests as a credible independent source)

        • 6 Months Ago
        The strength of bullet proof glass is determined by its thickness. These "capillaries" are described as being around the diameter of a human hair..not exactly comparable to bullet proof glass
      • 5 Years Ago
      And where pray tell us will they get all this mythical Hydrogen? It will cost much more than most other if not all other forms of energy storage. You either crack water, or you crack a hydrocarbon molecule to get it. So you take either more energy or use an already existing fuel source.

      So now we are at the proverbial "WTF" stage.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Smaller and lighter sounds promising. But:

      How much will it cost?

      What is the operating pressure?

      Can it be refueled as quickly as current tanks?

      The article seems to be light on relevant facts.
        • 6 Months Ago
        "All I saw was a claim in an article that said it was safe, but did not describe how they reached that conclusion and what exactly this glass-tube storage unit is safe for."

        LOL. Ah, polo, one of these days you'll learn how to use this amazing system called the internet to actually do research. Then you'll be able to answer your own questions, and not look like such an idiot who's afraid everything's going to go "boom".


        "It is a well known fact that hydrogen is one of the most promising energy sources of the future. But until now the major problem which prevents its use in broad fields of our daily life is the storage of hydrogen in reasonable quantities. BAM is currently looking into hydrogen storage in glass capillaries. Using quartz glass capillaries which can be filled with hydrogen up to pressures of 1200 bar it is possible to store the gas repeatable in light weight storage systems.

        Quartz glass has a three times higher tensile strength than steel at three times lower density. In preliminary tests a gravimetrical storage capacity of 33 % at a comparable low storage pressure of only 400 bar was achieved. With a volumetric capacity of 28 % the target for the year 2010 announced by the US Department of Energy was already achieved without any changes to the capillaries regarding the material or wall thickness. Systematic test series have been started in BAM and it is to expect that the DOE's 2015 target will be achieved in the near future."

        Later on such storage systems can be produced in every size and can therefore be used like batteries for many applications e.g. electronic devices or cars. The rich potential of such a storage system was shown with the first prototype."

        http://www.bam.de/en/aktuell/presse/newsletter/newsletter_2009/nl_2_2009.htm
        • 6 Months Ago
        "Pulling up some random webpage showing the tensil strength of quartz does not tell me these hair-thin glass tubes will survive a major crash or major fire."

        You are an idiot, polo.

        That "random webpage" happens to belong to the German Institute that did the testing.
        • 6 Months Ago
        "They need to package it safely, which they seem to be able to do."

        Really? How? All I saw was a claim in an article that said it was safe, but did not describe how they reached that conclusion and what exactly this glass-tube storage unit is safe for. They could mean it won't blow up if you turn it on, but what about if there's a fire? How would this perform in a crash test? Don't make claims like that without proof, especially when dealing with something as dangerous and explosive as hydrogen.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Exactly. We wouldn't want these glass hair-strand hydrogen storage tanks to raise the price of fuel cell cars even more!
        • 6 Months Ago
        Come on, you can't really be that stupid... Pulling up some random webpage showing the tensil strength of quartz does not tell me these hair-thin glass tubes will survive a major crash or major fire. Not only that but even if it does survive the crash without fracturing and blowing up half the neighborhood, is it even still usable?

        If all anyone needed was statistics and figures then automakers wouldn't do crash tests, they'd just pull out a couple figures showing the tensil strength of the materials they used. Even you wouldn't be stupid enough to put this in your car or house without actual safety testing.
        • 6 Months Ago
        "You forgot "when can they bring it to market?"

        That's a perfectly good question. This appears to be still very early, so give this particular approach some time. I know the basic idea goes back to antiquity, and the materials date back almost as long (capillary action and glass), but we are dealing with a particular packaging issue - as polo so eloquently puts forth.

        They need to package it safely, which they seem to be able to do.

        The final step is to bring it into production. I agree, it would have been awesome if Nik had been able to find out about any sort of production plan. This article clearly needs some follow-up.
        • 6 Months Ago
        You forgot "when can they bring it to market?"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hydrogen storage in a capillary array...

      Didn't this story come out nearly a year ago?

      ABG, ditch the artistic image...
      http://msnbcmedia4.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/100418-hydrogencars-hmed-131p.hmedium.jpg
        • 6 Months Ago
        This is indeed old news, but that what Nik Bristown gets for using MSNBC as a source.

        "Israeli entrepreneur Moshe Stern admits he didn't know much about alternative energy when Russian scientist Evgeny Velikhov first approached him in 2005 about a novel technology for safely storing hydrogen gas. But four years later, the 62-year-old Stern has become an expert—and a believer."

        http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/dec2009/gb20091211_676932.htm

        These capillary storage devices date back to the Soviet Space program, and have been under development and testing for several years.

        Seriously, Nik? MSNBC as a source?

        Here's a list of other hydrogen storage technologies that were developed in 2009:

        http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/annual_progress09_storage.html#f
        • 6 Months Ago
        --More hydrogen hype! First of all, hydrogen only carries energy, it does not create it. Making hydrogen using electricity is not very efficient. It can be produced from natural gas, but why not just burn the gas instead? The only promising source is using waste heat to split water molecules. Second, the fuel cells require platinum and they are very expensive and would not last the life of the vehicle. Finally, there's the storage and distribution issue--but the first two problems need to be solved first.

        from the link you posted. I'm more excited about battery tech breakthroughs that I'll be to see in future cars I actually can buy.
        • 6 Months Ago
        No offense guys, but just because somebody talks about something at one time does not mean that it can't ever be talked about again. Aside from that, the original BusinessWeek article only introduces the concept. The MSNBC article shows the unveiling of the actual "device".

        Also, December 2009 isn't exactly what I'd call nearly a year ago. 4/5 months, sure.

        I'm definitely with polo on the crash issue though. I'm not sure if it's overall safety you'd have to worry about in that situation, but if the thing would even be usable after a collision.
        • 6 Months Ago
        "More hydrogen hype! First of all, hydrogen only carries energy, it does not create it. Making hydrogen using electricity is not very efficient. It can be produced from natural gas, but why not just burn the gas instead? The only promising source is using waste heat to split water molecules. Second, the fuel cells require platinum and they are very expensive and would not last the life of the vehicle. Finally, there's the storage and distribution issue--but the first two problems need to be solved first."

        Quote from the link you posted. I'm more excited about the battery tech breakthroughs that I'll be able to see in future EVs I actually can purchase.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Sorry, *Nik Bristow*. I didn't mean to add the "n" at the end of your name, that's what I get...

        :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      "BAM's research director, Kai Holtapples, said the C.En system can be on the road within two to five years if it can be developed as a replaceable rack that can be swapped at filling stations. Eventually, cars will be able to refuel with nozzles, like gas pumps today, he said. "

      Replacing racks of tiny glass tubes? Better Place mark 2 !

      If they don't add the infrastructure roadblock of glass tube swapping, then how fast can you refuel the tubes with hydrogen? Capillary action sounds slow to me.

      What makes the tubes release the hydrogen? Sucking hard, or heat?

      "glass filaments which, once out of the lab, will be only slightly thicker than a human hair." That sounds like an expensive material in bulk, no matter how densely it stores the hydrogen.

      Even if all the problems get solved, hydrogen's automotive role is just an expensive alternative range extender that's less polluting than an ICE. Each FCV should come with a "Don't blame me, there's no plug where I'm going" bumper sticker.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mark_BC - You need hydrogen because it's a better storage technology to capture all our stranded energy resources. Right now we idle a lot of production if the demand isn't there, right at that moment. With hydrogen as a mediator, we wouldn't have to and would gain a great deal of energy production out of existing plant.

      Generally, the expected time when the fuel storage problem is going to be solved is 2015, according to DoE forecasts I saw a couple years back. I don't know if they've slipped off their schedule but I do know that we haven't had any massive breakthroughs faster than hoped for to accelerate the schedule.

      The reasonable questions are what are the DoE forecasts this year, has the schedule slipped or been advanced on any of them, and what's the forecast year when the whole package will be ready for mass production. I think that 2015-2020 is the forecast range for that, 5-10 years out with fuel storage being one of the last barriers to fall. Last I checked hydrogen production from water cracking was between $3-$4 GGE and coal gasification production (Fischer Tropsch) was $1 GGE.

        • 6 Months Ago
        Using all caps will not help carry your point. The truth is that today power companies have circumstances where they have to take conventional power plants off the grid because demand is just not there at that moment but they have to keep them running because demand might spike up and the spin up time for that particular plant is longer than any warning of growing demand might be.

        A hydrogen cracker under power company control will allow them to have the perfect captive demand customer. They won't ever need to run idle, just speed up hydrogen generation. And if you have "too much" hydrogen for on location storage, you can always sell it and truck it away, something you can't do with flywheels or pumped hydro. Those two technologies get you grid leveling and that's it. Hydrogen can get you grid leveling, vehicle fuel (both as itself and as feedstock for FT processes to get liquid fuel), and be used for any number of industrial processes.

        And that's why hydrogen is always going to be around because it's a very flexible commodity and you can dump it off in any of a number of industries depending on where the price is best. That may not make you happy from an engineering standpoint. It's "less satisfying" but it's certainly economically superior overall. At some point, the lines will cross and cost to deliver hydrogen this way will be below the revenue available in some use. The power companies will probably move within two years after that.
        • 6 Months Ago
        "because it's a very flexible commodity"

        Two options for when demand lowers on the grid:

        1) The power plant begins to throttle down (several hours) and stores the excess energy from those few hours into flywheel, pumped hydro, batteries, etc.

        When demand increases again, stored energy is returned to the grid with less than 5% loss... while the plant throttles back up.

        2) The power plant remains at full output, but energy is diverted from the grid to hydrogen electrolysis (75% efficient), the hydrogen is compressed into storage tanks (70% efficient), and possibly transported to other locations (unknown energy wasted as transportation fuel).

        When demand increases again, stored hydrogen energy is converted back to electricity using a H2 fuel cell (60% efficient) to the grid with more than 68% loss...

        ---

        What a waste.... if the grid demand is not there, the best option is to throttle down the plant, NOT waste the fossil fuel to store it with hydrogen.

        Solar and Wind being the obvious exception since their output is never wasteful. But since they produce such low amounts of power anyway, the more efficient method of storage is flywheel.

        -------------------

        And as a commodity, H2 is worth a whole lot more if made in the most efficient manner, Steam Methane Reformation (SMR).... otherwise known as using Natural Gas to make H2 "instead" of burning it in the power plant.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Electricity is easy to transport and only loses about 10% over high voltage transmission lines.

        From your first post:
        "Right now we idle a lot of production if the demand isn't there, right at that moment."

        You were NOT talking about baseload power since they don't run idle during low demand (with the exception of maintenance).

        You either did not know that fact, or you have changed your argument slightly... so that now, we are "talking past each other".
        • 6 Months Ago
        @LTAW

        "easy to store, easy to transport, and easy to sell."

        You must live in opposite world. Liquid fuels are easy. Gaseous fuels are hard and expensive to store (compression losses), transport (h2 leaks through pipeline fittings), and sell (okay, but not in the automotive sector).

        @ TMLutas

        "Power plants don't like being cycled. They tend to last longer if you cycle them less... the increased capital costs of repairing and prematurely replacing all that expensive equipment"

        Yes and no. Some plants "Baseload" plants don't throttle at all. But they don't need to because, "For a typical power system, the rule of thumb is that the base load power is usually 35-40% of the maximum load during the year." Therefore, they do not have surplus power for anything (flywheels, batteries, or even hydgogen) to be stored. They run all the time regardless of demand.

        We are talking about power plants that are "Load following" or "Peaking", which throttle down or shutdown when demand is not there. They are "cycled" everyday or several times a day already. They do not require additional repair or replacement. Sure, they are less efficient than baseload plants, but that is even more of a reason to store energy using the most efficient means and not the crappy efficiency of hydrogen production, compression, transport, and storage.
        For example, "In France, nuclear power plants daily use load following. French PWRs have the capability to make power changes between 30% and 100% of rated power, with a slope of 5% of rated power per minute. Their licensing permits them to respond very quickly to the grid requirements."

        ---------------------

        "You don't actually have to run the steam through the turbine to be able to make hydrogen. The cheapest/most efficient method of hydrogen manufacture is steam methane reformation which is somewhat more efficient that cracking it from water. "

        Um... that is what I saying... but that means the Natural Gas goes into straight into the SMR process without the need for the power plant at all. So it has nothing to do with storage from the grid since surplus electricity from a plant is not used. It is just replacing a fossil fuel with hydrogen (at a loss) so that people can use H2 instead of NG.

        ---------------------

        "While flywheels are often quoted at energy densities of up to 133kwh/kg, commercial systems are being deployed at 11wh/kg (and no, I didn't forget a k in there). The high temp superconducters for massive magnetic bearings are much further out than practical hydrogen production. Mechanical bearings lose up to 50% of energy inputs after 2 hours so I'm just not seeing the practicality."

        That is crap, flywheels last for days with minimal loss.
        Still no good for automotive use, but great for grid storage. They don't need "superconducting magnetic bearings that need cryogenics.... just normal magnetic bearings. The lost energy from the energizing coils are minimal.

        And who cares how many kilograms are sitting on stationary ground? That 133 kwh flywheel was NOT per kg.
        http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2009/04/08/flywheel-energy-storage-a-much-greener-90-efficient-battery/

        At 11 wh/kg a flywheel could weigh several tons... but who cares? As long as the ground can support the weight.

        ----------------

        "As for pumped hydro, it's fine, if you've got a hill"
        Or a series of water towers.

        ----------------

        "unlikely to drop as fast as hydrogen production costs are dropping."
        You seriously need to quantify that. Li-ion Battery prices are falling faster that hydrogen production costs. SMR is still the cheapest method and it cannot cost any less than the price of the Natural Gas used. ANd you STILL need to count all the losses of compression, transport, storage, and back to useable energy, not just of production.

        Here's some light reading:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_following_power_plant
        or /wiki/Base_load_power_plant
        or /wiki/Peaking_power_plant
        or /wiki/Grid_energy_storage
        http://www.beaconpower.com/products/about-flywheels.asp

        *note:
        I do agree that hydrogen storage from Solar and Wind plants (where the energy is free and cannot be throttled) is a good idea. Losing 50% of the energy is okay since it is free. But keeping fossil fuel power plants such as NG and Coal
        • 6 Months Ago
        I wish you luck with your transportation of pumped hydro and flywheels which is your suggestion. Compared to those, I think I'll prefer hydrogen.

        You might be talking only about peaking plants but I wasn't. Peakers are expensive, period. If you can reduce the amount of peakers and use more baseload, things are better. We're talking past each other and you seem to be dedicated to being my personal contrarian on this thread. Thank you for playing.
        • 6 Months Ago
        4 words out of several dozen hardly qualifies as ALL caps.... oops, I did it again ;P

        If the demand is not there, power plants should go offline. The reason for grid leveling is not for power plants with significant supply over demand. But for spikes that last a few minutes at most.

        Conventional plants can only be throttled up and down so quickly.... but sometimes demand spikes up (or sinks down) too quickly to be matched. The folks managing the power grid play a very dangerous game matching grid supply with demand. When they don't react fast enough, our 60 hertz becomes dangerously high during low demand and dangerously low during high demand.

        Grid controllers communicate with power plants in real time to perform this ballet.

        -------------------

        Your scenario is NOT how it happens. Energy storage for grids only needs to have enough capacity to store excess energy during the time it takes power plants to adjust output. Adjusting a single plant may take hours, but normally grid controllers have several dozen plants at their disposal so if demand spikes, several plants can increase and the reaction time is short.

        For grid storage, weight and size are irrelevant but Power density and efficiency are important.

        Hydrogen fuel cells are a great at being VERY lightweight and compression makes it reasonably small in size.... but power density (how fast can energy be converted back and forth between H2 and electricity) is really crappy and expensive. And it's overall efficiency is laughable.

        Flywheel storage and pumped hydro (the two already favored by utilities) are extremely efficient since the only loss is pumps and motors. And they are very high in Power Density.
        • 6 Months Ago
        "And if you have "too much" hydrogen for on location storage, you can always sell it and truck it away, something you can't do with flywheels or pumped hydro."

        This is a major reason hydrogen is going to be used as a form of energy storage. It's easy to store, easy to transport, and easy to sell.

        The hydrogen is a valuable commodity - and can bring in greater profit than if it were pure electricity. Merchant hydrogen is used in a variety of industries - nearly every major city already has a merchant hydrogen market, so the utilities would always be able to find an outlet for any hydrogen they produce.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Power plants don't like being cycled. They tend to last longer if you cycle them less. I notice that you don't give any figures on the increased capital costs of repairing and prematurely replacing all that expensive equipment. Right now, nobody knows how to avoid this cycling because they don't have an entirely captive demand producer that can cycle up and down without complaint.

        If the power companies had such a thing, they could lower their running costs by reducing cycling damage. Hydrogen fits the bill if you can produce enough of it and sell it for enough money to cover your costs.

        You don't actually have to run the steam through the turbine to be able to make hydrogen. The cheapest/most efficient method of hydrogen manufacture is steam methane reformation which is somewhat more efficient that cracking it from water.

        While flywheels are often quoted at energy densities of up to 133kwh/kg, commercial systems are being deployed at 11wh/kg (and no, I didn't forget a k in there). The high temp superconducters for massive magnetic bearings are much further out than practical hydrogen production. Mechanical bearings lose up to 50% of energy inputs after 2 hours so I'm just not seeing the practicality.

        As for pumped hydro, it's fine, if you've got a hill (which much of the country doesn't). The capital costs for this seem to be a bit on the high side, especially when you have to make your own hill and unlikely to drop as fast as hydrogen production costs are dropping.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Losing half of the energy in the production, compression and fuel cell WILL NOT HELP with grid leveling.

        Stationary applications such as grid leveling is best suited for flywheel and pumped hydro storage. Nobody cares about weight or size when it comes to grid storage. And with these two mechanisms will be able to store as much as you want (by scaling up) and can absorb and release LOTS of power very quickly (high KW).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Quote from take-a-walk, "This appears to be still very early, so give this particular approach some time."

      Yes, give fuel cell cars a LOT of time. Lots and lots and lots. Please. After 15 years of fuel cell hype and empty promises we have absolutely nothing to show for it.

      Meanwhile the oil cartels are raking in record profits and we're stuck with the consequences.
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
      By the way, hydrogen storage isn't the biggest problem with fuel cell vehicles - the $100,000 cost of the fuel cell stack is the problem! Or is it $300,000 for the fuel cell stack? Nobody has any actual data on their cost.

      Fuel cell vehicles are a great idea - that will never become economically viable. Battery electric cars are here now and here to stay.
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