The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will provide as much as $2 million towards a study of hydrogen refueling stations in an effort to collect more data on the use and effectiveness of such fueling cars with H2.

The study will be used to figure out what kind of components may be developed to facilitate the build-out of more hydrogen stations over the next five years, including better compressors and hydrogen tanks. The DOE lists 56 hydrogen fueling stations throughout the U.S., including 23 in California alone. By comparison, there are about 7,200 electric-vehicle charging outlets available at non-private stations and almost 1,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations.

Both the federal government and some automakers regard hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as a great way to address both greenhouse gas emissions and U.S. dependency on foreign oil, since FCEVs can provide a driving range similar to a gas-powered vehicle but without the harmful emissions. Toyota, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz are among automakers that have said they'd be selling FCEVs to the public by 2015.

Still, FCEVs are an expensive proposition because of their low volume and the hydrogen-distribution challenges. Late last year, green-technology firm Pike Research cut its FCEV sales forecast for 2020 to about 1 million units in cumulative sales from about 2.8 million units.

Earlier this month, the DOE approved both $14.2 million in funding for vehicle lightweighting efforts and as much as $10 million to facilitate the development of battery-electric utility vehicles like trucks and forklifts.
Show full PR text
DOE Offers Up to $2 Million for Hydrogen Fueling Stations Data Collection

March 21, 2012

DOE announced on March 13 that up to $2 million will be available this year to collect and analyze performance data for hydrogen fueling stations and advanced refueling components. DOE will track the performance and technical progress of innovative refueling systems to find ways to lower costs and improve operations. The funding is part of the department's commitment to help industry bring hydrogen technologies into the mainstream market and provide new choices for vehicles that do not rely on gasoline.

Many automakers have announced production plans for fuel cell electric vehicles for retail sale or lease as early as 2015, and some states are investing in hydrogen fuel infrastructure to accommodate these vehicles. The new funding will support projects to monitor the performance of multiple hydrogen fueling stations and advanced components for up to five years. The data and resulting analyses from this initiative will also help hydrogen fueling equipment manufacturers improve the designs of existing systems.

DOE seeks applicants to this funding opportunity to test new refueling component technologies that could substantially reduce the cost of hydrogen. These include advanced compressor designs that could reduce the number or size of compressors required at commercial refueling sites; hydrogen delivery tanks with higher capacity and optimal tank pressure, which could reduce the need for compressors and the frequency of deliveries at refueling sites; and advanced electrolyzers that can produce hydrogen at higher pressures, potentially lowering the cost of hydrogen by reducing the amount of post-production compression required. Responses are due May 11. See the DOE Progress Alert and the Funding Opportunity Announcement on the Funding Opportunity Exchange website.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      carney373
      • 2 Years Ago
      http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-hydrogen-hoax
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        If you can't be bothered to summarise the argument, why would anyone bother to follow the link?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Joseph Romm called H2 for what it was back in 2004 . . . hype: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hype_about_Hydrogen
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Danny, as incompetent as Steven Chu is he does seem to have understood at least the fact that hydrogen fuel cell will not be. so it's probably wrong to say that the federal gov consider HFC a great way to get rid of harmful emissions. as hydrogen doesn't grow on trees but really mostly comes from fossil fuel and that they are 3x less efficient than battery cars. it's the little things that matter. pike can change its accumulated hydrogen sales from 1 million to zero. which is what it will be. there wont be any fuel cell cars for sale in 2015 either. they are lying. as usual. maybe some token fleets if they are really intent on keeping the lie alive. but probably not even that.
        Greg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        You are correct. The Honda fcv costs around $300k to make. There's no way the price will drop an order of magnitude in less than 10 yrs. Also, producing hydrogen simply consumes too much usuable electricity. For the argument that 'wasted' electrity could be used to make hydrogen--sure, but it could also be put into batteries or compressed air. The best option, however, is to simply fix the grid & usage patterns to eliminate the waste in the first place. For example, EVs that charge at night go a very long way to balancing load and thus eliminating off-peak waste.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Steven Chu incompetent? Arpa - E makes sense- as do many of his other initiatives. He may not, in the beginning, have had superhero political acumen, but the man is a scientist first- and I'd certainly rather have someone in high office that actually understands the underlying physics/tech etc of what the government is supporting. DOE actually lost LESS money than was predicted, and it is now casting a wider net for several technical approaches for an energy richer, yet lower C02 world. Hydrogen is just one of many approaches Additionally the Hydrogen highway infrastructure was already in place in California- why not test it out a bit? Save the vitriol for another site, Dan.
          brotherkenny4
          • 2 Years Ago
          Dan is correct for the most part. I think something that should also be consider is that Chu is acting in a political fashion here in the election year. The point is true, batteries don't have to have a 500 mile range (a person that says this is either stupid or immoral). However, Chu is is not stupid, he is trying not to offend various senators and representitives who will be needed to get the president re-elected. He also doesn't want to give the GOP a handle on anything to work the ignorant masses up with. Thus the push for a broad strategy to energy policy. The administration is basically saying "we'll try anything" so there is less likelihood that anyone can be critical on energy during the election year. It's a poor way to lead, but it may be more dictated by how we manipulate the ignorant than by how we convince the thoughtful. Everyone with a brain should be angry that our policies are made to be palatable to people who watch reality TV. That's only partially the responsibility of the current administartion and it's secretaries however, but it is how they achieved victory. Certainly if we go back to the GOP we'll be doing a lot more spending on hydrogen again. "Hydrogen, it's the fuel of the future, and always will be."
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          this token hydrogen project isn't the issue. if that was his greatest crime I wouldn't mind this to appease the rabid dogs who serve big oil and other satanism. it's his betrayal of EVs that is unforgivable and absolute proof of his incompetence or worse. at COP16 little over a year ago he said battery energy density has to be at lest 5x higher for EVs to compete with combustion engines. that is unforgivably stupid for a man in his position and with his background. he is probably just that stupid but it boggles my mind to the point of suspicion. despite my considerable intellect I cannot fathom how it's possible for him to be that clueless. he has similar lack of vision when it comes to general energy policy. he was once asked what he sees the future of energy as 30-40 years from now and he just mumbled and didn't have an answer other than it would look much the same as now with coal and oil.. which is just unbelievably stupid. if he can't even imagine a CO2 free energy then what the f is he doing with his time. before he was secretary he was giving lectures like the ones Al Gore did on global warming and peak oil. he knows the score but is incomprehensibly impotent in his logic on it. it doesn't make sense. his betrayal of USA and indeed mankind is grand in the extreme. when I say he is incompetent I am being kind. I would have to sit on my hands to keep from slapping his face
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Fortunately, Sec. Chu has backed away from his aversion to fuel cells, and now embraces them. The DoE even used a fuel cell to power their Christmas tree this past year. " Secretary of the Department of Energy, Steven Chu, continued his newfound support of fuel cells and hydrogen when commenting on the project, saying: “These projects will help advance our fuel cell and hydrogen storage research efforts and bring down the costs of producing and manufacturing next generation fuel cells. These technologies are part of a broad portfolio that will create new American jobs, reduce carbon pollution, and increase our competitiveness in today’s global clean energy economy.” http://energy.gov/articles/department-energy-awards-nearly-7-million-advance-fuel-cell-and-hydrogen-storage-systems
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @SNP: Since you have clearly been simply ignoring any data which does not fit your thesis such as the development of fuel cells using no more precious metal than a car catalyst, or even none at all it is not even referencing the reams of information that contradict it. Suffice to say that you are grossly misinformed.
          SNP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          fuel cells are not a viable solution to oil dependence or carbon emissions yet. The cost of producing hydrogen is exceedingly high and makes no sense. The materials to create the fuel cell wafers use extremely rare materials. Chu knows this and he will never pour vast amounts of money into this field. It's a hype and he's not stupid. You'll only see pittance money come out to test future viability of hydrogen as an energy source. The big bucks are in fusion and you'll see it's effects in a few decades. This is where the Obama administration overwhelmingly shines.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I don't think Sec. Chu would ever say that he was "anti-FCV". He might have personal doubts, but he still officially supports programs that are meant to bring FCVs to market. "The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $7 million to four different projects across the U.S. to help develop hydrogen storage technologies to be used in fuel cell electric vehicles. The three-year projects in California, Oregon and Washington will help lower the costs and increase the performance of hydrogen storage systems by developing new materials and advanced tanks. The investments aim to advance fuel cell technology research to help domestic automakers bring more fuel cell electric vehicles into the mainstream market. “Targeted investments in cutting-edge hydrogen storage technologies will spur American ingenuity, accelerate breakthroughs and increase our competitiveness in the global clean energy economy,” said Energy Secretary Stephen Chu. “As we focus on energy security, strengthening our portfolio to include domestically produced hydrogen and American made fuel cells for transportation and energy storage applications will create new jobs and reduce carbon pollution.” http://naftcenews.wvu.edu/naftc_enews/2012/1/27/u-s--department-of-energy-awards--7-million-for-hydrogen-storage-technologies-in-fuel-cell-electric-vehicles
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          You can be pro-Fuel Cell but still be anti-FCV. It doesn't sound like Sec Chu mentioned that he likes Fuel Cells to be in cars. There are plenty of other good applications for Fuel Cells that would warrant a positive remark like the one given.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        I feel the same way on the issue. +1 The good thing in all this is that it will be put up or shut up time for fuel cells during the second half of this decade and trying to compete against electricity (so much cheaper and more efficient) and dropping battery costs would seem to be a battle H2 tech will not be able to win.
        SNP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Secretary Chu is not incompetent. He's an noble prize winning nuclear energy phd physicist who ran multple labs and institutions before being energy secretary. He's not stupid and he knows HFC is a dead end tech with current technology. He's pushed for more oil/gas/nuclear production and also gave every category of renewable energy tech a fair shot at proving their viability. Solar panel energy has proven itself to be a failure as a viable energy source, but so far the other techs have had some success: Solar power plants have been a huge success, wind farms had limited success, geotherm has limited success. Fuel cells/fusion are still nascent but i'm glad he's pouring money into this field.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SNP
          I know his credentials. and it's actually Nobel, not noble. but he is still incompetent. he is very curiously ignorant about how practical electric cars can be right now with current technology. either he is pure evil or just really stupid and still stuck in forward looking research mode at the grave expense of what is possible now. he has deeply betrayed the potential of EVs. statements as super moronic as battery energy density has to be at least 5x higher for them to compete with combustion cars shows a phenomenal lack of insight into actual EV engineering.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a vital part in developing the standards and codes for the infrastructure build-out. Germany is conducting a similar program with the TÜV SÜD. http://www.tuvps.co.uk/home-psuk/company/news-and-downloads/tuev-articles/tuev-sued-ensures-safety-of-new-hydrogen-refuelling-station
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU2w8xwVNmY
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      You all know that I'm not an H2 advocate, but even I'll admit it would be stupid to stop doing some investigation into H2. It may turn out that we get back into nukes with small, modular reactors and you can cost effectively "right size" a nuke by specifying it for the "average load needed" rather than peek loads. How do you do this? You build it for the average load and at night you use the excess capacity to produce H2 which can then be used to provide extra power during peek times during the day. And if you're going to do that, then why not make it a little bigger and use the excess for long haul trucking or other fleet vehicles? It's not like batteries are going to solve all our problems. Even EV advocates should be willing to admit that. Before, it was easy to jump on H2 because the political forces were playing EVs and H2 off against each other. I don't see anyway that H2 is going to be a major threat to EVs right now. Either EVs will make it at this point or they won't and in the next few years they have to start to stand on their own. Why rail against some legitimate research that may produce some results we need? Do we get upset if the gov't sponsors some laser research for a few million?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        H2 has a bad reputation since it was largely created as a Bush administration & Oil company boondoggle to look like they were doing something about getting off oil while not really doing anything but dreaming about a technology that had not (and still hasn't) proven to be economically viable.
        Dave D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Not to make light of $100 million dollars, but frankly that is not much money. One division of a major company I was in had 700 employees plus the expenses it took for their hardware, servers, facilities, etc and the expense for that division was ~$100million. Think of what that really means in terms of gov't spending. That is really a very small amount of money to get anything done.
          Sasparilla Fizz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          It is small in relation to things, but its important to keep in mind that many billions were spent on hydrogen during the last decade (and none on EV's or EV batts at the time) with the promise that the vehicles would be ready by the end of the decade back when it started (~2010). After you've given something alot of money for a long time and its not looking like its going to pay out, it make sense to reduce your investment to a level that is more reasonable...JMHO But I get what you're saying. I think JakeY has a good perspective as well.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          Specifically, a total of $2.7 Billion was spent by the DoE on Hydrogen Research. Keep in mind that money was not just for transportation FCVs, but rather for a wide variety of fuel cell types, including stationary fuel cells for large-scale power generation as well as smaller portable fuel cells meant for battery-replacement duties in military applications. "In comparison, in 2008 alone, the global investment in solar, wind, and biomass by industry was $155 billion.5 Over 10 years, DOE spent less than 2% of what was spent in just one year by the solar, wind, and biomass industry. Through DOE-funded efforts, significant progress has been made, including reducing the cost of fuel cells by more than 80% since 2002, and more than 300 patents and 30 commercial technologies out in the market." http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/11004_historical_fuel_cell_h2_budgets.pdf I disagree with your assessment that "...its not looking like its going to pay out...". Indeed, the fuel cell industry is growing at a very high rate. "DOE-funded R&D of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies has resulted in more than 300 patents. Thirty technologies developed with Program funding have entered the market— including products from 3M, DuPont, FuelCell Energy, Nuvera, Proton Energy Systems, Plug Power, Quantum, UTC, and many others. The Program encourages technology transfer through interaction with national labs, industry, universities, and other stakeholders; outcomes are monitored at least annually. Mechanisms for technology transfer include cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. DOE continues to track the impact of its funding. For example, $70 million in funding for specific projects was tracked, and this funding was found to have led to more than $200 million in industry revenues and investment." http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/program_plan2011.pdf
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        I should have added that some of the possibilities of directly using solar to split water producing hydrogen may offer a great alternative, and my remarks applied to wind, not those nascent technologies.
          SNP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          read my posts on what i think about solar panels as a viable alternative. ha, i've got an entire board bashing solar panels on a dedicated green website. what is your great idea on solar to split water to produce hydrogen? what brilliant plan have you thought up that the millions of other energy scientists havent thought up yet? let me preempt you by saying, you should not build a $20k "solar gas station" in your house to turn drinking water into a fuel for your half a million dollar car. Not that you cant afford it, but I'd be afraid you might initiate a rich green morons industry. Cause the money you pour into all that so called "valuable green future infrastructure" will be given to scientists, construction workers, corporations to buy gas powered vehicles. The technology behind solar panels are very similar to LED tvs, that's why the prices are so similar. Imagine mounting 100's of sq ft of LED tvs on your roof. Nobody would be dumb enough to put so much effort into a technology that provides so little in return. It's no wonder people like you arent running things in the world - you'd bankrupt the nations/companies dumb enough to follow you just so you can play captain planet.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Er, you obviously have not actually looked at any of the experiments splitting water to produce hydrogen using the sun, as many of them don't use solar panels at all. I'm all in favour of spending the comparatively modest sums involved in researching many things, including direct conversion of solar energy into hydrogen. It is when huge amounts are spent deploying immature technologies such as solar pv often where it is not sunny when you need it that the waste occurs.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Yeah, that is why some of the shtick about the relative inefficiency of hydrogen production vs charging a battery never made much sense, Efficiency doesn't matter too much if a lot of the energy you are using would otherwise be thrown away. Renewables advocates would argue that for instance in the case of stranded wind. I think that is a nuts way to generate power in quantity in the first place, so I will stick to the case of nuclear. At the moment 2/3rds of the energy in a nuclear plant is thrown away. The efficiency of electrolysis to produce hydrogen increases though as you heat the water, so the energy to do that is freely available. As you up the temperature of the heat, electrolysis increases in efficiency. Present reactors don't operate at high enough temperatures to really make the most of that, but some of the designs possible with the Pebble Bed Reactor being built in China, for instance, do. That high temperature means that they could be installed in present coal plants, and use the current turbines as coal operates at higher temperature. To give just one possible technical path, MIT reckon that the efficiency of PBR's could relatively easily be upped to consume 17% of the energy in the fuel, and over 60% ultimately. Since the once through cycle US reactors use is around 1% efficient, you have multiplied the efficiency by a factor of 17 AND found a way to productively use the waste heat! To that you can add the fact that you would be using the off-peak electricity overnight, when otherwise it might go to waste, and concerns about the 'inefficiency' of hydrogen production seem misplaced. Mind you, I would sooner turn the hydrogen into methanol or whatever, but the thing is that one way or another producing and using hydrogen seems a very useful and energy efficient technology to have at our disposal.
          SNP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          what a dingus. you sure talk a lot about the subject but you ignore the fact that hydrogen as a fuel in fuel cells is extremely expensive and unpredictably dangerous. Consider that the containment for the fuel is not H2 gas, it's liquid hydrogen. Consider that hydrogen is not just flammable, it's highly combustible @ 3X the energy density / kg. Consider the cost of materials&technology used for fuel cell plates, fuel containment, fuel transportation. On top of all that, you're not digging up hydrogen from the ground, you're taking filtered pure drinkable water, putting lots of energy into it to get H2, then putting lots of energy into cooling it, lots of energy in containing it, lots of energy to transport the heavy containment & fuel, lots of energy & money into refitting our gasoline infrastructure. And all of that JUST so you can claim to be green by driving a couple hundred miles on your half a million dollar car.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Just for the record the budget for hydrogen in FY2012 was about $100 million - where it makes sense, it should be done.
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        I think the railing against hydrogen was very valid when it was the main focus of the DOE, but now that plug-ins are (rightfully) the main focus, I think it's going to die down. Right now there is still some budget left for hydrogen research, but I think most of it is being spent on stationary and fleet applications (where I think hydrogen is more promising). But aside from the funding, hydrogen and EVs will still be fighting for the public interest in terms of passenger cars. I don't really see them coexisting as a solution for passenger cars (because of the significant infrastructure investment needed for either to work). I think adoption will be very lopsided (either plug-ins dominate, as it looks right now, or hydrogen does when it solves all its problems).
      Ele Truk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of those 56 listed Hydrogen stations, less than half are accesible to the public. I spent the time looking at the list. Many are private, or some are even planned and not yet built and yet they are counted. There were even a couple that were closed and still counted. So the real number is even worse.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ele Truk
        It isn't yet legal to sell hydrogen to the general public, which is why there are so few public stations. There hasn't yet been standardized a way to meter gaseous hydrogen for sale. That is one of the aspects of the refueling station that will be studied during this program.
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      Somewhere out there in the future is a path that may lead to a better place for us. So keep hope alive and maybe just maybe dreams will come true and we will be saved and all will be bright in the future. So don't worry about now, we are doing the best we can, and lets see what happens in the future.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      We still don't have a good way to reliably produce the stuff. >95% of it comes from fossil fuels, using coal energy input as well. which we are fracking like crazy to get to right now.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_production Seems like a waste of $ until you can figure out a cost-effective way of producing the stuff without fossil fuels. From what i've been hearing, research on alternate production methods has kinda dropped off, leaving the oil/natural gas companies to continue to push for it, since they can repackage natural gas as the clean fuel of the future.. In other words, not interrested to buy ;)
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Lol, allright. Lotta stuff there and i'm not a chemistry/physics major. Have you read through any of it? does any of it show promise to you? Cuz right now... it's all natural gas reforming.. not looking so good. Unless you'd pay >$6/gallon equivalent for the renewable stuff ( yeah, gonna take a while for that to become competitive with gasoline )
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          2WM: Worrying too much about non-fossil fuel hydrogen production is putting the cart before the horse. There is plenty of natural gas to be going on with, aside from methane from landfill etc, much of which is simply thrown away at the moment. There are a lot of possible ways of generating hydrogen without using fossil fuels, and a lot of research going on, but it is exactly the introduction of fuel cell cars which would provide the market for them and really hot the pace up. it's looking to me a bit as though fuel cells won't be needed for light vehicles, as through the road resonant magnetic charging seems as though it can be made to work at only around $800,000 a mile of carriageway, and at that price it is daft to do anything else. That does not mean we don't need fuel cells though in a thousand transport applications, so the interest of the car companies in developing the technology will be enormously beneficial even if it never gets into cars in mass production.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          "Lol, allright. Lotta stuff there and i'm not a chemistry/physics major." Then please accept that there are some very intelligent people in those fields who are very confident that they will be able to produce hydrogen in good supply at fair costs. "Have you read through any of it? does any of it show promise to you?" Yes, to both questions. In addition, the next-gen nuclear power plants are designed to produce hydrogen as a part of their normal operation, which will also create a very large supply of hydrogen fuel. http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-nuclear-power-hydrogen-fuel-economy.html
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        But the oil industry supports it 2 Wheeled Menace! The American people know that of any industry, it's the oil industry we can count on to look out for the best future interests of the American people and get us off oil....er, um that doesn't make sense somewhere in there... The industry lobbyists keep getting the funding for vehicle fuel cell research written into the Federal budget by Congress year after year. But hey, if these guys can come out with fuel cell vehicles that are cheaper than EV's or plug-ins and unsubsidized H2 that is cheaper, more power to them... I am just expecting the 2015 fuel cell "production" vehicles to be like Honda's FCX Clarity which aren't really production vehicles at all and aren't sold, only leased (for a fraction of the true value of the car because they are wildly expensive) - basically being demo vehicles for a PR program to keep us on oil for as long as possible (that is why the oil industry supported it in the first place) which is what we saw during the last decade. That said plug-ins are moving forward, the battery tech is moving forward and costs will come down for plug-ins throughout the decade, if Fuel Cells and Hydrogen can honestly compete with that let them do so.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sasparilla Fizz
          Yeah, I suspect the same. H2 has some undeniable advantages like a faster fill-up rate and longer range than EVs. But just because we want those things, that doesn't mean we will get them. There is such a large number of issues they need to address before it becomes viable such as building reasonably low-cost FCVs (below $50K), building a H2 distribution infrastructure, etc.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        "From what i've been hearing, research on alternate production methods has kinda dropped off..." Well, then you should be interested in learning about current research: http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/progress11/ii_0_hydrogen_production_overview_2011.pdf http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/annual_progress11_production.html There's a huge amount of research being conducted regarding the non-fossil fuel production of hydrogen!
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is only $2 million. That is the DoE's way of saying "Here is a couple bucks to play with, come back when you have something important to show us."
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        At least you have some perspective... $2 million really isn't much in the grand scheme of things.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      The best method is to use windmills, solar panels and regular electricity and make the hydrogen at the point of sale with water electrolyzers. Then it's a matter of building the right size of machineries and price the hydrogen below the price of gasoline and diesel so all machineries will take hydrogen instead of petrol, ships, airplanes, tractor-trailer trucks, construction machineries, cars and motorcycles and racecars, etc.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Unfortunately, you can't set the price of H2 at a loss (businesses don't run long when you do that) and current projections for large scale production costs (the cheapest method compared to point of sale generation) are still much higher than gasoline (and that's just production costs, not sales price). The other downside is that the electrolysis method is inefficient with the electricity compared to what you could do by putting it in the grid and into a plug-in vehicle. For the energy used to make H2 to drive a fuel cell vehicle 10 miles you could charge 3 EV's to go that same distance. If all we had was Hydrogen or oil then H2 might make sense to push forward on, but electric vehicles are much cheaper on the fuel (70% cheaper than gasoline), cheaper on the vehicle compared to Fuel Cells (with costs to come down significantly over the coming 10 years) and little in the way of infrastructure costs (compared to Hydrogen). The push for H2 is a bit to understand.
          Sasparilla Fizz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sasparilla Fizz
          DaveMart just using the Department of Energy estimates for electrolysis generation (not natural gas) which is what Gorr was talking about - not cherry picking at all. Get oil up to $200-$250 a barrel, which isn't its production cost but wholesale cost and then we're talking parity for renewable electrolysis generation in large scale production cost (according to the DOE - although this is a big improvement over 5 years ago).
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sasparilla Fizz
          'current projections for large scale production costs (the cheapest method compared to point of sale generation) are still much higher than gasoline (and that's just production costs, not sales price).' Only if you are cherry picking the projections you fancy, The fact is that they are all over the map.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sasparilla Fizz
          I should have added that I could show you projections as low as around $2 gge, or several times higher. I won't because I don't have great confidence in any of the figures, but it does seem clear that even after taking conversion losses into account the better fuel economy of fuel cells mean that we could expect to run a car for about the same on hydrogen fuel as gasoline if we can't do any better.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ugh, the Feds are still spending money on this stuff after the billions that were spend during the Bush administration. Looking at the current research (US) its natural gas processing into H2 that is the cheapest option and they are showing Hydrogen below $4 a gallon gasoline equivalent (at natural gas prices of $4mmbtu - current natural gas price is ~$2.20 mmbtu which would drop projected large volume Hydrogen production (not sales) costs to around $2 a gallon equivalent (although I don't think natural gas prices will be close to here in a year) which is really quite remarkable. International pricing of natural gas (several US firms want to open the US gas industry to exports and world pricing) is often over $10 mmbtu - and you can bet long term the natural gas industry wants to go there. ;-) True renewable power generation of H2 puts large scale production (not sales just production) costs above gasoline ($6 - $4.x a gallon equivalent). I'm guessing US natural gas prices are bottoming at this point (this spring / summer) and will rise back up over time (firms are closing in wells cause its not profitable to drill at these prices, fracking wells are actually more expensive to drill than conventional gas wells and don't last as long) presumably taking H2's possible high production volume price point back up with it.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Just to add something I was reading, some energy analysts don't think natural gas prices will recover until next season (next winter) as the storage for the summer is already full leading to possible prices in the $1.8x mmbtu range over the summer and early fall (the price would be amazingly low). They are basically saying additional natural gas drilling capacity has to be shut in to get prices rising to where profits can be made. Have to wait to see what happens with the price of course, but that would make some seriously cheap H2 (guessing $2 or less per gallon gasoline equivalent). Doesn't help with climate change of course but the price sure would be low.
          Ele Truk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sasparilla Fizz
          The other thing that bothers me is that USGS downgraded their estimate of natural gas reserves. So currently they are saying 20 years AT CURRENT RATES. What happens when people start switching to natural gas, both as a direct fuel source, and as a modified fuel source (as Hydrogen)? http://energy.aol.com/2011/08/25/natural-gas-reserves-debate-intensifies/
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