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TonyWilliams
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:47 pm

Now, why do you suppose that a huge, arguably we'll run company like GE not use this new "space age" thing called hydrogen?

By virtually universal agreement (and the agreement of Germany), hydrogen would be best suited for this task:

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/2 ... d5re8RHarU

GE Signs Its Largest Battery Energy Storage Deal to Date

GE to Build 30-Megawatt (MW) Battery Energy Storage System for the Imperial Irrigation District in Southern California

Marks GE’s Third Lithium Ion Storage Project Announced in Recent Months, Totaling a Combined 39 MW of Capacity
Last edited by TonyWilliams on Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

GRA
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:48 pm

TonyWilliams wrote:
GRA wrote:... both ARB and the companies involved are already looking forwards to considerably larger stations to meet increased demand. Indeed, the ARB report states that stations being built from 2016 on would need to have average capacities of 390 kg./day to meet demand, if the forecasts for FCEV sales are accurate.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilwinton/ ... ns-miscue/

"But in the race to provide green buyers with much better fuel consumption and lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, plug-in hybrids were thought to have the inside track on battery-power, at least until fuel cells become competitive by around 2025."

Like diesel fuel, the Germans truly believe the end game is hydrogen, which is why they can all just go through the motions now with EVs.

Toyota just skipped the "motions" part.
It appears Dudenhoeffer missed the latest sales figures from Europe, where PHEVs are swiftly overhauling BEVs and likely to become the majority of PEV sales soon, and the Outlander PHEV is now the top-selling PEV: http://left-lane.com/european-sales-201 ... -segments/

There's no question that ICE PHEVs are a transition technology to BEVs, FCEVs, PHFCEVs or maybe biofuels, but they will be viable for quite some time. As to the rest, we'll see how the BMW/Mercedes/Audi high-end PHEV sales do - the Golf GTE seems to be doing pretty well, and is outselling the e-Golf.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:58 pm

RegGuheert wrote:
GRA wrote:I wanted to quote this section from the article Tony linked:
We asked Dray if his facility was sharing what it was learning with other stations around the country.

“Absolutely,” he replied. “We meet and discuss these issues. We’re still a relatively small community.”

Hydrogen refueling on a retail level is still such a new segment, that competition amongst stations isn’t a factor. Instead, according to Dray, government officials, station managers and other organizations are working together as a group to make the entire infrastructure successful.
Reminds me of what it was like to be in early in off-grid RE - more cooperation than competition, but even the latter was friendly, as our customer territories rarely overlapped, we shared what we learned with each other to advance the tech, and the business was small enough that everyone knew almost everyone else, often face-to-face but otherwise by phone or (later) email. People were in it because they believed it was important, not to get rich. PV etc. is much more a standard business now, but that was the inevitable result of nurturing it so it transitioned from a niche technology for the counter-culture to the mainstream. Even in a much more mainstream, corporately-driven tech such as this one, it's nice to see that, for now at least, that attitude prevails. The cut-throat types will arrive soon enough, if it looks like being a success.
It reminded me of the same thing. I almost mentioned this in my post, but it was long already.

On that note, I will add that while off-grid systems have improved since those early days, they still suffer from significant reliability issues. I have a four-year-old off-grid system that is giving its owner fits right now. Fortunately the grid-tied systems have largely addressed that issue by greatly improving the reliability equation (as I covered in some detail in another thread).
Inverter or charge controller issues, I presume? Other than through stupidity/ignorance, there's not a lot to go wrong with (L-A) batteries given reasonable care, and major panel problems tend to be binary; it's easy to fix, or the panel's useless.
RegGuheert wrote: But I see no indication that H2 refueling has a path to help it break out of Rube Goldberg mode. Are there chemical processing plants (of any kind) designed and built in some other fashion that eliminates the issues I outlined? (Not rhetorical. Is there something out there other than the massive-amount-of-plumbing approach? The reliability of electronics has been steadily improved during steady increases in complexity through massive integration. Another good example is Tesla is using high-volume automotive-grade electronics to make their charging stations reliable. I see a bit of this in Toyota's fuel cell itself, but nothing at the station level. )
Fortunately, neither of us is responsible for establishing that path; there's a whole lot of scientists and engineers working to build it, funded by a lot of money from both governments and companies. I have no way of knowing if they'll succeed, but I'm glad that they aren't just concentrating on a single approach.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:29 pm

edatoakrun wrote:
="GRA"
edatoakrun wrote:...since a Mirai has negligible battery capacity, why is it so damned heavy?
...It weighs about 6 to 800 lb. more than a Camry, which is comparable in size...
And ~550 LBs more than a Honda FCX Clarity, a much older FCV design.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX_Clarity

So, I still can't understand what caused the Mirai's weight problem.
I'm guessing enhanced crash requirements are a major part of it, but don't know.
edatoakrun wrote:
="GRA"...you may not want a car with ICE range, but most people expect and insist on it...
A very small minority of drivers require daily range longer than what a ~20 kWh pack provides for a mid-sized BEV.

For them, or for those others who want a BEV only for occasional longer range trips (and I'm one of them) a BEVx will probably always be superior alternative to either a grossly oversized battery pack (Tesla S) or a bad joke like a Mirai. <snip>
I'm a fan of PHEVs as a transitional tech away from fossil fuels, whether you define that as EREV like a Volt, or BEVx like an i3 REx, and have said that PHFCEVs may well be the best option for those with convenient charging. But the i3 REx needs at least double the fuel capacity to be acceptable to me and (I suspect) most people, and the NVH of that motorcycle engine just doesn't cut it - IMO GM made exactly the right choice for mainstream acceptance to go with a larger, smoother ICE that uses regular gas in the 2016 Volt.

Other than that, a universal car needs to be able to do everything that an ICE can do (given the necessary infrastructure).
edatoakrun wrote:
="GRA"]...AFVs are bound to be mostly restricted initially to being located in major urban areas with concentrations of people with sufficient incomes to afford them, plus connector (e.g. Harris Ranch) and destination (e.g. Truckee) stations...
And IMO they will probably never get much further than that.

Eventually, California taxpayers will become aware of what an enormous boondoggle the promoters of FCEVs have constructed.

FCVs are the result of giving gasoline addicts access to almost unlimited taxpayer subsidies, to fulfill their delusions.

It seems that some people cling so tightly to their gasoline dependence, that only another fuel that promises to allow them to continue to act as irresponsibly, and have others continue to subsidize their addiction, can be conceived as its replacement.
I assume we're both California taxpayers, and consider $200m from the state spread over 10 years to be chicken feed, if it means we don't have to put all our AFV eggs in one basket. My city passed a bond measure last year that was for more than $200m; my county passed a 30 year, $7.8 billion transportation tax bond measure last year, which required a 2/3rds vote to pass. We did that to ourselves with full knowledge of the cost, and I'm now paying 10% sales tax. I'm all for it, as the majority of the money is going to mass transit, local road and street repair and improvement, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, senior and special needs transit. There's even some going to highway infrastructure improvements, mainly at interchanges.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GetOffYourGas
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:32 pm

edatoakrun wrote:It seems that some people cling so tightly to their gasoline dependence, that only another fuel that promises to allow them to continue to act as irresponsibly, and have others continue to subsidize their addiction, can be conceived as its replacement.
Well put. Sadly, there is a lot of truth to this statement. The silver lining is that PHEVs / EREVs / BEVxs provide not only that, but also the benefit of cheaper home fueling. I too see this as the most likely transitionary platform for the next decade, especially in regions with little to no QC infrastructure.
~Brian

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epirali
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:43 am

ydnas7 wrote:
epirali wrote:
My premise is based on a few things. The first is something I strongly believe: that people tend to be resistant to changing a modality when they have gotten used to it

agree

and that is why people will use BEVs but not H2 Fuel Cells

how do you think Americans would react to paying $10/kg for low grade fuel and $13.99/kg for high grade fuel?

seriously, quick mental exercise, mentally apply realistic H2 prices to a gas station.
If the price of hydrogen remained higher than gasoline yes you are absolutely right. Vast majority will choose cheaper.

But that doesn't mean they will switch to BEVs just for cost. Or that hydrogen pricing today is the hydrogen pricing of mass production.
Last edited by epirali on Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

epirali
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:52 am

GRA wrote: It appears Dudenhoeffer missed the latest sales figures from Europe, where PHEVs are swiftly overhauling BEVs and likely to become the majority of PEV sales soon, and the Outlander PHEV is now the top-selling PEV: http://left-lane.com/european-sales-201 ... -segments/

There's no question that ICE PHEVs are a transition technology to BEVs, FCEVs, PHFCEVs or maybe biofuels, but they will be viable for quite some time. As to the rest, we'll see how the BMW/Mercedes/Audi high-end PHEV sales do - the Golf GTE seems to be doing pretty well, and is outselling the e-Golf.
Actually PHEVs are more likely to be a transition to FCEVs that plain EVs. They are probably popular due to range issues, and I don't see the range issue just going away. So unless battery charging becomes much faster it's more likely they will use FC for long range use as regulations get stricter and hydrogen/FC pricing goes down.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:57 am

GRA wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:On that note, I will add that while off-grid systems have improved since those early days, they still suffer from significant reliability issues. I have a four-year-old off-grid system that is giving its owner fits right now. Fortunately the grid-tied systems have largely addressed that issue by greatly improving the reliability equation (as I covered in some detail in another thread).
Inverter or charge controller issues, I presume? Other than through stupidity/ignorance, there's not a lot to go wrong with (L-A) batteries given reasonable care, and major panel problems tend to be binary; it's easy to fix, or the panel's useless.
Actually, I did have the charge controller fail about two years ago due to something I did which resulted in an unforeseen short circuit. I was able to repair the charge controller and it is still going strong today, but I will say that this is precisely one type of failure that can and does happen in complex chemical processing plants. Operators misunderstand something during routine maintenance and cause a much more serious problem.

But, no, the problem now is with the batteries. Due to multiple factors, the owners chose to not install flooded batteries, so we went with SLAs. I've read multiple accounts of people experiencing shorter-than expected life with these units. In this case, I think a big problem is that the charge controller was supposed to get a firmware upgrade to allow the metering of charge, but the manufacturer never finished that. As such it is difficult to prevent both overcharge and undercharge.

Tesla's PowerWall may offer an improvement in off-grid storage in this area, but it still is not where the technology needs to be.
GRA wrote:Fortunately, neither of us is responsible for establishing that path; there's a whole lot of scientists and engineers working to build it, funded by a lot of money from both governments and companies. I have no way of knowing if they'll succeed, but I'm glad that they aren't just concentrating on a single approach.
Many technical issues do not get resolved even with the allocation of massive amounts of resources. If there are no ideas on how to address the issues we are discussing, then the problem is likely to exist indefinitely. If they are "barking up the wrong tree", as I expect is the case, then we should not expect them to succeed. As I have stated repeatedly, I have no problem with continuing research on H2 FCVs. The issue here is that many, many govenment officials not just in your state, but around the world, are currently focused on DEPLOYING this technology at a time when the clear result is massive damage to our environment.

More importantly, the opportunity cost of deploying H2 FCVs is a significant slowdown in the proliferation in BEVs due to the fact that the resources needed to put one H2 FCV on the road could have been used to field about five BEVs instead. It's waste on a massive scale with no clear indication that FCVs will offer ANY benefits over BEVs at the end of the day. It's clear that they will always offer significant drawbacks.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

edatoakrun
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Re: Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:32 am

="GRA"... a universal car needs to be able to do everything that an ICE can do...
Well then, BEVs are indeed doomed to failure.

The cost of equipping my leaf with a device spewing 30 or 40 gallons of CO2 laced with trace poisonous gasses, for every mile I drove, would of course be prohibitively expensive...
="GRA"...I assume we're both California taxpayers, and consider $200m from the state spread over 10 years to be chicken feed...
I have no Idea where you got that figure, implying that the total cost to California taxpayers for FCEV support will be limited to $200 million over the next decade, if a substantial number of FCEVs ever actually are to see the road.

Care to explain?

On the other hand, I don't think there is any doubt that if California decided to spend ~$200 million, collected from any user base (ratepayers, taxpayers, or drivers) over ~ten years, that expenditure could result in ~500 DC charge stations, each capable of refueling ~ten to twenty BEVs simultaneously, located at suitable business locations located along California's highways.

This initially subsidized DC network would be largely sufficient to support the first ~million BEVs on California's roads, after which, I have little doubt we could depend on free-market developments to supply the next twenty to thirty million California BEVs.

There is no doubt in my mind that many of those promoting FCVs, both in both the ICEV and petroleum industries, are well aware of this reality.

And it largely explains those corporations enthusiasm in spending other peoples money to subsidize the development and sales of, and supporting infrastructure for, what can only be accurately described as POS vehicles, such as the Mirai.
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GRA
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:29 pm

RegGuheert wrote:
GRA wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:On that note, I will add that while off-grid systems have improved since those early days, they still suffer from significant reliability issues. I have a four-year-old off-grid system that is giving its owner fits right now. Fortunately the grid-tied systems have largely addressed that issue by greatly improving the reliability equation (as I covered in some detail in another thread).
Inverter or charge controller issues, I presume? Other than through stupidity/ignorance, there's not a lot to go wrong with (L-A) batteries given reasonable care, and major panel problems tend to be binary; it's easy to fix, or the panel's useless.
Actually, I did have the charge controller fail about two years ago due to something I did which resulted in an unforeseen short circuit. I was able to repair the charge controller and it is still going strong today, but I will say that this is precisely one type of failure that can and does happen in complex chemical processing plants. Operators misunderstand something during routine maintenance and cause a much more serious problem.

But, no, the problem now is with the batteries. Due to multiple factors, the owners chose to not install flooded batteries, so we went with SLAs. I've read multiple accounts of people experiencing shorter-than expected life with these units. In this case, I think a big problem is that the charge controller was supposed to get a firmware upgrade to allow the metering of charge, but the manufacturer never finished that. As such it is difficult to prevent both overcharge and undercharge.

Tesla's PowerWall may offer an improvement in off-grid storage in this area, but it still is not where the technology needs to be.
I've spec'd SLA a fair amount for seasonal cabins and the like, where maintenance is likely to be intermittent, and the batteries may sit discharged for prolonged periods. I've used Johnson Controls and Sonnenschein gel-cells, and provided you've got a charge controller that will let you set it for a lower regulating voltage (typically 14.1V instead of 14.4V or higher, they should be fine - equalizing charges are a no-no, because anything gassed is gone forever, and the gel prevents the stratification that occurs in flooded L-As, so there's no need for equalization in any case. IIRR both of them use lead-calcium plates, so they're not really happy being cycled as deeply as a flooded L-A with lead plates would. They're really more of a float battery, so if you try to cycle them to 80% or even 50% DoD regularly, you're going to experience shorter life. On the positive side, they have low self-discharge rates, and are happy to sit at low voltage for several months without harm. I spec'd some for a ski cabin in Yosemite that's only used from Dec. to April, with no charging during the off-season (panels are stored for security), and after 22 seasons I think they're still on the 3rd set of batteries. After the first set, the battery bank was increased in size by 50% IIRR and there's now something like 7 days worth of storage, so deep cycling almost never happens during the season. The 2nd set endured one 21-day succession of storms following one behind each other with barely a break in between, and still lasted 6 years IIRC.
RegGuheert wrote:
GRA wrote:Fortunately, neither of us is responsible for establishing that path; there's a whole lot of scientists and engineers working to build it, funded by a lot of money from both governments and companies. I have no way of knowing if they'll succeed, but I'm glad that they aren't just concentrating on a single approach.
Many technical issues do not get resolved even with the allocation of massive amounts of resources. If there are no ideas on how to address the issues we are discussing, then the problem is likely to exist indefinitely. If they are "barking up the wrong tree", as I expect is the case, then we should not expect them to succeed. As I have stated repeatedly, I have no problem with continuing research on H2 FCVs. The issue here is that many, many govenment officials not just in your state, but around the world, are currently focused on DEPLOYING this technology at a time when the clear result is massive damage to our environment.

More importantly, the opportunity cost of deploying H2 FCVs is a significant slowdown in the proliferation in BEVs due to the fact that the resources needed to put one H2 FCV on the road could have been used to field about five BEVs instead. It's waste on a massive scale with no clear indication that FCVs will offer ANY benefits over BEVs at the end of the day. It's clear that they will always offer significant drawbacks.
We'll just have to agree to disagree on the value of continuing with FCEV/H2 infrastructure deployment at this time, as our starting points are too different. As it happens, nothing anyone has said here, pro or con, has affected deployment decisions by any government, and probably not any company, in the slightest, so we'll get to see how it plays out.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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