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Hydrogen


PeterH
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Anyone with an interest in engines and the future should find this worth watching. There's a brief mention of classic cars. May be a small glimmer at the end of a long tunnel.

 

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Interesting and optimistic cforca change.

Only last night on the news here in France there was a report on electric cars, an EU committee report recommends the banning of ICEs from 2035 there will be at least a year of discussions on it. Anyway, the news item highlighted a report which shows hybrids in actual use pollute more than their petrol equivalents because increality they spend more time using the petrol engine than the electric ones and due to the fact they are much heavier, because of the batteries, they throw out more nasty stuff. They also reported from Norway where sales of EVs are very high mainly due to the fact that they are exempt from vat whereas petrol versions are heavily taxed. On the good side new apartment blocks have charging points for each parking space, but in built up areas there aren't enough and people have to queue to charge their vehicle. In the north of the country there is a severe shortage of charging points which will be dealt with 'in the next year'.

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8 hours ago, Chris A said:

hybrids in actual use pollute more than their petrol equivalents

My wife has a Honda Jazz - and it has lower emissions than a Toyota hybrid thing (The one all the celebs bought to be seen as good for the environment) - yet the Jazz has excise duty to pay annually and the hybrid thing doesn't.

As for Hybrid, no one has yet addressed the cost of producing hydrogen. One way or other its split from water and that takes energy - so the overall conversion can't be more than 50% efficient 

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Yes there is a long road ahead (🥴) for the scientists to find the 'ideal' fuel for future transport, in the end I think it will be a mixture according to political pressures and geographic situation.

31 minutes ago, Anglefire said:

As for Hybrid, no one has yet addressed the cost of producing hydrogen

Hybrids at present tend to be electric and petrol, that version was the subject of the report about pollution. I forgot to say that there is a movement within the EU to ban these types of hybrids as well. I'm convinced that the people who buy them only do it so they can say 'look at me I am doing my bit for the environment' when in fact they use the petrol engine most of the time. Why did they buy a hybrid not 100% electric? 

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9 minutes ago, Chris A said:

Why did they buy a hybrid not 100% electric?

One reason is not been stuck with a 200mile range and then an hour to recharge. Kills it for me anyway (Pure electric) as anything affordable with more than 300miles doesn't exist.

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4 minutes ago, Anglefire said:

One reason is not been stuck with a 200mile range and then an hour to recharge. Kills it for me anyway (Pure electric) as anything affordable with more than 300miles doesn't exist.

There you have it, range. For a lot of people their use is what - school run, work, shops? 200 miles is more than enough between charges. It is the business driver who does hundreds per day who needs something else. Of course there are the times when the 'school run' car takes the family on holiday and needs greater range.

I fall into this category. My normal pattern is along the lines of a couple of trips to town per week, round trip of 30 kms max. Even at the moment when my wife is away on her Cure Thermale and I take her there,visit for the weekend and will collect her this weekend it is just a round trip of 180kms. We are lucky we live close to the only centre in the north of France, other clients come from much further afield - the Somme for instance. So an EV would do it for us, except for the annual holiday to Brittany and/or Spain. Do I have to have 2 moderns to cover the options? My wife doesn't drive anymore for medical reasons so we no longer have need of 2 moderns.

I had better go and get on with the list of jobs left by Missus or when she gets back . . . ☠️

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I remember reading, probably in The Engineer magazine at work, that when Mazda stopped commercially manufacturing the Wankel engine they retained the licence to produce it because it ran extremely  well on hydrogen and they might need to reintroduce it later. And in fact a quick 'Google' show a lot of promising work is being done on this.

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Hydrogen is great and absolutely must be part of the equation BUT it has to be manufactured and "green" hydrogen can only be made by investing in massive alternative electrical production.... Porsche is building a huge site in Chile where there is always wind and almost always sun (during the day) so they can make hydrogen.... but then they have to get it to where it is needed....

Yes, at the tailpipe many hybrids are "worse" than pure ICE but I would argue that they should be using batteries more than the ICE. I tested a hybrid recently and I had no way of plugging it in.... so the ICE kicked in  at some point. I drove about 100 KM (60 miles...)  BUT when I went to take it back it regened enough power to do half the trek in electrical mode.

Also, whenever I stopped the ICE shut off (like the start stop most car have anyway) but it almost never came on until I went over 70 kph (or the battery was really low).

So, just like pure EVs I am pretty sure that over the life of car it is greener.

 

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I read a report this morning about the use of EVs and hydrogen fuel in Formula 1 cars. It brought a great mental picture of recharging an F 1 car during a race. Mental picture was something like the scene of the resurrection of Frankenstein's monster in the Hammer film

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Anglefire said:

the cost of producing hydrogen. One way or other its split from water and that takes energy - so the overall conversion can't be more than 50% efficient 

Then you have to compress it, so it's more like 33% efficiency. While this sounds terrible compared to batteries, you end up with a light, dense energy storage medium which can be transferred into your car in a couple of minutes.

Given the renewable nature of our grid generation in the future, we will need a much higher generating capacity than at present so that we have enough on dull, windless weeks (static high pressure weather system in winter) to power our homes and industry. What do we do with the extra when the sun and wind are available? Turn water in to hydrogen of course. It can be done locally without a surge in power, Not like when you want to fast-charge the batteries in your EV without taking you over your daily coffee capacity. The trouble is, this requires a major installation of infrastructure to give us the hydrogen filling stations. (Are there still only SIX here in the UK?) Whereas the electricity network is already here, albeit at limited capacity.

Sadly, I think we are going to sleepwalk into a battery EV future because no one has a vested interest in the country doing the right thing and installing the necessary hydrogen infrastructure.

Moan over.

Cheers, Richard

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I've said before that battery EVs are generally an engineering dead-end and H is the only long term escape from fossil fuels - though actually burning it in an internal combustion engine is just the new steam car (people trying to stick with what the technology they understand) and fuel cells producing electricity for electric motors is what will win out in the long term.

And producing H isn't an issue, you just pass electricity through water.  No, this isn't the most efficient process in the world and does need a lot of energy, and yes also needs to be transported...  If only there was a whole part of the world that got lot of sunlight, had lots of land you could put solar cells on that was just desert that nobody really wanted for anything else, and was run buy a load of people who currently got all their money from extracting fossil fuels which they could see would soon stop being such a cash cow leaving them and all their huge oil transporting ships out of work.

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So we need to create a ton of electricity to make H instead of creating a lot of electricity to put in cars that use electricity...?

I am being slightly facetious ....

As I said, H definitely has a role play but I would request that an objective (mayhaps even critical) view be placed on it just like any other form of transport that has come before. 

EVs are not the end all be all. H currently has no infrastructure at all. Building that and distributing it will take time, money AND resources just like our fueling stations did in the early 20th century and what we are going through now with EVs.

I know you can create H at home in theory... but we are in a society where the car manual warns you not to drink windshield fluid so I doubt a device that is safe for use in the home to produce the most reactive gas known to humans would be cheap.

Not quite sure why batteries would be an engineering dead-end. Nokia thought they had the best mobile phones and Motorola before them. Apple showed what can be done with batteries and there are still lots of battery technology out there that could be explored.

The inventor of the lithium ion battery has a new battery that charges faster and lasts longer and uses glass. https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/auto-components/patent-for-glass-battery-for-evs-filed-by-the-co-founder-of-li-ion-battery-report/75079502

Graphene is already being put into production and being used in batteries and on your roads: https://inews.co.uk/news/science/super-thin-graphene-is-being-tested-on-road-surfaces-1075489

Inductive charging is a thing: https://utilityweek.co.uk/laying-the-groundwork-for-charge-as-you-drive-evs/

Long run I reckon we will see H for long road applications (or motorsport where fueling time is critical) and battery EVs for almost every day use just like diesel and gasoline/petrol or Android and Apple or Apple and PC....

I don't think it is an either/or thing.

 

 

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1 hour ago, rlubikey said:

What do we do with the extra when the sun and wind are available? Turn water in to hydrogen of course. 

Here we generate quite a bit of electricity in hydroelectric stations and it is quite normal to pump the water back up into the reservoir at night when there is spare capacity, so using the same principle to produce hydrogen seems logical.

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3 hours ago, Badwolf said:

. It brought a great mental picture of recharging an F 1 car during a race. Mental picture was something like the scene of the resurrection of Frankenstein's monster in the Hammer fi

Isn't there a Formula E, or something already? Races will just have to be shorter 😁

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1 hour ago, Chris A said:

Isn't there a Formula E, or something already?

Yes, I've been watching a few races on TV not a lot different from formula 1 except not so noisy. One of East Berks has a giant electric Jaguar, scarily quite!

Doug 

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23 hours ago, Chris A said:

It is the business driver who does hundreds per day who needs something else

I certainly don't do hundreds everyday - but a round trip of more than 200 is fairly common - more common than having a EV allows - having two cars just doesn't work. And the other issue for me is how does the company pay for my fuel? Electric still costs.

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33 minutes ago, Anglefire said:

how does the company pay for my fuel? Electric still costs.

I don't follow the development of EVs & their charging in any detail, but I assume if you plug in at a public charging point you pay, so you should either get a receipt at the time or much more likely it just appears on your plastic card statement, just like a petrol one so no problem?

I do know that when my local town first introduced charging points they were free whether that was a policy to get them used, known about or they just thought the bill would be low and offset by extra spending in the town centre I don't know. After a while they stopped it and the electricity has to be paid for. 

I was thinking about the range issue. I tend to fill my 13/60 at around 150 mile intervals, it is good for more but I like to keep it 'charged' ready for a run. Last year I did a trip out for a couple of days covering a large part of Normandy on small rural roads not trunk roads. I have to admit that I did have a little appréhension at times about where the next 'charging' point would be, petrol stations are few and far between in the countryside. I did carry a backup jerry can in the boot just in case. Can't do that with an EV I guess :rolleyes:

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The EV conversation was also on the TR Reg forum, when Richard Pope with a TR6 project car asked if anyone had seriously considered EV conversion, especially from a DIY / kit basis?  His own circumstance being that he's facing £7000+ in engine & mechanical, cooling system, electrics, carburettors, etc., restoration costs, so was wondering about putting that money instead converting the car to EV. 

Most of the replies questioned the environment worth of scrapping ICE vehicles and replacing them with electric, and also the timing (in an industry that is likely to change fast and when present technology both carries a new / novelty tax and is probably out of date within five years).  Others were about loosing the characteristics of driving a real classic versus an EV, and then others still were regarding the limited range, charging, and the real cost to the end user (with battery life, charging points, etc). 

On the positive side there were a couple of links shared . . .

One which caught my eye was this very beautiful < Bentley S3 Continental > EV conversion by Silverstone based British resto-mod company Lunaz.

Another was a Canadian conversion of a TR6 following the accident right-off of his earlier conversion to a Triumph Spitfire.  <  here >.  It was good to read an article from someone who had actually done it. The TR6 conversion has a link to the Triumph Spitfire conversion, and that shares a little about his own use of that car for commuting to work, and the costs (c.2016 - 17).

For what it's worth, my appraisal was . . .

 " Brilliant many thanks for sharing this.  I'm impressed by the gentleman's progressive thinking (c.2016) and his actually making the car to a budget, over-coming hurdles, and then use of the car.   I was again disappointed that the article focus was on the conversion and almost nothing about the consequent experience with the EV-TR6,  but the link contained within that article ..to his E-fire (Triumph Spitfire conversion to Electric) filled in a few more gaps, from this gentleman's real-world usage. 

. . .

A car for going places ?  of particular note to anyone wanting to use their car ..even on this little island.  "So far, the “Triumph E-Fire” as we call it, has been a surprisingly reliable and enjoyable ride. It has a comfortable highway range of about 100 km on a charge. It recharges from my 61 km commute in about 6.5 hours from a normal 120V wall socket- or in half that time from a 240 V electric charging station. "

So, a range of 62 miles for a spitfire size & weight of car, which for many of us would mean a round trip, not either way.  And 3-1/4 hours recharge time using 240v.  Where facilities allow recharging, perhaps for an hour while stopped for lunch might add another 15 - 20 miles to the range.  Quite possibly battery technology has moved on, over the past six years, to offer a greater range.  Here in the UK / Europe we might also use higher (3-phase ?) voltages for fast recharging ?   

Costs " The conversion parts were costly- about $16,000 CDN all told- but about $8,000 of that was just for the batteries."  The article is published in October 2017 so the prices are probably from 2016.  He clearly did almost all of the work himself, so with minimal cost in professional garage services or fabrication, and he already had a Toyota gearbox & driveshaft to couple the electric motor to.   I wonder what a " series string of 32 Sinopoly 3.2 V 180 amp-hour lithium iron phosphate batteries, capable of storing about 18.5 kWh of electricity at a nominal 105 volts DC " or their equivalent would cost in the UK today.?  Are batteries cheaper now or are their prices being upped by greater demand ? 

Lifespan of batteries ?  "The batteries should last about 3,000 charge-discharge cycles if kept below 70% depth of discharge and not over-charged"  Although his daily commute used just 60% of the full charge, but if the car were used in the evenings & at weekends, for popping to the shop, running his son around, etc, we might assume an average of a full-charge each day.  So the calculation is simply 3000 divided by 365 days = 8.2 years battery life.  That of course assumes the batteries don't drop in performance over that period of time ..and there's no mistake in over-discharging or over charging the batteries which might lessen that duration.    

At $8000CDN a pop + inflation (or else lower cost later generation batteries ? ) might we presume the cost would be around $ 1000CDN (or whatever today's UK cost is) per annum.  Lead acid batteries have a little value when cashed-in for recycling, but I don't know if that is the same with modern EV batteries.   Offset against this though would be no ICE repairs to worn out parts, no decoking, new piston rings or re-cutting valves, no gaskets, &/or servicing costs like points, oil and various filters, antifreeze, etc.   Vehicle weight is very similar so tyre wear would be much the same, but with regenerative braking the cost of brake shoes. I don't know how long the electric motor or controllers would last but I suspect we might assume a 20+ year vehicle lifespan, if the vehicle is usually garaged.  

Interesting.., thanks again for the link and to the author Paul Martin. "

Pete.

 

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I believe like LPG a petrol engine can easily be adapted to run on hydrogen. So providing you could get a supply you'd have to fit a pressure tank in place of the fuel tank and you would have a zero emission Spitfire, Herald or what ever.

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Hydrogen is a carbon free fuel, but there is no natural source, only 'Grey',  'Blue' and 'Green' hydrogen.

Grey is made from fossil fuel, natural gases at the refinery. The waste from that process is, surprise, surprise, carbon dioxide.  No benefit.

Blue, sequesters that CO2 somehow, so as not to release it into the atmosphere.   Another process has solid carbon as the waste, which may be easier to store, and this is 'turquoise' (greener than blue!) hydrogen.   High energy demand just for the processes.

Green, is made by electrolysing water using electricity.    The only 'waste' is oxygen, that is of course used up again when the hydrogen is burnt.    But the source of the electricity should be not from fossils, else it is not green.   Electrolysis is about 80% efficient, but then, for transport purposes, the gas must be compressed and transported in heavy cylinders at 10,000psi ! Compare, say Oxygen that is stored in cylinders at 2000psi.     So that the efficiency of the whole process is worse than a modern ICE, about 30%.     But 'clean'!

John

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I have mentioned before that a guy not 10 miles down the road converted his Spitfire to electric.

He gets slightly better range and faster charging than mentioned above but his conversion was slightly more expensive (likely down to the fact the German MOT/TÜV has to approve everything...)

Another benefit is no congestion charge and there are cities that won't let you in unless you have a car of a certain "cleanliness" level (at least here in Germany it has to be Euro 4 or better...)

 

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