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Thread: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

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    Carmen Sylva's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Alstom win world’s largest order for hydrogen-powered trains

    By winning the world’s largest tender for hydrogen-powered trains, Alstom is on track to help Germany green its rail industry.


    Fahme, a subsidiary of Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund (RMV), have ordered 27 of Alstom’s Coradia iLint trains to replace diesel ones on its Taunus network in the state of Hesse, or Hessen.

    Coradia iLint hydrogen-powered trains emit only water and no carbon dioxide (CO2). They are the first to get their power from hydrogen fuel cells and are designed for use on non-electrified track.

    The French rail multinational say that delivery of all their hydrogen-powered trains to RMV will complete “by the timetable change in 2022.”
    The contract also covers supply of hydrogen fuel and provision and maintenance of reserve capacity for 25 years.
    Infraserv Höchst, the company that operates the Höchst industrial park in the region, will work with Alstom on the supply of hydrogen fuel. They will provide a filling station for the hydrogen-powered trains in the industrial park.
    ‘A model for Germany’s transport ministry’

    Alstom’s share of the €500 million overall RMV hydrogen-powered trains contract is worth around €360 million.
    Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, is delighted with the deal.
    “The purchase of 27 vehicles,” he says, “is a lighthouse project for fuel cell mobility, about which I’m very pleased.”
    He suggests that the project will “serve as a model” for Germany’s transport ministry and that they hope “that many other projects in Germany will follow this example.”
    No CO2 emissions

    Hydrogen fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and water. An electric motor can then use the electricity to turn wheels.
    Vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells do not emit CO2 like those that run on fossil fuels such as diesel and petrol. They use up hydrogen and oxygen and produce only electricity, water, and heat.
    As long as they have a source of hydrogen and air, fuel cells can keep going and do not need to stop for recharging like conventional batteries. Also, they operate almost without noise because they have no moving parts.
    Infraserv Höchst is well equipped to provide hydrogen for the hydrogen-powered trains. The industrial park, which produces hydrogen as a byproduct of chlorine production, already supplies hydrogen fuel for trucks and buses.

    The hydrogen fuelling station began life more than 10 years ago as part of “Zero Regio,” a project part-funded by the European Union. The purpose of the project was to help cities reduce dependence on fossil fuels, cut pollution and emissions, use energy more efficiently, and promote use of hydrogen and fuel cells in motor vehicles.
    ‘Steam instead of diesel soot’

    There are still many diesel trains running on non-electrified tracks on the Hessen network.
    Switching to hydrogen-powered trains is “therefore a quickly feasible alternative to expensive electrification,” says Tarek Al-Wazir, who is Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport, and Regional Development for Hesse.
    “In Hessen, transport is responsible for one third of greenhouse gas emissions,” he adds, explaining that, “Steam instead of diesel soot is therefore an exciting approach.”
    The new hydrogen-powered trains will replace the diesel trains that currently operate on four Hessische Landesbahn lines: RB11, which runs between Frankfurt-Höchst and Bad Soden; RB12 (Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof and Königstein); RB15 (Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, Bad Homburg, and Brandoberndorf); and RB16 (Friedrichsdorf and Friedberg).
    All 27 of the hydrogen-powered trains will have free Wi-Fi and will display real-time travel information for passengers. Each will seat up to 160 people, and will provide space for wheelchairs, prams, and bicycles. The changeover from diesel stock should increase passenger capacity by up to 40 percent.

    https://marketbusinessnews.com/204772-2/204772/

    I think hydrogen-powered trains are a real alternative for trains, at least on non-electrified tracks.

    And i think using Hydrogen, which is produced as byproduct ("Infraserv Höchst is well equipped to provide hydrogen for the hydrogen-powered trains. The industrial park, which produces hydrogen as a byproduct of chlorine production, already supplies hydrogen fuel for trucks and buses.") is also a economical approach.

    Hydrogen production could also happen in coastal windenergy power plants.

    I can also imagine, that Hydrogen would be an alternative in the whole transportation sector (trucks /buses).
    Last edited by Carmen Sylva; July 22, 2019 at 08:56 AM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Hydrogen is certainly better for energy density but the issue with residential car use is that hydrogen fuel stations require building infrastructure with a bigger logistic footprint than electric vehicles. Otherwise, yeah. Certainly better for commercial application in many case. Not all of them and Im not sure why hydrogen trains instead of electric trains.

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    Carmen Sylva's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Only 50/60 % of all tracks are electrified, a full electrification would be too expensive and not costeffective in some rural regions because of too low railway traffic.
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    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    I would be curious what they have to pay for hydrogen. One article I read acknowledge the trains would be more expensive, but said the Opera int cost would be lower. The place supplying the hydrogen produced it as a byproduct of their chlorine production, so I wonder if they are supply the hydrogen at a discount cost. Otherwise the facory would have to find some other use for the hydrogen. That works out fine for limited hydrogen demand, but t you might have charge more if using it on a large scale. A fuel cell would likely need less maintenance than a diesel, and would be more energy efficient, so that could translate into lower operating cost even if they were not getting a discounted price for the hydrogen.he

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Sylva View Post
    Only 50/60 % of all tracks are electrified, a full electrification would be too expensive and not costeffective in some rural regions because of too low railway traffic.
    It makes no economic sense to build rail to rural areas, especially when automobiles and large highways are so accessible. Hydrogen buses make sense in those rural cases. Electrification is problematic in a country like U.S. where rail is mostly privatized. But in urban areas? It just makes more sense to electrify.

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    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Germany has an old, but dense railway net, some tracks in rural areas are not electrified because they have some traffic but not so much, that it would be economical to fully electrify them.

    And Germany is no big urban region, there are many rural regions.

    So here hydrogen-powered trains are an alternative to diesel-powered or fully electrified trains.
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    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Just saw this, this looks very exciting for the future of the energy industry. I had a fraction of a hope this was talking about cracking nuclear fusion
    Patronised by Pontifex Maximus

    Quote Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun View Post
    Nope. There is nothing to suggest dramatically that his heart is giving out. His heart attack is a testament to how well he can recover from something like that.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Just saw this, this looks very exciting for the future of the energy industry. I had a fraction of a hope this was talking about cracking nuclear fusion
    Fusion is the dream. As far as I know, the biggest Tokamak fusion experiment, ITER, is still being constructed in France, with plans to be run sometime in 2025.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Just saw this, this looks very exciting for the future of the energy industry. I had a fraction of a hope this was talking about cracking nuclear fusion
    They say that controlled fusion is just 30 years away Nd have been saying it for the last 50 years. Even the most optimistic supporters are still saying it is 30 years away.

    In any case, it wouldn't apply here, rhe fusion power plants that are anticipate would be big, nothing small enough to fit on a train. The Back to the Future "Mr. Fusion" machines are just a dream.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by Sukiyama View Post
    Hydrogen is certainly better for energy density
    Better than what, diesel and other petroleum-based fuels? It is the other way around, hydrogen actually suffers from very low gravimetric and volumetric energy density, even if you compress it to 700bar or go cryogenic (which requires a lot of its energy content). This one of the major problems with carrying it on-board in passenger cars, which probably the main reason why the H2-fueled internal combustion engine or fuel cell vehicles have not gained traction. Another problem is the lack of well-developed infrastructure for distributing it.

    BUT, but, but...a distribution system for railway stations seems like a very good target as a first stepping stone and the storage difficulties are probably not as restrictive in trains as they are in cars and trucks, so this is a very interesting project.
    "Blessed is he who learns how to engage in inquiry, with no impulse to hurt his countrymen or to pursue wrongful actions, but perceives the order of the immortal and ageless nature, how it is structured."
    Euripides

    "This is the disease of curiosity. It is this which drives to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding, which avails us nothing and which man should not wish to learn."
    Augustine

  11. #11

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by Timoleon of Korinthos View Post
    Better than what, diesel and other petroleum-based fuels? It is the other way around, hydrogen actually suffers from very low gravimetric and volumetric energy density, even if you compress it to 700bar or go cryogenic (which requires a lot of its energy content). This one of the major problems with carrying it on-board in passenger cars, which probably the main reason why the H2-fueled internal combustion engine or fuel cell vehicles have not gained traction. Another problem is the lack of well-developed infrastructure for distributing it.

    BUT, but, but...a distribution system for railway stations seems like a very good target as a first stepping stone and the storage difficulties are probably not as restrictive in trains as they are in cars and trucks, so this is a very interesting project.
    It's better than Lithium Ion. Especially because of the weight savings.



    The other advantage of Hydrogen are very fast recharge time, i.e. you can refill hydrogen pretty much the same time as gasoline. There's a bunch of other reasons why hydrogen is advantageous. You can also convert gas stations to hydrogen. I'd also argue that hydrogen is more versatile, i.e., car design faces much less constraints than EVs.

    But overall EV are just much better due to a host of reasons. Energy cycle for example, the amount of energy you need to produce a fuel cell vs battery powered vehicles. Logistics, the infrastructure for production of electric vehicles is much more developed than hydrogen. Might write more later, but I'll just say that Toyota will need to be ingenious in order to make Hydrogen work. They seem to really want to, but I don't think it can work outside of Japan.

    I also wouldn't worry about hydrogen exploding. That's not really as dangerous as newspapers would have you believe.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Yes, hydrogen has better energy density than batteries, but that is only because batteries are the technology of energy storage on planet earth in terms of energy density. It still is by far the worst of all *chemical* energy carriers(petroleum-based fuels, coal, natural gas, methanol, ethanol, ammonia, literally any other fuel) in that regard.

    So, major problem number one: in practical applications, hydrogen has to be stored either
    1. under very high compression (up to 700bar) at ambient temperatures, yet it still suffers from very low volumetric energy density, or
    2. in liquid form in cryogenic temperatures(below -252.9C) at atmospheric pressure, which improves volumetric energy density, BUT this


    • requires about 30% of its energy content just for the liquefaction (more if you want to compress it further as a liquid, to transport it through long pipelines for example)
    • requires continuous consumption, because even in the presence of excessive insulation, some heat transfer from the surroundings to the tank inevitably takes place, which leads to vaporization of the liquid hydrogen and therefore gradual pressure buildup, which will either cause leakages or an eventual blowoff


    And then, there is technical problem number two: the infrastructure for hydrogen transportation and distribution is practically non-existent, unlike in the cases of
    1. natural gas, for which a dense network is already in place, because it has long been used for power generation and heating, so it can be more easily extended with refueling stations for the transportation sector
    2. ammonia, for which a mature transportation and distribution network also exists, because its has been used widely as a fertilizer since the early 20th century
    3. methanol, which is very, very easy to transport and distribute, because it is already liquid at standard temperature and pressure conditions (25C, 1atm)


    So right now, the most realistic options for transporting and distributing hydrogen are
    1. through the existing pipelines for natural gas, as a component of natural gas-hydrogen mixture
    2. through some indirect chemical storage medium, such as ammonia(NH3) or methanol(CH3OH)


    This is why I think this project in Germany is very interesting, as it will probably help expand the nascent hydrogen transportation an distribution infrastructure (hopefully).

    Incidentally, the Japanese, who seem to have put their money on hydrogen as the pathway to energy security and decarbonization of their economy, are really hooked into the idea of using ammonia as fuel, either in internal combustion engines or fuel cells, for precisely these reasons. The challenge regarding ICEs is that ammonia has terrible combustion properties (very low reactivity, high NOx emissions, high unburned NH3 emissions etc), so at the very least it must be used as part of a blend with hydrogen or some carbon-based fuel and then, the optimal combustion mode and injection type is not clear, so they are very far away from the point of commercial viability. I am not sure what the particular challenge with using ammonia in fuel cell vehicles is, if any, maybe the standard problems that plague fuel cells.

    PS. I copied the attached graph on comparison of energy densities of various technologies from a Japanese guy's paper and print it here without permission, don't report me guys!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails energy_densities_figure.png  
    Last edited by Timoleon of Korinthos; August 08, 2019 at 06:21 PM.
    "Blessed is he who learns how to engage in inquiry, with no impulse to hurt his countrymen or to pursue wrongful actions, but perceives the order of the immortal and ageless nature, how it is structured."
    Euripides

    "This is the disease of curiosity. It is this which drives to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding, which avails us nothing and which man should not wish to learn."
    Augustine

  13. #13

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Keep in mind that people are looking into ultra high capacity capicitors, something with nano carbon fiber structures, which some people speculate could have a potential to have a much greater capacity than today's battery by an order of magnitude. So you could have a 1000 mile range on a charge. And these capacitors could be charged much faster than batteries. While they are just theoretical right now, if they could be made to work, they would make fuel cells even less attractive. But it is all just theory now, and there are some major hurdles to overcome. For example, if you could store that much power and they had a mechanical failure and discharged all at once, they could explode like bomb, so safety could be an issue. And we are years from building any of these super capacitors, even if they prove feasible. r

    While for personal vehicles technology currently favors battery vehicles, hydrogen's a fuel cell vehicles might find a niche role for things like trains or trucks to replace diesels. Using batteries doesn't seem practical for large trucks or trains, and to make fuel cells practical for those applications you would not need as many hydrogen fueling stations as would be required for private vehicles.

    One advantage that fuel cell vehicles have is that for some people, battery vehicles will never be a practical option. If you don't have a your own garage or carport to park your vehicle in, an electric car will not be a practical choice. No one is going to drive to a public charging station to spend a couple hours every day or every couple days charging their cars, and many people don't have garages or carports to park their cars, but park them on the street. People who live in apartments, who only have a one car garage but multiple cars.

    I read about people setting g up a service where they will drive to your location with s fuel tank truck and fill up your vehicle for a fee. I imagind they could do the same for hydrogen vehicles, which would save you the hassle of having to save the hassle of having to drive to the few existing hydrogen filling stations. This would especially work if you had a fleet of vehicles running off hydrogen.

    Another option is that there are fuel cells that can be designed to run off a variety of fuels, not just hydrogen. They work by having onbard system which remove the hydrogen from the fuel, so you can use a fuel that is more widely available. They do produce some CO2 gas, and are even more expensive than standard fuel cells, but you don't have to wait until the hydrogen infrastructure is built to use them, and they could be converted to use hydrogen once it is available. Even if you run them off s fossil fuel, because of a fuel cell's greater efficiency, the over all CO2 produced would be less than with an internal combustion engine.
    Last edited by Common Soldier; August 09, 2019 at 05:55 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by Timoleon of Korinthos View Post
    Yes, hydrogen has better energy density than batteries, but that is only because batteries are the technology of energy storage on planet earth in terms of energy density. It still is by far the worst of all *chemical* energy carriers(petroleum-based fuels, coal, natural gas, methanol, ethanol, ammonia, literally any other fuel) in that regard.

    So, major problem number one: in practical applications, hydrogen has to be stored either
    1. under very high compression (up to 700bar) at ambient temperatures, yet it still suffers from very low volumetric energy density, or
    2. in liquid form in cryogenic temperatures(below -252.9C) at atmospheric pressure, which improves volumetric energy density, BUT this


    • requires about 30% of its energy content just for the liquefaction (more if you want to compress it further as a liquid, to transport it through long pipelines for example)
    • requires continuous consumption, because even in the presence of excessive insulation, some heat transfer from the surroundings to the tank inevitably takes place, which leads to vaporization of the liquid hydrogen and therefore gradual pressure buildup, which will either cause leakages or an eventual blowoff


    And then, there is technical problem number two: the infrastructure for hydrogen transportation and distribution is practically non-existent, unlike in the cases of
    1. natural gas, for which a dense network is already in place, because it has long been used for power generation and heating, so it can be more easily extended with refueling stations for the transportation sector
    2. ammonia, for which a mature transportation and distribution network also exists, because its has been used widely as a fertilizer since the early 20th century
    3. methanol, which is very, very easy to transport and distribute, because it is already liquid at standard temperature and pressure conditions (25C, 1atm)


    So right now, the most realistic options for transporting and distributing hydrogen are
    1. through the existing pipelines for natural gas, as a component of natural gas-hydrogen mixture
    2. through some indirect chemical storage medium, such as ammonia(NH3) or methanol(CH3OH)


    This is why I think this project in Germany is very interesting, as it will probably help expand the nascent hydrogen transportation an distribution infrastructure (hopefully).

    Incidentally, the Japanese, who seem to have put their money on hydrogen as the pathway to energy security and decarbonization of their economy, are really hooked into the idea of using ammonia as fuel, either in internal combustion engines or fuel cells, for precisely these reasons. The challenge regarding ICEs is that ammonia has terrible combustion properties (very low reactivity, high NOx emissions, high unburned NH3 emissions etc), so at the very least it must be used as part of a blend with hydrogen or some carbon-based fuel and then, the optimal combustion mode and injection type is not clear, so they are very far away from the point of commercial viability. I am not sure what the particular challenge with using ammonia in fuel cell vehicles is, if any, maybe the standard problems that plague fuel cells.

    PS. I copied the attached graph on comparison of energy densities of various technologies from a Japanese guy's paper and print it here without permission, don't report me guys!
    This is a good read, but I have some points to add.

    1. Production is part of the equation for why Hydrogen is expensive, but it doesn't account for most of it. Currently, electrolysis leads to about 30% energy loss in the final product. However, the price difference between electricity and hydrogen for "fuel-ups" is between 5x-15x. A mere 30% difference in production energy loss doesn't even come close to accounting for that difference.
    2. Production and distribution can be decentralized, by building hydrogen production into gas stations. It's already been done before and it's not a "dead end". Technology and further incentives are needed to make this economical.
    3. We don't actually need pipelines if our only objective is to replace cars. Electrification and infrastructure building in urban centers has a lot of benefits other than reducing our carbon footprint.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    Keep in mind that people are looking into ultra high capacity capicitors, something with nano carbon fiber structures, which some people speculate could have a potential to have a much greater capacity than today's battery by an order of magnitude. So you could have a 1000 mile range on a charge. And these capacitors could be charged much faster than batteries. While they are just theoretical right now, if they could be made to work, they would make fuel cells even less attractive. But it is all just theory now, and there are some major hurdles to overcome. For example, if you could store that much power and they had a mechanical failure and discharged all at once, they could explode like bomb, so safety could be an issue. And we are years from building any of these super capacitors, even if they prove feasible.
    Someday. Currently the most powerful capacitors are clear losers in energy density. Where they win is power. They are ideal for accelerating a car, for example. Improvements in capacitors will complement batteries, rather than replace them. Imo.

    While for personal vehicles technology currently favors battery vehicles, hydrogen's a fuel cell vehicles might find a niche role for things like trains or trucks to replace diesels. Using batteries doesn't seem practical for large trucks or trains, and to make fuel cells practical for those applications you would not need as many hydrogen fueling stations as would be required for private vehicles.

    One advantage that fuel cell vehicles have is that for some people, battery vehicles will never be a practical option. If you don't have a your own garage or carport to park your vehicle in, an electric car will not be a practical choice. No one is going to drive to a public charging station to spend a couple hours every day or every couple days charging their cars, and many people don't have garages or carports to park their cars, but park them on the street. People who live in apartments, who only have a one car garage but multiple cars.
    It's ultimately whether your lifestyle matches or not. My and my significant other have two cars. Charging them in a garage overnight isn't really an incovenience. I also keep cars inside the garage, which isn't really something all Americans do, to be fair. I also like to roadtrip, something EVs struggle with. Though the Tesla supercharger network has come a long way in that regard. But yes, I think your criticism is on point here. Electric vehicles don't necessarily work everyone right now. Hence why they are still a niche market.

    I read about people setting g up a service where they will drive to your location with s fuel tank truck and fill up your vehicle for a fee. I imagind they could do the same for hydrogen vehicles, which would save you the hassle of having to save the hassle of having to drive to the few existing hydrogen filling stations. This would especially work if you had a fleet of vehicles running off hydrogen.
    It's honestly just better to go to a gas/hydrogen station imo. Some parts of California have a decent network.

    Another option is that there are fuel cells that can be designed to run off a variety of fuels, not just hydrogen. They work by having onbard system which remove the hydrogen from the fuel, so you can use a fuel that is more widely available. They do produce some CO2 gas, and are even more expensive than standard fuel cells, but you don't have to wait until the hydrogen infrastructure is built to use them, and they could be converted to use hydrogen once it is available. Even if you run them off s fossil fuel, because of a fuel cell's greater efficiency, the over all CO2 produced would be less than with an internal combustion engine.
    It's ultimately down to economics. We can build all kinds of wonderful machines, but what we really need is a technology that's scalable across all price points without significantly sacrificing on other aspects of the car.

    Why buy a used Nissan Leaf when you can buy a Kia Soul? Why buy a Tesla 3 instead of an Audi A4? A Chevy Bolt over a Honda Accord?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    I came across this website on the cost of hydrogen. Hydrogen currently cost around $13.99/kg, which is equivalent to a cost of $5.60/gallon in gasoline, when when factor in the the greater efficiency of fuel cells. https://cafcp.org/content/cost-refil...%20per%20mile.

    The site thinks the cost of hydrogen could eventually come down to $8/kg**, which would be the equivalent to $3.20/gal, but is still significantly more than the cost of average current cost of gas, which is around $2.62/gal. But in some states the price of gas is higher, California it is $3.60/gal and New York $2.82/gal. And that does not even take into account the greater cost of the fuel cell itself.

    https://gasprices.aaa.com/

    https://gasprices.aaa.com/state-gas-price-averages/


    Currently, the Toyota hydrogen fuel cell car Mirai starts around $58,500 and the other fuel cell cars cost around the same, significantly more than something like the EV Chevy Bolt, which starts around $36,000 or the Model 3. An equivalent gas powered car could be half the cost. While at best, the hydrogen car wouldn't be much cheaper, if any to run even in a good case, today's electric cars are significantly cheaper than a gas powered car to operate. A Chevy Bolt has 60 kw-hr battery and a 238 mile range, and at an US average electric cost of $0.133/kw-hr, the cost annual cost for energy would be around $502 for driving 15,000 miles, while the average cost for a 30 mpg gas car driving 15,000 miles would be $1,350 for gas at $2.70/gallon. (In some places, electric cost are higher, California and New York both are around 18-19 cents per kw-hr*).

    *I correct some of the values with a later estimate of electric cost by the state https://www.chooseenergy.com/electri...ates-by-state/


    PS - The energy by electrolysis to convert water to hydrogen, is around 50 - 55 kw-hr/kg when you take into account the efficiency of the process. That works out to around $7/kg of hydrogen for just the cost of the electricity at average electric rate of $133/kg, and does not take into the cost of compressing the hydrogen or storing it or transporting it. While off peak electric cost might be somewhat lower, it won't be that much lower, the cost of electricity alone will make hydrogen cost per kg significantly more than gasoline cost per gallon. There doesn't seem any dramatic method to significantly lower the cost of making hydrogen to below maybe that of $8/kg, even if you increase demand greatly.

    Bottom line - hydrogen fuel cells might be competitive for commercial vehicles, where higher initial cost might not be as much a problem if offset by lower maintenance cost and other considerations, but for personal vehicles, it doesn't seem like hydrogen fuel cells are the way to go. Having extended range hybrids, capable of driving most of the time under electric load, but also capable using gas engines to extend their range like the Chevy Volt. If 2/3 of your driving was done under battery only mode, significant CO2 savings would result, and the initial cost might still be lower than a fuel cell vehicle.
    Last edited by Common Soldier; August 17, 2019 at 03:42 PM.

  17. #17
    Carmen Sylva's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    Hamburg wants to build the biggest hydrogen electrolysis plant:

    Energy transition

    Hamburg plans the world's largest hydrogen electrolysis plant

    Hydrogen from green electricity could become a central building block to make the economy climate-neutral.

    Hamburg now wants to get a globally unique facility in the harbor.

    In the Port of Hamburg, the world's largest hydrogen electrolysis plant with a capacity of 100 megawatts is to be built.

    Talks with potential customers and investors are already well advanced; this year, the final decision on the construction of the plant should fall, said the Hamburg Economic Senator Michael Westhagemann (non-party).

    Background for the Senator's advance are the problems in the energy transition, which suffers from lack of storage for electricity. Hydrogen could be a solution for that. If solar and wind power plants produce more electricity than is needed, the surplus energy can be used to break down water into oxygen and hydrogen.

    The hydrogen then serves as a chemical energy storage. At the same time it can be used as fuel. (Read more here.) The gas could also be used in the production of basic materials; Not far from the port, large factories for steel, aluminum and copper are working in Hamburg.
    A 100-megawatt electrolysis to produce hydrogen would be a new technical dimension. At most, the largest plants to date will provide ten megawatts, usually less. According to the plant manufacturer Siemens, such electrolysis would produce about two tons of hydrogen per hour. With this hourly production, a car could drive 200,000 kilometers, a truck 25,000 kilometers. The plant in the Port of Hamburg should be modular, so can be expanded piece by piece.
    A lighthouse for Hamburg

    "I want to see such a lighthouse here in Hamburg and in northern Germany," said Senator Westhagemann. The construction of the plant would cost a three-digit million amount and should be made possible by grants from the federal government and the EU. Hamburg wants to provide the necessary space.

    Especially in the north German states, but also in the Netherlands, there are increasing initiatives that rely on hydrogen as an essential energy source of the future. A common hydrogen strategy of the Northern countries is in the works.

    Hydrogen could be regenerated with offshore wind power at sea or on land and then stored or used immediately. This could make more efficient use of the electricity generated on the North Sea.

    100 percent green electricity by 2035

    "In order to achieve the climate goals, we must decarbonise all sectors of the economy, that is, do without fossil fuels," said Westhagemann. This applies to traffic and mobility as well as to industry and buildings.

    The Port of Hamburg is an ideal location for a large electrolysis. At the moment, hydrogen is still expensive, but politics can send out a message that it is behind the technology and massively investing. With larger quantities, hydrogen will also become more economical.

    Already in the project Norddeutsche Energiewende (NEW 4.0), Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein are working together with partners from science and industry on the goal of providing the entire region with 100% renewable electricity by 2035. The German government also announced a hydrogen strategy by the end of the year.

    https://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/...a-1285352.html
    Proud Non-Citizen / My Mods


  18. #18

    Default Re: Hydrogen-powered trains replace diesel-powered trains on not electrified tracks in Hessia, Germany

    For Germany, hydrogen fuel might make sense depending. The cost of gasoline in Germany as of September 2, 2019 was around $5.18 a gallon, versusthr aveverage US cost in September 8 2019 was $2.56/gal. Germany had the highest electric cost (with Denmark) Europe, around $0.30 per kw-hr, while the average US electric cost was around 14¢ per kw-hr, although some locations like California were significantly higher, around 20¢ per kw-hr.

    If Germany could ever get to the point where its electricity by renewable sources is more than can be used any consumer demand (too much electricity produced when not needed), then it might make sense to use to make hydrogen. The relative cost penalty for using hydrogen versus gasoline is significantly less in Germany than in the US, making hydrogen relatively more attractive.

    Also, given the high cost of electricity in Germany, electric cars would be less attractive, although the same off peak ectricity could be used to charge electric cars at a discount, but if other methods are used to produced hydrogen than electric, hydrogen cars in Germany might look more attractive than electric cars. In the US, the relatively low price of electricity and gas favors electric cars over hydrogen powdered cars. The low price of gas means the price disadvantage of hydrogen cars to gasoline cars is increased.

    In contrast, in turns of operating costin the US today the electric car is cheaper than gasoline, but electric cars have a much higher initial cost which make them over all less cost effective strictly from a cost perspective. For a single car family, the electric car is limited, but for a 2 car family, common for most couples, the limitations in range is less a issue if only car is electric ofnthr 2.

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