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Continental: Hydrogen Revolution

  • 16-08-2019 12:02pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,007 ✭✭✭ fricatus


    Some recent headlines:

    https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-news/forget-going-battery-electric-says-continental-the-real-future-is-in-the-hydrogen-revolution-38401463.html

    https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/107297/hydrogen-cars-will-overtake-electric-cars-expert-claims

    Does anyone really still believe that hydrogen is the next big thing? Fair enough if you were thinking it in 2005, but these days, with EVs that can do 400km+, and charging infrastructure rapidly improving, surely the evidence is mounting that hydrogen is a zombie technology, for passenger cars at any rate? I saw a video in the past couple of days (Transport Evolved I think) reporting that the Toyota Mirai is being heavily discounted when it comes off lease, and that's before you take into account a free-fuel scheme that they're offering.

    I overheard a lad a few weeks ago telling everyone that hydrogen was the future, because there was no EV that could do Dublin-Cork and back (on one charge presumably). This guy I know to be intelligent, and we can excuse him because ultimately he's just a layman talking casually in a pub about something he doesn't know much about, based on stuff he's read somewhere.

    However this headline comes from someone working in a senior position in an automotive company though - seriously? You'd say something if he had skin in the game, but as I understand it, what Continental make their money from is not tied to any particular fuel source.

    Thoughts?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,390 ✭✭✭ Old diesel


    fricatus wrote: »
    Some recent headlines:

    https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-news/forget-going-battery-electric-says-continental-the-real-future-is-in-the-hydrogen-revolution-38401463.html

    https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/107297/hydrogen-cars-will-overtake-electric-cars-expert-claims

    Does anyone really still believe that hydrogen is the next big thing? Fair enough if you were thinking it in 2005, but these days, with EVs that can do 400km+, and charging infrastructure rapidly improving, surely the evidence is mounting that hydrogen is a zombie technology, for passenger cars at any rate? I saw a video in the past couple of days (Transport Evolved I think) reporting that the Toyota Mirai is being heavily discounted when it comes off lease, and that's before you take into account a free-fuel scheme that they're offering.

    I overheard a lad a few weeks ago telling everyone that hydrogen was the future, because there was no EV that could do Dublin-Cork and back (on one charge presumably). This guy I know to be intelligent, and we can excuse him because ultimately he's just a layman talking casually in a pub about something he doesn't know much about, based on stuff he's read somewhere.

    However this headline comes from someone working in a senior position in an automotive company though - seriously? You'd say something if he had skin in the game, but as I understand it, what Continental make their money from is not tied to any particular fuel source.

    Thoughts?

    I'm looking forward to what anti EV folk who reckon Hydrogen is "the way forward" will say when.......

    1) they have to drive 20 minutes to the one hydrogen station in the area. While their EV owner friend had her lunch while the car charged unattended.

    2) when someone asks why the "40 mins" of time they couldnt wait was worth twice the price of the car .

    3) when technical issues mean the refueling depot can't open today - and you haven't enough hydrogen to get you many miles to the next station. Meanwhile when their friend driving her EV found a charger at the charge hub didn't work - she just backed up to the charger next to the broken one and continued.

    4) when they realise a Model 3 is much better then a Mirai and they are missing out BIG.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    My thoughts are exactly the same as your, Fricatus. I was surprised when I read that article. He does mention long range passenger vehicles and trucks, but I think the current thinking has already gone past that too.

    In the future we will produce far more electricity from renewables than we can use at times. Preferably we will swap this with other regions via interconnectors when they have a shortage and vice versa. If we still have overproduction, we can use it to make hydrogen. This can be stored and then be used to generate eletricity when we have a shortage from our renewables / peak times, until batteries for grid storage become far cheaper than they are now

    I can see applications for hydrogen in transport, but only for ships really.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,992 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Passengers vehicles = EV
    Haulage/buses/ships = Hydrogen

    All the talk of the emissions from our durty diesels when a single cruise liner absolutely obliterates passenger vehicle emissions


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,862 ✭✭✭✭ ELM327


    Hydrogen has some uses for large trucks that can refill at a depot, same as they do now for buses and trucks.
    Once there's enough range on hydrogen. I think the most likely would be a PHEV , but a hybrid of electric and hydrogen to allow recharging if outside the range.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    slave1 wrote: »
    Haulage/buses/ships = Hydrogen

    We will have to see, but if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on just ships. Haulage and buses will be BEV.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,507 ✭✭✭✭ Lumen


    Ships could be nuclear. Already done with aircraft carriers and submarines.

    CO2e of a long distance car ferry is insane.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,502 ✭✭✭ macnab


    It's just yet another stall tactic to make consumers second quess their decision to buy EVs. The Automotive industry is struggling to catch up with the likes of Tesla. They are spreading Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD, to borrow a phrase from the Crypto world)


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,348 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    Speaking of nuclear and ot did anyone hear about the Nuclear powered rocket that exploded on the Russiand causing an evacuation of a small town ? and killing scientists .

    Anyway, people talk about hydrogen without realising where it comes from, they talk about it as if it comes from nature and is just extracted from the air !

    The issues of inefficiency, storage and being able to pump it into cars at such high pressures is still unresolved + it takes about 15 mins if I'm not mistaking to fill up on hydrogen and longer at lower pumping pressure.

    I can maybe see a future for hydrogen for HGV, planes, Ships etc but the issues remain , no clean way to make it and it takes far more energy to make hydrogen and also to liquefy it for transportation, that means cooling to -270 odd degrees, so hydrogen is remarkably inefficient.

    Some day we might wake up to the fact that Nuclear energy "will" be the future because our energy needs are growing considerably and you can't replace fossil fuels with renewables , just not going to happen. Renewables will play a part but won't be the main provider of energy in the future. The explosion of data centres , 100+ mega watt facilities for some of the larger ones here in Ireland alone + there's a lot of energy in petrol/diesel, heating oil and gas , how are we going to replace this ? wind and solar ? no chance, it will be Nuclear !

    Fuel cells also don't last forever and they can't give out as much power as pure BEV at this time.

    A fuel cell backup for electrics would be handy though, I love the Rex in the i3, it's just incredibly convenient !


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,348 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    In Germany they have so much solar they can't use at the times they want to use it the Greens want to use it to make Hydrogen, that's fine and all that but the energy would be vastly more efficiently used to charge electric cars.

    But do you think I could get someone who works for the German Green party in Heidelberg to actually get that through their heads ? no, they just think power to gas , as they call it, is the best thing ever.

    They'd be far better off getting their fleet of filthy VW diesels off German streets.

    The mentality of the liberal Green is astonishing , no matter what, they're right !


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,992 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Mad_Lad wrote: »
    Speaking of nuclear and ot did anyone hear about the Nuclear powered rocket that exploded on the Russiand causing an evacuation of a small town ? and killing scientists .

    Anyway, people talk about hydrogen without realising where it comes from, they talk about it as if it comes from nature and is just extracted from the air !

    Forgive my ignorance but is Plutonium not synthesised in a particle accelerator, bit tougher than Hydrogen


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,757 ✭✭✭ ianobrien


    I better preface this by saying that I'm a petrol head. I'm involved in rallying, I've vintage cars (breathing through a grand big Webber) and there are four diesel vehicles in the yard at home. One could be replaced now or in the near future by a BEV, one by plug in hybrid but two can't. One weighs 3tonne empty (3.5tonne loaded) and could have to travel 800km a day, the other could have 4.25tonnes to haul.

    While I realise that battery technology and motor efficiency is improving all the time, I do think there will be a limiting factor of the supply of the metals needed to make the battery. BEV and hybrid have their place alright (small journeys, cars, etc) but hydrogen will have their place. I'd also be concerned about the environmental damage from the mining of the rare earth elements needed for the batteries.

    I think that hydrogen will take off when they go for hydrogen generation in the vehicle on demand, rather than large scale generation and storage. I've read papers where they are examing and trialling hydrogen generation in the vehicle using acid dropping on sodium/potassium.

    Oh, I also reckon that if EV does take off, we will need to look at going nuclear. Peat generation is tailing off, coal, oil & gas are dirty. We can't really build more hydro, wind encounters too many NIMBY due to the number of turbines needed. There are interesting developments in nuclear in the pipeline with much smaller test reactors, etc coming in the near future


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    ianobrien wrote: »
    wind encounters too many NIMBY due to the number of turbines needed.

    Not when you place them in the Atlantic ocean many miles away from the shore. The future for Ireland is mainly wind and interconnected to other countries that can make a surplus of other electricity cheaply for the times that we make too much or too little. Like solar PV from Spain, hydro from Norway, nuclear from France, etc.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 21,348 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    slave1 wrote: »
    Forgive my ignorance but is Plutonium not synthesised in a particle accelerator, bit tougher than Hydrogen

    No idea, why are you asking ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,348 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    I've no real issue with fuel cells but I do like the idea electricity is cheap compared to petrol or diesel, Hydrogen is not cheap and it can easily be taxed and you won't be able to put solar on the roof to charge it and we'll be back at the mercy of greedy energy companies.

    While yes, batteries need raw minerals but batteries for consumer devices which makes up the majority of battery sales comes from much dirtier mining companies with child labour.

    Petrol, diesel needs to be found, drilled out of the ground, transported to refineries which consume a lot of energy.

    batteries are getting better and Lithium Air should greatly cut down the need for raw minerals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,757 ✭✭✭ ianobrien


    unkel wrote: »
    Not when you place them in the Atlantic ocean many miles away from the shore. The future for Ireland is mainly wind and interconnected to other countries that can make a surplus of other electricity cheaply for the times that we make too much or too little. Like solar PV from Spain, hydro from Norway, nuclear from France, etc.

    Unfortunately, putting them in the Atlantic isn't going to work. The water is too deep and winter storms too strong for them to be built. Yes if built on sheltered banks (eg Arklow Bank) but image if you was built off Mizen Head. How long would it last?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    ianobrien wrote: »
    Unfortunately, putting them in the Atlantic isn't going to work. The water is too deep and winter storms too strong for them to be built.

    Link?

    In Scotland they have a floating off shore windfarm 25km away from the coast which performs very well and had no problem with the latest mega storms

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,757 ✭✭✭ ianobrien


    unkel wrote: »
    Link?

    In Scotland they have a floating off shore windfarm 25km away from the coast which performs very well and had no problem with the latest mega storms

    Ya the windfarm is off Peterhead, off the east coast protected from the Atlantic by Scotland. As for depths, have a look at any marine map


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,757 ✭✭✭ ianobrien


    slave1 wrote: »
    Forgive my ignorance but is Plutonium not synthesised in a particle accelerator, bit tougher than Hydrogen

    Nope, made in a nuclear reactor by bombarding Uranium with neutrons.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,546 ✭✭✭ Thea Tasteless Socket


    Lad.....stop being stupid the future is Mr. Fusion

    DeLorean_DMC-12_Time_Machine_-_Mr._Fusion.jpg


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    ianobrien wrote: »
    Ya the windfarm is off Peterhead, off the east coast protected from the Atlantic by Scotland.

    Well, in the Irish sea then if the Atlantic is a problem. Plenty of space in the Irish sea if you check out how many windfarms there are already in the much busier North sea!

    The offshore windfarms will have to produce more electricity than we (will) consume though, so this is going to cost many billions, no doubt about it.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,390 ✭✭✭ Old diesel


    unkel wrote: »
    Well, in the Irish sea then if the Atlantic is a problem. Plenty of space in the Irish sea if you check out how many windfarms there are already in the much busier North sea!

    The offshore windfarms will have to produce more electricity than we (will) consume though, so this is going to cost many billions, no doubt about it.

    Apparently a floating wind turbine is going to be tested off Co Mayo.

    Manufacturers reckon the Atlantic is a good spot to test design etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,716 ✭✭✭ Silent Running


    What ever happened to wave power generation? IIRC they were testing floating and submerged wave generators about 20 years ago. Did it not work out?

    As an Island in the Atlantic ocean, we should be in an ideal position to harvest some of the power of the sea around us. We have many tidal inlets that could capture the power of the tide. This would be a renewable that would be totally predictable: the tide always flows.

    I wonder if we have done enough research into the renewable options around us.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    What ever happened to wave power generation?

    Hasn't worked out commercially so far unfortunately

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,942 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    Mad_Lad wrote: »
    I've no real issue with fuel cells but I do like the idea electricity is cheap compared to petrol or diesel, Hydrogen is not cheap and it can easily be taxed and you won't be able to put solar on the roof to charge it and we'll be back at the mercy of greedy energy companies.

    They will just start charging for road usage instead of taxing the fuel for your vehicle. Which will be worse because it will be "demand" based so you will be paying a fortune to drive regardless of how your vehicle is propelled.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,901 ✭✭✭✭ Johnboy1951


    There has been a lot of work done on the use of hydrogen as a fuel source in the past couple of years.

    Recently, in the UK I read about a six seater plane flying a test flight using hydrogen as fuel source.

    Japan apparently has cars using hydrogen and have solved the in car storage problem, or so I am led to believe.

    I would not write off hydrogen yet.

    If we can get sufficient energy from renewables (wind, wave etc) we can use that power during off peak times to generate green hydrogen and store it for distribution and use in road vehicles amongst other uses.

    There appears to be work progressing with an end view of 200+ passenger planes, with a range of ~3,000 miles achieved within a few decades.

    In a much shorter time it is hoped to have hydrogen fuelled aeroplanes servicing internal/shorter routes.

    UK, Germany and other countries are investing billions of euros in hydrogen so I fully expect further progress in the coming years.

    Hydrogen generation during off peak renewable energy seems to be a reasonable means of storing that energy, for use in trains, planes and large road vehicles ..... and just maybe in cars too, who know?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    But the fuel to make hydrogen would have to be virtually free ... And not just at peak times ,the capital costs of building the hydrogen plants and compressors is gonna be high .
    Funnily enough as evs ,home batterys and grid level storage improve there'll be less peaks and troughs in the supply so less cheap electricity to consider making into hydrogen

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    But the fuel to make hydrogen would have to be virtually free ... And not just at peak times ,the capital costs of building the hydrogen plants and compressors is gonna be high .
    Funnily enough as evs ,home batterys and grid level storage improve there'll be less peaks and troughs in the supply so less cheap electricity to consider making into hydrogen

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 21,348 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    I've been saying it for a while here that Hydrogen is the only practical solution for HGV, Ships, Planes, Trains etc.

    For trains though there's no reason we can't improve our rail and upgrading our single track network to double for the busier routes and there is no reason we can't electrify our rail network on a small Island.

    Anyway for cars the fuel cell could be like the Rex in the i3, come on when you need it and no need to wait to charge and think about the benefits for those with no home charging ? they would rely only on hydrogen, the Government here still haven't thought about charging for People renting, Apartment owners etc.

    The U.K are building a new Nuclear Plant with I think another planned, and I'm still betting on Nuclear becoming much more Popular in the future as our demand for electricity explodes. Ireland will have to wake up to this fact eventually. New nuclear tech is quite safe and if the reactor that Bill Gates company is working on ( forget the name ) becomes a success then this will change the world forever but it's by no means the only Nuclear technology that is been researched. The advantages to new nuclear technology are tremendous and no need to turn green fields black with Solar farms, I've seen some in Germany from height and it's not a pretty sight! Build Nuclear and plant forest on the fields, real trees not spruce we plant here, dirt.

    One thing for certain is that rather than beg for extensions on current ancient reactors it's far better to build new ones, some of the Chernobyl type reactors are still in production......

    Eirgrid announced a few months ago that they have warned the Government that they must accept that if we are going to provide power in I think they said in as little as 5 years without blackouts, if I remember correctly that they must allow a new Gas Generation plant to be built.

    But we have a lot of potential to install solar PV on every roof in Ireland with a feed-in-tariff.

    Imagine all the Hydrogen that could be created with Nuclear ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    The only reason that electrifying our mainline is of dubious value is lack of use ... The busiest mainline route is cork Dublin , 1 train and hour each way ... Hardly a crowded line ... So if hydrogen works for it ,it could be billions cheaper , hell a natural gas powered turbine could work fine ...

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    The only reason that electrifying our mainline is of dubious value is lack of use ... The busiest mainline route is cork Dublin , 1 train and hour each way ... Hardly a crowded line ... So if hydrogen works for it ,it could be billions cheaper , hell a natural gas powered turbine could work fine ...

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



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