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Sun Oct 5, 2014, 05:00 PM

Japan: Surplus green energy eyed for fuel-cell cars

The Yomiuri Shimbun 6 October 2014

The Environment Ministry will begin a model project in which surplus electricity generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, will be utilized to produce hydrogen for fuel-cell vehicles.

The ministry aims to maximize the use of green energy, including any surplus power, and spread the use of fuel-cell vehicles. To that end, a plan for hydrogen fueling stations will get a boost....

...To make better use of green energy from Hokkaido and other areas suited for wind or solar power generation, the ministry plans to produce hydrogen using any surplus electricity...

...The plan also offers the benefit of utilizing power from renewable energy sources, which would result in lower carbon dioxide emissions than methods of producing hydrogen from fossil fuels...

Full Article: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001620485

"We have finally developed a car that can change society," Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Related: Motley Fool 6 Oct 2014-
You won't believe how safe Toyota's Hydrogen Car Is

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:05 PM

1. I see about 3 too many energy-wasting steps in that schematic

There, fixed it for ya.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:13 PM

2. You're dumping electrons into a battery

Last edited Mon Oct 6, 2014, 05:10 PM - Edit history (2)

which one day will need to be replaced. A replacement Leaf battery is $5,000 + tax and installation- that's why used Leaf's are priced where they are.

Most people that dump electrons into batteries get those electrons from burning coal. A battery electric car doesn't really help the environment unless the battery is charged with wind or solar.

Hydrogen is a better battery. It doesn't wear out, for one.

Here's an explanation of why your "reasoning" fails:

Charging a battery is a process which converts electrical energy into chemical energy, and discharging it converts that stored chemical energy back to electrical energy. This process is exactly equivalent (in terms of thermodynamic efficiency) to using electricity to make hydrogen, and then later using that hydrogen to make electricity. The fundamental underlying efficiencies of a BEV compared to an FCV are essentially the same.

The ONLY real difference is that using hydrogen and fuel cells it is possible to transport the chemically-stored energy (in the form of hydrogen gas) about the place, store it in a tank, and rapidly re-fuel a vehicle with it. This is not possible with the contents of a charged battery.

Finally, if you need a greater range with a adequately-powered FCV one need only increase the storage capacity ... add another hydrogen tank or two to the car ... which is far, far more easy to do than to increase the battery capacity by an equivalent factor.
Edit: Add source: http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/2cgpsl/vehicle_tech_of_the_near_future_what_are_the/cjfnhux

Batteries are not ecologically friendly. Imagine tons of spent lithium. A Tesla model s 85kW battery weighs >1,300 pounds. That's like driving around four 325 pound people everywhere you go.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:42 PM

4. Most people who dump electrons into electrolysis cells get those electrons from burning coal

Batteries are eminently recyclable and EV size batteries are useful for stationary power storage applications long after they have reached the end of their life as a power source in such a severe operating environment as an EV.

Not to mention that electricity is transported with no moving parts.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 05:06 PM

7. Did you miss the entire point of the article in the OP?

I'm guessing you did.

Something about H2 turns some people's minds into ...uh...something else. It's been a terribly interesting experience watching replies over the last 6 months or so, on this and many other forums.

You can't stop the coming Hydrogen Revolution.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 06:35 PM

9. And some people hate battery EVs so much it turns their minds into uh.. something else

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 02:30 PM

5. Oh man, so much fail packed into one post. Where to start?

First, the Nissan battery is warrantied to 100,000 miles: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1092983_nissan-leaf-battery-cost-5500-for-replacement-with-heat-resistant-chemistry

The replacement Leaf battery packs will be warranted for 8 years/100,000 miles against defects in manufacturing, and 5 years/60,000 against loss of capacity beyond nine out of 12 bars of capacity, or roughly 70 percent of the original energy content.

If you look at the Tesla S, their 85 kWh battery is warrantied for 8 years and UNLIMITED miles, so it doesn't appear that mileage is a major issue anymore during the normal lifespan of an automobile.

Secondly, your post was about Japan having excess electrons from renewables, so it looks like they WOULD be able to charge their car batteries from renewables. Not sure what you were thinking with that argument.

Third, hydrogen fuel cells in automobiles DO have a finite lifespan. They do indeed wear out and need maintanence over time. For example, http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2013/06/28/hydrogen-fuel-cells-now-as-durable-as-conventional-engines/

In England, ACAL Energy’s FlowCath hydrogen fuel cell is the first in the world to break the 10,000hr endurance test without significant degradation in performance. This 10,000hr endurance test is the equivalent of driving 300,000mi, comparable to the best light-weight diesel engines or the 1.8ℓ i4 gasoline engine in my 1989 Toyota Camry.

Note ACAL's endurance breakthrough wasn't had until 2013.

Finally, spent batteries are usually recycled, and this is included in the price you quoted for the replacement of your example Nissan battery pack:

Old batteries turned in during the replacement process will be recycled, Nissan said, or possibly retained for secondary usage--perhaps for building energy storage--by the company's separate 4R Energy business unit.

And even WITH 1300 lb of battery in the vehicle, hydrogen STILL fails in efficiency compared to the Tesla. Joe Romm states it well: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/05/3467115/tesla-toyota-hydrogen-cars-batteries/

For policymakers concerned about global warming, plug-in hybrids hold an edge over another highly touted green vehicle technology — hydrogen fuel cells. Plug-ins would be better at utilizing zero-carbon electricity because the overall hydrogen fueling process is inherently costly and inefficient. Any effective hydrogen economy would require an infrastructure that could use zero-carbon power to electrolyze water into hydrogen, convey this highly diffuse gas long distances, and pump it at high pressure into the car -– all for the purpose of converting the hydrogen back to electricity in a fuel cell to drive electric motor.
The entire process of electrolysis, transportation, pumping and fuel-cell conversion would leave only about 20 to 25 percent of the original zero-carbon electricity to drive the motor. In a plug-in hybrid, the process of electricity transmission, charging an onboard battery and discharging the battery would leave 75 to 80 percent of the original electricity to drive the motor. Thus, a plug-in should be able to travel three to four times farther on a kilowatt-hour of renewable electricity than a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle could.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:42 PM

3. What works for Japan won't work here. Hydrogen is not a key player in transportation in the US.


It will help in terms of storage of intermittent wind generation, have some applications in mobile energy supply, but will never replace the ICE.

Electric vehicles are already here and are more efficient when compared on a level playing field.

Like climate change, the science is in and it's conclusive.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 05:01 PM

6. Absurd.

What works for Japan won't work here.

The exact same kind of crap used to be said about Holland and their Cannabis tolerance.

You think the sun shines differently in Japan than in the US? Laughable.

Guess What: You can't stop the coming Hydrogen Revolution. That's a fact.

Toyota has *barely begun* to market their Hydrogen Electric. Honda hasn't even begun. Mercedes will sell a Hydrogen Car in 2017. Think they aren't going to advertise?

The next 6 months are going to be fun to watch. H2 is here. Get used to it. Or, don't. Who cares.

SunHydro doesn't.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 05:20 PM

8. Yes, I forgot that Japan is exactly like the US, all that coal and nat gas and open space for solar.


And wind.

Silly me, thinking about efficiency and physics and science and facts.

SMUD/BP has a solar H2 Charging station in Sacramento, which proves nothing more than your posts from Toyota and others.

They built one, big whoop.

We'll see in 6 months, 6 years, whatever, which one of us is right.

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