Bartholomy HydrogenFuelCell Vehicles


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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles: 

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Mike Bartholomy 4/27/2006 – Energy Law

Very Relevant Topic: 

Very Relevant Topic The topic of alternative fuel vehicles is especially relevant given the events of the last few weeks As gas prices continue to rise this summer we’ll likely see this topic get more and more attention

Why Relevant?: 

Why Relevant? Gas prices/Oil Market Oil currently around $73/barrel Projections have oil hitting $90/barrel this summer $4/gallon this summer? What about in 2010? How long will oil be around? What about easy to get to oil? Is it already gone? Environment Bush’s April 25th “Plan”

Alternate Fuel Vehicles: 

Alternate Fuel Vehicles Hybrids Here now, but still require gas Ethanol/E85 Pushed by GM More expensive, just as dirty?

Alternative Fuel Vehicles: 

Alternative Fuel Vehicles Internal Combustion Hydrogen Slightly modified form of internal combustion engine Burns hydrogen, produces pure water exhaust Serious range problems BMW has broken several speed records for hydrogen cars and is banking on cars that can run successfully on both gas and hydrogen

Hydrogen Fuel Cells: 

Hydrogen Fuel Cells “An old idea whose time has come” Fuel cells invented in 1838 by Swiss scientist Christian Friedrich Schönbein Aspects of engines as well as batteries No pollution emitted PEM FCs ideal for light-duty vehicles, buildings & much smaller applications

Hydrogen Fuel Cells: 

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Fuel cells are similar to batteries, but designed for continuous replenishment of energy via external fuel Many different types of fuel cells, most common will likely be the PEM FC Hydrogen and oxygen in, water vapor and liquid water out Typical output is about .8 volts

Storage & Efficiency: 

Storage & Efficiency Two storage options Produce the hydrogen on the ground and then store it onboard the vehicle (the direct hydrogen option) Produce the hydrogen on the vehicle by means of a tiny onboard hydrogen plant (the onboard fuel processor option) Hydrogen FC’s 2 times as efficient as internal combustion Internal combustion efficiency – 15-25% Hydrogen FC’s – 50-60% Estimates that FC Vehicles can achieve equivalent of 80 miles/gallon gasoline.

Fuel Cell Stacks: 

Fuel Cell Stacks In order to produce enough voltage, cells are grouped into stacks A hydrogen fuel cell automobile would have at least 45 cells in a stack Hydrogen is stored and injected in either liquid or gas form Many cells, but only output is still liquid and vapor water

Applications of Fuel Cell Technology: 

Applications of Fuel Cell Technology Cars Buses Space Travel & Exploration Airplanes Submarines Off-grid Power Supply Combined Heat & Power

Fuel Cell Vehicles: 

Fuel Cell Vehicles Being pushed by car companies themselves DaimlerChrysler – Several test cars in Japan and Singapore; UPS vans in 2003-04 in U.S. Ford – 40-60 vehicles in Germany, Canada, California; widespread production by 2010 GM – wants to be first company to sell 1M FCV profitably; started with fuel cell backup systems in 2005. Prototype is Hy-wire Also Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai, VW, Mazda, others have FCV prototypes on the road Severing connection with gas prices?

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Issues : 

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Issues Storage is complicated Limited range Expensive fuel Still a fossil fuel? Energy carrier, not energy source *Infrastructure*

Hydrogen Sources: 

Hydrogen Sources

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Infrastructure: 

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Infrastructure Hydrogen Production Almost all of the hydrogen produced in the U.S. today is by steam reforming of natural gas Produce hydrogen directly from new nuclear power reactors? R&D into several new methods: Biological Water Splitting Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Reforming of Biomass and Wastes Solar Thermal Water Splitting Renewable Electrolysis

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Infrastructure: 

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Infrastructure The Hydrogen Highway World’s first hydrogen refueling station opened in Iceland in 2003 California & Florida have both approved funding BC Hydrogen Highway will link Vancouver & Whistler by start of 2010 Winter Olympic Games


Environment Why we are pursuing Hydrogen FCVs(?) Emissions free There are costs associated with environmental damage


Economics Current projections – several times the price of standard cars Flexibility of oil industry Manipulation of supply to keep oil just cheap enough At what point does it become worthwhile to consumers? Cost of gas + environmental costs + dependency costs (political, militarily, social) > Cost of fuel cell cars + hydrogen fuel???


Economics Only 2 ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil Increase production Decrease demand The push for hydrogen fuel cell technology in cars represents the second


Politics Obvious connection between current administration and oil companies and certain oil producing companies Some criticize a FCV push as a cynical ploy But…2006 State of the Union Address Also, the 2003 Address

Legal Environment: 

Legal Environment Energy Policy Act of 2005 §§ 721-723: Advanced Vehicles Demonstration & Pilot Program § 743 – Fuel Cell School Buses § 773 – Study of Reducing Use of Fuel for Automobiles § 782 – Federal & State Procurement of FCVs and Hydrogen Energy Systems § 1341 – Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit & Fuel Cell Motor Vehicle Credit § 1342 – Alternative Fuel Cell Infrastructure Tax Credit § 1825 – Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Technology Study

Other Statutes: 

Other Statutes Clean Air Act – 1990 Amendments § 211 – Emission Standards for Moving Sources § § 241-250 – Clean Fuel Vehicles Many other federal incentive programs, including IRS tax breaks for FCV purchasers State Incentives & Regulations E.g. California: 15 different incentive programs for AFVs Hydrogen Energy Plan CA Hydrogen Highway Network Network of hydrogen refueling stations, safety standards, commercial availability by 2010

So Where Are We At?: 

So Where Are We At? Hydrogen is only type of energy that can provide a wholesale substitute for foreign oil within a decade Clean, twice as efficient as internal combustion, and plentiful But like manned space flight in early 60s, hydrogen fuel cells are proven but primitive Do we need a 10 year goal ala Kennedy? Currently several times (10x?) more expensive


Recommendation We should aggressively pursue hydrogen fuel cell vehicles There are definite issues, but nothing compared to the economic, political and environmental issues associated with being wholly dependent on oil. A Kennedy-type goal, combined with gas prices continuing to rise at the current rate could get us there by 2010-15, possibly even sooner. Americans will need to look beyond the sticker price

Major Sources: 

Major Sources National Renewable Energy Laboratory DoE Alternative Fuels Data Center Hydrogen Fuel Cell Realm Wired Magazine – How Hydrogen Can Save America Bosselman et al., Energy, Economics and the Environment, Wikipedia

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