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Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) Message Board

  • battery_90500 battery_90500 Apr 11, 2000 6:43 AM Flag

    next generation of NiMH

    batteries,
    based on
    magnesium...

    http://www.ovonic.com/news/Oct9_1997.html

    Anybony heard anything from this project, lately ?

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    • Good Article about BP and Greenpeace.
      http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/000413/j7.html

    • There is a VERY interesting March 13 article at


      http://www.thecarconnection.com/

      (type Stempel in the search window, and then choose the
      "Solid" article)

      For one thing, the reporter
      quotes Stempel about the cost targets for the H2 storage
      system for autos:

      "For this to be practical, we
      would have to keep the cost to $1500" for the entire
      fuel storage system, estimated Stempel. A former
      chairman of General Motors Corp., he joined ECD several
      years ago to help the research firm commercialize its
      technology.

      For another, Stempel talks about using ECD's hydrides
      for ocean transport as well as road "tanker"
      transport!! Perhaps the cost and bulk of cryogenic storage
      outweighs (hehehe) the costs of the long-lived, fairly
      cheap Magnesium Hydride material (2000 H2 recharges,
      and then the Magnesium can be
      re-claimed).

      Ignore what the author says about the
      nickel/chromium/vanadium hydride material, however. This is apparently an
      error. I think the material on Stempel's desk is for
      some other use than the new H2 tanks -- or there is
      some other confusion involved.

    • It�s noteworthy that GM recently unveiled a fuel
      cell-powered version of its
      Precept PNGV vehicle touting
      500-mile range using solid hydrogen storage.

      ECD
      currently has prototype cylinders that are the size of
      propane tanks used for a hand-held torch. It
      is
      preparing prototypes for various automakers to verify the
      company�s claims and plans to scale up
      production from
      there.

      "We are convinced this is the way to store
      hydrogen safely on board," Stempel adds. "In fact the
      tests
      have already been run on this technology because
      of our battery. It has been pierced, dropped in
      water,
      dropped from three feet and exposed to fire, but
      as a hydrogen electron it just sits there quite
      safely.
      This is not black magic, it�s good
      science."

      Further endorsing Stempel�s claims, Shell Oil
      recently formed a joint venture with ECD to further

      develop the storage method and supporting infrastructure.
      �Gerry Kobe

    • From the March issue of Automotive Industries
      magazine. The actual article provides a pictorial of ECD's
      proposed hydrogen storage system. This article can be
      found on AI's website ai-online.com (click on
      magazine). The title of the article is "Fuel Cell
      Enabler"

      Sorry for the format, it doesn't copy and paste well.
      You may prefer reading it at their
      website.

      2000 ENGINE TRENDS

      Fuel Cell Enabler

      A
      new technology may bring practical hydrogen storage
      one step closer to automotive use.

      If there is
      any technology on the horizon with the potential to
      replace the IC engine, it�s fuel cells (see AI June �99).
      Virtually every automaker has a fuel cell program underway,
      and over the past five years, fuel cells have shrunk
      to one-tenth their original size. Energy output has
      risen by a factor of five over the
      same
      period.

      Having gained so much developmental momentum, the
      formidable challenge of hydrogen delivery and storage is now
      being addressed. All fuel cells need hydrogen to
      operate, but a low cost, safe and
      efficient storage
      system has been elusive.

      Until recently, there
      were only two ways of storing pure hydrogen on
      vehicles�as a cryogenic liquid or
      pressurized gas.
      Practical cryogenics however, is a monumental engineering
      task and pressurization is
      bulky, inefficient and
      potentially dangerous.

      Other options include using a
      hydrogen-rich liquid fuel such as gasoline or methanol, teamed
      with an
      on-board reformer to extract the hydrogen.
      While possible, such a system adds substantial cost
      and
      complexity to every vehicle, in addition to
      spoiling its zero-emissions classification. That�s
      because
      reformers create trace emissions from burning
      some of the liquid fuel in order to create the
      heat
      necessary to initiate the chemical reaction. Even
      direct methanol fuel cells�which require no reformer
      or
      stored hydrogen�cannot claim zero
      emissions.

      But recently, Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) of
      Troy, Mich., announced a potential

      breakthrough�solid hydrogen storage. If the name ECD sounds
      familiar, it�s because it is one of the
      parent
      companies of GM Ovonics, patent holder for the nickel metal
      hydride battery. And that
      relationship is important
      since a hydride, by definition, is a solid material
      that stores hydrogen.

      "We use modified hydride
      powder to store the hydrogen electron," says ECD
      chairman Robert
      Stempel. "Our breakthrough is that
      typically you can only store one to two weight-percent of
      hydrogen
      in a hydride material. That is, one to two grams
      of hydrogen for every 100 grams of hydride. But we
      are
      storing seven weight-percent, which is actually
      more efficient than liquid or compressed hydrogen.
      We
      do it by adding a high percentage of magnesium
      and everybody knows magnesium stores hydrogen.
      But
      typically it takes hours to get it back out�we
      resolved that."

      Stempel says fueling might
      typically take place at a gas station that has an
      underground reformer being
      fed by natural gas. The
      hydrogen would be pumped into the car much the same as
      gasoline, filling the
      storage material in less than
      three minutes. A tank for a high efficiency vehicle
      like the PNGV cars would
      be roughly the size of a
      gas tank on today�s mid-size car and only slightly
      heavier than a current tank
      when filled with
      gasoline.

      END OF PART 1

    • I am certain that ECD has a price target, but I
      have no way of knowing what that is. Except that the
      initial prices will be with respect to prototype systems
      provided to such as various auot mfg companies. I would
      guess that such prototype systems would sell for
      several thousand dollars each, at least -- maybe much
      more. Eventually, I see no way that the ECD hydride
      system would not be viable from a cost standpoint.
      Magnesium is not very expensive and the system would last
      for more than the normal life of an auto.

    • Has ENER given any price target for this system installed on a car?

    • I agree that Hydrogen storage per unit volume
      (theoretical, at least) is likely not going to vary by large
      amounts between the various metal hydrides. Due to widely
      varying densities, though, the Hydrogen stored per unit
      mass does vary a lot. And, hydrides have in the past
      been very heavy, resulting in tanks that weighed, for
      6 kg of H2 storage, about 300 kg (about 660 pounds)
      just for the hydride material alone.

      So, when I
      saw the 7% per unit weight figure for ECD's new
      materials, I assumed that they must be based on the
      Magnesium Hydride material ECD has been working on since
      1997. However, there was a news release a while back
      that indicated alloys of several heavy metals were
      used. I think this must have been an error. Perhaps the
      heavy metals involved, if any, are merely
      small-percentage alloying metals used in conjunction with
      Magnesium Hydride.

      The Magnesium Hydride hydrogen
      storage system described at the recent Hydrogen meeting,
      see post 5704, has dimensions and weights as
      follows:

      "ECD displayed for the first time publicly the mockup
      of a hydride storage tank measuring roughly 12 x 28
      by 30 inches for a fuel cell vehicle. Its design
      targets include storage of 6 kg hydrogen for a 300
      miles-plus range, 120 kg systems weight and 120 liters
      volume."

      Six kg of Hydrogen at 7 % by weight means about 86 kg
      of hydride (6 divided by 0.07). This is consistent
      with 120 kg for the weight of the whole system, which
      includes some container weight, plumbing, insulation, etc.
      Then, from the density of Magnesium of 1.7 (roughly
      equal to Magnesium Hydride), the volume of the hydride
      would be about 50 liters. The additional volume is from
      the open spaces inside and between individual
      cylindrical canisters and from the lightweight insulation
      surrounding the system.

      While 6 kg of liquid Hydrogen
      would occupy only about 75 to 80 liters, the cryogenic
      container for this Hydrogen would occupy about the same
      volume or more as ECD's hydride system. But, liquid
      Hydrogen boils off fairly quickly even when stored in
      vacuum "bottles"; and a tank of liquid Hydrogen is
      probably more dangerous than a tank of gasoline (while a
      Hydride tank is much safer than a tank of gasoline).


      We are soon going to hear a lot more about ECD's
      Hydrogen storage system. Particularly since it requires
      less than 2 1/2 minutes to recharge and can recharged
      more than 2000 times. This is a major development!
      And, the new Magnesium Hydride materials will probably
      provide much-improved NiMH batteries as well!

    • Now that may be the problem right there -- HA

    • And I can't make heads or tales of 90% of this stuff (but I'm just crazy about it all:).

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