People who are working on next-generation batteries often put lithium-ion down, saying the current technology is too costly, too flammable, or too limited to meet the clean energy and clean transportation demands of the future.
But four years into a five-year effort to develop a better battery at Argonne National Laboratory, one Argonne engineer concedes Li-ion will be tough to beat in the marketplace.
“It’s just going to be incredibly difficult for other battery technologies to catch up with it,” said Kevin Gallagher, an electrochemical engineer, in an appearance this week at the University of Chicago. “I think that’s the lesson that a lot of new battery technologies are learning—definitely.”
Gallagher works for the Argonne-based Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a Department of Energy innovation hub tasked with creating a transformative new battery. Gallagher is the $120 million program’s principle investigator for systems analysis and translation, or as Quartz writer Steve Levine put it, “he calls baloney on future batteries.”
He developed the open-source Battery Performance and Cost model (BatPaC) which evaluates the performance and economics of lithium-ion and next-generation batteries.
Not everyone's hobby is to pick apart scientific papers, but Nathan Myhrvold does just that.
In 2013 the former Microsoft chief technologist published a paper pointing out statistical errors in research about the growth rate of dinosaurs that ultimately led to several journal corrections of a Florida State University paleontologist's papers.
Now Dr. Myhrvold is taking on NASA and stirring controversy.
"He’s a very smart man," Lindley Johnson, who oversees NASA’s planetary defense program, told The New York Times. "But that doesn’t make him an expert in everything."
So what are Myhrvold's grievances?
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer spacecraft has been gathering data on celestial objects from space since 2009, including the heat emissions of asteroids. NEOWISE, an offshoot of the WISE mission, uses that data to calculate the size and reflectivity of asteroids.
This information could help scientists predict which asteroids might slam into Earth and cause massive damage in the future.
But Myhrvold, who analyzes the NEOWISE results in a paper submitted to the journal Icarus and published online ahead of review, says that the WISE and NEOWISE research is filled with errors.
"The bad news is it’s all basically wrong," he told the Times. "Unfortunately for a lot of it, it’s never going to be as accurate as they had hoped."
NASA scientists claim that the WISE and NEOWISE missions can determine the diameter of asteroids within about 10 percent of their actual size. Myhrvold says that, thanks to mistakes along the way, it is much more inaccurate and estimates could be more than 100 percent off.
I always prefer to speculate that there is some kind of tell before an event.
Ballard is pumping the sheet out of social media lately, and even now the old-school website Fuelcellworks. 3 out of the last 7 articles relate to Ballard. They just picked up Ballard's latest 'newsletter' and posted it ipso facto. Ha ha ha.
I hope they are stirring the pot, drawing attention, in preparation to put out an actual announcement.
It was a mood. Ballard is doing 300 buses in China, possibly doubling its fleet in Aberdeen, possibly doing 100 in Europe this year.
It is just clear, the US DOE/NREL does not consider fuel cell bus a commercial stage product yet. They need large scale demos still in the US. Cant argue with the DOE, they are the only ones that publish operational data. Aberdeen hasn't. FCH #$%$ hasn't.
20 years after the fact, a demo project involving one single bus shows how short a distance Ballard has travelled. That is at least how shorts look at it.
Bigger things are coming this year.
Battery storage, used BEV storage, rocks on a train, molten aluminum, power to gas, pumped hydro
Germany has all of these going in demo projects, and some in use
Yup. Its a weight issue also. At some point the weight of the battery is so much that extra battery capacity is just being used to move the battery itself.
However, an expert commission appointed by the country’s minister of economy and energy has said the 40 percent target probably won’t be reached by 2020. And the energy revolution has caused problems of its own. Because fossil-fuel power plants cannot easily ramp down generation in response to excess supply on the grid, on sunny, windy days there is sometimes so much power in the system that the price goes negative—in other words, operators of large plants, most of which run on coal or natural gas, must pay commercial customers to consume electricity. That situation has also arisen recently in Texas and California (see “Texas and California Have Too Much Renewable Energy”) when the generation of solar power has maxed out.
In hopes of addressing such issues, Germany’s Parliament is expected to soon eliminate the government-set subsidy for renewable energy, known as a feed-in tariff, that has largely fueled the growth in wind and solar. Instead of subsidizing any electricity produced by solar or wind power, the government will set up an auction system. Power producers will bid to build renewable energy projects up to a capacity level set by the government, and the resulting prices paid for power from those plants will be set by the market, rather than government fiat.
The auction system is designed to reduce the rate of new renewable-energy additions and keep Germany from producing too much power. It might seem like an easy way to solve the oversupply issue would be to shut down excess power plants, especially ones that burn coal. But not only are the coal plants used to even out periods when wind and solar aren’t available, they’re also lucrative and thus politically hard to shut down. Because German law requires renewable energy to be used first on the German grid, when Germany exports excess electricity to its European neighbors it primarily comes from coal plants.
Germany Runs Up Against the Limits of Renewables
Even as Germany adds lots of wind and solar power to the electric grid, the country’s carbon emissions are rising. Will the rest of the world learn from its lesson?
by Richard Martin May 24, 2016
At one point this month renewable energy sources briefly supplied close to 90 percent of the power on Germany’s electric grid. But that doesn’t mean the world’s fourth-largest economy is close to being run on zero-carbon electricity. In fact, Germany is giving the rest of the world a lesson in just how much can go wrong when you try to reduce carbon emissions solely by installing lots of wind and solar.
After years of declines, Germany’s carbon emissions rose slightly in 2015, largely because the country produces more electricity than it needs. That’s happening because even if there are times when renewables can supply nearly all of the electricity on the grid, the variability of those sources forces Germany to keep other power plants running. And in Germany, which is phasing out its nuclear plants, those other plants primarily burn dirty coal.
Now the government is about to reboot its energy strategy, known as the Energiewende. It was launched in 2010 in hopes of dramatically increasing the share of the country’s electricity that comes from renewable energy and slashing the country’s overall carbon emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 (see “The Great German Energy Experiment”). What happens next will be critical not only for Germany, but also for other countries trying to learn how to best bring more wind and solar online—especially if they want to do it without relying on nuclear power.
Some aspects of the Energiewende have been successful: renewable sources accounted for nearly one-third of the electricity consumed in Germany in 2015. The country is now the world’s largest solar market. Germany’s carbon emissions in 2014 were 27 percent lower than 1990 levels.
11 Mar 2016. A £21million green transport project marked its first anniversary of operations on Friday 11 March 2016. The Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project has seen Europe's largest fuel cell bus fleet travel take to the streets of the Granite City, and the creation of the UK's first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station, along with a purpose-built maintenance facility.
In the first year, the fleet has travelled 250,000 miles – the equivalent distance of each bus driving round the world or travelling 25 times to London and back again. The Van Hool vehicles have carried more than 440,000 passengers on the First X40 Bridge of Don to Kingswells Park and Ride and Stagecoach X17 Guild Street to Westhill Park and Ride route, as well as putting in appearances to a number of high-profile transnational events in the city. That's an average of 36,700 passengers each month.
The hydrogen production and refuelling station, which is owned and operated by BOC, a member of the Linde Group, has refuelled the vehicles more than 1600 times. The buses, which produce no harmful emissions and produce only water vapour at the tailpipe, have proven to be almost four times more fuel efficient than their diesel equivalents. The project, which has backing from Europe, the UK Government and the Scottish Government, as well as a broad range of private sector partners, is the most high-profile of a range of projects designed to create a hydrogen economy in the city.
Led by Aberdeen City Council, the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project is testing the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport technologies. Based on the success seen so far, the council is looking at options to increase the size of the fleet. Building on Aberdeen's world-wide reputation in the energy industry, the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project is part of the H2 Aberdeen initiative, which is enabling the development and deployment of further hydrogen infrastructure and vehicles.
Green hydrogen power is becoming widely recognised as a key catalyst to driving forward transport and associated infrastructure for generations to come. One of Scotland’s leading forces behind making this a reality is Fife through its pioneering Levenmouth Community Energy Project, a collaborative initiative which is being led by Bright Green Hydrogen and supported by a number of partners including Fife Council and Toshiba.
Based at the Hydrogen Office in Methil, the new industry development involves the facility being developed into the world’s foremost demonstrator of innovative applications of hydrogen derived from renewable sources.
Part of this involves Levenmouth becoming home to one of Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles (up to 25), some of which will be operated by Fife Council. The fleet includes 10 electric-powered Renault Kangoo vans with H2 fuel cell range extender which will be 100% zero emissions if charged using The Hydrogen Office’s 100% green electric vehicle charging station.
The project also includes 10 Ford Transit vehicles that are converted to run on a diesel and hydrogen mixture as well as two refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) which are also to be converted to run on diesel and hydrogen and, as such, are believed to be a world-first of their kind.
The hydrogen range extender doubles the range of an electric van, allowing it to travel up to 200 miles before charging is required. The vans are to be leased out under the Levenmouth scheme to local businesses, allowing them to improve their green credentials by operating a vehicle that runs on green energy.
Me--From Ballard fuel cell buses in London, to this program in Fife, further North to Ballard's fleet of fuel cell buses in Aberdeen, even further north of the NE coast of Scotland with another all encompassing H2 program, maybe Great Britain is the center of the fuel cell universe? Maybe Great Britain can teach Japan a thing or two about fuel cells!
Which body style is best suited to receive a hydrogen drivetrain?
The bigger ones. The cost and the weight of an EV mainly depend on the size of the battery; if you have a small battery, electric makes more sense than hydrogen. The break-even point is 300-400 kilometers (186-248 miles). Beyond that, hydrogen makes more sense because you only need to make the tank larger. It’s not rocket science, and it’s not very costly. The cost is in the fuel cell itself.
With an electric vehicle, if you want to go beyond 300-400 kilometers you need to make the battery pack bigger, heavier, and more expensive, and you’ll reach a certain point where it won’t make sense anymore. The breakover point is pretty set in stone, too, because we’ll be making a lot of progress in both battery technology and hydrogen drivetrains over the coming years.
turns out a bunch of Chinese wind farms are not as productive as they should be. Inferior blade materials, inferior computer controlled blade angles, etc. Euro wind farms are much more efficient.
possibly same deal with other tech including fuel cells--they will need to keep bldp/foreign tech firms around to keep things running smooth....
An electronic cigarette exploded in the face of a man in Albany, New York, recently, leaving him with a hole his tongue and burns on his hand, CNN reported. The explosion also knocked out several of the man's teeth.
But this is far from the first injury caused by an exploding e-cigarette, or e-cig.
The battery-powered devices work by heating a liquid, which typically contains nicotine as well as other chemicals, into a vapor that a user then inhales. But the lithium-ion battery that heats the liquid within an e-cig poses a big safety risk: The batteries have the potential to explode, Dr. Michael Siegel, a tobacco researcher and professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health, told Live Science recently. [E-Cigarettes: What Vaping Does to Your Body]
Last month, a teen in New York City was hospitalized after an e-cig exploded while he was testing it out in a store, according to CBS News. The explosion damaged both of the teen's eyes.
And in November 2015, an e-cig explosion left a Tennessee man potentially paralyzed, the Huffington Post reported. The explosion fractured the man's vertebrae and bones in his face, and knocked out a tooth.
In July 2015, a young man in Alabama was airlifted to a hospital and placed on a ventilator after an e-cig blew up in his face. In addition to first-degree burns on his face and chest, the explosion left the young man with a hole in the roof of his mouth that made it difficult for him to eat, according to AOL News.
Well, it is bound to work better than the snakes on a plane project. The blood, the screams. Plus, they couldn't get the cost of the snakes down enough.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health ordered Southern California Gas Co. late Sunday to stop cleaning the homes of Porter Ranch-area residents affected by the gas leak at the company's Aliso Canyon facility, concluding that the utility’s contractor was not properly trained or equipped to carry out the cleanup. The cleaning program was ordered Friday by L.A. County Superior Court Judge John Wiley, who ruled that the firm must perform remedial cleaning for up to 2,500 homeowners. The health department said it sent environmental health specialists to monitor the cleaning performed by the utility’s contractor over the weekend and determined that the contractor and the gas company were not abiding by protocols set forth by the health department.
Startup will build a better grid by pushing heavy railcars up a hill.
One of the biggest challenges of the shift to renewable energy like solar and wind is energy storage. The wind or sun don’t always generate power exactly when it’s needed, so infrastructure needs to bridge the gap. Batteries are the most frequently discussed solution, but there are other options out there, many of them surprisingly low-tech.
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In April, the Nevada Bureau of Land Management granted environmental approval and a land lease to Advanced Rail Energy Storage (ARES), a startup with an energy storage solution that’s both novel and old-school. Apparently taking some inspiration from the myth of Sisyphus, ARES proposes to use excess off-peak energy to push a heavily-loaded train up a grade. Then, when the grid needs that energy back, the cars will be rolled back down the slope—but in a significant improvement on the myth, that return trip will generate energy and put it back on the grid.
ARES’ solution is related to an already common kind of energy storage known as pumped-storage hydropower, which pumps water uphill, then captures the power of its downhill flow as needed. The obvious advantage of the ARES approach is that it’s more adaptable, without the need for lots of water. ARES has also said its solution costs about half as much as other storage technologies, and claims 80% efficiency in energy reclamation, similar to or slightly above typical hydro-storage efficiency.
Europe's Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH #$%$) has just published its 2016 call for proposals, including a topic covering the large scale validation of fuel cell bus fleets. Earlier EU programs (CHIC, High VLOCity, HyTransit and 3EMotion) have shown a 75% price reduction of the bus since 1990 with volumes remaining small, but to achieve further cost reductions more significant fleet sizes are required.
This topic calls for simultaneous deployment and demonstration of larger scale fuel cell bus fleets of at least 100 fuel cell buses consisting of at least three locations with a minimum of twenty buses per depot. The project will serve to analyze the operation of large fleets of buses and their impact on everyday heavy usage bus operation, including the specific purchasing mechanisms.
The stated volumes in this call for proposals represents a significant step forward from the current scale of deployments in Europe. These increased volumes of fuel cell powered buses would support cost and price reductions through economies-of-scale, enabling fuel cell solutions to compete more effectively with incumbent transit technologies.
The FCH #$%$ is a public-private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies by providing subsidies for eligible projects through a cost share mechanism. The organization?s aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realizing their potential as a commercial instrument that contributes to a carbon-lean energy system. The deadline for submitting proposals is May 2016.