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#51 2019-04-28 06:56:01

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

This is the home version less NH3 cracker of course for the hydrogen powered system.

Backyard Fuel cell

A back of an envelope drawn out plan to extend batteries and solar power saving the surplus in the bank for later. With that thought they used solar panels and an electrolyzer to generate hydrogen which was stored in a 500 gallon propane tank holding enough to be a reserve for 14 days worth of power when put through a fuel cell. With add on more tanks to gain even longer periods of time for use. The total system cost was $50,000 to be able to build this system.

This system was done due to remote power to an island, noisy power generators and a desire to reduce cost.

Article indicates 5 easy steps of which step one is a drawing of the plan that is approved for the state and zoning codes for the location.

1. Purchase a 1.6Kw solar array that cost around $13,400
2. Two laboratory grade electrolyzers for a cost of $7,900 each (Hogen GC 600 unit) with a capability of making 0.3 gallons of water a minute exit to a stoage tank capable of hold 200 psi.
3. learn about stainless steel piping for all inter connects with cleaning via nitrogen and to force out the air in the 500 gallon storage tank.
4. The fuel cell is a 140 lb 48 volt and an AC inverter for home use at 110V.
5. Automation of the controls of battery and electrolyzer cycling at 20 min sun and then powered by the fuel cell. Data to capture would be voltage, tank volume and any sniffer sensor leak detection.

Of course these are over simplified...



Brown gas vehicle injection system
http://fuel-efficient-vehicles.org/ener … age_id=927

Discussion details the particulars of such a sytem used in a vehicle and conditional plus mix ratio of gas to fuel for mileage change with video clips.

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#52 2019-04-28 08:17:42

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,184

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

For kbd512 #50 ... thank you for your support of the importance of competition to deliver better value for customers.  It was a nice prequel to SpaceNut's discovery of the island power system! 

For SpaceNut ... thank you for another outstanding discovery, perfectly matched to this topic!  That system would appear (at first reading) to have potential to work well for many homes in the suburbs around the US, and certainly in the vast regions between cities.

Addition of an NH3 cracker would be a complementary feature, which would ultimately increase the market for NH3, and thus the incentives for capitalists to take the risk of building supply and distribution systems.

(th)

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#53 2019-04-28 16:33:03

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,337

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

tahanson43206,

To be clear, I think professional mass manufacture of tested / certified fuel cells will be required for reliable operation.  There may be certain individuals like SpaceNut who have the knowledge and skills required to assemble their own fuel cells using professionally manufactured components or subassemblies, but this is not something you can just make in your garage and expect to achieve good results from.  There are many millions of people who assemble piston engines in their garages from factory components, but nobody I know actually forges their own pistons or casts their own engine blocks, for example.  The more sophisticated builders may have a small lathe for minor machining or blueprinting of components, but even desktop CNC equipment is cost-prohibitive.  The same applies to customized electric motors used in automotive or hobby applications.

I guess it depends on your definition of manufacturing.  The best aerospace example are personal aircraft.  Thousands of people build their own aircraft because it's so much less expensive than purchasing a new aircraft, but those folks don't generally make Aluminum sheet, steel tubing, fabrics, fibers and resins used in composites, or their own engines.  Similarly, few of us make our own tools.  We've industrialized those processes to reduce duplication of effort that increases time, cost, and/or specialized knowledge required.

If fuel cell components, apart from Platinum group metal catalysts more practical for aerospace applications than home or automotive power, are mass manufactured and therefore much cheaper, then combining fuel cell technology with photovoltaic panels presents the possibility of people running their own home micro-grids and maintaining their own motor vehicles.  That is "taking the power back" from the monopolies, if you'll pardon the pun.

BMW has manufactured their i3 electric vehicles in such a way that someone completely unskilled in body repair work can repair cosmetic damage to the body work of their own car from minor fender benders.  The carbon fiber chassis has mounting tabs for the plastic body panels.  It's as simple as popping snap-on plastic body panels on or off of the vehicle.  To my way of thinking, that's brilliant.

We can see how BMW has begun using aerospace fabrication procedures for lightweight automotive subassemblies:

Rail Section and Apron Replacement With Rivet Bonding BMW i3

Here's a rather comprehensive manufacturing process video:

BMW i3 Factory Production Tour

Edit:

To understand why it is that you can't simply "build" a GM engine in your garage, watching the following video:

Building GM's most powerful Engine Ever, the 650hp LT4 V8!

Are you so skilled that you can grind and polish a crank shaft to within the thickness of a red blood cell?  Maybe, but probably not.  That is the level of precision that modern robotics, backed by human quality control checks, are capable of producing.

Could GM make home and automotive fuel cells at Tonawanda?  There's no doubt in my mind that they could.

Last edited by kbd512 (2019-04-28 16:53:19)

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#54 2019-04-28 17:41:04

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,184

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

For kbd512 re #53 ...

Your post here contained multiple subtopics ....Thanks (in particular) for the glimpse of BMW 's innovation to allow for (what sounds like) home mechanic maintenance of body panels!

However, your reply to SpaceNut about building your own fuel cell system inspired me to see what is happening in the marketplace for fuel cell systems for home use.  The Google results were more than I have time to investigate right now, but one citation is quite encouraging.  The company involved is apparently hoping for sales of 5000 units in Europe in the near term, with expansion to the UK and the US on the horizon.

The units on offer run with natural gas, and provide both heat and electricity without the noise of a generator, and (surprising to me) with LESS maintenance required than existing gas furnace systems.  I am skeptical of the claim of five years between services, because (like many folks), I've been "trained" to expect twice yearly visits by my friendly local heating/cooling company.

(th)

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#55 2019-04-28 17:59:20

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

Thanks for the encouragement to seek out the how to build...

Today was making rocker panels by hand for both sides of the vehicle as they had quite a bit of rot.

Lets see if I can find some more numbers in cost and ability for what we can from these.

https://fuelcellsetc.com/2015/03/what-y … ered-home/

Since there isn’t a commercially available option, custom systems can cost $35,000 – $100,000+.

https://fuelcellsetc.com/products-services/fuel-cells/

solar for 8 hours a day and that you will consume 2 kW for the other 16 hrs you will need:

26 LPM Hydrogen (from the 2 kW FC Specifications) * 60 min/hr * 16 hrs/day = 24,960 L per day.

Assuming you will be consuming the full 2 kW the entire time.  If you operate at less than 2 kW you will obviously consume less fuel.

This is the equivalent to approximately (5) K sized bottles of Hydrogen.  Not unmanageable

For example, if you were billed for 909 kWh in a typical 30 day month (the US average, according to US Energy Information) that would be:

909 kWh / 30 days / 24 hrs/day = 1.26 kW

https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-make-a-P … EM-at-home

Light-weight, Low Cost PEM Fuel Cell Stacks

Was sort of surprised from how little hydrogen was from water electrolysis.
http://waterpoweredcar.com/fuelcell.html

Ninety-six percent of the hydrogen used today comes from this reforming process, with natural gas the primary "feedstock" (48 percent) for the "reformation," followed by oil (30 percent) and coal (18 percent). The small remainder (4 percent) comes from electrolysis, which is a process of separating water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity.

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#56 2019-04-29 12:34:08

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,184

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

For SpaceNut #55 ...

The first link you provided led to an interesting (to me at least) blog series about home installations of fuel cells, with mention of the difficulties companies are having developing in the present market conditions.

Despite the difficulties reported, I get the impression the fuel cell investments were successful as long as the providers remained in business.

https://fuelcellsetc.com/2015/03/what-y … ered-home/

(th)

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#57 2019-04-29 17:35:33

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

I noted that issue as well in the fuel cell technology of companies not looking at the residential need.

Which brought me back to the noisy generators and why have they not enclosed them to muffle the sound that one would make since they do not come with the exhaust muffling systems on them.

Another thought is you could retrofit a regular gas generator unit to be able to run on natural gas, propane, methane which is very simular and why not hydrogen as well as that would make sense to me to do. It also is an on demand system since you do not need much of a buffer of hydrogen to fire any unit up since you could have a little gas on hand and then just switch over the fuel type you are using.

Not promoting any product just giving reference costs for hydrogen generators....

Z0xIp_hcpEx_.JPG

$17394.18/ea for Flow Rate: 500mL/min.

Not buying many of them...do it yourself is looking even better.

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#58 2019-05-04 21:48:20

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

Posted about e-drone use of hydrogen composite fuel tanks to aid in extended flight times in other topic. Ballard Launches Turnkey Fuel Cell Solutions to Power Commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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#59 2019-05-17 21:02:53

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,337

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

Here's a promising new way to store H2:

New material could unlock potential for hydrogen powered vehicle revolution

From the article:

Scientists have discovered a new material that could hold the key to unlocking the potential of hydrogen powered vehicles.

As the world looks towards a gradual move away from fossil fuel powered cars and trucks, greener alternative technologies are being explored, such as electric battery powered vehicles.

Another 'green' technology with great potential is hydrogen power. However, a major obstacle has been the size, complexity, and expense of the fuel systems -- until now.

An international team of researchers, led by Professor David Antonelli of Lancaster University, has discovered a new material made from manganese hydride that offers a solution. The new material would be used to make molecular sieves within fuel tanks -- which store the hydrogen and work alongside fuel cells in a hydrogen powered 'system'.

The material, called KMH-1 (Kubas Manganese Hydride-1), would enable the design of tanks that are far smaller, cheaper, more convenient and energy dense than existing hydrogen fuel technologies, and significantly out-perform battery-powered vehicles.

Professor Antonelli, Chair in Physical Chemistry at Lancaster University and who has been researching this area for more than 15 years, said: "The cost of manufacturing our material is so low, and the energy density it can store is so much higher than a lithium ion battery, that we could see hydrogen fuel cell systems that cost five times less than lithium ion batteries as well as providing a much longer range -- potentially enabling journeys up to around four or five times longer between fill-ups."

The material takes advantage of a chemical process called Kubas binding. This process enables the storage of hydrogen by distancing the hydrogen atoms within a H2 molecule and works at room temperature. This eliminates the need to split, and bind, the bonds between atoms, processes that require high energies and extremes of temperature and need complex equipment to deliver.

The KMH-1 material also absorbs and stores any excess energy so external heat and cooling is not needed. This is crucial because it means cooling and heating equipment does not need to be used in vehicles, resulting in systems with the potential to be far more efficient than existing designs.

The sieve works by absorbing hydrogen under around 120 atmospheres of pressure, which is less than a typical scuba tank. It then releases hydrogen from the tank into the fuel cell when the pressure is released.

The researchers' experiments show that the material could enable the storage of four times as much hydrogen in the same volume as existing hydrogen fuel technologies. This is great for vehicle manufactures as it provides them with flexibility to design vehicles with increased range of up to four times, or allowing them to reducing the size of the tanks by up to a factor of four.

Although vehicles, including cars and heavy goods vehicles, are the most obvious application, the researchers believe there are many other applications for KMH-1.

"This material can also be used in portable devices such as drones or within mobile chargers so people could go on week-long camping trips without having to recharge their devices," said Professor Antonelli. "The real advantage this brings is in situations where you anticipate being off grid for long periods of time, such as long haul truck journeys, drones, and robotics. It could also be used to run a house or a remote neighbourhood off a fuel cell."

The technology has been licenced by the University of South Wales to a spin-out company part owned by Professor Antonelli, called Kubagen.

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#60 2019-05-18 08:34:32

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

Yes, MgH2 contains 7.66% by weight of hydrogen and has been studied as a potential hydrogen storage medium.

Manganese Hydride is also a form of a battery which is rechargeable
http://www.mining.com/web/manganese-the … advantage/

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#61 2019-06-25 19:30:33

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

Hybrids of any fuel will be a cash saver once you get past the initial sticker shock...

The average British motorist will spend over a staggering £56,000 on petrol in a lifetime, according to new figures. With the average lifetime cost of charging an electric vehicle coming in at just over £15,000, savvy Brits could save over £41,000 on fuel by going electric in the near future.


Brits could save more than £41,000 on fuel in a lifetime by switching to an electric vehicle

https://www.edfenergy.com/

Despite a whopping eight in ten (84 per cent) people believing that fuel is too expensive and two thirds (69 per cent) concerned about vehicle emissions, only 40 per cent of Brits have considered making the switch to an electric vehicle.

EDF Energy’s new EV tariff also offers drivers 10 hours of super cheap, off-peak charging each week night, plus all day weekends.

Calculations assume that on the GoElectric Sept 2020 electricity tariff, 60% of total consumption and 76% of electric vehicle home charging will be carried out during the off peak hours of 9pm – 7am weekdays and all weekends at 8.01p per kWh, including VAT. Cost assumes a conversion rate of 3.5 miles per kWh, equal to 2286 kWh per year or 8000 miles and an average UK life expectancy of 81 (Source: World Bank).

Calculations for fuel are based on 8000 miles per annum and a fuel consumption of 51.7 mpg (5.5 litres per 100 km) for petrol vehicles. The calculation is based on a UK average price per litre of 125.4p (AA Fuel Price Report April 2019). The electric vehicle charging cost assumes a conversion rate of 3.5 miles per kWh, equal to 2286 kWh per year or 8000 miles.

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#62 2019-06-25 23:33:39

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,337

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

SpaceNut,

Brits would spend far more than £41,000 just by purchasing the batteries for 2 battery powered vehicles over their natural lifetimes at current prices.  I often wonder if the people who write articles like the one you posted can even imagine that someone else will be capable of using basic math, even if they aren't.  If electricity was free, which it certainly is not, then the battery powered vehicles would still cost far more than gas powered vehicles.  That's why very few people have switched.  Whenever dollars and cents matter at all, the choice remains crystal clear.  The UK's educational system hasn't yet succeeded in turning "simple math" into "interpretive artwork".  A vehicle that only uses half as much fuel to provide the same performance and utility would save far more money, assuming costs were the same, which they never are.

General Motors Documentation Submitted to US EPA:
Make: Chevrolet
Model: 2011-2013 Cruze Eco(A6)
Weight: 3,375lbs (3,102lbs using other sources, but 3,375lbs as submitted to the EPA)
Engine: 1.4L 4-Cylinder DOHC Turbocharged Gasoline; 138 HP @ 4,900 RPM; 148 LB-FT torque @ 1,850 RPM
Fuel Economy: 24 (city); 36 (highway)
Power Requirements: 10.1 HP @ 50 MPH; 11.4 HP @ 55 MPH; 14.3 HP @ 65 MPH; 17.7 HP @ 75 MPH

Edmunds Test Track Performance Data:
0-30 MPH Time: 3.3 seconds
0-45 MPH Time: 5.9 seconds
0-60 MPH Time: 9.3 seconds
0-75 MPH Time: 14.4 seconds

The 2017 - 2019 Cadillac Escalade ESV gets 14mpg in the city and 22mpg per gallon on the highway and does 0-60 MPH in 6.3 seconds.  It has a 420 HP engine, but it also weighs 5,785lbs.  The 2017 - 2019 Cadillac Escalade ESV engine provides 145.2hp/ton.  The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco engine provides 81.8hp/ton.  Increasing the hp/ton by 77.5% only resulted in a fuel economy that's 63.4% worse, so what's really going on here?

Two words: weight, aerodynamics

That's all folks!

If both vehicles had the same power-to-weight ratio, then fuel consumption would be almost entirely a function of weight at the low speeds involved.  The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze manages 29 MPG (city) and 38 MPG (highway), even with an increased output from its 1.4L from 138hp to 153hp, but it also weighs just 2,835lbs.  That's a weight decrease of 535lbs, or at least 267lbs, dependent upon which source is to be trusted).  The 0-60 MPH time drops to 7.5 seconds and the hp/ton figure increases to 107.9hp/ton.  Even if you restrict the engine's output power, as the 2011 "Eco" model did, the real fuel economy killer is obviously weight.  It takes more power to accelerate a heavier vehicle acceptably well.

Under most driving conditions, it's all about weight.
Weight kills performance.
Want better performance?
Reduce the weight.
How?
Lighter and stronger materials.
It's as simple as that, no matter how hard it is to actually accomplish.

Aerodynamics might become more important if we had a heavy energy storage device with absurdly poor energy density (Lithium-ion batteries) or were driving at faster speeds.  Neither is true for gas powered vehicles, so it's all about weight.  The Tesla Model S weighs as much as a Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

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#63 2019-06-26 02:45:56

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,227
Website

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

It would be different if the batteries lasted a lifetime.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#64 2019-06-26 11:06:43

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,184

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

For Terraformer #63 .... batteries will still be required in vehicles which use fuel cells, to power radios when the fuel cells are not engaged, for one thing.

However, those batteries will (most likely) be comparable to the starting batteries in use in hydrocarbon powered vehicles today,

For kbd512 .... thanks for bringing Dr. Antonelli's company to our attention.  This is a perfect match for your observations over in SpaceNut's new business topic.

Dr. Antonelli and his team will be meeting an apparent market need, if they can pull off the miracle of founding a new company from scratch.  The UK is a "rule of law" country where individuals who come up with good ideas have a decent chance of seeing a return on their investment of creative thinking and painstaking hard work.

Mr. Google has a long list of citations about the new company: kubagen company

An important step (in rule-of-law countries) is to secure patents, and apparently that step is completed for the US:

Our plan is to refine, scale, and implement research from our exclusively-licensed and granted US and international patents on thermodynamically neutral hydrogen storage.

My expectation is that US investors will be looking intently at the opportunity this work appears to provide.

That "better" plane you've been thinking about building would appear to have a significant advantage over the existing competition, if you can incorporate this method of storing hydrogen in the design. 

The company leadership is (apparently) accessible by email directly:  https://www.kubagen.co.uk/

Louis, Terraformer, Elder Flower .... are these folks anywhere near you? 

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-06-26 11:13:41)

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#65 2019-06-26 16:34:15

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

The numbers in the posted quote were unrealistic at best since when was the last time you only drove 8,000 miles in a calendar year let alone 51 miles to the gallon with a price on fuel only going up not down....I have yet to own a vehicle that matches that fuel economy....

I agree with you on the 2 quantitative areas that make vehicles costly to operate. As you have indicated why run a humvee sized vehicle when you only need the size of a prius or smaller made with all sort of composites would unless those materials cost drop still make a vehicle not affordable.

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#66 2019-06-29 12:35:08

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,337

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

SpaceNut,

My transportation agenda is based upon better materials and power technology to reduce the energy cost of operating vehicles.  Make the vehicle 1/3rd as heavy as steel, or Aluminum and Carbon Fiber in the case of an aircraft, and use a fuel cell that provides roughly 3 times better energy utilization efficiency and we can drastically reduce our energy consumption requirements for transportation.  Improving the efficiency of all practical transport technology is ONLY about weight and energy utilization efficiency.  I want reality-based solutions that work with the technology we have that has been proven to actually work, not what we wished we had that we've never demonstrated in a lab, much less anywhere else.  The advocacy for fuel cells and Carbon-based fabrication materials are a technologically and economically viable means to that end.  The people advocating for battery this / that / the other need a reality check on where we're at and where we're most likely to be in another 10 / 20 / 30 years.  Basic math says we're not anywhere close to replacing fossil fuels with batteries, but fuel cells have demonstrated their utility in the real world and can work on a industrial / global scale.  Whereupon this mythical 2.5kWh/kg battery materializes, I'll start advocating for using batteries instead.  Until then, let's just use what works better than a combustion engine and allow battery technology to continue to advance.

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#67 2019-06-29 18:05:45

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

While the means to make a vehicle out of these light weight materials exist today its just that concept that makes for longer lasting products as they do not rot out and rust to a pile of rubble as to why manufactures are not doing so. Which means reduced sales and planned obolesence which not only maintians the market but keeps it pumping out plenty of vehicles currently. Thats just the same problem for the longer life batteries as well....

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#68 2019-06-29 19:25:31

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,337

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

SpaceNut,

If destruction through oxidation / fatigue / abrasion (more applicable to tires than the chassis) are the primary methods of ultimate destruction, then a chassis / body panels / tires made with CNT would be about as immortal as we know how to make something.

One of the most interesting things I've seen recently, from a durability and cost standpoint, was wrapping the Aluminum fuselage / wings / tail of a Zenith homebuilt aircraft with a very thin and lightweight (lighter than paint) vinyl / plastic wrap to inhibit corrosion.  Rather than using copious quantities of heavy paint, cars and aircraft could be plastic wrapped in the same way.  In the event of a fender bender, the vinyl wrap could be discarded and recycled.  It both applies and releases using an iron.

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#69 2019-06-29 20:13:44

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,184

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

For kbd512 re #68 ...

Can this protection method be used for such items as:

decking
fencing
roofing
siding

In other words, objects that are commonly maintained by painting.

Roofing is an exception ... only certain kinds of roofing need paint for maintenance, but those are widely used in the US, and (I would imagine) around the world.

Does your source have any guidance regarding solar radiation (ie, UV) effects on the wrapping?

(th)

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#70 2019-06-29 20:47:20

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

Decking planks come to mind for use as these are already on the market but pricey...
plastic coated aluminum siding is already in use.
Fencing is plastic posts with no wood at all.

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#71 2019-06-29 21:46:10

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,184

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

For SpaceNut re #70 ...

The progression of contributions over the past several messages certainly illustrates how easily a topic can drift from the original theme.  That said, I decided to see if the idea of coating siding with vinyl might have been extended to metal roofing.  Apparently the answer is yes, but I also found what appears to be an even better product, which uses powdered stone as a coating to protect against UV and other natural assaults on roofing.

From eBay ...

This ForeveRoof steel shingle is a stone-coated shingle that mimics an asphalt shingle (dimensional style).  It includes a lifetime warranty.  These are easy to install and lasts a lifetime!  It includes a full installation manual and a customer support phone number.  This item includes 2 bundles and covers 100 square feet.

To bring the topic back to fuel cells ...

I asked Mr. Google: fuel cell global opportunity

Over 25 million results were generated ...

The first page seems to contain relevant responses, including articles dated as recently as April and May of 2019

I am glad to see reports of significant investment in fuel cell related technologies.

(th)

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#72 2019-06-30 10:51:23

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,337

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

tahanson43206,

Home Depot and Lowes already sell plastic coated composite (wood fiber mixed with resin and coated with plastic) decking, so there you go.  Any penetration of a mere plastic coating on a purely wooden object would lead to water retention and the wood would rot, so wooden objects shouldn't be wrapped with plastics unless they're bonded to the wood after appropriate drying and sealing with a lacquer or resin.  It won't prevent termites from eating the wood, either.  However, wooden objects could still be dipped, sprayed, or wrapped with various types of plastic coatings to increase the lifespan of the finished product- and there are quite a few such products that already are.  There are far too many different types of plastic coatings to simply say they're UV resistant, but UV resistance seems to be a major selling point of various types of plastics used in extreme environments, especially marine environments.

If the protected material is metal, then it only provides corrosion protection so long as it hasn't been penetrated.  There seems to be a pattern forming here.  Falling or thrown objects hit fences and roofs, bugs and birds and rocked kicked up by the tires hit aircraft and motor vehicles, etc.  It's not intended to be a permanent coating that lasts forever.  It's just a temporary protective coating that can be easily and quickly replaced and recycled, for nominal cost, and using non-skilled labor, provided you have the appropriate tools- a hobby knife and iron.

The guy who coated his aircraft said he spent just over $1K on the vinyl wrap for the entire aircraft.  A suitable paint gun and air compressor to run the gun will cost at least that much, never mind the cost of the paint and primer, which will add even more weight to a vehicle where weight is critical.  If that sounds like a lot of money, a professional paint job would easily run $7K to $10K.  After 10 to 15 years, provided you don't live near an ocean, the paint will have to be reapplied.  If the airframe lasts for 30 years before it's scrapped, that would save its owner $27K over professional paint jobs- approximately the same cost as the complete CH750 kit.  Obviously you could save a good chunk of that money by doing it yourself, but to think you'll achieve the same results as a professional is pretty naive.  Zenith was concerned enough about amateur build quality that every part was pre-cut, pre-bent, and match-hole drilled by the factory, and a very detailed assembly instruction manual provided, in order to reduce the build complexity to a non-trivial assembly job that's still much simpler than building a car.  Farmers in 3rd world countries have built their own aircraft for agricultural use, so maybe they have a point.

There are various types of aerospace coatings available today that are incredibly resistant to corrosion.  Some of those coatings are actually surface treatments that do not affect the weight of the coated part in any material way.  If corrosion resistance with absolute minimal additional weight was desired, then there are a variety of surface treatments that can provide that- at extreme cost.  Firearms parts are often treated with such coatings, but they're small and easy to process in batches containing lots of parts.  Imagine trying to dunk entire aircraft wings and fuselages into tanks containing these types of surface treatment solutions.  It's not very practical past a given part size, which is why it's not done.

If you maintain the surface polish on an Aluminum part, it's reasonably resistant to corrosion and is obviously the lightest you could make the finished part.  However, polished Aluminum or steel produces a blinding glare, not really something you want to subject your fellow pilots to- no matter how beautiful it looks on the ground, and the material is still subject to weakening through corrosion due to exposure to various types of acids.  The stuff that falls out of the rear ends of the biological variety of birds immediately comes to mind, and it quickly eats through most types of paint.  Water subsequently gets under the micro cracks in the paint, if the part is painted, and then corrosion begins.  A good vinyl is, more or less, impervious to uric acid- the active ingredient in bird poop.  Various solvents will destroy vinyl, though, so you pick your poison.  Like I said, nothing lasts forever.  Some things are just more suitable to specific use cases than others.  For an Aluminum airframe subject to fatigue failure through stress corrosion cracking, this is a very affordable and practical compromise.

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#73 2019-06-30 17:03:10

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

So where are we will being able to provide low cost equipment to the average consumer? In a word still not cheap enough....
Fancy Having Your Own Power Plant? "Fuel Cell Micro-Cogeneration is Market-Ready"

So how much power is a micro level...

What is the cost of fuel versus the electrical power reated for use?

We know that they are expensive as a result of materials used to make them from the platinum group.
Making fuel cells for a fraction of the cost; New material creates fuel cell catalysts at a hundredth of the cost

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/5185 … generator/

The Fuel Cell-Powered Home: An Approaching Reality?

Estimated costs for a home fuel cell system ran from around $35,000 to $100,000 or more. A home system would involve having to source every element from hydrogen generators to storage tanks.

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#74 2019-06-30 17:11:12

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

https://fuelcellsetc.com/2015/03/what-y … ered-home/

For example, if you were billed for 909 kWh in a typical 30 day month (the US average, according to US Energy Information) that would be:

909 kWh / 30 days / 24 hrs/day = 1.26 kW

Hydrogen Storage

Once you have your hydrogen, you often will want to store it.  How much hydrogen you want to store will depend on how much power you need (and the hydrogen consumption rate at that power) and how long you need that power.  In the solar example above, if you assume that you will be generating excess electricity from solar for 8 hours a day and that you will consume 2 kW for the other 16 hrs you will need:

26 LPM Hydrogen (from the 2 kW FC Specifications) * 60 min/hr * 16 hrs/day = 24,960 L per day.

Assuming you will be consuming the full 2 kW the entire time.  If you operate at less than 2 kW you will obviously consume less fuel.

This is the equivalent to approximately (5) K sized bottles of Hydrogen.

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#75 2019-06-30 19:19:57

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,340

Re: Fuel Cell Development, Application, Prospects

A Total Cost of Ownership Model for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells in Combined Heat and Power and Power-Only Applications
total pages 197 or reading
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files … ystems.pdf

The issue is its being geared for Business and not everyone...list of companies on pg 6
The Business Case for Fuel Cells 2015: Powering Corporate Sustainability
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files … _cells.pdf


Seems for the average joe its wait for cost to drop or choice DIY

https://mad-science.wonderhowto.com/how … e-0134598/

https://www.fastcompany.com/40422537/th … s-feasible

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