Hydrogen infrastructure

   #31  

orezok

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Messages
2,268
Location
Mojave Desert, CA
Tractor
Kubota B7800
About 20 years ago the school district where I was a Facilities Manager we installed a CNG compressor station and storage for fast fill. Most of the busses were connected to overnight slow fill, but if necessary one could be filled in a few minutes. We did that as legislation was being passed which prohibited school districts from purchasing new diesel busses. The result was that maintenance costs on engines dropped considerably and engine life lengthened, but the greatest benefit was that the cost per equivalent gallon was about a buck a gallon.

Now this was an ideal situation as school busses generally have relatively short routes (less than 100 miles in the desert communities). But Waste Management and the local transit busses have also converted with good results. The local transit bus company has several hydrogen busses which are in a pilot program.

CNG is probably a good segway to hydrogen.
 
   #32  

Larry Caldwell

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
3,380
Location
Myrtle Creek, Oregon
Tractor
Kubota l3130
"I see the amount of infrastructure required for us to go to all electric vehicles as staggering. You're not talking about a single 30-40 amp charging station per dwelling. The reality is probably the need for 2-3 charging stations per household."

IMHO, it's going to take a whole lot more than 2-3 chargers/family. This "may" be the case in bigger cities, but where I live and my lifestyle, it will be much, much more. First, where I live, the closest town (less than 15k people. I live in a "town" that has a population of about a dozen or so folks on over 10,000 acres) is close to 50 miles away - one way - and is where we do our weekly (or more often) shopping. My understanding for the EV craze is that all cities over 100K people will be required to have several/numerous/other number of charging stations available for EV vehicles. Even if there is a charging station in the town we shop at (all at 1 or 2 stores), I don't have the time or patience to wait 3-5 hours to get enough of a charge to get home. Besides, what happens if I decide to, oh I don't know - eat dinner/supper while we are in town, guess that won't be an option if I want to make it home. Since the closest 100K population city is 150+ miles (one way) away, how do I get there? Do I have to schedule an additional 4-5 hours of "charging time" each way to get to the medical appointments I go to? We already leave at 0500 to make a 0900 appointment down there!

Those two examples are just the tip of the iceberg. When I need to take my tractor to my dealer - right @ 100 miles away, one way - I don't think one of those 100-200 mile EV's are going to be able to pull it - please correct me if I'm wrong! I did look up that new EV F150 - which won't pull the tractor & trailer safely, if at all - and it has an EPA "Estimate" of 200-300 miles/charge - depending on battery pack. But again I'm guessing that's with zero load and "city" driving. Would it make a 200 mile RT pulling the trailer? My guess would be no.

To a point, I'm a bit concerned about the environment, although I don't buy into this whole global warming/climate change/ whatever it's called this week phenomenon. I "AM" however, concerned about my checkbook balance. IF (and only if) we can produce an EV truck/car that can go from coast to coast that doesn't take much longer to charge than what it takes to fill up with current fuel, DOESN'T cost more than my house to buy AND that has a "Real" 350+ mile/charge so I don't have to worry about charging when we go to the "big" city.

As far as hydrogen electric vehicles go, I'm not so sure, as others have stated, it will catch on. I'm not aware of the whole ammonia technology.

I'll get off my soapbox, for now. But, please understand that I am opionated, more on some subjects than others. That doesn't mean I won't listen to your side, BUT, it does mean I don't have to agree with you, nor, does it mean that you (or I) are correct. It merely means we have differing opinions, and you should know what opinions are like 👍

I really hope this doesn't take this thread in bizarre directions 😉🙃
I don't see any point in taking sides. It's all an engineering problem, and solutions will be dictated by real world constraints. I don't see hauling ever done by battery. I also don't see ICEs or turbines going away. I don't see us ever making enough biodiesel to replace JetA or the myriad of industrial diesels out there. For long haul freight, we could modernize our rail system and get all those semis off the freeways. You will always have to have an ICE to haul your ICE tractor around. For your grocery trips, by the time your commuter car choices are limited to EVs, there will be something on the market that meets your needs.
 
   #33  

ponytug

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
2,731
Location
Bay Area, CA
Tractor
Power Trac PT1445
They are converting school buses to EVs now. They have the advantages of very well defined loads (morning/afternoon runs), the ability to charge on off hours, but, apparently, most valuable of all is the ability to send power to the grid during early evening peak demands. Apparently the payback times are quite short.

Like CNG buses, the lack of diesel pollution around kids is a big plus.

All the best,

Peter
 
   #34  

RalphVa

Super Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2003
Messages
7,124
Location
Charlottesville, VA, USA
Tractor
JD 2025R, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010 & JD 1025R
One of our host sons graduated LSU as a chemical engineer like me. He was working for a large oil company on doing fuel cells for homes or vehicles. Lost contact with him and hear nothing from that area about it.

Would make more sense to use natural gas to generate the hydrogen, e.g. pipelines already for it.

Ralph
 
   #35  

gsganzer

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
Messages
2,324
Location
Denton, TX
Tractor
L3800 w/FEL and BH77, BX 2200 w/FEL and MMM
I don't see any point in taking sides. It's all an engineering problem, and solutions will be dictated by real world constraints. I don't see hauling ever done by battery. I also don't see ICEs or turbines going away. I don't see us ever making enough biodiesel to replace JetA or the myriad of industrial diesels out there. For long haul freight, we could modernize our rail system and get all those semis off the freeways. You will always have to have an ICE to haul your ICE tractor around. For your grocery trips, by the time your commuter car choices are limited to EVs, there will be something on the market that meets your needs.
Larry, you're correct. A good energy policy is a balanced energy policy that takes advantages of the strengths of each technology for various uses. Unfortunately, the banter from our politicians seems to imply they feel otherwise. But then again, it's usually just banter for public consumption/optics and reality will probably dictate something more balanced.

I'd have no problem with replacing one of our vehicles with an EV. It makes sense for my wife's short roundtrip work commute. We already have a mixed bag on our utilities with both propane and electric and that balance paid off when we had our winter TX power outage. As time and the markets dictate, I'm sure we'll have other options and infrastructure to choose from.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#36  
OP
3

3930dave

Super Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
7,981
Location
Canada
Tractor
Ford 3930
About 20 years ago the school district where I was a Facilities Manager we installed a CNG compressor station and storage for fast fill. Most of the busses were connected to overnight slow fill, but if necessary one could be filled in a few minutes. We did that as legislation was being passed which prohibited school districts from purchasing new diesel busses. The result was that maintenance costs on engines dropped considerably and engine life lengthened, but the greatest benefit was that the cost per equivalent gallon was about a buck a gallon.

Now this was an ideal situation as school busses generally have relatively short routes (less than 100 miles in the desert communities). But Waste Management and the local transit busses have also converted with good results. The local transit bus company has several hydrogen busses which are in a pilot program.

CNG is probably a good segway to hydrogen.
I was disappointed that CNG in vehicles didn't catch on more here.

Rgds, D.
 
   #37  

Root Cause

Silver Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
181
Location
Western North Carolina
Tractor
Mehindra 2638
Found this on motortrend doing their review if the hydrogen equipped Toyota Miria.

"Mirai fuel economy is measured in MPGe—Miles Per Gallon Equivalent—and the EPA gives it a 74 MPGe combined rating, but driving rapidly dropped our numbers down into the low 40s (and, on the steepest hills, down into the 20s), which has a tragic effect on range. You can hustle the Mirai, but it dramatically shortens your tether."

And it gets worse, they (MotorTrend) stated in the article that they only got 262 miles/tank. They went on to say:

"Hydrogen is expensive: We paid $16.70 per kilogram, and the Mirai's tank holds 5.6 kg. For those of you not mathematically inclined, that's a $93.52 fill-up if your Mirai is running on fumes. (Bad choice of words, perhaps. Since hydrogen is gaseous, one could say the Mirai always runs on fumes.) From three-quarters of a tank, we paid nearly $75 to fill up."

So, for a "starting" price of ~$55K and nicely equipped @ $67K and using an industry standard of ~15K miles driven/year (55-60 complete fill-ups) the fuel alone would be $5,200-5,600/year or ~$400-500/Month.

To be fair, they did note that there currently is an incentive that offers 3 years/$15K worth if free Hydrogen and that the industry is "hopeful" prices could drop to $6-8/Kg by 2024. However, another article showed that to equip a fuel station with hydrogen technology would cost the station 1.5 Million +. Unless our taxes are going to be increased to pay for this, the operator would have to recoup this amount adding back to the amount charged/Kg.

I am curious how "It is cost-effective today if you have a fleet of more than 20 vehicles running continuous shifts" with current hydrogen prices. Are these companies generating their own hydrogen? How much does a plant like that cost? Please don't include any tax or other incentives to offset the price because I know my "business" wouldn't probably be included in those offsets.

Of course, the biggest nail in the hydrogen coffin right now us the fact none of this technology is available except in California. Sorry, even though I was born there, I haven't called Cali home for 60+ years and have No want or desire to head there now.
You are correct in your thinking and the example of a car proves it to be correct.
My example was that you needed at least 20 fork trucks to warrant the infrastrure cost of a large, above ground tank and all that goes with it.
As stated earlier, the savings occurs only if you are operating multiple shifts. Refueling 1 fork truck between shifts (in 5 minutes) means you aren't buying the 2nd truck for use while the 1st one recharges (taking several hours). The end result is 1/2 the fork trucks, reduced footprint (where trucks recharge) and clean air.
So that is the sales pitch for better or worse.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#38  
OP
3

3930dave

Super Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
7,981
Location
Canada
Tractor
Ford 3930
As time and the markets dictate, I'm sure we'll have other options and infrastructure to choose from.
I'm glad to see EVs advancing in the market, as they are well suited to certain applications.

As noted, we do need other options, for the foreseeable future. Irrational exuberance forcing markets in a certain direction (and ignoring downfalls of certain products), may increase short/medium-term pain.... back to Living in Interesting Times, for sure.

I do expect to see hydrogen rollouts first in industrial applications, esp. stationary ones. Scotland excepted :cool:.

Rgds, D.
 
   #39  

Torvy

Platinum Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
736
Location
North East Texas
Tractor
Looking to purchase a Compact Tractor in 30-50 HP range.
My preferred approach to this issue (and many others) is a both-and rather than either-or. For some reason, people collectively seem to boil it down to false options. If we make EV vehicles, we cannot make HFC or ICE. We can make all of the above. We also do not need governments to build the infrastructure. Did the government build gas stations? No, the market dictated they were necessary and entrepreneurs took the chance and made gas stations...and were then bought out or forced out by Standard Oil...but I digress. The government push is coming in the US, from the president and his staff. Rather than the previous rules that pushed automakers to make or sell an average fleet MPG, the new rules are to require a % of the fleet to be EV specifically. This is a game-changing approach and seems to be picking winners. The political scientist in me is seeing money behind the scenes picking winners... But, this is not just a U.S. phenomenon. In China, they have a lottery for ICE registrations, and they are also pushing EV. As mentioned by some above, EVs are a bit of a false flag. The 'pollution' is just happening somewhere else. Most of the power generation in the U.S. (and China at present) is from fossil fuels. The battery situation is horrible and most of the component parts for the batteries are not something we have in great supply in the U.S....but they are natural resources for China. For the U.S. the power generation could come from nuclear plants but the overreaction to 3-mile island has effectively prevented the U.S. from building new ones since 1977. The improvement in engineering and technology can make nuclear energy a great alternative. Then, you could at least make clean electricity and that part of the EV equation would improve. You would still have an untenable situation in the US as the known supply of battery materials would run out faster than the fossil fuels they are supposed to replace. Since those are not available here, the US would find itself in a strategic conundrum. For me, the shift away from ICE is not about the environment per se, but about the inevitability of those fuels disappearing.
 
   #40  

civilian

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
988
Location
Vanderbilt, MI
Tractor
Gravely Pro 16 walk behind, Kubota BX2230, Kubota B26TLB
You are correct in your thinking and the example of a car proves it to be correct.
My example was that you needed at least 20 fork trucks to warrant the infrastrure cost of a large, above ground tank and all that goes with it.
As stated earlier, the savings occurs only if you are operating multiple shifts. Refueling 1 fork truck between shifts (in 5 minutes) means you aren't buying the 2nd truck for use while the 1st one recharges (taking several hours). The end result is 1/2 the fork trucks, reduced footprint (where trucks recharge) and clean air.
So that is the sales pitch for better or worse.
I thought electric fork lifts had removable battery packs. And they had second set of battery packs to charge during the second shift, while the fork lift was still running. Yes a second battery pack was needed but, not a second fork lift for the second shift. Has this changed to non removable battery packs in fork lifts today? Jon
 
 
Top