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This is really great, I hope this gets built according to plans. Europe desperately needs catching up to US and China in battery production capacity.
It seems that Audi's P2G bio/synthetic methane fuel plants are already pretty much viable and profitable at current CNG prices. They seem to finance it from future profits from P2G production. Brilliant.
@Harvey Even a 100 H2 stations would be only a drop in the ocean (and we are far from there yet). There are 16000 gas stations in California and H2 cars will require similarly dense coverage since you cannot refuel at home. With BEVs, 90-95% of the time you can slow-charge at home, at night, so no public charging/refueling station is needed for the majority of the year and it has maximum comfort. A German company, Ubitricity is already producing kits which can transform public lamp posts into public-access car chargers very cost effectively. This is good for people not having a house with a dedicated, installed charger. There is already deployment of this technology in London (see the Fully Charged show). The 30% ratio for cleanly produced H2 is also very low, 70% comes from reformed natural gas. I am installing solar panels on my house and will have a near-100% renewable ratio for an EV (will be refueled mostly at home). I agree with E-C-I here, there is no business or environmental case for H2 vehicles at the moment. FCVs need an awful lot of improvement to compete with BEVs for a typical car owner: - $35-40K purchase price - At least 80-90% renewable H2 production (like a net-metered solar array) with as low distribution losses and energy expenditure as with electricity - Similarly low fuel prices like the electricity for the BEV from a net-metered solar array (>2c/mile) - Similarly low maintenance costs like current, modern BEVs for the first 10-year, 200K-mile operating period ATM, I say it is not going to happen, all car makers will switch to BEVs and even the remaining ones will cancel FCV development before FCVs could really grow up. I am not against FCVs religiously, I just don't see a viable path for them to become successful before the current window of oportunity closes.
What are the advantages of this chemistry in relation to established and under-development battery chems? It seems that power density is low ("like other lithium metal batteries") but energy density is only medium ("like LiCo2"). I don't know faradaic efficiency but if it interchangeable with coulombic, then 57% is probably very low.
This sounds like a huge advancement. Correct me if I am wrong but this should result in a big capacity increase (even if it is for the anode) without significant cycling performance penalty (if the capacity loss remains linear). Why didn't they include capacity and power estimates for their new cell?
@Harvey It really depends on the price at which they can produce. Since Russian-sourced NG is fairly expensive here in Europe, I would say that it stands a chance but it is impossible to say without seeing their cost structure. Of course, the Russians can probably lower their prices to an extent so this process better have some serious price advantage if only market forces are considered. On the other hand, the EU would like to get rid of their energy dependence on the Russians so political factors may also come into play. If someone can demonstrate that e-gas from renewables is an economically viable substitute to Russian NG, that would garner a lot of interest here.
The authors conveniently sidestep a lot of issues currently present with FCVs. As ChrisL noted refueling time is WAY higher for fuel cell vehicles when we consider the very few H2 stations currently operational. They should have included the average trip time to the refueling station. Moreover, since many of the currently operating H2 stations are reportedly not capable of fueling at 10K psi (only 5K psi), the range FCVs get is about half of their maximum. With that correction, their range is comparable to current EVs but they have the huge inconvenience of needing to go to the H2 station while EV users simply plug in at home (zero time going to a fueling station).
85% is really respectable in power plant efficiency. Way to go Siemens!
24% of all sales is a nice result from Toyota but I am still very dissatisfied with their plugin play. There is no Toyota EV on the horizon which could fight the Tesla ModE or the Bolt.
Meh. Should have real plug-in hybrid and EV configuration to be noteworthy.
@Centurion Could you be courteous enough to comment in English?
This is a huge step in the right direction. If this could be improved to the point that it can serve as a secondary battery together with a normal li-ion battery, it could serve as the perfect range extender. Your car could have a smaller, say 100km, li-ion battery for normal city driving+commuting and the li-air extender for longer trips. The huge energy density of the li-air is good for long range, the high power density of the li-ion battery is good for regenerative braking, acceleration and quick-charging when you are in a hurry. Both the li-ion and li-air batteries can slow-charge at night when you are at home.
This is all nice and well, but it won't be enough for me to buy a Prius again (even if I am very satisfied with my second gen Prius). My next car will most likely be a full electric one. I think Toyota doesn't understand its customer base, this is why they are going to bleed a lot of enviroment-oriented customers in the near future. Current Prius owners will simply ignore their FCV scam and buy a BEV or EREV from an other manufacturer. If Toyota had even a half-decent EV, I would probably go with them because I like their fantastic quality. Given their lack of EVs, I will have to settle for a Nissan, a VW or maybe Tesla.
Assuming that this really reaches production, it would fix the prominent issue with hydrogen being produced from fossil fuels thus not being renewable. Efficiency and cost are still problematic though. The 22% of solar conversion efficiency is on par with solar-electric panels but the loss on fuel cells is still much bigger (~60% eff = ~40% loss) than the charging/discharging loss of a li-ion battery (>90% eff = <10% loss). I am also not sure that I would want such a dangerous gas around my house / in my garage (hydrogen being so hard to contain) so I would definitely not be an early adopter and would want to see a lot of hydrogen vehicles in service without leaking issues before I even consider it. Petrol and li-ion batteries are both safe enough (even li-ion in EVs can be proven by now).
I hope that this will be the final nail in the coffin of diesel and we will see drastic shifts towards really clean alternatives.
I wonder what CNG prices they can offer to their customers for this green-CNG. If there is real synergy between the biogas plant and the e-gas plant and efficiencies are really improved significantly (as they state), than the price should be as good or better than fossil CNG. This is actually quite promising as a transitional car-fuel until very cheap car batteries are put into mass production. After that, the e-gas plant may still be good for seasonal balancing of renewable production (e.g.: soaking up solar in the summer and producing methane and then using up the methane in the winter for heat+electricity production). Of course in time batteries will probably get cheap enough even for seasonal balancing (or solar gets cheap enough for massive over-installing). At that time the e-gas plant may become uneconomical, unless they can significantly increase their efficiencies.
I hope diesels will be banned completely here in Europe as soon as possible. France is already considering it and the more research goes into it, the more obvious it becomes that they are a serious threat to public health everywhere in higher concentrations (cities). I cycle a lot and agree with the Allweatherbiker that diesels are the worst offenders in terms of destroying breathable air. Often a couple of years old, "modern" diesels release a lot of soot and even the ones with invisible exhaust have a chocking effect if one gets a puff. Normal gas cars at least don't have this effect. Massive electrification is the way to go for livable cities. Diesel is a dead end and we should get rid of it as soon as we are able to.
@Roger If they have about the same qualities (range, power, price), I would rather have this "salt-water" flow battery in may car than an H2 FC stack. H2 is a fairly dangerous material. It is enough to have an H2 leak once or twice the lifetime of the FC car to invite catastrophe to your life. I would have to see VERY STRONG assurances regarding H2 handling before I let an FC car near my garage. @everyone This flow battery however, would be great for stationary energy storage for large amounts of renewable energy.
@SJC Oh, common, you don't say anything about the reasoning in the NRC decision. Likely, the NRC didn't find the proposed mode of operation sufficiently safe so they told Edison to fix the plant properly or stop operating. You cannot operate nuclear plants with hacks and duct-tape fixes. That just doesn't fly in this part of the world (for which we can be thankful). Since Edison finds the costs of repairs for proper operation too expensive, they have stopped operations. The reason for their stop is still purely economic.
@Bob Great points. @Davemart and other nuclear proponents You massively over-exaggerate the cost and technical challenges of integrating wind and solar into current grids. Grid operators need to manage huge unplanned disruptions in any case and distributed, smaller plants are much smaller of a problem for them, than huge, gigawatt-sized fossil/nuclear plants. Research of the current grid and advanced modelling has already proven that renewable generation which is geographically dispersed has a low variability even if the individual generating plants are highly intermittent. The EU already has huge interconnects between its countries and it is continuously being upgraded. This will probably happen in the US in sync with renewable investment. This and the coming of cheap grid-scale storage will eliminate any resistance at generators against renewables and as a result, fossil/nuclear investment will practically stop. Some of the next-gen grid-storage solutions are already in the commercialization phase (EOS, GE Durathon) you sound silly when you refer to them as fairy-tales. Heck, GE already sells wind turbines with integrated storage (built-in Durathon batteries in the turbine tower).
27Kwh/liter for the third chemistry? That is definitely worth exploring. My second-gen Prius has a ~45 liter tank. Even if we take a more practical (say 15kwh/liter) real-life capacity, that would give a 675 kwh battery. With the electric consumption of the Prius (150 Wh/km) this would result in a 4500 km range. Now, that would be a car that crushes all of the petrol-based competition.
These numbers are very good for a system which may be put into a flow-battery configuration. If flow-through cells can be designed, this may be the ideal stationary/grid battery. It seems to have very good cycling ability, scales well and very high round-trip efficiency. In a flow configuration, this could scale to MWh systems easily.
@HarveyD The 30%+ solar panels are very expensive and normally used in concentrating systems which don't lend themselves for automotive use.
$40/kw would be an extremely good price for a fuel cell stack that is capable of operating for so long. A 10KW home unit would only cost $400. A CHP unit could be built around it cost-effectively and that would push its efficiency up to 80-90% (I assume that it is 50% efficient only for electricity generation and the rest is medium-grade heat which is easy to use up in the form of domestic hot water). Probably, they would be best paired with a heat-pump (in winter you may need much more heat than electricity) but simple electric heating may also be a choice (cheap). A CHP unit like that could make a home completely power-independent if a large-enough hydrogen storage tank (say 2-3 m3) is installed with it and there is on-site renewable generating capacity. Possibly, those in-development artificial leafs could produce hydrogen on-site so a hydrogen network build-out may not even be necessary. (not sure if the 2-3 m3 storage would be enough for seasonal shifting but some high-density H2 storage may be developed specifically for this)