Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Little Ghostman, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Little Ghostman

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 1, 2014
    Does anyone know of a commercially available Hydrogen fuel cell? I have had a look for a couple of days, What I am looking for is a hydrogen fuel cell that would be commercially available.
    I dont want to buy!!! But I do want the information on input and output, at School we are doing alternative energy, my stance and project is seeing if there is a net saving in energy with 3 different types of renewable energy.
    So for hydrogen fuel cell I need to calculate how much energy is used to make the hydrogen (commercially), then how much a fuel cell uses per given amount of energy.
    Apart from the obvious danger of driving with hydrogen in the back of the car what other minus sides are there? For example a normal car needs a service every X miles. Does a fuel cell need parts replacing?

    This is nothing to do with mickey mouse HHO or home made stuff, I have to use information from real products. Funny thing is so far steam comes out tops!!! But its more complex than the outline I have given :D.
    I have help working out all the maths as its way above me, but so far steam is the winner, with regards to power in power out and production and service cost!!
    Anyway any information would be great
  2. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
  3. Little Ghostman

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 1, 2014
    Thanks, it looks like what I actually wanted to know isnt available! Most the information I would need seems confidential, I am going to drop Hydrogen cells from the project :(.
    I was also looking at LPG for cars, on the face of it I am surprised its not more widely used, apart of course from the space it takes up.
    I also cant find a valid reason why hydrogen cells, are not actively being used in a production car? Again my information is limited, if you take supply out of it (hydrogen is hard to get hold of). Then the hybrid cars like Vauxhal Ampera would be ideal for the technology. It does make me wonder if some of the oil company conspiracy theories are not so far off the mark. Hybrids might be cleaner on the surface but add the cost of charging the battery, and add in the fuel used to produce that energy and there is a net loss over oil. The more I look the more it appears green energy is a long way from being green!
    DIY systems made from junk show the best figures for overall gain/loss, the figures I have to use are in a table supplied by the School, I dont actually think some of them are correct!
    Wind turbines without the uk feed in tariff are awful! Cost to make,buy,install and maintain, far out ways the amount of energy they can realistically produce.
    My friend is doing a hydro one, his figures give a big net gain. Makes me wonder why hydro isnt a bigger priority, but then again that is ignoring the problem of siting hydro dams.
    Nuclear looks good if you ignore the build cost, if you add in build cost etc then the cost per unit makes it a net loss. Fascinating project, how correct our figure are I have no idea. If they are correct, then cave living and replanting the forests and eating berries while grunting, is the way forward :O
  4. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    Honda sells (leases) their Clarity FCX in California. Here are their stats. I don't know if they are in the mpg form you want or if they supply enough variables to get the efficiency factor you want but here it is.


    Toyota will likely announce something soon. They have a concept car traveling the auto show circuits this year.
  5. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    An argument rages, over the efficacy of both CNG, and LNG, and safety issues for both...

    My two cents worth, is that LNG, [ NatGas ] or LPG [ Butane, Propane ] is the only logical choice, because one can get more useable fuel on board, than with compressed gas... and LNG/LPG is far safer to deal with, not requiring high-pressure compression...

    LNG/LPG does require an expansion device, though that is not really any prohibitively expensive hardware...
  6. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    There is a lot of R&D effort for solid supports of hydrogen and various hydrocarbon gases because they are more efficient in the fuel cell - especially hydrogen. The solid supports allows the gas to physi-sorb to the surface of a high-surface area substrate (metal-organic frameworks, layered graphite-like materials and so on). The goal is to lower the pressure it takes to store a given amount of fuel in a storage tank of a set size.

    That research is competing with other teams looking to increase efficiency of LPG and LNG fuels in fuel cells.

    The last hurdle will be how and where to generate hydrogen (do we make it from water and plug our car into the wall or will we refuel from commercially produced h2 had a hydrogen station? Who knows but I like the fuel cell idea more than the electric (battery) vehicle.
    PackratKing likes this.
  7. Little Ghostman

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 1, 2014
    In researching this I found out that in the uk, LPG is very common for forklift trucks! apparently they just strap the propane cylinders on the back. I cant get the figures but it works out cheaper to run a forklift on LPG than other fuels.
    Hydrogen is a hard one to work out, some production methods use alot of electricity, separation and filtration also adds cost, obviously if you dont separate you get HHO, which as a fuel source is valid but you cant store it long. Also there is according to the table I have to use a large net loss, interestingly if you take cars etc out of it, and if you used wind power to produce the Gas then there is a net gain, not in terms of energy but in terms of energy cost. The hard part is we are doing this relative to cost, but some info is not UK, that makes it even harder to work out!
    Another down side is again with HHO storage, you cant guarantee wind and you cant store the gas long, so you would need to separate etc. Then you get a net loss! I think my teachers have been really clever with this :D.
    As mad as it seems I still cant beat STEAM power!!! cost wise and power output its great!!! But I guess it would be, when you get down to it most commercial generation (apart from hydro etc) uses steam in one way or other.
    But the section on transport gets difficult, on the table it gives a low figure for steam because of fuel availability, but I dont think thats fair! after all most petrol stations in the uk sell bags of wood or charcoal! So I think its as available as petrol.
    Somehow steam cars would be great lol, it might stop joy riders lol
  8. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    LG, steam doesn't need to be produced by wood or coal. And if you use the correct system, it doesn't take that long to get moving. Have a look at this -

    Added benefit it doesn't produce green house gases. Because the fire/burning is complete. An internal combustion engine is where the green house gas comes from.
  9. tcmtech

    Distinguished Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    I have been playing with propane fuel daily use vehicles for years. In fact I have ran several vehicles now on it over the years (at least 150,000 combined miles) along with numerous other machines and equipment.

    Here is one of my old beater pickups I did a full propane only, opposed to dual fuel, conversion to. ;)

  10. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    That Cyclone engine is a very interesting design. They seem to have solved the problems of the old steam engines and made them very efficient in the process. Closed cycle, no problems with freezing, no lubricating oil, no transmission, no clutch, far fewer parts -- sounds very promising.
    shortbus likes this.