For anyone that’s been in a conversation with me over the past few months knows I’m fascinated by the potential of Green Hydrogen to seriously upend our energy consumption. Especially since the passage of the IRA, things are happening fast and furiously, so thought I’d summarize things from time-to-time that I’m finding most interesting.
Nikola Gets Real on Hydrogen with 60 Stations planned by 2026
- It’s seems only natural that Nikola is planning to build out a Hydrogen network to support their fuel-cell trucks, so assuming these will largely be built on the interstate system… And assuming that this interstate system is also available to personal vehicles, that would be awesome as it’d open up cross country trips for us Mirai owners!
- Also interesting to note how much money they’ll looking to get from the government to support this initiatives. Lots of examples in the article, but the one that caught my attention was: “It offsets the cost of construction for up to $100,000 per dispensing equipment item.”
Renault Scénic Vision hydrogen hybrid concept offers 75% smaller carbon footprint than a conventional BEV
- First example I’ve seen of a true plug-in style hybrid, but with a fuel cell instead of a ICE as the alternative source. The 40kW battery is comparable to a Nissan Leaf, so it would seem that you could probably run a relatively standard commute off the battery, while reserving your hydrogen for extended range (Renault is claiming around 800 km or almost 500 miles).
NamX Rocks the Paris Motor Show With a Hydrogen Powered SUV Concept Using Removable Tanks
- The idea of capsules definitely captured tons of people’s attention… and I’ve been envisioning a future where we could refuel our car as easy as trading out a propane tank (i.e. could be done at a Home Depot, 7-11 or anywhere that wanted to distribute pre-filled tanks) ever since I saw the Toyota announcement a few months ago.
- However, the more I’ve read into this, the more it sounds like a novelty item as the capsules don’t hold much hydrogen as compared to the in-car tank and not really sure it makes any sense to have a dual fuel vehicle where both are using hydrogen (The Renault concept of a battery/hydrogen hybrid makes a lot more sense to me than a hydrogen/hydrogen hybrid).
New Bladeless Wind Device Could Help Homes and Businesses Be Energy Independent
- After seeing @SolarFred link out to a story about the Aeromine tech, I did a bit of a deep dive… and “Wow!” this seems so darn cool. In a nutshell, it’s essentially using the same physics that causes a wing to lift up an airplane (ie. the shape of the wing causes a low pressure side and a high-pressure side on a wing that gives “lift”), but instead to spin a turbine that’s stored inside a giant tube. Here’s a great video with an overview of the aeromine technology.
- Early tests show it’s provides a lot more energy than a solar panel in terms of a footprint and cost, and with no moving parts exposed to the elements, I’d imagine the typical aeromine turbine could also for years with very little maintenance… similar to how dam turbines run year after year with the flow of water. Throw in that that’s no rare minerals needed and I’m hard pressed to think of anything that’s not to love about this tech. Obviously, there could be some drawbacks that make this tech impractical for mass adoption, but I just don’t see what it is now.
- Finally, it might go without saying, but the connection to “green hydrogen” is that this would seem to make an ideal source for generating hydrogen locally… I could totally see a world where an office complex, large apartment building, etc. could throw these on their roof in order to power an electrolyzer that’s making hydrogen for local use and/or back up power.
Building a fuel-cell racing car
- Finally, I’m thrilled that Toyota decided to sponsor a club at my son’s high school that will be competing in the Horizon Hydrogen Grand Prix competition. We just unboxed the set earlier this week and expect lots of fun ahead… I’m sure I’ll be posting lots of updates on Twitter, so follow along at @tyr for updates or simply subscribe to my weekly blog posts below!