phb10186
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Re: Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:48 pm

Phximiev wrote:More on ITM's progress in re-purposing natural gas networks to hydrogen. This appears to be part of a plan to convert all of the UK?

http://www.itm-power.com/wp-content/upl ... tation.pdf



That's an excellent bit of consultancy by KPMG, but the problem is in the small print, where you need green H2 production. 'Cadent' (formerly called 'British Gas') the main monopoly on the gas infrastructure in the UK are in the business of keeping their existing infrastructure going, and installing the gas mains to homes (i've just had my old metal gas mains changed to HDPE yellow plastic ones - cost £6K - but 100% covered by a qualifying local government grant, hence why I got it done). So, I'm a bit skeptical of the monopoly infrastructure controller paying a private consultancy to tell us what the best options are (even if they disguise it as from another institution) - however, using the existing infrastructure makes sense, though leaves several issues unanswered: the main one being, who's going to pay for me to replace a £1,500 boiler with a likely £10k fuel cell one when the monopoly tell me they are turning off the gas?!

Not sure this is part of a plan to convert all of the UK at this stage (would have to go through UK government bill), but more of a discussion around one potential part-solution. Their calculations and assumption are likely only 'accurate until proven inaccurate', but I dare say that currently, we may have to beef up our armed forces a tad following this spy poisoning, deal with Brexit, and address the chronic lack of homes we have blissfully and ignorantly drifted in to. Would be good to see this more extensively trialed in some new housing development towns and see what it's like before they send over the letter advising that my taxes are gong up 10% and the gas is being turned off! Still... there is that thing about getting the hydrogen out cleanly, and then being able to use it affordably at the other end - as well as them being able to keep rather than scrap their aged network of gas pipes.

I'm also trying to assemble an argument here where you may need gas and H2 supply, and one pipe won't suffice... though I suppose the intention would be a phased roll-out on a regional basis... so that may not be such an issue.

That bit about home H2 compression is quite interesting - you could potentially see the issue of loads of hydrogen vessels on every street, but maybe you only need a small amount of storage for the next day of use... I don't currently understand how much would be needed, but I see a washing machine sized appliance that topps off the car and feeds the boiler, containing a few Kgs of hydrogen.

I don't doubt that the nuclear age will slowly become the hydrogen age - I am mostly convinced about that, especially the way geopolitics are going at the moment - so it's a case of 'yes do it, but don't make my life even more miserably expensive than it already is while doing it'. Lastly, the future proposals (in general) do seem to revolve around more localised grid solutions, and that is probably a good thing for continuity and efficiency of power delivery. The UK has more wind than the rest of Europe combined - I can't understand why we are not installing wind generators wholesale at the moment - it's not that hard these days.
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Phximiev
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Re: Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:27 pm

phb10186 wrote:
Phximiev wrote:More on ITM's progress in re-purposing natural gas networks to hydrogen. This appears to be part of a plan to convert all of the UK?

http://www.itm-power.com/wp-content/upl ... tation.pdf



. . . leaves several issues unanswered: the main one being, who's going to pay for me to replace a £1,500 boiler with a likely £10k fuel cell one when the monopoly tell me they are turning off the gas?!
...
That bit about home H2 compression is quite interesting . . .

I don't doubt that the nuclear age will slowly become the hydrogen age. . . . The UK has more wind than the rest of Europe combined - I can't understand why we are not installing wind generators wholesale at the moment - it's not that hard these days.


Whether the nuclear age becomes the hydrogen age here in the US depends upon the number of political sandbags and Trumpions dumping on the idea. The problem here is huge (again assuming the accuracy of the DOE number). I don't know if such numbers are available in the UK or the EU, but it would be interesting to see for comparison to the US numbers. The problem with not converting the existing natural gas infrastructure to hydrogen here is that the burning natural gas in the US alone may be sufficient to cause climate change in which case without a conversion we are doomed.

Let me say that I have nothing but great things to say about Elon Musk. I realize that Elon opines that hydrogen is a poor form of energy for automotive purposes, but in fact that opinion may be altered down the road because of the natural gas problem. Let's assume that he recognized the use of natural gas for heating and other purposes in conjunction with the ICE problem and instead of a supercharger network, he [also] created a hydrogen network from part of the existing natural gas network and used the AU conversion method described in the link that I posted above (this:
https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable ... -emissions ). Where would he be today?

My unfounded belief is that his Tesla vehicles may have a hydrogen option (perhaps looking like this: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/11 ... -built-one ) and that he could sell access to that network to the other automotive manufacturers much easier than he could the supercharger network. And what about the Nikola truck hydrogen network? Where is that coming from if not the existing natural gas network? Ah, well, such is the joy of speculation!

As to H2 compressing, being no engineer, I have no idea what is would take to provide the homeowner with a device to either (a) compress hydrogen for their 'Mirai' or other FCEV assuming a hydrogen network, or (b) convert natural gas to hydrogen (at home perhaps using the AU methodology) and then compress it for homeowner use assuming no hydrogen network. If a clever engineer could come up with a device for (b) at a reasonable cost, then I believe that hordes would buy them as well as FCEVs, after all it is the H2 delivery that is the problem. Who on this forum wouldn't buy one and an FCEV if the H2 device cost $1,000.00? Both my wife and I would like to get an EV or FCEV that went 400+ miles and probably would if all it took was a home based converter/compressor that was clean. It could also eliminate all other gas burning devices in the home either at once or by phased in to address your boiler problem (and assuming that you have gas despite the turmoil from shutting down the UK storage and that your boiler couldn't be converted to hydrogen - or could it?). Would you or any other forum member buy one?

In Phoenix, we have Southwest Gas, ( https://www.swgas.com ); they have 2 million customers (we're not one unfortunately but its available if we want it). If they could double the gas sold because their customers bought FCEVs and could convert the natural gas and supply their own home hydrogen, then the doom that I referred to above may be substantially reduced as the home natural gas converter/compressor solves both the natural gas problem shown in the DOE link as well as a good part of the ICE problem. To address the wind issue, it may be that the UK can eliminate hydrocarbons because of the wind; but we have no substantial wind here in the Phoenix area. We do have sun, but try telling that to the 2 million SG customers who pay less for their gas than the rest of us using electric and more than likely those SG customer don't have solar panels and don't care about them.

No doubt we would still need BEVs and a substantial charging network because of the number of folks with no natural gas access.

On the other hand, who wants to take a shot at that device?
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phb10186
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Re: Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:14 pm

^ so, the main problem with installing wind turbines wholesale, as I understand it, is that building permission is constantly challenged by people who live in areas where these may be in sight, so the extremely slow and bureaucratic planning laws have resulted in a lot of successful challenges. There are large parts of the UK that are protected from such installations: 'areas of outstanding natural beauty', national parks, land the church owns, land owned by royals/ dukes/ lords/ earls all that stuff, tourism industry objections, compensation for spoiling of people's nice views of a field... the list is endless. In fact, even The Donald has fought an off-shore wind development that was 'too close' to one of his Scottish golf courses.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... olf-course

Of course there is always the now vs later arguement too, as the new wind turbines are far more efficient than the old ones, and keep getting better and better... not so sure about off-sure installations, they seem rather expensive to me vs sticking one on land.

You do need multiple solutions to these problems, and I can easily see a Hydrogen Tesla offering (would be short-sighted to believe Musk isn't going there too).

As far as Hydrogen as a fuel goes, I'd say bring it on - but the problem is these relatively doable things end up costing the public sector (all of us) 10 times the original amount, take 6 times longer than anticipated, push up taxes and consume money that could be used on other stuff, and then you end up having to finance the domestic installation yourself - and to top it all off the energy supply companies continue to make billions in profits for their shareholders... so happy to pay, but i'm not happy to finance any more billionaire yachts in the French Riviera.

To that end, perhaps the perfect vehicle is a Hydrogen BEV with a gasoline range extender... fill it up with anything and it will move.
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Phximiev
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Re: Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:51 am

More on the Hazer conversion process with a commercialization timetable: http://www.hazergroup.com.au/wp/wp-cont ... qh2yrt.pdf
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rmay635703
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Re: Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:21 pm

I really don’t get why we would convert natural gas to hydrogen.

Making natural gas into hydrogen creates more pollution than just burning the natural gas.

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Re: Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:10 pm

rmay635703 wrote:I really don’t get why we would convert natural gas to hydrogen.

Making natural gas into hydrogen creates more pollution than just burning the natural gas.


Not per the Hazer folks....
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rmay635703
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Re: Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:57 pm

Phximiev wrote:
rmay635703 wrote:I really don’t get why we would convert natural gas to hydrogen.

Making natural gas into hydrogen creates more pollution than just burning the natural gas.


Not per the Hazer folks....


But their analysis is fundamentally flawed,
Natural gas isn’t 65% efficient anymore in most use cases.

Natural gas Cogen for example is much more efficient than their hazer process

Compression of either gas is very wasteful but more so on H2

I wish them luck but more efficient H2 is still not a good transport solution, maybe good for stationary but I wonder how much vested cost in the system?

Phximiev
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Re: Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:52 pm

rmay635703 wrote:
Phximiev wrote:
rmay635703 wrote:I really don’t get why we would convert natural gas to hydrogen.

Making natural gas into hydrogen creates more pollution than just burning the natural gas.


Not per the Hazer folks....


But their analysis is fundamentally flawed,
Natural gas isn’t 65% efficient anymore in most use cases.

Natural gas Cogen for example is much more efficient than their hazer process

Compression of either gas is very wasteful but more so on H2

I wish them luck but more efficient H2 is still not a good transport solution, maybe good for stationary but I wonder how much vested cost in the system?


The vested cost and efficiency questions will hopefully be answered by the project.

We drive EV which hopefully down the road will mitigate the CO2 emissions from that category. But what about the other:

"Here in the US, assuming the DOE is correct by their site: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=75&t=11

Then, the 1,485 million metric tons of CO2 produced from the burning of natural gas must be addressed as part of the formula for fixing climate change."

It really is a completely separate problem. Any other suggestions than converting the whole mess to hydrogen?
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Re: Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:08 am

Phximiev wrote:It really is a completely separate problem. Any other suggestions than converting the whole mess to hydrogen?

In our house currently, the following devices run on propane (since we don't live near any gas infrastructure):

1. Furnace
2. Clothes Dryer
3. Water Heater
4. Stove and Oven

In the new house I'm planning, everything will be electric and run 100% by off-grid solar. For heat, I'll primarily be using radiant floors with solar evacuated tubes, but will have a mini-split heat pump as backup. The clothes dryer I'm looking at is a heat pump unit. No fuel required, and 2-3 times more energy efficient than a conventional electric dryer. Hot water will be provided by the same evacuated tubes that heat the floors. For cooking, an induction cooktop and an air fryer will largely replace the need for a conventional oven/stove. More energy efficient and much faster cook times (a plate of French fries usually takes half an hour in the oven, but only 15 minutes in the air fryer at 1,500 watts.

Sure, this all has a higher upfront cost, but given that the kit will have zero utility bills, ROI should be relatively quick. To adapt this to regular homes, whole-house heat pumps have been around for a long time, and modern mini-splits work well below freezing. Heat pump dryers are a little harder to find, but are available on Amazon. Solar hot water systems are pretty commonplace, as are electric stove/oven combos. You could take an all-electric house, throw some solar on the roof, and be mostly done just like that.
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Phximiev
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Re: Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:58 am

For those ready, willing and able, that’s a nice solution, but what about the millions that aren’t?

Southwest Gas for instance has two million customers.
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