Phximiev
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:25 pm
Location: Phoenix

Riversimple and Fuel Cell Discussions

Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:06 pm

A new hydrogen car: http://riversimple.com/the-technology-behind-the-hydrogen-car/

How about a hydrogen fuel cell range extender? I think we discussed a hydrogen range extender before also, but time to re-visit?
2012 iMIEV ES
2014 Chevy Volt

databeestje
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:47 am
Location: Netherlands

Re: Riversimple

Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:24 am

It's still not very versatile, our i-Miev can outrun it, so it isn't a particularly powerful on either.

I've looked at commercial small 5kWh fuel cells, but it's just not cost effective, not even close. A small jet turbine could work, they light almost anything that looks like diesel, but they tend to be noisy and are not well suited for long running applications, although their power enveloppe is quite decent.

A small 20-30cc RC gas engine is a few hundred euros, but crafting that into a package useable as a heater and range extender at the same time will be quite the feat. Not impossible, and where do we put that in the i, it's significantly larger then the current parking heaters. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... _54kw.html

Still, that could deliver about a kW of power with 2-3 in heat. You'd want a good muffler though for something that runs 5000rpm constantly.

Phximiev
Posts: 1083
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:25 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Riversimple

Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:42 pm

2012 iMIEV ES
2014 Chevy Volt

Phximiev
Posts: 1083
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:25 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Riversimple

Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:22 pm

And more:

http://youtu.be/V23GzgjfrI0

300 mile range?
2012 iMIEV ES
2014 Chevy Volt

JoeS
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Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Riversimple

Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:35 am

I really like the concept of a small aerodynamic vehicle (Aptera, RIP), although I'm not thrilled at the concept of a very high pressure onboard hydrogen tank. Wonder what the weight of that tank and fuel cell paraphernalia and their batteries is, as making it a pure BEV would perhaps be a simple alternative?
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

PV1
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Re: Riversimple

Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:52 am

Not sure of H2 pressure either, but I stopped at a local CNG pump the other day. The pump has 4,700 PSI behind it :shock: . I wouldn't want the nozzle to break off of that tank.
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015

2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Driving electric since 2-21-2013.

Benjamin Nead
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Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA
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Re: Riversimple

Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:13 am

The big question is . . . where do you get your hydrogen from?

You can extract it cleanly with solar panels from water, via electrolysis. Trouble is, it's about 3 to 4 times less efficient to obtain a unit of energy this way than it is to use those same PV panels to recharge batteries.

So, to obtain hydrogen economically and at a scale to make it a more practical transportation fuel, one has to use a steam reformation process with natural gas to extract it. Even here, the process of expending the energy to make the hydrogen has led many to observe that you're better off both economically and ecologically to simply run a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle on natural gas. And guess what? A well designed battery EV wins in both operating cost and cleanliness when compared to a natural gas car.

Hydrogen is essentially the petroleum industry's version of what they want and electric car to be. The fuel has to be made at a refinery and moved to distribution stations. Forget pipelines. It literally leaks through those sort of metal structures, so it has to be trucked everywhere.

Then, the consumer has to go somewhere to get it piped into their car . . . and at an alarming 10,000 psi (at least in the case of the Toyota Mirai.) There's also the price of hydrogen refueling stations, which are far more expensive than even the most exotic Quick Charge facilities for our EVs. Meanwhile, I can also charge at home overnight (and more often do than not) with plain ol' 120V alternating current.

A hydrogen car essentially has to be a battery electric car to begin with, since a fuel cell can't be throttled in the same way that a controller on an EV elegantly interfaces the battery with the motor. A fuel cell also can't store electricity. So, electricity regenerated from the motor when the car is going down hill has to be routed to batteries.

About 15 years ago, I briefly bought into the idea of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, like so many others. But the more I looked at it critically, the more I could see that it was ultimately going to be a distraction getting in the way of battery electric vehicles enjoying wider adoption. The problems with batteries (ie: durability, weight, price and ability to quick charge effectively) are now well on the way to being solved. Connect those same batteries into the grid and you now also have a way to more easily integrate wind, tidal and solar energy into it. We then can, more often than not, drive our cars completely from clean, renewable energy.
Benjamin Nead / Tucson, Arizona, USA
Secretary: Tucson Electric Vehicle Association (EAA chapter)

North American 2012 i-MiEV SE / Pearl White /CHAdeMO
Aka: "The Vanilla Jellybean"
Purchased used in Nov. 2015 @ ~18,000 miles

PV1
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Re: Riversimple

Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:00 am

Couldn't have said it better myself. They want Hydrogen, but they want to get it from natural gas. Well, why don't we save a step and either:

A.) Run vehicles on natural gas directly? or,
B.) Use the natural gas to generate electricity to run BEVs?

Both options already have existing infrastructure, and both transport much better than Hydrogen anyway.

I've noticed that Hydrogen as a fuel source for vehicles only gets talked about when BEVs pose a threat to oil. Once BEVs go un-noticed or disappear, so does Hydrogen. It happened in 2003, and it's happening now. Talks of Hydrogen cars was one factor in the demise of the BEV revolution in the late 90's.

Now, the problem with trying to run cars on natural gas or natural gas-derived Hydrogen. Natural gas, right now, is still more expensive than gasoline (local station cost $2.20 per gasoline gallon equivalent, while gasoline is at $2.03 locally). That's with minimal demand from cars. Once you start driving half a million cars on natural gas or Hydrogen from natural gas, that price is going to shoot up to where gasoline was three years ago. Has anybody noticed any effect on their electricity prices from adding about a million EVs to the global fleet? The gas price crash was due to a lot of factors, but one big one was demand destruction caused by EVs. Funny how a monopolized energy source suffered so badly (for the companies selling oil) by EVs, but how stable a diversified energy source (the electrical grid) stayed under the additional demand. Not only that, but because of the high efficiency of a lithium-ion based electric drive system, overall energy consumption of an EV is 50-80% lower for driving the same distance. Over the last 3 years and 30,000 miles, Bear has consumed 8,114 kWh, roughly 6 months of production for my solar array. The Cavalier it replaced would've consumed 1,200 gallons of gasoline to drive that distance, which is a total energy consumption of 40,200 kWh (each gallon of gasoline contains 33.7 kWh per EPA). So, a BEV reduced my transportation energy usage by 80% over an ICE. To generate and use Hydrogen instead of a lithium-ion battery results in about 30% of the energy consumed in separating the Hydrogen gas being able to be used when the Hydrogen is joined with oxygen at the fuel cell. So, a Hydrogen car's energy consumption would be 27,046 kWh when the Hydrogen was separated from water using electrolysis.

In summary, electricity usage for 30,000 miles of driving:

BEV - 8,114 kWh (including heater and AC usage)
H2 - 27,046 kWh (including electrolysis stage)
ICE - 40,200 kWh (33.7 kWh per gallon at 25 MPG)

Can't argue with the charge/discharge efficiency of the lithium ion battery.
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015

2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Driving electric since 2-21-2013.

Phximiev
Posts: 1083
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:25 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Riversimple

Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:23 pm

I know that you folks are probably right at the moment, but I just like the looks of the car and what it stands for. :)

And just maybe someone will figure out a better and cheaper way to accomplish hydrogen re-fueling (as "they" are figuring out better and cheaper battery technology). It will be worth it to see how Riversimple handles it.

There were naysayers with the EV-1 too!
2012 iMIEV ES
2014 Chevy Volt

PV1
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Re: Riversimple

Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:40 pm

I know. Hydrogen is some pretty impressive technology. The efficiency isn't there...yet.

The way I see it, though, there is already a nationwide infrastructure to generate and distribute electricity, and it is found in nearly every building. The only equipment needed to use that infrastructure for cars are plugs (EVSE). For faster charging, that's taken one step further by placing larger versions of our on-board chargers in stationary locations and connecting that charger directly to our battery packs (Superchargers and quick chargers).

For Hydrogen, and entire infrastructure needs designed and built, new systems need manufactured to dispense the fuel, and new storage technology needs created. Also, provisions for home refuelling are even farther out in the development cycle.

While both battery and Hydrogen technology are great, for the end user, I don't see Hydrogen beating the simplicity of plugging a BEV into a 120 volt outlet and the car charging automatically. People hate gas stations for a reason, but they're fine with plugging in their cell phone every night.

I just hope that a solution we're driving today doesn't get totally ignored for something that's "right around the corner".

(Side note, I would love to have an EV1. Mostly normal-looking car with un-matched aerodynamics (.19 cD) and energy efficiency, with range that's only been surpassed by Tesla so far. In fact, the Model S is the most aerodynamic EV you can buy (.22 cD). I can't wait to see the aero rating on the Model 3.)
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015

2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Driving electric since 2-21-2013.

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