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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: May 28, 2014 1:24 pm 
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cerebral wrote:
KitemanSA wrote:
cerebral wrote:
By the way to all the renewable opponents. We here in Germany got a 40% solar electricity load yesterday allthough i can see only one PV on one house in my neighbourhood.
And you did in late spring (low season load) on a Sunday (low weekly load) for an hour. Great system. And how much does your power cost? It is just behind Denmark for most expensive in the EU, no?


Solar in conjunction with wind power works actually great. They complement each other. If its cloudy in summer its very windy, if we have pure blue sky wind power decreases. In winter wind is abundant, especially offshore.
Speaking of poor electricity yields out of renewables. I dont want to be a pedant, but on the 11th may as it was very cloudy
wind power had a peak of 22GW and PV only 15GW. In total they produced that day 500GWh or 48% of Germanys electricity demand for the whole day. Peak power of both reached 67% on that day.

http://www.solarserver.de/fileadmin/use ... 1-5-14.pdf


What you omit to tell is the other may days which were all abysmally worse than your showcase day. From your source the may 2 was only 11% or so total wind and solar. On average from your source it was more like 20-25% of generation. So solar and wind can't deliver on 75% of the solution. How is that a good indicator of performance? In school getting 1 out of 4 answers correct would net you an F. No pass at all. In the mind of renewables enthusiasts, ticking 1 out of 4 is an A+ somehow.

I guess you renewables people have gotten used to low standards.


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: May 28, 2014 7:41 pm 
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Typical January/February weather is not continuous storms.... often you just get a horrible cold mist sort of thing with no sunlight or wind at all.

There is almost no solar power available in Europe during the winter anyway - and since we get calm days you haven't suggested how this will be overcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: May 28, 2014 11:43 pm 
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Rightly or wrongly, a lot of wind power has been installed in Germany as also the Gujarat state of India. The least that could be done is to use it more effectively.
The mechanical power of the windmills should be used to compress air which could be stored in the towers of the mills, after suitable cladding. The compressed air can be used to match the requirement. It could be used directly for many uses at a lower cost.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed ... gy_storage


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: May 29, 2014 9:32 am 
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Joined: Mar 22, 2014 2:34 pm
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Location: Germany
i quit this discussion because of constantly being degraded as a 'renewable only proponent, surrealistic eco-nut'.
I notice an aggressive, unreasonable behaviour towards renewables.


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: May 29, 2014 2:46 pm 
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cerebral wrote:
i quit this discussion because of constantly being degraded as a 'renewable only proponent, surrealistic eco-nut'.
I notice an aggressive, unreasonable behaviour towards renewables.


Not calling you that at all. I think the term "renewables enthusiast" is a good one. Enthusiast is a positive, but unrealistic term. I like the positive angle, we need more of that, if only renewables enthusiasts could be more realistic as to renewable energy's performances.


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: May 29, 2014 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Dec 24, 2011 12:43 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Cyril R wrote:
cerebral wrote:
i quit this discussion because of constantly being degraded as a 'renewable only proponent, surrealistic eco-nut'.
I notice an aggressive, unreasonable behaviour towards renewables.


Not calling you that at all. I think the term "renewables enthusiast" is a good one. Enthusiast is a positive, but unrealistic term. I like the positive angle, we need more of that, if only renewables enthusiasts could be more realistic as to renewable energy's performances.


I have the same attitude. I have no beef with cerebral and you've been entirely reasonable. There is nothing wrong with liking renewables for their own sake. I think there is just a lot of fatigue with people like Caldicott and Sierra Club's Michael Brune, who repeatedly assert that a 100% renewable society is attainable and that nuclear is particularly dangerous.

My own opinion is that renewables can fill a significant niche in an idealized grid, and especially for off-grid or time insensitive applications, and do so economically. Outside of RTGs these niches are not well filled by nuclear, at least on a small scale. That said I think the current paradigm where renewables have preferential access to sell to the grid is destructive. I've heard many small-is-beautiful types and technophiles embrace this and predict a "grid collapse" like it's a good thing. I don't think they realize what a disaster it would be.


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: May 29, 2014 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Sep 15, 2011 7:58 pm
Posts: 186
cerebral wrote:
i quit this discussion because of constantly being degraded as a 'renewable only proponent, surrealistic eco-nut'.
I notice an aggressive, unreasonable behaviour towards renewables.

I'm afraid you need a reality check.

I looked over the thread, and I saw almost nothing or nothing which could be seen as a personal attack on you. If I missed something, please speak up and point it out.

Instead, I saw merely reasoned points referring to facts and hard data, which were used to make arguments that renewables cannot work in X situation, or in general.

You say this is "aggressive"? Sure. You say this is "unreasonable"? By what standard? Because you don't like confrontation? Deal with it. Because you think it's false? Then show it's false by referring to facts and hard data to make your own arguments and to counter the arguments you think are wrong. This is how adults behave in an adult conversation over important public policy.


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: May 30, 2014 1:09 am 
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Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
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I think that I have made positive suggestions regarding renewable power. However, the thread belongs to fuel cells.
Wind and solar energy have their suitable niches but need storage backing due to their intermittent nature.


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: Jun 03, 2014 2:08 am 
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Posts: 507
Hydrogen / PEM fuel cells are probably a waste of time until we find a hydrogen mine. Solid oxide fuel cells that convert methane to electricity at about 50-60% efficiency are very interesting.

I think the Bluegen fuel cells are about £6,000 ($10,000) fully installed, for a 1.5KWe + 1.5KWt system. Ceres Power has been trying to develop a lower temperature, cheaper version but have had set backs.

On UK prices: Given these effectively generate electricity at 4p/KWh marginal cost (the cost of gas) in the home / office, you have a margin of >10p. So you might make £1.50 per day. That's a 12 year straight line payback.

I think it would make financial sense for a new-build, highly insulated house, where you can then dispense with your normal boiler, and just use the fuel cell for heating. (Say 10KWh/day of heat in summer, 20KWh/day in winter).

They make a good companion to solar cells which provide cheap electricity to a home in summer, but none in winter.


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: Jun 06, 2014 7:31 pm 
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The solar energy gets fixed in the biomass which could be mined for methanol/ethanol. Direct or reformed methanol/ethanol fuel cells are in an advanced development stage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_methanol_fuel_cell
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_m ... _fuel_cell
Costs are bound to come down. These appear to be the most logical fuel cells.


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: Jun 15, 2014 2:40 am 
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Future electric vehicles could well use consumable aluminium batteries.
http://newenergyandfuel.com/http:/newen ... we-expect/
The aluminium/aluminium fuel elements could well come from China or Russia produced using nuclear energy. The energy could, in effect, be outsourced if the resistance to nuclear energy continues as evidenced by NRC attitudes.


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: Sep 15, 2016 9:33 am 
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Posts: 337
In Denmark it has been opened the first European methanol station. It seems that a Scandinavian start up called Serenergy has been able to build a reliable high efficiency methanol fuel cell converting a Fiat 500 to a battery serial hybrid, with the MeOH fuel cell working as generator. I don't know the overall feasibility, but it's quite interesting anyway.

http://serenergy.com/press-release-euro ... g-station/
http://serenergy.com/video-europes-firs ... g-station/


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: Sep 17, 2016 7:07 pm 
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Methanol and ethanol are interesting fuels as they could be used both for IC engines and be in place for fuel cells when they get popular,


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: Sep 18, 2016 3:27 pm 
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Posts: 348
Methanol certainly has many advantages. This was pointed out a couple of years ago by Nobel prize winner George Olah in his book "Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy"


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 Post subject: Re: Fuel cell costs
PostPosted: Sep 18, 2016 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Nov 14, 2013 7:47 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Iowa, USA
jagdish wrote:
The solar energy gets fixed in the biomass which could be mined for methanol/ethanol. Direct or reformed methanol/ethanol fuel cells are in an advanced development stage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_methanol_fuel_cell
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_m ... _fuel_cell
Costs are bound to come down. These appear to be the most logical fuel cells.


Biomass fuels are a very bad idea. I've seen the math on how much area it would take to soak up enough sun, given the efficiency of plant life, to produce the fuel we need and there simply is not enough land. Putting the solar collectors at sea and using algae for the biomass solves some of the land area and efficiency problems of using plants like corn or sugar beets but it introduces a lot of logistical problems.

Then there are the problems of fuel cells to convert the gasses, oils, or alcohols, from the biomass into useful electricity. Fuel cells are still quite expensive and fragile making them not very suitable for common passenger vehicles on land. When used in space they are quite useful since the weight and savings are significant enough to justify the cost. Down here on terra firma internal combustion engines will rule for quite some time.

These internal combustion engines might not be the crankshaft type we commonly use for vehicle propulsion. If there is no desire to also derive rotary mechanical motion then something like a free piston linear alternator (FPLA) can be used. If we can speculate on how fuel cells might advance in the future then we can also speculate on advances in internal combustion engines.

Right now FPLAs have a lot of problems that make them impractical. After reading about them a bit it seems there is a problem in keeping the permanent magnets cool enough so that they don't lose their magnetism. New materials and/or use of an electromagnets might solve this problem. Other issues like difficulty to start, 2-cycle operation (with it's inefficiency), and more seem like problems that can be solved without adding too much weigh or complexity.

Compared to the 8kWh/kg energy density expected from an aluminum-air battery I'd expect a small ICE with fuel such as diesel or gasoline (about 12kWh/kg) to be competitive. A bonus in that it does not require a new fuel but having it flexible in the fuel it burns to include methanol and/or ethanol should not be inconceivable.

Fuel cells for home use seems even less practical since one is not nearly as limited on size and weight like in a vehicle. Noise could be a problem but there are simple and inexpensive ways to deal with that.

Fuel cells might be practical when they have a reversible process, and the fuel is kept as a closed system. In this case they work much like a battery in that the only input and output is electricity, and some waste heat of course. This solves the problem of keeping the fuel as pure as possible, since any addition of fuel carries the risk of contamination. The problem is size and weight.

I'm not a fan of either biomass fuel or of fuel cells. Combining the two just combines the problems of both. We have better alternatives already. Future advancements might change the math on fuel cells but I find it hard to believe anything will fix the problems with using biomass for fuel. The math on fuel cells comes down to issues on density (mass and volume), cost, and them being so fragile in current iterations. It may be possible to fix these problems. The problems with biomass are much harder to solve and they start with how little energy we get from the sun per surface area, we cannot fix that unless we move from the Earth's surface.

_________________
Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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