Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Ten percent of the world is facing faster global warming trends than the rest

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There are a number of factors helping to explain why some parts of the world are more affected than others.

A team from The Washington Post was recently awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their data analysis and reporting on global warming trends affecting certain parts of the world over others.

Their analysis revealed that climate change is occurring more rapidly in certain areas of the planet.

Around the world, the average global warming trends show an increase of just over 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) when compared to the preindustrial area. However, about 10 percent of the surface are of the globe has already experienced an average warming of over 2 degrees Celsius. UN scientists refer to that level of change as enough to trigger dangerous climate impacts. Over 70 counties in the United States have already climbed past that milestone.

The Washington Post journalists who were recently recognized for their work had traveled to some of the parts of the world experiencing the fastest average temperature climbs. Their goal was to better comprehend why the heating trend was occurring in those specific locations and how it would affect people living in those regions.

Parts of the country are already experiencing noticeable results of their higher global warming trends.

The Washington Post reported on the higher average temperatures bringing in more severe storms. That said, it was also pointed out that lakes in New Jersey that used to freeze solid can no longer be used by skaters. Rhode Island waterfront homeowners are watching the sea consume hundreds of their beachfront. Scientists in Minnesota are working industriously to plant new trees in forests dying off from warmer temperatures than native tree varieties are capable of withstanding.

This is far from isolated to the United States. Siberia, Angola, Uruguay, Qtar and many other locations are all watching drastic changes happen as a result of their faster-than-average rising temperatures.

These global warming trends aren’t occurring as a result of specific events or activities. Instead, chain reactions are taking place and are affecting certain areas before others. For instance, melting Arctic permafrost is redefining landscapes in Siberia and Alaska, making lands uninhabitable when they have been occupied for centuries.

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South Korea to pilot commercial H2 vehicles

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It is testing hydrogen fuel cell electric cars and trucks of various types to promote this renewable energy.

South Korea has announced that it is testing the use of commercial H2 vehicles as it transitions toward greater use of hydrogen as a primary renewable energy source.

The fourth largest economy in Asia is hoping to expand the use of this renewable energy source.

The South Korean government has signed two independent memoranda of understanding (MOU) with Hyundai Motor Co as well as other companies relating to hydrogen fuel. The purpose of the pilot program is to test the durability of the taxies and trucks, said the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The Korea Automotive Technology Institute is among the organizations signed on under the MOU. Through that MOU, Hyundai will be testing commercial H2 vehicles such as a 5-ton hydrogen-powered garbage truck. That truck will operate in Changwon, which is located about 250 miles south of Seoul, explained Hyundai in a statement.

The commercial H2 vehicles will be tested through 2021 before a wider hydrogen fuel cell trucks rollout.

As a broader part of the plan, Hyundai intends to construct a hydrogen charging station for large hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Changwon later in 2020. This will provide a location in which the pilot trucks will be able to refuel. The 5-ton hydrogen truck has a 372-mile range on a single charge when traveling at 37 miles per hour (60 km/hr).

The automaker’s goal is to gradually replace the existing conventional vehicles with those powered by hydrogen fuel.

The ministry’s other MOU includes both the Korea Automotive Technology Institute as well as two taxi companies based in Seoul. In that agreement, Hyundai will be providing 10 of its Nexo cars, powered by hydrogen fuel, to the two taxi operators for durability tests. This isn’t the first pilot of its nature, as 10 other Nexo cars were trialled last September when the National Assembly in Seoul opened a hydrogen charging station.

This pilot of various commercial H2 vehicles is only the latest step by Hyundai Motor Group into cars and trucks powered by forms of renewable energy or zero-emission fuel.

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Arcola Energy and Optare roll out H2 double-deck bus

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The companies have launched the new Metrodecker for the United Kingdom and international markets.

Arcola Energy Ltd and Optare Group Ltd have launched the Metrodecker, an H2 double deck bus, into the UK and international markets.

The bus as well as the power system are both manufactured in the United Kingdom.

As both the vehicle and its power system are constructed in the UK, the team behind the H2 double deck bus believes this hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will play an important role in improving urban air quality as well as to a recovery of the low carbon economy.

The Metrodecker is constructed on the existing Optare Metrodecker EV platform. It also makes it possible for the Arcola Energy’s hydrogen fuel cell powerpack to be used as a direct replacement for the Metrodecker EV’s battery powerpack. Its capacity is for over 90 passengers and it can travel a distance of 200 to 250 miles depending on the route and specification. In this way, this new hydrogen powered vehicle can work as a complement to the existing low- and zero-emission bus offerings.

Optare predicts a substantial export market for the H2 double deck bus and other hydrogen fuel vehicles.

Optare feels that there is a considerable export market for fuel cell buses to parts of the world with high ambient temperatures. This is because those vehicles need added power to run the air conditioner. Hydrogen fuel can stand up to that requirement better than electric rechargeable vehicles.

The Metrodecker H2’s hydrogen fuel cell powertrain is one of a range of products Arcola Energy has developed over the last decade for a spectrum of uses including buses, trains, off-highway vehicles, trucks and lightweight cars.

The Metrodecker H2’s base vehicles will be serially manufactured at Optare’s Sherburn-in-Elmet factory near Leeds. They will be made on the Metrodecker EV’s existing production lines. That said, the hydrogen and fuel cell systems will be manufactured at Arcola Energy’s existing facility in Liverpool. There are plans well underway for a second facility for these components of the H2 double deck bus at the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc in Dundee.

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Atlantic archipelago to include tidal kite technology in its energy mix

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The Faroe Islands are already home to the development of this technology from many companies.

The Faroe Islands intends to use tidal kite technology as a part of its energy mix. This is the only Atlantic archipelago where this renewable energy technology is being developed.

This archipelago is located in the northeast Atlantic between Scotland and Iceland.

It is the place in which a trial using tidal kite technology is taking place. By including the technology to its energy mix, its power generation could get greener over time.

At the start of April, Minesto, a Swedish company, announced that it would be working with SEV, a utility from the Faroe Islands and its main energy provider, and that it had obtained the permits and consents it requires for the installation of two grid-connected renewable energy systems in the Vestmannasund strait. That strait is to the northwest of the Faroe Islands.

The Minesto technology combines the concepts of kite flying and converts it into aquatic space in order to generate electricity. This is done by harnessing underwater current the same way a kite uses the air. It produces a hydrodynamic lift force on the wings of the system, pushing it upward.

An onboard rudder and control system steer the tidal kite technology in a figure-eight pattern.

With the movement, water flows through the turbine and electricity is generated. Minesto CEO Martin Edlund explained that this green energy technology is scalable to make it possible for it to meet a spectrum of energy needs “from smaller-scale electrification of remote users to utility-scale power production.”

Edlund also stated that “There is an urgent need around the world to find ways of generating predictable clean energy at a cost-competitive level.”

Near the start of the year, Minesto signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with SEV. This PPA covers a Vestmannasund straight installation of two of the 100 kilowatt systems. This will result in a total installed tidal kite technology capacity of 2.2 megawatts. Moreover, it covers the installation of a utility scale system later on. Minesto hopes the technology will be operational in the Faroe Islands before the summer is done.

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Hydrogen powered tractors could be the green answer in that industry

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Vehicles using H2 fuel cells can provide an emission-free and more economical opportunity.

New Holland Agriculture first unveiled its hydrogen powered tractors in 2011. By the next year, they were already being used on European farms.

The vehicles haven’t taken off in some areas due to a limited availability of the H2 fuel.

For instance, hydrogen powered tractors could have served Australia well, but a lack of H2 fuel infrastructure made it unrealistic for farmers there. However, the Arrowsmith Hydrogen project that is planned for just south of Dongara may change that trend. That location is predicted to produce a daily 25 metric tonnes of green hydrogen. This could be what farmers in the area need to make the zero-emissions switch.

Infinite Blue Energy (IBE) announced that it had raised $300 million for the construction’s first phase. That phase of the project is expected to be operational by the close of 2022. Tim Hodge, general manager at IBE explained that this project would align well with trialling H2 cell farm vehicles in the country.

Once the fuel is available it makes sense to start testing hydrogen powered tractors in Australia.

“So the co-injection of hydrogen with diesel, quite a number of the manufacturers have those solutions available, I don’t know what degree of uptake that has had within the WA farming community to date but it’s certainly technology that’s able to be deployed now,” said Hodge. “The more efficient way to use hydrogen in tractors and trucks and buses is through the use of fuel cells and again there are quite a number of manufacturers, particularly in Europe, who already have hydrogen-using fuel cell tractors available.”

Hodge also pointed out that the main reason fuel cell vehicles haven’t taken off in Australia is that there hasn’t been enough H2 to power them.

To make this type of vehicle work on a farm, the H2 would be delivered in the form of compressed gas. That would be transported from the plant to a bullet tank on the farm itself. That could be used to fill the hydrogen powered tractor’s tank as needed.

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Fina Enerji to receive 52 turbines from GE Renewable Energy

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The Turkish utility is constructing onshore platforms for wind power at four farms.

General Electric division, GE Renewable Energy, has released a statement saying that it will be providing 52 wind turbines to a Turkish power supplier.

This international agreement will help to bring greater green energy capacity through four wind farms.

GE Renewable Energy is supplying 52 of the company’s 3 MW platform onshore wind turbines. They will be headed to four different wind farms located across Turkey. The farms are owned by Fina Enerji, a green power company in the country. The addition of the wind turbines will give the country a considerable boost in its wind produced electricity as well as to its overall green energy production.

The wind farms will be constructed in Baglama, Pazarkoy, Tayakadin and Yalova. Each of these locations will have their own onshore platforms. Their total production capacity when all four wind farms are fully operational will be 193 MW. This will be enough electricity to power 195,000 homes in Turkey. Moreover, in doing so, it will slash about 650,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the country’s power generation, said a statement from the General Electric division.

GE Renewable Energy will also continue to service the wind turbines on the farms for a decade.

The 52 wind turbines will be outfitted with 156 blades. Those blades will all be manufactured at the Izmir factory of the company’s LM Wind Power, which is its turbine blade supplying arm. The turbine towers will also be manufactured within Turkey, said the General Electric company.

This isn’t General Electric’s first foray into Turkey to produce green power. That said, this does represent the largest project to which it will be contributing within that country.

So far, GE Renewable Energy has installed 1.2 GW of wind energy in Turkey. This is being generated through 500 wind turbines in the country. This includes 350 MW in onshore turbine generated electricity projects that the company and Fina Enerji have already constructed together and that are either fully operational or are well on their way to completion and reaching full capacity.

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Oil company net zero targets may not be as they claim, says study

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An independent analysis of six large organizations shows substantial progress, but not what they seem.

Oil and gas companies have been making efforts to shrink their carbon emissions to align with net zero targets, but while progress is being made, a new independent review suggests that results are overstated.

The independent analysis examined the CO2 emissions reductions of six large European corporations.

Many oil and gas companies have been taking steps to drastically shrink their carbon emissions. For instance, last month, Shell became the most recent to unveil its aggressive plans for achieving its net zero targets by 2050.

However, the authors of the report on the analysis say that none of the companies they analyzed had managed to align their efforts with the 1.5C temperature goal. That goal is the figure identified by scientists as the global temperature threshold that must not be crossed by the close of the century to avoid the worst worldwide impacts of climate change.

Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) researchers investigate how companies are progressing with their preparations toward a reduced-carbon economy. It is an investor-led group examining how firms are preparing and acting for a low-carbon future. Reaching net zero means that as many emissions are being eliminated as they are produced in the company’s operations.

TPI found that the oil and gas industry has made rapid moves toward net zero targets over 3 years.

The last three years have greatly altered the relationship between the oil and gas industry and its position on climate change around the world. For instance, in 2017, not a single European company in this industry had set goals for carbon intensity reduction from the energy it produced. Today, all six major companies in this industry that were assessed by the analysts have established their goals and have created a road map for achieving them.

The report authors underscored that the companies have greatly increased their climate ambitions over the last half year. Bernard Looney, the new BP head, for example, unveiled a new net carbon emissions plan in February, which would bring them to zero by 2050 or sooner.

Unfortunately, according to TPI co-chair Adam Matthews, the net zero targets of these companies aren’t what they need to be. “Is it sufficient? No, it’s not.” He said. “There are ones that have more comprehensive commitments that put them on a path much closer to two degrees than some of the others.”

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Scientists discover new polymer glass to boost support for hydrogen fuel cells

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The researachers in Japan found that the molecular structure eases H+ protons across it.

Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) researchers in Japan have found a new polymer glass offering solid support for hydrogen fuel cell membranes.

The scientists are researching ways to synthesize more efficient and stronger hydrogen fuel materials.

Currently, the majority of hydrogen fuel cells use liquid membranes. That said, the new polymer glass membrane appears to function equally as effectively as the conventional liquid materials, while adding flexibility and strength. The report on this discovery was published in the Chemical Science journal.

Hydrogen fuel cells use oxygen and hydrogen for electricity production. The by-product of this process is water. A part of this process involves the ‘proton conducting membranes’ within the fuel cells. Their function is to facilitate separating the positive and negative hydrogen particles, protons and electrons. That is was results in the electricity generation.

To do this efficiently, the protons must be able to easily cross the membranes. The liquid membranes currently used cannot effectively operate under dry conditions. As a result, manufacturing them is expensive and complex. This has propelled scientists to work toward solid membranes made from electrolytes without water and that will provide improve thermal and mechanical stability when compared to the conventional liquid membranes. That said, any solid material must also efficiently conduct protons and must be cost-effective.

The polymer glass appears to perform just as well and better when compared to liquid counterparts.

“Our coordination polymer glass performed better than recently reported ionic liquids and crystalline coordination polymers,” said lead researcher and materials scientist Satoshi Horike from the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University.

The research team fabricated this new membrane by combining a “protonic ionic liquid” with zinc ions. Those liquids are essentially liquid salts created by combining an acid and a base. The team used a specific version called diethylmethylammonium dihydrogen phosphate and added zinc to it. The result was a solid, elastic polymer glass. Its molecular structure allows protons to move across its membrane under dry conditions at 120ºC (about 250ºF). It produced high voltage (0.96 volts) when tested in a hydrogen fuel cell.

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California Energy Commission gives geothermal projects a shot in the arm

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<h2>The CEC has awarded almost $10 million in grants for three projects related to this renewable power.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has granted awards for almost $10 million for three projects related to geothermal energy.

This renewvable energy support is meant to help the state to meet its 100 percent clean power goals.

At the same time that the California Energy Commission is supporting geothermal to help to meet those clean electricity goals, there are other advantages as well. This effort will also help to broaden the state’s existing and growing lithium recovery industry.

The geothermal project grants received funding through the CEC’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program. That is California’s leading public interest research initiative. Its purpose is to propel green power innovation and entrepreneurship forward.

One of the grant recipients included Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which was awarded $1.8 million for its project. That effort seeks to demonstrate how electromagnetic and seismic data can map geothermal reservoirs as well as provide enhanced imaging of the structural features of those reservoirs. This could prove highly useful in locating and placing geothermal production wells. As that is among the costliest components of this renewable form of energy, improving it could greatly improve its affordability.

The demonstration of this California Energy Commission funded project will take place at The Geysers.

The Geysers is the largest thermal field in the world. It extends throughout Lake, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties.

“Geothermal is a clean and sustainable power source, and we are fortunate to have such vast resources in the state,” said Janea A. Scott, vice chair of the CEC. “Nearly half of the known resources remain untapped mainly because of the high initial costs. EPIC funding can help address those barriers by finding technical solutions that reduce costs, increase productivity, and encourage future commercial investments in geothermal.”

The California Energy Commission sees substantial potential in geothermal energy. The state contains some of the most abundant geothermal resources on the planet. There are already more than 40 power plants using the state’s naturally superheated underground reservoirs as a power source for heat and electricity production.

 

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GM to turn its largest NA facility into a solar powered factory

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General Motors will be harnessing the sun’s energy to provide energy to this massive location.

US automaker General Motors has unveiled its intentions to turn its largest North American facility into a solar powered factory.

The facility will receive its energy from a Lowndes County, Mississippi photovoltaic panel farm.

GM has revealed that it has secured as much as 100 MW for its solar powered factory. This renewable energy capacity will be adequate to provide the electricity needed to operate the largest facility the carmaker has in North America.

This decision came about as a part of a new green tariff agreement GM has with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). That green tariff solution is called the Green Invest programme. It is an important step ahead in reducing the carbon footprint related to vehicle production and in moving ahead with greener alternative energies.

Through the Green Invest plan from the TVA, the largest GM plant will be a fully solar powered factory.

The auto plant will continue to receive its electricity through the federal electric utility. That utility will deliver power to the plant that was generated at a Lowndes County, Mississippi solar farm. The auto plant in question is General Motors’ Spring Hill Manufacturing facility, which is in Tennessee.

The massive photovoltaic panel solar park will provide all the energy the Spring Hill, Tennessee requires for its operations. That will convert the facility entirely to renewable energy from having been reliant on the grid’s conventional power sources until now. The PV farm is currently under development in Mississippi by Origis Energy.

The farm is expected to be fully operational in time for the GM contract. That will become effective as of late 2022. This new GM green power contract will increase the automaker’s use of renewable energy by over 50 percent in the United States once it has been fully implemented by 2023.

The company views its new plans for the solar powered factory to be one major step forward in a much broader plan. It currently aims to source 100 percent of its energy from renewable power in the United States by the close of 2030.

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