Distributed energy: facilities for self-consumption based on Renewable, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Place: CIEMAT, Av. Complutense 40, 28040 Madrid
A superconductor at room temperature is a material that is capable of exhibiting superconductivity – lossless energy transmission – at temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius. Current superconductors work when they cool near absolute zero, and the hottest superconductor, hydrogen sulfide, only works at -70 degrees Celsius.
The application states that a superconductor at room temperature can be constructed using a cable with an insulating core and an aluminum coating PZT (lead zirconate titanate) deposited by vacuum evaporation with a penetration depth thickness of London and polarized after the deposition.
An electromagnetic coil is placed circumferentially around the coating so that when the coil is activated with a pulsed current, a non-linear vibration is induced, allowing superconductivity at room temperature.
“This concept allows the transmission of electrical energy without losses and exhibits optimal thermal management (without heat dissipation),” according to the patent document, which leads to the design and development of new energy generation and collection devices with enormous benefits for the civilization.
The transportation industry is one of the largest consumers of energy in the U.S. economy with increasing demand to make it cleaner and more efficient. While more people are using electric cars, designing electric-powered planes, ships and submarines is much harder due to power and energy requirements.
A team of engineers in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a high-power fuel cell that advances technology in this area. Led by Vijay Ramani, the Roma B. and Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished University Professor, the team has developed a direct borohydride fuel cell that operates at double the voltage of today’s commercial fuel cells.
This advancement using a unique pH-gradient-enabled microscale bipolar interface (PMBI), reported in Nature Energy Feb. 25, could power a variety of transportation modes – including unmanned underwater vehicles, drones and eventually electric aircraft – at significantly lower cost.
“The pH-gradient-enabled microscale bipolar interface is at the heart of this technology,” said Ramani, also professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering. “It allows us to run this fuel cell with liquid reactants and products in submersibles, in which neutral buoyancy is critical, while also letting us apply it in higher-power applications such as drone flight.”
The fuel cell developed at Washington University uses an acidic electrolyte at one electrode and an alkaline electrolyte at the other electrode. Typically, the acid and alkali will quickly react when brought in contact with each other. Ramani said the key breakthrough is the PMBI, which is thinner than a strand of human hair. Using membrane technology developed at the McKelvey Engineering School, the PMBI can keep the acid and alkali from mixing, forming a sharp pH gradient and enabling the successful operation of this system.
“Previous attempts to achieve this kind of acid-alkali separation were not able to synthesize and fully characterize the pH gradient across the PMBI,” said Shrihari Sankarasubramanian, a research scientist on Ramani’s team. “Using a novel electrode design in conjunction with electroanalytical techniques, we were able to unequivocally show that the acid and alkali remain separated.”
Electriq Global is a half-Australian, half-Israeli start-up (and financed by the Netanyahu government) that ensures it is ready to test in the Netherlands its solution to the big emissions problem in combustion cars: a fuel formed in a 60% for water.
Its objective is to have twice the yield, be 50% cheaper and 100% ecological, and also be included in the field of lithium-ion batteries or compressed hydrogen. Now ‘only’ needs to be made to work on a large scale.
First tests, in 2020
Through its partnership with the Dutch company Eleqtec, the water-based fuel of this start-up will begin its testing phase in the Netherlands in 2020. The company says it can run on a hydrogen car with a fuel cell, although it presents it as a solution for any type of vehicle in the future.
Hydrogen is consolidating itself more and more as a sustainable and competitive alternative to traditional fuels thanks to the advances and technological solutions developed during the last years. To explain the possibilities offered by this gas as a zero emission fuel in ports and cities, the Port of Barcelona and the Energy Research Institute of Catalonia (IREC) jointly organized the conference “Hydrogen in a Europe without emissions”.
The day, which was held at the Port of Barcelona, ??was inaugurated by its president, Mercè Conesa; and the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainability of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Marta Subirà.
Among the participants, the interventions of Albert Tarancón, ICREA professor and head of Nanoiònica y batteries de combustible of IREC stood out; Carlos Navas, Head of Strategy and Marketing of the FCH 2JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) of the European Union; Enrique Centeno, General Director of Corporate Affairs of Toyota, Fernando Palacín, Director of the Hydrogen Foundation of Aragón; Beatriz Ruiz, from the department of Innovation and New Energies of Enagas; Jordi Vila, Head of Environment of the Port of Barcelona; and Xavier Sabaté, Head of Environment Projects.
Strategic Framework of Energy and Climate: An opportunity for the modernization of the Spanish economy and the creation of employment.
The Paris Agreement of 2015 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations mark the beginning of a sustainable global agenda that entails the transformation of the economic model and a new social contract of inclusive prosperity within the limits of the planet.
In response, the European Union has provided itself with a broad legal framework that will allow it to remain at the forefront of the transition and meet the objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
In this context, the Strategic Energy and Climate Framework, presented by the Government, is an opportunity for the modernization of the Spanish economy, the creation of employment, the positioning of Spain’s leadership in the renewable energies and technologies that will dominate the next decade, the development of the rural environment, the improvement of the health of people and the environment, and social justice.
It facilitates a transformation of the Spanish economy in which the country will gain in prosperity, energy security, generation of industrial employment, innovation, health, technological development and social justice, accompanying the most vulnerable groups.
The framework guides the Spanish business fabric towards the place where the competitive advantages will be in the future: innovation and capacity to produce with greater efficiency and with a low or no environmental footprint, reinforcing the national and international competitiveness of our companies.
The key elements that make up this framework are: the preliminary draft of the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law, the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) 2021-2030, and the Just Transition Strategy. There are three essential pillars whose sum effect guarantees that Spain has a stable and accurate strategic framework for the decarbonisation of its economy; an efficient roadmap for the next decade, the 2021-2030 Plan, designed in coherence with the emissions neutrality we aspire to in 2050; and a strategy of solidary and just transition accompaniment, to ensure that people and territories take advantage of the opportunities of this transition and nobody is left behind.
Spain needs to position itself as soon as possible in the innovation, technologies, and the leading industry in a process of transformation that is already underway all over the world, with the objective of making the most of the opportunities it presents and that serves as a lever for the modernization and the progress of the country.
If finally the hydrogen battery ends up becoming a massively accepted propulsion mode, as an alternative to internal combustion engines and current hybrids, the workshops should start to equip themselves with the facilities and tools necessary to repair this type of vehicle. For this, they will have to take into account certain aspects, which recalls the Iberisa blog.
The cost of adapting the workshop to carry out these works can be high. Therefore, some workshops that do not want, or can not, assume this investment, choose to carry out repairs abroad, since being outdoors, the dangers of the accumulation of hydrogen are eliminated. It is not the ideal solution, but it is always better than to repair in inadequate facilities.
The National Hydrogen Center (CNH2) continues its research work within the framework of the project “Trigeneration with GEoTermia, Hydrogen and Renewable Energies (TOGETHER)” within the call Challenges Collaboration of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.
With the beginning of 2019 and within the framework of the project “Trigeneration with GEoTermia, Hydrogen and Renewable Energies (TOGETHER)” of the call Challenges Collaboration, a new work meeting has been held to share the progress made to date , as well as solving the problems detected to date among all the entities of the consortium, agreeing on the following activities to be undertaken in the short term.
The meeting took place at the CIEMAT (Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research), in Madrid, where a laboratory-demonstrator is available to carry out the relevant tests to obtain information on the generation of heat and electricity that the batteries of fuel they provide for residential purposes. Similarly, there is a laboratory-demonstrator located at CNH2 (National Hydrogen Center) in Puertollano (Ciudad Real) with a fuel cell micro-generation system where similar tests will be carried out to obtain the expected results.
Hydrogen is living at the same time as lithium ion batteries at the beginning: promising but with many obstacles ahead. Faced with great advantages such as fast charging and great autonomy, fuel cell-driven cars face their particular Goliath: infrastructure.
The German website H2stations has published a study that analyzes how the number of hydrogenerators is growing worldwide, and shows a clear winner: Japan, which is followed closely by Germany. Spoiler: in Spain there are only six.
Around the world there are 369 hydrogen stations, of which 273 are public access and can be used as any conventional retail station, while the rest are aimed at user groups that supply, for example, buses or fleet customers.
There are currently 152 hydrogen stations in operation in Europe, 136 in Asia and 78 in North America, but a simple glance at the map shows us how Europe concentrates a significant number compared to the rest of the continents.
The Government of Spain approved a plan of aid and incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles. It is the MOVES plan and if you are interested in buying a new car or light van, what we are going to explain is of interest to you. With a budget of 45 million euros, users can get help of up to 5,500 euros in the purchase of an electric car.
Depending on the type of vehicle and the energy that moves it, the state program contemplates grants of various types. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids go in, although they stay out of the plan for gasoline, diesel and hybrid cars.
These are all discounted electric cars that we can find discounted thanks to the MOVES plan. A summary of all the incentives, the cars that enter the aid program, the necessary requirements and how to request assistance.
Toyota Motor Europe (TME) and DIFFER, the Dutch Institute of fundamental energy research, have come together to develop a device that allows hydrogen to be obtained from the air, which can mean a revolution in renewable energies.
The objective of this alliance between Toyota and DIFFER is to develop a device that absorbs water vapor and separates it directly into hydrogen and oxygen using the sun’s energy. Just put a special device in contact with the air and expose it to sunlight and start producing fuel, at no cost, the Japanese company has reported.
The investigation is based on two certainties. On the one hand, new sustainable fuels are needed to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. On the other, it is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One of those sustainable fuels is hydrogen, which can be used to store renewable energy. When hydrogen is combined with oxygen in a fuel cell, the energy is released in the form of electricity, emitting water vapor as the only residue.
This family company has already signed two leases, one with an international industrial gas and hydrogen company and the other with a major Spanish gas supplier. Now the next step is to extend the service to all of Europe.
With this formula, which is “authentic industry first in the sector”, Calvera offers the possibility of renting its full range of gas transport options, including trailers and mobile refueling units to customers such as biomethane suppliers, energy service companies and energy facilities.
The General Director of the Calvera Industrial Group, Rafael Calvera, has indicated about this new service that “bringing the gas to the end user in the most profitable way can be a challenge for the producers of hydrogen, biomethane and CNG. leasing makes the supply and distribution of ‘green’ gas more efficient from an economic point of view, simplifying the business model in general, in any new strategy it will reduce the initial capital expenditures and help the overall financing of the project. “
For many years, many automakers insisted that the future of transport went through the hydrogen fuel cell, investing huge amounts of cash in the development of this technology, which was meant to replace internal combustion engines. However, time was passing, and while the fuel cell barely evolved, the batteries began to do so very quickly.
To this day, the vast majority of brands are betting on the battery-powered electric car as a workhorse for the future. There are still some Asian companies (Toyota, Honda and Hyundai) that continue betting on this technology, which is seen by the governments of Japan and South Korea as a way to stop relying as much on oil as on the raw materials of batteries. foreign origin.
All in all, the sales of the Toyota Mirai, Honda Clarity Fuel Cell and Hyundai Nexo continue to be anecdotal, mainly due to the high cost of their production (they use materials such as platinum, very scarce), to the low efficiency in the processes of obtaining hydrogen, the lack of infrastructure and the cost of developing it, etc. Meanwhile, models such as the Nissan LEAF, the Tesla Model 3 or the Renault ZOE break monthly sales records.
Air Liquide announces the acquisition of an 18.6% stake in the capital of the Canadian company Hydrogenics Corporation, leader in hydrogen production equipment by electrolysis and fuel cells. This strategic operation, which represents an investment of 20.5 million American dollars (18 million euros), allows the Group to reaffirm its long-term commitment to the hydrogen energy markets and its ambition to be one of the main players in the market. supply of carbon-free hydrogen, in particular for the industrial and mobility markets.
Convinced that hydrogen will play a key role in the energy transition, Air Liquide has been a pioneer in the development of the hydrogen sector for years. Air Liquide and Hydrogenics have also signed a technological and commercial agreement to jointly develop PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane: Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolysis technologies for the hydrogen energy markets, which are rapidly growing worldwide.
Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest -organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans- announced that the ACO joins forces with the company GreenGT for the creation of the H24Racing project, which will seek to “lead” the road to the careers of the future with alternative energies to oil.
In the race of 2024, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has planned to release an exclusive category for prototypes without combustion engine. This project of the H24Racing will be propelled with a hybrid of electric power and with hydrogen.