Tehcnology – Hydrogen storage and Other Considerations

7 05 2009

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell5.htm

Three hundred miles is a conventional driving range (the distance you can drive in a car with a full tank of gas). In order to create a comparable result with a fuel cell vehicle, researchers must overcome hydrogen storage considerations, vehicle weight and volume, cost, and safety.While PEMFC systems have become lighter and smaller as improvements are made, they still are too large and heavy for use in standard vehicles.

The low density of hydrogen means a hydrogen fuel tank will have to be three times the size of a gasoline tank. Also it must be insulated, and this will add to its bulk. This seems entirely bearable.

Hydrogen has a very low volumetric energy density at ambient conditions, equal to about one-third that of methane. Even when the fuel is stored as liquid hydrogen in a cryogenic tank or in a compressed hydrogen storage tank, the volumetric energy density (megajoules per liter) is small relative to that of gasoline. Hydrogen has a three times higher energy density by mass compared to gasoline (143 MJ/kg versus 46.9 MJ/kg). Because of the energy required to compress or liquefy the hydrogen gas, the supply chain for hydrogen has lower well-to-wheel efficiency but a higher tank-to-wheel compared to gasoline IC‘s.[33] Some research has been done into using special crystalline materials to store hydrogen at greater densities and at lower pressures. A recent study by Dutch researcher Robin Gremaud has shown that metal hydride hydrogen tanks are actually 40 to 60-percent lighter than a equivalent energy battery pack on an electric vehicle permitting greater range for H2 cars

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