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Hydrogen Powered Trains

Discussion in 'News from the UK, Europe and the rest of the World' started by JohnAsh, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. JohnAsh
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    JohnAsh Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

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  2. bigmac
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    bigmac Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    in laymans terms. .how is the hydrogen generated and stored ?
  3. JohnAsh
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    JohnAsh Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

    @oss will no doubt give a better explanation but the aim is to use a “hydrogen fuel cell”. It works by converting hydrogen into electricity, which can then be used to run an electric motor and drive the train. The 'emission' from this process is pure, drinkable water and nothing else. Not totally sure on hydrogen storage but compressed gas cylinders seem to get a mention.

    My next door neighbour works for a well known gas boiler maker and they are seriously looking at hydrogen for that purpose instead of conventional gas that we use at the moment.
  4. bigmac
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    bigmac Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    Is the hydroen gas extracted from water to begin with?
  5. oss
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    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    Electrolysis using renewable energy is the ideal way to produce it, zero pollution.

    Current large scale manufacture is done using steam to crack natural gas.

    The hydrogen is stored as a compressed gas, there are many new technologies for storing hydrogen safely.

    Will post more later.
  6. oss
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    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  7. oss
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    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    Fuel cells have been around since the start of the space programme, it's essentially unchanged since then.

    It is essentially a catalytic reaction and as you say there are zero pollutants the result is water, basically it is electrolysis in reverse.

    I'll look up some of the work on storage tech, there are various sponge like, metallic foams that improve storage under pressure.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  8. JohnAsh
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    JohnAsh Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

    Extracted from the Guardian:


    “Scottish Power’s wind and solar farms will soon help produce green hydrogen to run buses, ferries and even trains as part of a pioneering strategic partnership to develop the UK’s nascent hydrogen economy.

    The renewable energy company, owned by Spain’s Iberdrola, will work alongside companies that specialise in producing and distributing the zero-carbon gas. Hydrogen is expected to play a major role in helping the UK to meet its climate targets.

    Scottish Power will use the clean electricity generated by a major new solar farm planned for a site near Glasgow to run an electrolyser, owned by its project partner ITM Power, which will split water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

    The third company within the partnership, BOC, specialises in compressing and distributing gases and will help transport the hydrogen gas to councils, factories and transport depots across the country.

    “Green hydrogen is something that everyone is talking about,” said Lindsay McQuade, the head of renewables at Scottish Power, “but we wanted to do something about it. This is a pioneering partnership which brings together skills from all the companies involved.”“

    So the Scots are going to be involved in this, producing what seems to be termed “green hydrogen”.
  9. bigmac
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    bigmac Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    I suppose the perfect equation would be using free solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen..then burn the hydrogen in air to produce energy and water..to use again.
  10. oss
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    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    No burning is not efficient because you cannot capture all the energy from the burning, you get lots of mechanical loss if you burn it and use anything like an internal combustion engine.

    Fuel cells directly convert the hydrogen and oxygen into water directly outputting electricity there is no mechanical movement at all just H + O2 = electrical energy, nothing consumed other than the fuel.

    Burning would have by-products where you might get small amounts of Nitrous Oxide created through additional oxidation through the excess heat, I'm guessing there not really sure but I bet it is not 100% clean when you burn it.

    The point is that Electrolysis is a very efficient way to create a battery, the hydrogen is the energy storage medium as it is the fuel, and oxygen of course is everywhere so no issue sourcing it.

    People say the wind blows at the wrong time so wind power is bad, the sun only shines sometimes so solar power is useless but hydrogen solves all of that, because you use all the renewable sources to split water, and of course there are other batteries like molten salt batteries that can also store huge amounts of energy.

    All solutions come at a price and a hydrogen economy would need a new distribution network and that would not be cheap but it solves the refuelling problem for cars and just to be clear hydrogen cars are electric they don't burn the hydrogen, they use it in fuel cells that's also why this idea of hydrogen trains is a great idea too.

    Hydrogen powered aircraft probably would burn the hydrogen in turbofan engines though.
  11. oss
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    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    This is brilliant, the Japs are still investing heavily in hydrogen powered electric transport, they see a future in it and so do I, one great benefit is that we don't end up so dependent on lithium batteries as lithium processing is a complex and dirty process that is also resulting in mining in habitats that should be protected.
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  12. oss
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    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    Yeah but the Scots are thick and all their oil is running out so it must be a desperate dumb idea, they want their independence but how are they going to live after they break up the UK :lol:

    We have some pretty good industries in Scotland and we are investing heavily in new energy, yeah wind farms everywhere and I love it I think they look great :D

    I really hope we get in there early on hydrogen and keep pushing our wind, hydro and wave potential.
  13. bigmac
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    bigmac Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    what about solar panels on house roofs?
  14. oss
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    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    Yeah great idea, install as much as possible, bring back subsidies for individuals to do that.

    In reality the efficiency of roof solar panels is increasing but we should not wait for more efficient panels we should just get on with installing them on all roofs that point in the right direction, there are some roofs where it makes no sense so not just anywhere.

    There are also developments in windows that have a transparent photoelectric layer that can generate power from sunlight, there are a lot of buildings that could benefit from that.

    And more to the point these are new industries that will bring new employment and a lot of new employment in the coming years while at the same time making the country a nicer place to live in.
  15. JohnAsh
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    JohnAsh Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

    On solar power, here is someone I have been aware of for a while. I first noticed him in the documentary “ Crude The Incredible Journey of Oil “. He started off as an oil industry geologist then realised the impact of hydrocarbons on climate change and now is involved with solar power.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Leggett
  16. JohnAsh
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    JohnAsh Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

    It’s more like nobody wants their oil anymore. But yes, plenty of other natural resources that are renewable.
  17. oss
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    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    I agree I think microgeneration, decentralisation is a very good thing.

    The internet is resilient because it (was) is distributed, knock out a node and it keeps on working, power should be the same because power is so intrinsically important to maintain a modern technological society.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  18. oss
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    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    When I worked in the electricity industry for the SSEB in the 1980s we (Scotland) were a huge exporter of energy, we were planning the new interconnect to England so we could export the new power that was going to come from Torness Nuclear station that was under construction, we have always been a net exporter of energy, we had something like 7GW total capacity if I remember correctly and we exported over half that, Scotland has fairly modest needs.

    Oil, coal and gas it's all better off staying in the ground, I realise that's directly against your industry John and without you and countless others none of us would have enjoyed the lives we have had, we are addicts and we mainline oil like there is no tomorrow and in reality there is no tomorrow until we kick the habit.

    The way forward is possible at considerable expense but the future world will, with a bit of luck, be cleaner, better and fairer.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  19. JohnAsh
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    JohnAsh Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

    Oil and gas has had its day. It’s time to move on for the good of the planet and people living on it.
  20. bigmac
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    bigmac Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    i bought a new flueless gas fire this time last year. got it on now. saved me a lot of fuel money.
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