Future of EV: Steelcell

Discussion in 'General' started by JyChevyVolt, Sep 1, 2018.

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  1. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    You can combine solar and Steelcell to charge your vehicle at home. On long road trips, we can fill up with natural gas or bio fuel.

    Full disclosure: I started working in the natural gas utilities after spending most of my career in the auto industry.
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  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I'd seen the Fully Charged video but when I tried to find product, no luck. Perhaps you can find product in the USA? I'm looking for a 16 kW unit to replace a Generac, natural gas engine, generator. I sized it to support charging a 7 kW BMW i3-REx and run the house. However, the system efficiency makes the electricity too expensive except in an emergency.

    What is the kWh output per unit of natural gas? I want know if it is efficient enough that I could use it full time. Local electricity is $0.10 per kWh so I want to find out if local natural gas would make it cheaper to run.

    Are there pre-treatments needed to remove 'poisons' in the natural gas? For example, hydrogen fuel cells are sensitive to other gasses that can poison the catalysts.

    What is the weight per kW of capacity? What is the volume per kW?

    I'm not trying to throw shade as this could be very useful. But the Google hits appear to be solicitation of investors and development partners . . . not product which is what I'm interested in.

    UPDATE: http://www.cerespower.com/news/latest-news/ceres-power-unveils-latest-steelcell-advances-at-fuel-cell-expo/

    The fuel-flexible 5kW stack is now capable of producing ~500W per litre in a stationary power configuration. Additionally, with the latest V5 SteelCellĀ® technology, target system efficiencies of ~60% from fuel in to AC power out can be achieved while steady state degradation rates are approximately <0.2% for every thousand hours of operation, which is in-line with the best in the world.

    Ok, now we have enough information to 'back of the envelope' the kWh per unit of natural gas.

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  4. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    Nissan EV range extender. 600km range per fill up with bio fuel in less than 5 minutes.

  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber


    I was aware of alcohol reformulation to generate hydrogen for a typical membrane fuel cell. I was also aware of carbonate fuel cells that at +600C generate useful energy from just about an organic but only if the waste heat is also used. Somewhere between these extremes, direct alcohol cells are possible but so far they appear to remain great theory, some prototypes, and facing the difficult step of moving from lab to mass product.

    Business cooperative efforts: https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Nissan-and-Renault-shelve-fuel-cell-vehicle-plan

    Brazil ethanol effort (for fee): https://www.just-auto.com/news/nissan-brazil-ends-initial-tests-of-ethanol-fuel-cell_id177086.aspx

    We're hoping the labs will eventually find a robust, affordable, catalyst that currently appears to be unobtainium.

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
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  7. 101101

    101101 Well-Known Member

    This stuff might have been great 50 years ago but today it is way beyond obsolete. Its 50% or 60% efficiency competes with stuff that is 90% efficient with still much less in the way of complexity and cost. It also still requires CO2 emissions, and methane leakages, fracking and water poisoning and shortages- what is in store for the non economic scam know as shale will make Enron look like a pick nick- see what happens to them if they trip the derivatives again with all their stranded asset junk- only a matter of time.

    Here is what is going to happen. After Trump is removed and GOP ejected won't be long- the lost ground is going to have to be recovered so in places like CA we won't be hearing any BS about a a solar glut but a NG glut and how the fools who invested in this idiocy fell on their own sword and need to eat the losses with interest- we'll be pulling permits. Look what just happened to Kinder Morgan and its idiot pipe line. You have to realize that selling out future generations and causing increased death and destruction now along with hollowing everything out with petrol subsidies is the definition of criminal- a trillion a year in the US in petrol subsides and massively added cost to all the financial instruments where the regular petrol losses are passed along to people in rent seeking and artificial scarcity and more hours won't cut it- have to realize that petrol is at the core of why we've lost social mobility in the US and so much of our quality of life and standard of living in the US since about 70. Petrol and its wealth and personal fortunes behind it have a date with the truth because all they have in their future is bankruptcy and a mass of incarceration- that stuff about what Exxon knew and the suits from cities and states is just the beginning- they're hanging by the thread of a foreign captured president- won't last long. As that Rockefeller recently said as she was divesting Exxon the company her family started- Exxon will become pubic enemy number one in away that big tobacco never did- that's true. And that is part of why MBS is trying to divest Saudi Arabia of its petrol and be part of the solution by investing in true green- they see the writing on the wall- petrol will be blamed and rightly so for literally everything that is wrong in this world- rightly so because its a plantation right to exploit mentality, best thing to do is to run- retrain start becoming part of the solution, put in solar panels and batteries especially the decentrlaized sort - the fossil fuel side of petrol is headed for the insinuator and it won't be able hide behind or hold hostage the materials side of petrol- its toast- its subsidies will be pulled and then it will be over super quick.
  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    There is some interesting work out of China:

    But it isn't clear this technology scales to products . . . yet. Just what we see in the California experiment with high-pressure hydrogen fuel cells doesn't work.

    My BMW i3-REx has a 25kW, ~250 lb, gasoline engine, the range extender that is about 25% efficient. If any of these fuel cell systems could fit in the same space and give 50% efficiency, I would switch. But their power density remains too low so they won't fit. Their costs are too high due to expensive and sensitive catalyst. The steelcell looks to be pretty heavy too.

    Bob Wilson
  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    That's entirely correct, thanks.

    It just blows my mind that anyone could actually believe that any future development of fuel cells could ever possibly compete with BEV tech for any type of widespread transportation needs. Even if the cost of hydrogen fuel could somehow be reduced significantly (using magic? ;)), there's no way around the basic physical/chemical limitations on efficiency when oxidizing fuel (the same process as burning fuel, but slower) to produce power. That process is subject to Carnot limitations on efficiency, which electric motors are not.

    Anyone who says that fuel cell cars can or even might be able to compete, economically, with BEVs, is either woefully ignorant of basic physics, or else they know what they are claiming isn't true, and they're just shilling for Big Oil.

    Now, that's not to say that there can't be any interesting developments in fuel cell tech. That does have some interesting niche applications, where economics and efficiency have low priority. But to suggest we'll ever see large numbers of mass produced fool cell cars running on public roads... that is not merely unlikely, it's flatly impossible.

  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    You've reminded me of thermodynamics where we were taught about entropy and irreversible processes. Batteries are not perfect but compared to the well advertised water <-> fuel cell cycle, battery charge <-> discharge is more than three times efficient.

    Bob Wilson
    Pushmi-Pullyu likes this.
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  12. dGarry48

    dGarry48 Member

    That's a nice cutting-edge tech by Nissan. About time to show the efficiency of their technology.

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