Green hydrogen fans have lots to cheer about these days as one huge mega-project after another takes shape, but there is also some interesting activity bubbling up on the small end of the scale. With that in mind, let’s check out a new modular, off-grid, above-ground, rainwater harvesting, solar powered hydrogen fuel station over in Australia. Wait, doesn’t the US have one of those, too?
Keeping It Above Ground
Above ground is the keyword here. Electric cars get props for having nothing coming out of their tailpipes, and they also have this extra benefit of not contributing to the LUST problem, which for some reason nobody talks about. However, people should be talking about it, because LUST is a big problem — for gasmobiles, that is.
That’s LUST, as in Leaking Underground Storage Tanks. When you pull into your local gas station, all of your gas does not come out of that little thing sticking up out of the ground. It comes from a storage tank below the surface. Not all of them leak, of course. However, there are a lot of them, and some of them leak into the ground, potentially impacting people who depend on underground aquifers for drinking, which EPA estimates includes about half the US population.
Here in the US, in 1984 Congress finally passed a law requiring corrective action for old leaking underground tanks for petroleum and other hazardous liquids, setting standards for new ones, and tasking EPA with creating a program to deal with the whole mess. Since then the law has been strengthened and expanded, but the problem persists.
Though EPA calculates that 37 states closed about 90% of their problem sites over the past 20 years, 544,000 underground storage tanks remain. They require constant monitoring, correction, and removal if necessary, and a quick stroll through the Intertubes reveals plenty of holes in the program.
“Addressing the LUST sites remaining to be cleaned up continues to be a high priority for EPA and our state, territorial, and tribal partners,” EPA recently wrote, by way of introducing the idea that a backlog of cases remains, even as new ones pop up.
Above-Ground Modular Green Hydrogen Refueling Station To The Rescue
One obvious solution to the LUST problem is to store your hazardous liquids above ground, where you can keep an eye on them. Another part of the solution is to store only the minimum necessary to fulfill near-term needs, and that’s where green hydrogen comes in.
For those of you new to the hydrogen topic, most of the world’s supply of hydrogen is produced by pulling it out of natural gas, which is why hydrogen fuel cell cars get the stink-eye from advocates for climate action. They have zero tailpipe emissions, but they drag a long tail of fossil energy baggage behind them.
Green hydrogen from renewable resources could solve that problem. It used to be a pie in the sky idea, until recent years when the cost of wind and solar power began to sink like a stone. That set the stage for electrolysis, which refers to systems that apply an electrical current to water, and out bubbles the green hydrogen.
That opens the door for hydrogen fuel stations that can store green hydrogen in above-ground tanks. Add a water storage tank and perhaps throw in a battery for additional energy storage, and everything you need is out in the open air.
That finally brings us to the latest news about green hydrogen fuel stations. The firm Hydrogen Fuels Australia has just dropped word that plans for a new hydrogen fuel station are under way for the Melbourne suburb of Truganina, which will give it bragging rights to the first ever off-grid modular green hydrogen production and fuel station in all of Australia.
“Founded on environmentally sustainable and ‘low impact’ concepts, H2FA’s operation uses its own electrolysis assets (in island mode) to convert renewable power into green hydrogen,” explains the company, emphasizing that this is a modular, off-grid system and not a grid-connected system.
The sustainable element includes rainwater harvesting to supply the electrolysis system.
The Global Green Hydrogen Technology Network Is Growing
H2FA also emphasizes that the site is not a one-off. It will serve as an R&D center to fine tune the technology and scale up the green hydrogen production end of things.
The project also demonstrates how the international knowledge base and supply chain is pivoting into green hydrogen.
Partners in the project include Australia-based Skai Energies along with Nilsson Energy of Sweden to manage the site’s microgrid, with Green Hydrogen Systems of Denmark providing the electrolyzers, and the US firm Plug Power supplying power to the site.
If you’re not surprised to see Plug Power in the green hydrogen mix, join the club. CleanTechnica first took note of Plug Power back in 2010, when it was pitching hydrogen fuel cell forklifts to the masses. That was before the green hydrogen industry began to emerge. Now that it has, Plug Power is still eyeballing all sorts of hydrogen-fueled mobility devices, but apparently it has also come to realize that green hydrogen production is a money maker.
A 750-kilowatt solar array will power the electrolysis system at the Truganina site. The initial plans call for 60-90 kilograms of green hydrogen daily, eventually ramping up to 3,000 kilograms. H2FA calculates that will provide enough to fuel over 100 vehicles daily.
More Modular, Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Stations For The US
If all goes according to plan, the new H2FA fuel station will be up and running next year. The company is already planning to expand the concept across Victoria and the rest of Australia, too.
So, what about the US? Although hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars have struggled to find a foothold in the market, a growing number of auto makers are eyeballing the long haul truck field and other heavy duty uses. Quick refueling, long range, and high power are the basic benefits.
The US Department of Energy, for one, is a huge fan. Earlier this month Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced that hydrogen will be the first area of focus under the Energy Department’s new Earthshots innovation initiative, modeled on the successful Moonshot and Sunshot programs.
The Earthshots initiative follows on the heels of a growing movement among hydrogen stakeholders in the US to pump up interest in green hydrogen as a decarbonization pathway, and not just for mobility purposes. In one especially noteworthy development that should send shivers up the spines of natural gas stakeholders, the powerhouse legacy firm Mitsubishi has come up with a new gas turbine for power plants that is specifically designed to integrate green hydrogen with natural gas on an incremental basis, until sufficient supplies are available for 100% green hydrogen operations.
Yikes! Hopefully those green hydrogen power stations will do a better job under climate impacts than natural gas power plants. Natural gas was supposed to be a cleaner “bridge” fuel to deep decarbonization, but for one thing its cleanliness is in question, and for another thing it doesn’t seem up to the task of providing power on a reliable basis during hot spells as well as cold ones.
Looking at you, Texas. In an interesting twist, earlier this year Texas launched a project to explore the development of a regional hydrogen hub, leveraging its considerable wind and solar resources, so perhaps help is on the way.
Follow me on Twitter @TinaMCasey.
Image (screenshot): Courtesy of Hydrogen Fuels Australia.
This ultra-fast compact EV charger has an integrated battery – and it’s coming to the US
ChargePost is an all-in-one design that integrates the battery, electronics, cooling system, and charger in a compact container that ADS-TEC Energy says requires less than 21.5 square feet (2 sq m) of ground space.
Each ChargePost, which is 100% made in Germany, is equipped with two charging points that give drivers up to 300 kW DC power with one charging point and 150 kW with two charging points in use at the same time. It has a configurable 143 or 201 kWh battery capacity. Battery modules can be swapped out as needed, which increases the charger’s longevity. ADS-TEC says it only takes five minutes of charging at ChargePost for more than a 100 km (62-mile) drive.
The integrated charging cable with uncooled CCS1/CCS2 connector is at least 3 meters long. It has a 10-inch touchscreen interface and an “easy-to-use” payment terminal.
From the first half of 2023, ChargePost will be capable of feeding stored energy back into the grid, and it can also be paired with solar.
DS-TEC says that ChargePost can be set up quickly with a forklift and that its instillation is plug-and-play. Because it’s battery-based, it can connect directly to any existing, power-limited, low-voltage grid. That means it can be installed in a variety of locations, including inner cities and rural areas where high-voltage grids often aren’t available.
ChargePost is on the market now in Europe, and it’s expected to be launch in the United States in 2023.
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Canoo (GOEV) delivers EV pickup for US Army use – which makes sense
EV maker Canoo (GOEV) is on a mission to provide electric vehicles for multiple uses with its flexible Multi-Purpose Platform. Canoo announced today it has officially delivered its Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV) EV based on the platform to the US Army.
Meanwhile, the military implementing electric vehicles can do more than protect the planet from climate change.
Founded in 2017, Canoo has overcome several hurdles in bringing its “use case” EV platform to market.
With nearly $1 billion in investments and over 250 patents, Canoo’s Multi-Purpose Platform was born. Despite the technological advancements, Canoo was running out of funds, expressing “substantial doubt” in its ability to continue operations.
Canoo quickly secured a purchase agreement with Walmart to provide at least 4,500 EVs in exchange for exercisable warranted shares, giving the company a lifeline.
The company’s “Made in America” approach has positioned it well to benefit from the incentives provided by the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. After choosing a 630,000-square-foot facility in Oklahoma City, Canoo says it’s ready to begin commercial production.
The company’s Multi-Purpose Platform is finding plenty of “use cases” outside of the typical commercial customers.
NASA recently chose Canoo’s proprietary EV platform to transport crew members to the Artemis launch pad. Yet the EV makers platform is capable of more than just transporting from point A to B, as the US Army has given Canoo another opportunity to showcase its technology.
Canoo supplying electric vehicles for the US Army
In July 2022, the US Army tapped Canoo to supply an EV for analysis and demonstration. The partnership comes after the US Army released a new climate strategy in February, including implementing electric vehicles to lower climate emissions.
The American EV maker announced today it has successfully delivered its Light Tactical Vehicle to the US Army, fulfilling its initial contract terms. CEO Tony Aquila commented on the achievement, saying:
The LTV is another milestone proving the power of our technology and how it can be used, even in tactical situations.
Canoo’s LTV comes loaded with an all-wheel drive system delivering up to 600 hp. To support off-road driving, the LTV features a raised suspension, air-springs, and 32-inch all-terrain tires.
Many are wondering – can electric vehicles make a difference?
How the US Military can benefit from deploying electric vehicles
Canoo isn’t the only automaker supplying electric vehicle technology for military use. GM Defense, the advanced defense mobility innovation unit of General Motors, was selected by the Defense Innovation Unit (DUI) to develop a battery pack that can power functional electric military vehicles.
The DIU is a unit of the Department of Defense specializing in “strengthening our national security by accelerating the adoption of leading commercial technology throughout the military.”
Electric vehicles offer benefits over their gas-powered peers. They’re stealthier, more powerful, and have technologically advanced options.
A recent post from the Modern War Institute at West Point highlights the US Military’s need “to take advantage of this electrification trend and follow fast in adopting the best new technologies,” offering insights into the case for electric military vehicles.
- The US Military is the largest institutional consumer of petroleum fuels globally, using up to 4.2 billion gallons of fuel annually.
- Over $9 billion was spent on fuel by the Defense Logistics Agency in 2019 (they pay a premium).
- The price of delivering fuel to remote operations can be as much as $1,000 per gallon.
- Fuel convoys are especially vulnerable to attacks. Between 2003 and 2007, one in eight casualties in Iraq were due to protecting the convoys.
We are seeing examples of how electric vehicles are already winning out over their gas-powered counterparts in the war between Russia and Ukraine. Russian military vehicles sat in a 40-mile-long convoy after a fuel logistics mishap.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian snipers used tactical electric bikes to silently sneak into their target area, engage the enemy, and quickly flee before being spotted.
The examples show electric vehicles may prove to be more beneficial in the military than many assume. EVs can save the military money on maintenance and fuel costs while providing silent, rapid transportation.
Perhaps, more importantly, it will reduce our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, which can be used to start or prolong a war.
Tesla Semi Delivery Event news hub: Livestream and updates
Tesla is holding its “Tesla Semi Delivery Event” today at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) to deliver the first electric truck to customers. The company is also expected to have a presentation about the production version of the truck.
Here’s our news hub for the event, where you can watch the livestream and get updates.
Three years late, but it is now here. Tesla is going to deliver the first production version of the Tesla Semi electric truck to customers – to PepsiCo, to be more specific.
The Tesla Semi was first unveiled in 2017, and it was supposed to enter production in 2020, but it was delayed several times.
Now the automaker is finally ready to make the first deliveries after having started low-volume production at a facility outside of Gigafactory Nevada in October.
Today, Tesla is expected to deliver the first few units to Pepsi. After the launch of Tesla Semi in 2017, PepsiCo placed one of the biggest orders for Tesla Semi – 100 electric trucks to add to its fleet. The company planned to use 15 of those trucks for a project to turn its Frito-Lay Modesto, California, site into a zero-emission facility. Last year, PepsiCo said that it expected to take deliveries of those 15 Tesla Semi trucks by the end of the year before it was delayed again.
On top of the first deliveries, Tesla is expected to give an update on the specs and pricing of the electric truck, which are expected to be updated from the original 2017 unveiling.
Those are the base expectations for the event, but there could also be a few surprises since Tesla used the original Tesla Semi unveiling for a surprise unveiling of the Tesla Roaster.
We never know.
Tesla Semi Delivery Event livestream
Here we are going to share posts based on the most important news coming out of the Tesla Semi Delivery Event:
Refresh the page to get the latest information.
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