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Fuel Cell

A new zero-emissions engine capable of competing commercially with hydrogen fuel cells and battery electric systems appeared on the radar yesterday when respected British engineering consultancy Ricardo validated Dearman engine technology and its commercial potential. The Dearman engine operates by injecting cryogenic (liquid) air into ambient heat inside the engine to produce high pressure gas that drives the engine - the exhaust emits cold air. It's cheaper to build than battery electric or fuel cell technology, with excellent energy density, fast refuelling and no range anxiety. It just might be a third alternative. Read More
Research into developing insect cyborgs for use as first responders or super stealthy spies has been going on for a while now. Most research has focused on using batteries, tiny solar cells or piezoelectric generators to harvest kinetic energy from the movement of an insect’s wings to power the electronics attached to the insects. Now a group of researchers at Case Western Reserve University have created a power supply that relies just on the insect’s normal feeding. Read More
Two recent patent applications by Apple indicate the company is looking at developing a hydrogen fuel cell system to complement the rechargeable batteries in a “portable computing device” – which could refer to Apple’s range of mobile iDevices, its MacBook range of notebooks – or both. The applications say the technology could potentially power portable electronic devices for “days or even weeks,” which would be sure to silence critics and users who have long complained about the poor battery life of not just Apple’s, but all mobile computing devices. Read More
While fuel cells show a lot of promise for cleanly powering things such as electric cars, there’s something keeping them from being more widely used than they currently are – they can be expensive. More specifically, the catalysts used to accelerate the chemical processes within them tend to be pricey. Work being done at Finland’s Aalto University, however, should help bring down the cost of fuel cells. Using atomic layer deposition (ALD), researchers there are making cells that incorporate 60 percent less catalyst material than would normally be required. Read More
The world's largest automaker has been slow off the mark in the race to bring electric vehicles to market, but it is now playing catch up at a fearsome rate, and we'll see the first of its new range of electric vehicles two weeks from now at the Tokyo Motor Show. The first Toyota EV (top right) will be a four-seater based on the iQ with a range of 65 miles (100 km) and it will hit showrooms next year. It is one of several new cars set to be shown, including a smaller, cheaper plug-in hybrid named the Aqua (top left - on sale in Japan THIS year), a plug-in version of the Prius hybrid and a hydrogen fuel cell midsize sedan (bottom left) to go on sale in 2015. The most intriguing of its Tokyo exhibits is the (bottom right) Fun-Vii concept “where people, cars and society are linked”. All we know is that the two “i”s stand for interactive and internet. As many details as are known inside. Read More
Daihatsu is Japan's oldest car maker, celebrating its sixtieth year of production this year, having honed its skills in micro-vehicle design in an environment where space is at a premium, and the roads are as congested as any country on earth. Toyota's controlling interest looks set to pay off as the world is belatedly realising that small cars are the future. The three new concept cars it will exhibit at the Tokyo Motor Show two weeks from now point the way to the future in several ways. Read More
Nissan Motor yesterday revealed a new Fuel Cell Stack for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) that packs 85 kW-h into a 34-liter package. Through improvements to the Membrane Electrode Assembly and the separator flow path, Nissan has improved the power density of the Fuel Cell Stack to 2.5 times greater than its 2005 model, and in so doing has created a world’s best 2.5 kW.h per liter power density. Similarly, by reducing the need for platinum by 75 percent, manufacturing costs have been reduced by 85 percent. Read More
If you live in Britain and are debating whether or not you should purchase a hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity, well ... your decision may now be a bit easier to make. In order to encourage development of fuel cell vehicles such as the FCX, Honda has just opened the UK’s first open access station for hydrogen-powered vehicles. It’s located on the grounds of Honda of the UK Manufacturing in Swindon, and everyone who needs a little hydrogen in their lives is welcome. Read More
Currently, the world economy and western society in general runs on fossil fuels. We've known for some time that this reliance on finite resources that are polluting the planet is unsustainable in the long term. This has led to the search for alternatives and hydrogen is one of the leading contenders. One of the problems is that hydrogen is an energy carrier, rather than an energy source. Pure hydrogen doesn't occur naturally and it takes energy - usually generated by fossil fuels - to manufacture it. Now researchers at Pennsylvania State University have developed a way to produce hydrogen that uses no grid electricity and is carbon neutral and could be used anyplace that there is wastewater near sea water. Read More
To celebrate 125 years of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz has provided a glimpse of where it sees things heading in the future with its F 125! research vehicle. Although it isn't so ambitious as to attempt to predict what cars will look like in another 125 years, the German automaker has decided to look a little further afield than usual. Previous research vehicles have generally looked ahead one vehicle generation, which is roughly seven to eight years, but with a newly developed hydrogen fuel cell system, gesture controls, and range of 1,000 km (621 miles), Mercedes says the F 125! looks forward more than two generations to the year 2025 and beyond. Read More