EGEB: Germany builds the world’s first hydrogen train filling station

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 Hydrogen trains in Germany

Germany breaks ground on the world’s first hydrogen filling station for passenger trains.

The town of Bremervörde in Lower Saxony, Germany, has broken ground on the world’s first hydrogen filling station for passenger trains. Chemical company Linde will construct and operate the hydrogen filling station for the Lower Saxony Regional Transport Company.

The station has a daily capacity of approximately 1,600kg of hydrogen, and it will replace the current mobile filling station, according to Railway Technology.

Construction is expected to start in September, and the station’s completion is planned for mid-2021.

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Why wireless vehicle charging makes sense for smart cities

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Image of proposed wireless charging stations

Investments we make today in urban EV infrastructure must take into account future requirements for ride sharing, transit and utilities

 

As the world’s population grows increasingly urban — it’s expected that by 2050, 70 per cent of individuals will live in urban areas — it’s critical for these regions to have the infrastructure in place to support quick, convenient and electric mobility. From autonomous vehicles, to electric urban transit, to effective energy management by utilities, successful deployment depends on cities investing in the proper accompanying charging infrastructure. To that end, there’s a good case to be made that investing in wireless charging is critical for the prosperity of urban areas.

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24 million EVs is the limit for current U.S. power grid until 2028

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This PNNL study could help the U.S. power system keep ahead of the EV adoption curve.

 Getting the world to work without oil will not be easy. Apart from increasing EV adoption, we have to make sure the world can cope with them. Think about it: would the power grid stand too many electric cars demanding a charge at the same time? PNNL – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – answered that question with a study saying the current US power grid can handle 24 million EVs until 2028. If the demand increases, we’ll need improvements.

It may seem far-fetched considering the entire US now has 1.5 million EVs on the roads, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Demand for EVs tends to grow, especially when electric pickup trucks such as the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T are available.

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What the future of fuel cell EVs looks like…

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Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are considered by the most, as two competing technologies. Although both technologies power an electric motor, they have different properties and each of them is well suited for some uses more than others.

BEVs market is increasing, with the major automotive companies, like BMW, and Mercedes, starting to introduce into the market an increasing number of electric battery vehicles, in parallel to the main BEVs company like Tesla, and Toyota. FCEVs on the other hand are still at the demonstration stage.

In April 2019 Daimler stepped back from the development of the GLC F-Cell, after many years of investigation of fuel cells technologies. Besides this decision, Daimler did not completely abandon the hydrogen powertrain, but mostly shifted its focus to a different application. In fact, a collaboration with Volvo to develop fuel cell heavy-duty vehicles will possibly begin in September 2020, which will define a new chapter for the hydrogen technologies.

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In a world-first, Australian University builds its own solar farm to offset 100% of its electricity use

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LIMITING GLOBAL WARMING to well below 2℃ this century requires carbon emissions to reach net-zero by around 2050. Australian households have done much to support the transition via rooftop solar investments. Now it’s time for organizations to take a more serious role.

The University of Queensland’s efforts to reduce its electricity emissions provides one blueprint. Last week UQ opened a 64-megawatt solar farm at Warwick in the state’s southeast. It’s the first major university in the world to offset 100% of its electricity use with renewable power produced from its own assets. In fact, UQ will generate more renewable electricity than it uses.

The Warwick Solar farm shows businesses and other organizations that the renewables transition is doable, and makes economic sense.

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Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 5 refuels phones 50% in 5 minutes, 100% in 15

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Wireless recharging has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to its convenience — just drop your phone on a pad and pick it up later — but wired charging is faster, and some ultra-high-speed options have emerged this month to power next-generation phones. Today, Qualcomm is adding its latest innovations to the mix under the name Quick Charge 5, a wired platform that promises to fully recharge upcoming phones in 15 minutes or go from zero to 50% in only five minutes.

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Smart cities: The future of urban infrastructure

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Songdo in South Korea has been designed with sensors to monitor everything from temperature to energy use to traffic flow. By Timothy Carter

Technology is changing everyday city life, allowing us to instantly adapt to everything from storm threats to traffic jams.

Infrastructure is not exactly the sexiest word in architecture. There are no “starchitects” proudly boasting about their pipe designs or subsurface drainage systems. By its very definition – the underlying structures that support our systems – infrastructure is inherently hidden from us, and therefore often overlooked. But without it our current cities couldn’t possibly exist. Without finding ways to improve it, our future cities will struggle to survive.

Historically, our urban infrastructure has materialised as a response to some emergent or acute problem, like natural disasters. In 2010 it was estimated that over 40% of the global population lives in coastal areas, and much of the large-scale devastation in these areas is due to hurricanes and typhoons. Multi-billion-dollar estimates of infrastructure damage from Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, as well as the recent devastation in the Philippines, demonstrate the amount of damage and human cost these disasters create.

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How ships could produce an unlimited amount of their own fuel

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The key is this special catalyst.

A new study shows that a lower-cost catalyst could help turn seawater into fuel on ships.

  • High-performance molybdenum is combined with potassium and gamma alumina to make a scaleable catalyst.
  • The material costs less than previous versions that worked as efficiently.

Scientists have taken a major step by improving a process for turning seawater into hydrocarbons. The barebones of the technology has existed since a landmark 2014 paper, but scientists have worked since then to make the process energy-efficient and affordable enough to use at scale in the field. This work could be a step toward that threshold.

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Australia to start paying EV owners for transferring electricity back to the national grid

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Electric vehicles can help keep the air clean in our cities – as we’ve seen recently with the reduction of traffic through COVID-19 lockdowns – but they face two obstacles.

 In the short term they’re still expensive. In the long term charging millions of vehicles from the electricity grid presents challenges.

I’m part of a new project, launched today, that tackles both of these obstacles head-on, and it could mean owners earn more money than they’re likely to pay for charging their electric vehicles.

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Stanford research brings EVs one step closer to wirelessly charging on roads

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Imagine never having to plug in an electric car to recharge,but instead simply take the highway on-ramp to get a range boost.

Researchers from Stanford University have published a new demonstration of highly efficient wireless charging that could allow the technology to one day be scaled up to boost driving range of electric vehicles on highways of the future.

Wireless, or inductive, charging – the same technology that is nowadays often used for electric toothbrushes and some smartphones – is under development and being piloted by some car makers already.

But current electric car inductive technology has its limitations: it relies on charging pads that must be aligned perfectly with the oscillating magnetic field that transmits the current to optimally recharge the vehicle, and of course the subsequent downtime to recharge.

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Report: Hydrogen for fuel-cell vehicles likely to reach price parity with gasoline by 2025

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Hydrogen fuel-cell cars face many roadblocks to mass adoption, but a new report claims they could achieve price parity with gasoline by 2025.

 Drafted by the California Energy Commission, the report lays out a plan for development of renewable hydrogen production plants in the state, predicting that future demand and costs will make this new infrastructure worthwhile.

“The key findings are that the dispensed price of hydrogen is likely to meet an interim target based on fuel economy-adjusted price parity with gasoline of $6.00 to $8.50 per kilogram by 2025,” the report said.

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Chargers are the final roadblock to America’s electric car future

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As long as there aren’t enough fast plugs in enough places, buyers and big automakers will stay away.

Rods and waders were already packed into the electric Jaguar I-Pace as it gorged a few more electrons from the wall of my New Jersey garage. A quick glance at a map of northeastern Pennsylvania revealed charging stations clinging to the Delaware River like so many spots on the brown trout I was hoping to catch.

A few days later, I pulled up to one of those chargers on the picturesque main street of Honesdale, only to realize it was a level 2 unit—one step above a standard outlet. It would take four hours before the car had enough juice to make the 100-mile trip home. Eleven miles down the road, it was the same story. And while that spot had a superfast Tesla charger, it was incompatible with the I-Pace. The nearest level 3 charger that would work was 58 miles away. So I gave up and settled in for a while.

Electric car-range anxiety revolves around a brutal equation: Remaining miles of battery life (as estimated by the car) minus miles to destination equals hope (or despair). Making matters worse, the answer varies from one minute to the next, depending on terrain and speed. Desperate battery-powered travelers can be easy to spot: They are often sweaty (no air conditioning), driving slowly and—when going uphill—instinctively leaning forward in their seats.

Failing to note the difference between a level 2 charger and a harder-to-find level 3 charger is often the mistake of an electric vehicle rookie. Had I realized the distinction, I would never have considered a car such as the I-Pace (it was a loaner), or any of the dozens of Tesla rivals set to debut in coming years. For the future of electric vehicles in America, that’s a really big problem.

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