Feeds

back to article Inventors: Feast your eyes on fuel cell tech that'll power up Internet of Thingies

There was more than just talk on offer at Twickenham's Future World Symposium this week. Although there was much to hear about the so-called internet of the things, the connected home, autonomous systems and connected intelligence, there was also plenty to see - and you'll be happy to know we took pictures. The event hosts a …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Bronze badge

Govt spends money wisely -Shock

"Arcola Energy has also been in talks regarding government funding"

If confirmed I hope it'll make headline news on El Reg

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Renewable?

In some alternate universe maybe, but the system losses of generating hydrogen, compressing, and transporting it will be huge (not to mention return of the spent hydrogen containers). Likewise the cost of distilling and transporting water isn't nil, either.

When we've got "too cheap to meter" fusion power (Bwahahahahaha!) those issues might go away, but in the meanwhile this looks like a subset of the wider renewable scam, where "emissions free at point of use" trumps the common reality of "vast emissions elsewhere", such as with electric vehicles.

9
3
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Renewable?

Might be true if this gets bundled in with the Wind Farm nonsense, but the only real issue with nuclear power is that it doesn't adjust output very efficiently. Which is why it's great for baseload but somewhat limited at dealing with peaks and troughs. What's need to make Nuclear Power a complete solution (instead of just a great foundation) is efficient storage of extra energy. If a nuclear powerstation can just keep on putting out the same amount of power through the night as it does in the day because someone is hooking up bottles of distilled water (and maybe we can use heat from the reactor to distil the water in the first place), then it becomes a win-win all round.

Energy density of a fuel cell is (at least last time I checked) a lot higher than any current battery technology. I'd love a hydrogen powered laptop. :)

8
1
Silver badge

Re: Renewable?

I think you are exaggerating slightly. It doesn't have to be miraculous just within an order of magnitude of the petrochemical industry at the same scale.

Care to point at anything that says a hydrogen economy will be much much worse than an oil based one?

1
1
FIA
Mushroom

Re: Renewable?

Care to point at anything that says a hydrogen economy will be much much worse than an oil based one?

See icon.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Renewable?

"the only real issue with nuclear power is that it doesn't adjust output very efficiently. "

Actually, it's quite adjustable (even PWRs), but with a fuel cost approximately equal to zero, it's more economic froma business point of view to run at full power 24*7 and sell at whatever price you can get for it.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Renewable?

"See icon."

Hydride-based storage systems won't do that.

The problem with hydrogen is that at best it's an energy transport mechanism and at worst an expensive boondoggle.

Among other problems yet to be adequately addressed is the issue of long-term hydrogen embrittlement of just about anything the stuff comes into prolonged contact with.

0
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

When I saw "fuel cells" I *hoped* someone might have gone with sugars.

Sugars are everywhere in nature, they don't need fermentation and there are plants specifically bred to optimize their production.

Maybe one day.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: When I saw "fuel cells" I *hoped* someone might have gone with sugars.

"I *hoped* someone might have gone with sugars"

Slight problem of fouling of catalysts, electrodes or membranes, IIRC. That's why things like hydrogen and distilled water are popular.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Confusing Article

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I found this confusing to read. Not up to the usual TheRegister standard.

0
1
Bronze badge

Re: Confusing Article

They did alright.

Its not easy writing this kind of article in such a way as to give the impression you're saying something.

4
0

Looks like a flux-capacitor to me.

1
0

How do you get the hydrogen?

I may seem a little dim, but in my recollection of playing with electrolysis about forty years ago, the mount of energy required to produce hydrogen (and oxygen) from water was always greater than that gained from the combustion of the collected hydrogen.

Unless the Laws of Thermodynamics have changed since I was in high school, then the whole notion of a world fuelled by hydrogen gained on this planet (not from space) obtained through a low input energy source is ......... piffle.

0
0

Re: How do you get the hydrogen?

Indeed, but using a renewable energy source (wind, wave, solar) to generate the H2 means the input side is 'free'.

0
0

Methane

When we have natural gas fuel cells, then they will be a viable technology for everyone.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Methane

It won't be adopted, I think. Using methane in a fuel cell is still carbon-positive. At which point, why not just combust the stuff?

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Methane

"Using methane in a fuel cell is still carbon-positive. At which point, why not just combust the stuff?"

Fuel cells are more efficient, that's why.

0
0
Flame

Keep Calm

Keep Calm And Carry On Stoking

21st century steampunk gets 'rediscovered' every 4-5 years

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.