The emptiness of space and the vast distances between locations pose huge and unique challenges to space travel. One of the biggest challenges is the need to either bring everything you'll require with you or to make it along the way. The basic essentials of fuel, water and breathable air are also some of the hardest to guarantee, since every ounce of weight packed onto the spacecraft has to be moved and protected. What if, instead, there was a method of recycling and recombining them?CC0New Era of Space Travel: Private Station May Replace ISS by Late 2020 A possible solution to that problem is what a group of scientists who hail from the California Institute of Technology, the Free University of Berlin and the European Space Agency published in their study in Nature on July 10. There are two methods of doing that, both of which involve electricity. … [Read more...] about Scientists Can Now Recycle Water, Air, Fuel, Making Deep Space Travel Possible
Zinc air fuel cell
It was Welsh scientist and justice of the peace Sir William Grove who, in 1839, discovered the principle of producing electricity from an electro-chemical reaction between hydrogen and air. He called it the 'gas battery', though what we now know as the fuel cell wasn't really a feasible electricity producer until the mid 20th century. In 1955 General Electric’s Willard Grubb and Leonard Niedrach produced the first hydrogen-and-oxygen fuelled, proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, the type used in almost all automotive applications. It was one of these PEM fuel cells that was used by Nasa to generate power for the Gemini project in the 1960s. A fuel cell is effectively an electricity-generating device using chemical reactions. There are lots of different types of fuel cell but the chemical reaction we are looking at here is that of combining hydrogen and oxygen to produce water and energy in the form of electricity. The cell consists of a couple of … [Read more...] about How does a fuel cell work, and should I buy a hydrogen car?
Hyundai and Audi have announced a hydrogen partnership that will see both brands cooperating in the development of automotive fuel cell technology. The multi-year patent cross-licensing agreement includes "a broad range" of components for fuel cell cars (a type of zero-emission vehicle that runs on hydrogen) and will "leverage collective research and development capabilities" in hydrogen propulsion. This announcement comes after Audi renewed its partnership with long-standing fuel cell supplier Ballard Power Systems earlier in June. “The fuel cell is the most systematic form of electric driving and thus a potent asset in our technology portfolio for the emission-free premium mobility of the future,” said Peter Mertens, Board Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG. “On our FCEV roadmap, we are joining forces with strong partners such as Hyundai. For the breakthrough of this sustainable technology, cooperation is the smart way to leading innovations with … [Read more...] about ‘The fastest way to a zero-emission world’ – Hyundai and Audi form hydrogen fuel cell partnership
The Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) has announced that there will be a hydrogen fuel cell class at Le Mans in 2024, stating that the technology is “the next objective” in decarbonising motorsport. Seven multinational car and parts manufacturers, a panel of experts and the French CEA energy research institute are participating in the project, which will see fuel cell cars competing at the 24hr de Le Mans race in six years’ time. “Hydrogen is the future of decarbonised mobility,” said Pierre Fillon, ACO president. “We are no longer simply making promises of intention, but have already put our groups of experts and manufacturers to work.” “We will be ready for 2024, and we will see a hydrogen-powered class competing at Le Mans.” Endurance racing is well known for technological contributions, especially in the field of efficiency, that filter down to everyday road cars. The most prominent teams taking part in the World Endurance … [Read more...] about ‘Hydrogen is the future of decarbonised mobility’ – fuel cell endurance cars confirmed for Le Mans
Hyundai has revealed that its new hydrogen-powered SUV will be called Nexo and pack semi-autonomous driving systems. Introduced at CES – the consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas – it’s the second generation of the firm’s fuel cell technology, which debuted on the ix35 FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicle) in 2013. The new model will have an estimated range of 500 miles – about 135 miles more than its predecessor. The SUV is built on a dedicated fuel cell platform rather than a modified version of existing architecture. Hyundai says the benefits of this are less weight, more cabin space and a better layout for the fuel cell system. The upgraded fuel cell stack and battery can feed a more powerful motor, which now makes 161bhp, up from 134. Acceleration is better than before, too – the Nexo goes from 0-60mph in 9.5 seconds, which is three seconds faster than its predecessor. It’ll also feature Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, … [Read more...] about Hyundai reveals Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV