Yeah hydrogen isn't a very dense gas, so if you want any kind of usable amount you either need to compress it to a very high degree, or liquify it, which requires some serious cooling. There are technical problems either way.
If you had told me 5 years ago that an electric motor capable of flying a dash 8 was possible - I'd have said you were on crack. 3 years ago if you told me one would fly a Beaver - I would have said the same thing.
As far a Hydrogen is concerned, I have no idea the requirements for it but MTU now also is looking to replace turboprops with electric motors and powered by hydrogen. They even say that converting current gas turbine engines to run on Hydrogen could be done fairly easily.
The only hurdle to over come is the batteries. The engine is now possible but as in EV's the battery tech has not caught up to a point being able to power the aircraft for enough endurance. Little dry but interesting snap shot into the issues with batteries of today and what's to come.
The other issue with battery's I imagine would be the weight. A full and empty battery weighs the same. Hydrogen is probably the future. Once they can figure out to make it economically viable as others here pointed out.
I think electric vehicles of all kinds are the way of the future. I'd love to see electric aircraft become the norm at some point! That would be an amazing future and I hope I live long enough to see it. I don't know if hydrogen is necessarily the way to go though, but I suppose it might be a good intermediate step towards electrification depending on how it's done. We did go through (are still going through?) a similar phase with hybrid electric cars, so that might work here too.
Unfortunately you can't just pump hydrogen out of the ground, and producing it is a pretty energy-intensive process. Most hydrogen today is produced from natural gas, via a process that ought to send any environmentalist into a gibbering fit. Electrolysis is probably the best alternative for now and although it's pretty energy intensive too, at least it only requires (lots of) electricity. There's a ton of super interesting research going on in this area though, with some really intriguing ideas that might solve some of these issues in the future.
As I mentioned before, storage is a bit of a problem because of the density, or lack thereof, of hydrogen. In hydrogen powered cars, I believe they've been using tanks pressurized anywhere between 300 and 700 bar (10k psi!). I can't help but wonder how reliable that is over the long term but I suppose there haven't been any exploding hydrogen cars yet.
All of this is only a path to electrification if they're using the hydrogen to produce electricity to power the engines, using fuel cells or other tech similar to what's mentioned in the MTU article. Some applications are just looking to burn the hydrogen as a fuel (also mentioned in the MTU article), which is certainly a shorter path to hydrogen adoption (and cleaner to burn than traditional fuels), but doesn't really advance the progress of electrification.
itguy wrote: ↑Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:50 am
Unfortunately you can't just pump hydrogen out of the ground, and producing it is a pretty energy-intensive process. Most hydrogen today is produced from natural gas, via a process that ought to send any environmentalist into a gibbering fit. Electrolysis is probably the best alternative for now and although it's pretty energy intensive too, at least it only requires (lots of) electricity.
Ash Ketchum wrote: ↑Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:38 pm
The issue is making hydrogen efficiently. Currently it takes a lot of energy to make hydrogen which kind of defeats the purpose of the environmental savings.
Out of sight out of mind. Feel-good consumerism for everyone!
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