By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche recently told a German auto publication that his company will begin production of hydrogen fuel cell cars in 2014. The company will partner with Linde, a supplier of industrial gasses, to begin building as many as 50 refueling stations in the country. The intent is to provide the fuel at existing gas stations, making it possible they say, “to drive anywhere in Germany with a fuel-cell-powered vehicle for the first time.”
Right now, there are around 30 filling points, but only seven are in publicly accessible in a filling station. The others, often on private or municipal property, are mostly used by fleets. At 52,000 Btu per pound, hydrogen has the highest energy content by weight of any fuel, and proponents say it could lead to new, high efficiency vehicles.
Daimler was vague about the nature of its FCV. However, most fuel-cell vehicles use the hydrogen to generate electricity for vehicle propulsion via chemical reaction instead of combustion. The process is exceptionally clean, with the only noticeable byproducts being water and a bit of oxygen.
Not this, but like this—Daimler will produce a line of fuel cell vehicles in 2014.
Hydrogen is easily extracted from many sources including water, solid waste, biomass or fossil fuels.
It is the lightest of gasses, and needs to be stored under pressure to maintain an efficient working volume. Transferring the pressurized gas into a vehicle can be done safely, and takes significantly less time than recharging batteries at an electric station. Studies have shown that a hydrogen fuel cell can be about 60 percent efficient in converting fuel to energy, with the difference becoming heat which can also be used on the vehicle.
A number of vehicle makers in North America, Europe and Asia have also announced their plans for at least limited production of fuel cell cars but with later or less-certain target dates. Still other OEMs have announced that they are scaling back their FCV development (or dropping it entirely) due to high costs and an uncertain market.
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV