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Is Hydrogen Efficient Enough?

is hydrogen efficient enough?

As the debate about how we are going to power trucking in the future, the question being asked in this video is this, is hydrogen efficient enough? An Australian, Professor David Cebon, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Cambridge University in the UK and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, talks to Jim Park about the efficiency concerns he has around the real cost of hydrogen trucking.

David crunches the numbers and comes up with some food for thought. He runs through the calculations involved in creating the hydrogen as a fuel in the first place and then using it practically on a vehicle. He suggests that there are a great deal of inefficiency in the whole process of taking solar or wind energy, going through the process of generating electricity and then creating hydrogen with that energy.

Once you have created the hydrogen it needs to be transported and stored bringing in more inefficiencies. Add to this the fact that fuel cells are no more than 50 per cent energy efficient.

This may also be true of hydrogen combustion engines, as the way of producing hydrogen is still relatively inefficient, and if hydrogen engines can achieve the same level of efficiency as a diesel engine, that that would still only be a 50 per cent energy efficiency system.

On the other hand the process of filling a battery with electricity and then using that electricity to drive the wheels of the truck is a process which involves a lot fewer inefficiency issues

David points out that if you assume that generating a certain amount of electricity costs a particular amount and that much more of that amount will be turned into motive energy in a truck by going pure electric, when compared with hydrogen.


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