written by reader Plug Power

By jim1pat2, March 19, 2014

I’m very impressed with their customer list – Wal Mart, P&G, BMW, Mercedes, etc.. The company is supposed to announce a major deal with another automobile company. Anyone care to comment?

Jim Pardieck

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Stephen Jackson
Member
March 19, 2014 9:06 pm

Probably Ford. The quoted text below is from Plug Power’s website in their industry news section.
“Meanwhile, Ford (NYSE: F ) is working with Nissan and Daimler (NASDAQOTH: DDAIF ) , the corporate parent of Mercedes-Benz, on a project that will bring fuel cell cars to market by 2017, they say. The three are sharing development costs in hopes of designing better technology more quickly.”

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sjackson
Member
March 25, 2014 10:30 pm

Seems like there was an announcement today by Plug’s CEO re signing a deal.
Energized the stock and that of others such as Ballard Power. Understatement of the week. 🙂

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zpro
zpro
March 20, 2014 11:46 am

This is the little information that I have on PLUG. The challenge, as I understand it, is finding enough hydrogen to produce their batteries on a mass scale. Some of the companies mentioned appear to be using PLUG batteries to run experimental warehouse forklifts.

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arch1
Member
March 24, 2014 1:24 pm
Reply to  zpro

Professor Z; You are correct in that is a hydrogen challenge. It is not however in production of hydrogen or the fuel cells. Hydrogen is notoriously difficult to store & that coupled with the fact it is a very low density fuel leads to expensive refueling problems. There is essentially no infrastructure of fueling stations & those available use high pressure heavy tanks of low volume. That means frequent refueling stops , & thus limited range. Warehouse forklifts–Yes, City buses–Yes Local delivery trucks–Yes Short commute autos–perhaps. Do you know if Plug technology allows use of Methane in place of Hydrogen?

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sjackson
Member
March 24, 2014 7:46 pm

Some good points Frank. However, with a 10,000 psi tank, Toyota’s 4 door FCV has a range of 480km. It was cold-weather tested in Yellowknife (where I live) last month. No reduction in range due to the cold, unlike with their hybrids. The availability of hydrogen refuelling stations will be eventually dealt with. Toyota had to bring their own hydrogen to Yellowknife. 🙂

arch1
Member
March 24, 2014 8:38 pm

Stephen; thanks for the info,I was not aware of Toyota doing this. Do you have an idea as to the size & weight of the tank & how it would fare in a crash? That seems to me dangerously high pressure for a mobile tank given hydrogen’s explosive properties,perhaps Toyota has solved the engineering problem. I don’t think many areas are accepting of the idea of really large quantities of H as required of refueling stations. I think it more likely Nat. Gas network will first be built & then perhaps later converted to H, since NG can be converted to LNG & more easily transported & stored. Does that Toyota use plug technology? That’s really amazing range,I translate that to equal almost 300 miles per fill. You are correct about cold ,if tested at minus 60C the range would likely be greater. I wonder how much less the range would be if tested at plus 40C.

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Stanley Black
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Stanley Black
March 24, 2014 10:05 pm
Reply to  arch1

I worked for several years with hydrogen when I was developing a heater for diver use. I agree that Hydrogen will eventually become readily available at perhaps gas stations. Most likely it will be stored at the filling stations as Liquid Hydrogen at about -252 degrees C. Then perhaps a booster pump would be used to fill the auto, fork lift or whatever.
Hydrogen is no more dangerous than gasoline, and perhaps less. Because Hydrogen is a gas, it will rapidly disperse into the atmosphere and dilute below flammability mixture. You might have a flame at the source but likely not an explosion unless you capture the Hydrogen with oxygen inside a container together with an ignition source.

arch1
Member
March 25, 2014 5:47 am
Reply to  Stanley Black

Stanley ; Thank you for the comment, I perhaps was not clear in explosive concern. Have you thought about what happens when a high pressure tank is ruptured such as in a car crash.with ensuing fire. Think also about the high pressure plumbing required during filling as well as regulator valving etc. Engineering safety into something as accident prone as autos are is not simple or cheap. Check into likelihood of home heating tanks replacing similar propane usage first or replacing natural gas in mains.

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sjackson
Member
March 25, 2014 10:25 pm
Reply to  arch1

Looks like the engineers have figured this one out. Here’s some information:
http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/hydrogen-safety.aspx

arch1
Member
March 25, 2014 11:05 pm

Stephen; thank you for the link,I had not seen it before certainly looks that Honda has done a great deal for safety considerations. That still does not answer what happens if tank is exposed to fire,steel rapidly loses strength when heated, or to the possibility of shut off valve being broken at connection to tank. I can tell you that most fire responders would be very hesitant to near approach to a car fire until that aspect is verified as safe in real crashes. That said invest as you choose, I merely tried to point out some problems that might delay profitableness of of new technology

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sjackson
Member
March 26, 2014 1:01 am
Reply to  arch1

Frank, it looks like the tanks are designed to leak in “a jet of flame” if ruptured. At least that’s how GM has designed their offerings. Here’s the source of that:
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/03/gms-hydrogen-fuel-cell-fleet-getting-real-crash-experience/1

arch1
Member
March 26, 2014 3:08 am
Reply to  sjackson

Stephen; It has long been standard practice for pressurized fuel tanks to have either a fusible plug that melts at high heat or a temp. sensitive valve that opens to relieve pressure that often results in a “jet of flame”. That lowers but does not remove the possibility of explosion. I have logged many miles driving propane fueled vehicles & “jet of flame” is a known possibility. Propane is pressurized at 150 to 300PSI. Hydrogen is pressurized at 10,000 PSI. Do I have to spell out the ramifications?
Do you hold this stock or are you a promoter? Just curious. I have NO interest in or intend to invest in Plug power. fa

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arch1
Member
March 26, 2014 4:16 am
Reply to  arch1

Incidentally a jet of hydrogen flame is routinely used to ‘burn’/ cut steel under water because of high temperature of flame. Think what that would do if impinging on auto materials.

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sjackson
Member
March 26, 2014 10:18 am
Reply to  arch1

Good morning Frank.
I do not hold any stock of Plug Power. After reading many posts on this site, I am simply trying to contribute to some discussions. For example, I started a conversation on NeuLion whose stock I do own and for which I disclosed.
I value the comments that you have added to this thread. Safety of any technology is something that we should all hold manufacturers responsible for. There are so many examples of car companies trying to hide defects, e.g., GM and the ignition switches.
It will be interesting to see what happens when fuel cell vehicles such as the Honda Clarity are crash tested.

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