Energy

Toyota and Woven Planet have developed a portable hydrogen cartridge

Toyota and Woven Planet have developed a portable hydrogen cartridge
Toyota subsidiary Woven Planet has developed a swappable hydrogen cylinder system in prototype form, capable of delivering clean energy wherever it's needed
Toyota subsidiary Woven Planet has developed a swappable hydrogen cylinder system in prototype form, capable of delivering clean energy wherever it's needed
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Toyota wants hydrogen to power entire cities in Japan. Its subsidiary Woven Planet broke ground last February on a "Woven City" near Susono, which will act as a futuristic testbed for all sorts of urban planning ideas and technologies, including an expanded use of hydrogen fuel throughout the area.

Now, Toyota and Woven have presented a working prototype of a portable hydrogen cartridge that seeks to provide green energy for "a range of daily life activities in and outside of the home."

The cartridges are cylinders, 400 mm (16 in) long and 180 mm (7 in) in diameter, with a target weight of 5 kg (11 lb) when full. They'll carry around 3.3 kWh of useful energy, depending on the efficiency of the external fuel cell used to convert the hydrogen back into electricity. They've got little grab handles on the top, and they're designed to be slotted and twist-locked into place wherever they're used.

They could be used as swappable hydrogen batteries for electric cars, motorcycles and drones. They could be slotted into the walls of homes that aren't connected to a power grid, to provide electricity for the whole house through a fuel cell. They could be used to power heaters, or provide electricity in remote places. With a small fuel cell on top, they could be treated as large backup power banks for device charging.

Commercially, it seems they'll work a bit like BBQ gas bottles; you'll swap them out as needed and they'll be refilled at service stations. But the two companies seem to expect they'll be running a delivery service as well, getting hydrogen canisters out to wherever they're needed. Check out a video below.

Portable Hydrogen Cartridge (Prototype)

Source: Woven Planet

14 comments
14 comments
sleekmarlin
3.5kWh per canister doesn't sound like much. My small heater will use that in 2 hours. A 5kg gas bottle contains 70kWh. Good on them for experimenting, but it sounds like a lot of work.
martinwinlow
At 5kg and 3kWh the energy density of this system is only a bit more than twice that of the best Li-ion batteries commercially available right now. This article merely under-rights my contention that battery technology will advance far more quickly than hydrogen fuel cell technology and will ultimately win on price and performance (if it doesn't already). And we haven't even looked at the fact that by using electricity to make H2 and then turning it back into electricity in a fuel cell means losing 70% of the original electrical energy (not to mention a raft of other practical issues with making and transporting H2).

Sorry, but if Toyota (and others) don't stop wasting their time and effort on this silliness, they will not exist in the next decade.
Al
It will get a lot better when the reverse of fuel cells are more viable, you store excess solar electricity as hydrogen ( water raw material), when the cycling full, put in an empty, use these to power car or srore or use in evening/winter. You can refill yourself a 5kg gas canister. Personally a hydrogen fuel source just sounds to me like a hindenberg waiting to happen,
Malcolm Jacks
For the last 5 years i have been riding a electric tricycle. I can't wait to be able to swap my heavy battery for a hydrogen cell. its 36v 10amp.
Bing it On.
FB36
Using hydrogen as fuel for land/sea/air vehicles, or for storing energy, or for heating homes, is extremely bad idea,
since it is highly explosive! Seriously thinking there will be never any leak/ruptures/mishandling to trigger massive explosions?

Not to mention there is no need to use hydrogen for anything!
All light vehicles are already becoming electric & all heavy/big land/sea/air (diesel) vehicles
(like trucks & trains & construction/mining/agriculture/military vehicles & ships & aircraft)
just need us to start producing biodiesel at large scales from all possible industrial/agricultural/forestry waste/biomass & even trash & sewage!

For storing energy, there are already grid-size battery solutions!

For heating homes, just produce electricity from solar & wind & nuclear!
(But also upgrade electric grids of all cities/towns, so that they can handle the full load,
even if everybody uses electricity (at the same time) for heating & cooking & charging electric vehicles!)
Fairly Reasoner
dog chasing its tail
BlueOak
Seems like Toyota simply trying to nurse a few more cobbles of PR out of the millions of yen it has sunk into hydrogen research… still with very little to show for it.

And that video narrator doesn’t sound dystopian at all. /s
notarichman
notice that nothing is mentioned about how leaky the container is! hydrogen by itself going into the atmosphere is bad for the environment. burned it is fine as long as
it is burned intentionally. if the container leaks hydrogen in an enclosed space, such as a home? dangerous!
mystixa
Other people saying these are 'only about 2x as good as li-ion'. ONLY? Only 2x as good as the best commercially available thing we've got. Only 2x as good as the thing we've been scouring the world for resources to make and making geo-political decisions based on keeping available. Only 2x as good as the thing we've been relying on for decades at every level from consumer to aerospace cause we had nothing better. Only 2x as good as something we scrape to get any % better from other battery tech.

Thats a total joke. Offer any cell phone, electric car, or laptop with 2x the battery life of its competitors and you will own that space until the rest catch up.

Then we can get into reuseability where li-ion requires expensive replacement on a regular basis and most h2 systems don't. So with that we would be looking at huge infrastructure savings at all levels as well.
Kpar
OK, the various cons have been noted (and most of them are specious). I have NEVER been a big supporter of H2 as a fuel- it is merely an energy storage system, as it TAKES energy to produce H2.

This approach intrigues me, however. A practically sized container system (yes, much like the propane cylinders we here in the Midwest are quite used to!) can be a practical workaround for many "lightweight" uses. Leakage won't be a problem, with HDPE containers. If done properly, H2 could (that's a big "IF") be an energy backup for the otherwise useless "renewables" always being touted.

I don't know if this qualifies as "out of the box" thinking, but it is much more useful than most of the other silliness on the Green Side.
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