Environmental Engineering Reference
with the former DaimlerChrysler, Air Products and Chemicals, and British
Petroleum. A variety of PG&E employees will be using the F-Cell vehicles
including, fleet mechanics, inspectors, service planning representatives,
project managers and officers. PG&E expects to average at least 35 miles
per day on each of the vehicles.
The Peugeot Quark ATV uses an air-cooled fuel cell with a 40 cell
nickel metal hydride battery. The 9 liter hydrogen tank can be pressurized
to 10,150 psi for a range of up to 80 miles. The tank is designed to be
exchanged for a full one when empty. Each 17 inch wheel has its own
electric motor that can produce 74 pound-feet of torque. The motors also
supply regenerative braking.
In addition to GM, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Honda, Toyota and
others have spent billions developing alternative fuel vehicles. GM wants
to become the first carmaker to sell a million fuel cell vehicles and hopes
to have them on the market by 2010.
A hydrogen infrastructure could cost hundreds of billions, since
there is a limited hydrogen-generating capacity now. But, decentralizing
production, by having reformers in buildings and even in home garages in
combination with local power generation, reduces some of that excessive
cost. Larger reformers in neighborhood facilities could be the gas stations
of tomorrow. One study of the near-term hydrogen capacity of the Los
Angeles region concluded that hydrogen infrastructure development may
not be as severe a technical and economic problem as often stated. The
hydrogen fuel option is viable for fuel cell vehicles and the development
of hydrogen refueling systems is taking place in parallel with various fuel
cell vehicle demonstrations.
Hydrogen fuel cells are being prompted by the desire to reduce
global warming and control the spread of pollution in the developing
world. Fuel cells offer a major step in improved efficiency and reduced
emissions. Hydroelectric dams could also be impacted by fuel cells. With
more fuel cells around, electricity prices may fall and dam owners could
make more profit selling hydrogen than selling electricity.
Some computer models of fuel cell cars show the power needed at
the wheel which is computed from the weight of the car, energy of the fuel,
accessories and other variables including mileage. An onboard reformer
has been shown to provide 70 miles per gallon, but compressed hydrogen