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Archive for the category “Japan”

Japanese Consortium to Build Electric Bunker Ship

Operational date: 2022
Consortium: Mitsui, Asahi Tanker and Mitsubishi
Cargo: 500 ton
Battery: 3.5 MWh
Power: 600 kW
Operational time: 6 hours, full load

[] – e5 Project
[] – 7 Japanese companies form e5 Consortium
[] – ‘e5 Consortium’ Established to Promote Zero-Emission Electric Vessel

Autonomous Floating Wind Electricity Ferry in Japan

Power ARK 100 – planned to be operational by 2025.

Island nation Japan is surrounded by very deep waters, eliminating the possibility of monopile-based wind farms. So floating wind must be applied. But laying cables in waters of many kilometers deep is problematic. So engineers of the company PowerX came up with a floating battery solutions. Unmanned ghost ships, stuffed with batteries with a cumulative capacity 200 MWh will be commuting between the floating OWFs and mainland Japan.

The Japanese government has OWF ambitions to the tune of 10 GW by 2030 and 30-45 GW by 2040. This electricity will have to be brought onshore, one way or the other.

[] – Transporting Offshore Wind Electricity by Automated Ships – A New Concept Emerges in Japan
[] – PowerX Announces Its Business to Innovate Power Storage and Transmission with “Power Transfer Vessels” and In-house Battery Manufacturing
[] – The automated vessel designed to transport electricity from offshore wind farms to shore

Sign of the Times – Olympic Hydrogen Flame

Tadahiko Mizuno Plasma Electrolysis

The experiment is said to be based on this:

Hydrogen has recently attracted attention as a possible solution to environmental and energy problems. If hydrogen should be considered an energy storage medium rather than a natural resource. However, free hydrogen does not exist on earth. Many techniques for obtaining hydrogen have been proposed. It can be reformulated from conventional hydrocarbon fuels, or obtained directly from water by electrolysis or high-temperature pyrolysis with a heat source such as a nuclear reactor. However, the efficiencies of these methods are low. The direct heating of water to sufficiently high temperatures for sustaining pyrolysis is very difficult. Pyrolysis occurs when the temperature exceeds 4000°C. Thus plasma electrolysis may be a better alternative, it is not only easier to achieve than direct heating, but also appears to produce more hydrogen than ordinary electrolysis, as predicted by Faraday’s laws, which is indirect evidence that it produces very high temperatures. We also observed large amounts of free oxygen generated at the cathode, which is further evidence of direct decomposition, rather than electrolytic decomposition. To achieve the continuous generation of hydrogen with efficiencies exceeding Faraday efficiency, it is necessary to control the surface conditions of the electrode, plasma electrolysis temperature, current density and input voltage. The minimum input voltage required induce the plasma state depends on the density and temperature of the solution, it was estimated as 120 V in this study. The lowest electrolyte temperature at which plasma forms is ˜75°C. We have observed as much as 80 times more hydrogen generated by plasma electrolysis than by conventional electrolysis at 300 V.

[] – Tadahiko Mizuno, Hydrogen Evolution by Plasma Electrolysis in Aqueous Solution (2005)
[] – Tadahiko Mizuno
[deepresource] – Australian Startup Claims it Can Cut Cost Electrolisys by a Third
[] – Hydrogen production by plasma electrolysis reactor of KOH-ethanol solution

Green Hydrogen Storage via Methylcyclohexane (C7H14)

The Japanese companies Eneos and Chiyoda claim to eventually be able to produce green hydrogen for a third of the cost of today. Through a patented electrolysis method, the cost of the equipment can be reduced to $3 per kilo hydrogen in 2030 and even to $2 later. The hydrogen will be stored in the liquid C7H14. And since the cost of a solar kWh in the desert is about 1 euro cent, the cost of the electrolyser equipment almost equals the total cost of hydrogen.

The method developed by Eneos and Chiyoda enables the electrolysis of water and toluene simultaneously, rather than through separate processes, to form methylcyclohexane (C7H14). This simplification of the process cuts equipment investment in half.

Liquid C7H14 will be supplied at ambient temperature to power plants and other facilities where hydrogen will be produced from it for energy. This is much more cost effective than delivering hydrogen, which must be transported at -253 ° C in a special container.

Conventional oil technology can be used to handle the methylcyclohexane at ambient conditions.

The upshot is that the world has now NH3, C7H14 and NaBH4 to choose from as possible carriers of hydrogen. No doubt there are many more chemical storage possibilities.

[] – Japan has found a way to reduce the cost of “green” hydrogen by two-thirds
[] – Japanese firms aim to slash hydrogen costs
[] – Introduction of Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier and the Global Hydrogen Supply Chain Project
[] – A final link in the global hydrogen supply chain

Demo plant in Brunei, realizing the world’s first hydrogen chain.

Read more…

NordLink Operational

Germany has a 2nd subsea power cable to Norway, called NordLink, connecting a large Norwegian hydro-buffer with German renewable energy sources to even-out intermittent power supply.

Construction start date: 2016
Trajectory: Wilster-Tonstadt
Subsea length: 516 km
Cost: 2 billion euro
Power: 1.4 GW
Operator: TenneT


[] – Deutschland nutzt Norwegen jetzt als Batterie
[] – NordLink
[deepresource] – Norway Wants to Become Europe’s Battery Pack (2012)

Toyota Plans Revolutionary Solid State Battery

A solid-state battery is a battery technology that uses solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte, instead of the liquid or polymer gel electrolytes found in lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries. Materials proposed for use as solid electrolytes in solid-state batteries include ceramics (e.g., oxides, sulfides, phosphates), and solid polymers. Solid-state batteries have found use in pacemakers, RFID and wearable devices. They are potentially safer, with higher energy densities, but at a much higher cost.

Challenges to widespread adoption include energy and power density, durability, material costs, sensitivity and stability.

A trip of 500 km on one charge. A recharge from zero to full in 10 minutes. All with minimal safety concerns. The solid-state battery being introduced by Toyota promises to be a game changer not just for electric vehicles but for an entire industry.

The technology is a potential cure-all for the drawbacks facing electric vehicles that run on conventional lithium-ion batteries, including the relatively short distance traveled on a single charge as well as charging times. Toyota plans to be the first company to sell an electric vehicle equipped with a solid-state battery in the early 2020s. The world’s largest automaker will unveil a prototype next year.

[] – Toyota’s game-changing solid-state battery en route for 2021 debut
[] – Solid-state battery

Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Battery cars seem to have the upper hand and companies like Tesla, Volkswagen en Renault are betting on that principle. But there are still a few companies that are not convinced and keep pushing the hydrogen fuel cell. And they do have a few points. Do we really want countries littered with tens of millions of charging poles? Do we really want to upgrade the grid for automotive? Charging a car battery takes hours, filling a hydrogen tank merely minutes. And then there is the range issue. 400 kg battery to enable 400-500 kilometers. With hydrogen, stored in 60 kg sodium-borohydride brings your 1000 kilometer.

We bet that the hydrogen fuel cell will prevail.

[] – Der weite Weg zum Wasserstoff
[] – Toyota Mirai

Toyota Yaris Hybrid – 2.8 Liter/100 KM

The Toyota Yaris, produced in Valenciennes in France, was sold 229,000 times in Europe last year and remains of the utmost importance for Toyota. In the past 50% of the customer decided to buy the hybrid version of the Yaris, as of now it will probably be more like 75%. The car got a total new makeover. The data: 1.5 liter 3-cylinder. 68 kW. Li-Ion battery. Official consumption: 2.8 liter/100 km (at best). Possesses rudimentary automatic driving capabilities, including active cruise control. Price: 25,140 Euro.

[] – Das 2,8-Liter-Auto

Read more…

Japan & US Ready to Construct First Offshore Wind Farm

Better late than never.

Japan has issued a call for developers interested in building and operating a floating offshore wind farm off Goto City, Nagasaki Prefecture.

The scale will be modest, at least 16.8 MW.

The US already has a small offshore wind park near Rhodes Island (“Block Island”, 5 turbines, 30 MW). This time, a small demonstration wind farm is being built in federal waters for the first time, by Orsted-Denmark and Jan de Nul-Belgium, 43km off the coast of Virginia Beach.

[] – Japan Opens First Floating Wind Farm Auction
[] – First Wind Turbine Installed in US Federal Waters

Toyota Guarantees Battery for 15 Years or 1 Million Kilometer

Japan Building e-Ship for Oiltransport

Consortium: Asahi, Mitsui en Mitsubishi and others
Operational: 2022
Battery: 3.5 MWh
Cargo: 500 ton liquids/1300 m3
Range: 6 hours full throttle

Application: “last mile”, bunkering at sea from oil-tankers. The ship “glues” itself to large oil-tankers with magnets.

[] – ‘e5 Consortium’ Established to Promote Zero-Emission Electric Vessel

7,000 GW Floating Offshore Wind Potential for EU, US & Japan

According to industry estimates, the technical potential for floating wind power is around 7,000 GW for Europe, the US and Japan combined. Among the high potential markets, Japan has set a target of 4 GW to be installed by 2030, followed by around 2 GW in France, US and UK, and 1 GW in Taiwan.

Globally, there are 13 announced floating offshore wind projects (nine in Europe – UK, Portugal and France, three in Asia – Japan and Korea and one in the US). However, currently, the only operational floating wind farm of scale is Hywind Scotland, developed by Equinor and commissioned in October 2017. The farm has five floating turbines with a total capacity of 30 MW.

[] – Floating foundations are the future of deeper offshore wind

Honda E

City car for the typical commuter who drives 40 km per day. 1500 kg. The only e-vehicle that drives the rear-axis. 9.2 m turning circle. The car has a very agile feel. This is not an adapted gasoline car, it was designed as an e-vehicle from the ground up. Range 220 km. Recuperates energy during brake cycle. 80% charge lasts 30 minutes. Price 33.850 Euro. Max. speed 145 kmh, deliberately restricted for range purposes.

[] – Das Spaßmobil (The Fun Car)

Bye-bye Walkman – Sony Announces Electric Car

Sony is good at keeping secrets and at this year’s CES auto show in Las Vegas, out of the blue, presented an electric car, the VISION-S. The news is very fresh and raises many questions, like will this car go in production and if so, by who? Austrian-Canadian Magna-Steyr, the auto supplier that had a large input? As you could have expect from Sony, the car is stuffed with electronics. The car has two electro-motors, delivering a performance overkill of 272 hp, 100 kmh in 4.8 seconds and a top speed 240 kmh. Fast-green if you will. The range is not communicated by Sony. Apart from Magna-Steyr, other companies on board are Nvidia, Bosch, ZF en Qualcomm.

[] – Sony surprises with an electric concept car called the Vision-S.
[] – Sony presenteert VISION-S in Las Vegas

Breakthrough in Electrolyzer Technology

Researchers from the Netherlands, China, Japan and Singapore have developed a method to increase electrolysis throughput per unit of volume with a factor of 20. Think a 10 MW electrolyzer device with the size of a standard household fridge. Keyword: nanocages of an alloy of nickel and platinum. The key to success is essentially a radical increase of active catalyst surface achieved with nano-technology.

On top of that, the breakthrough is achieved with a cheaper catalyst; no longer pure, expensive and rare platinum needs to be used, but an alloy with cheap nickel works even better than is possible with present day state-of-the-art platinum catalysts. The expectation is that hydrogen industry will be able to develop a commercial electrolyzer of 10 MW capacity, with merely the size of a fridge. This device could for instance absorb the output of a large offshore 10 MW wind turbine and transform the electricity “on the spot”. Alternatively, such an electrolyzer could be installed in residential areas, absorbing solar electricity from panels installed on roofs, thereby greatly reducing grid load.

[] – Storing energy in hydrogen 20 times more effective using platinum-nickel catalyst
[] – Bunched Pt-Ni alloy nanocages as efficient catalysts for fuel cells
[] – Energie opslaan in waterstof 20 keer effectiever met katalysator van platina-nikkel

The catalyst can be used both in electrolysis as well as fuel cell mode.

[source] Professor Emiel Hensen, with the XPS setup (Near Ambient Pressure X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy) Molecular Catalysis, inorganic materials chemistry, Scheikundige Technologie, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

[] – Nanocages That Split Water Seventeen Times Faster Might Be Hydrogen’s Big Bang
[] – Minder platina nodig in waterstofauto’s
[] – Energie opslaan in waterstof 20 keer effectiever met katalysator van platina-nikkel
[] – Brandstofcellen kunnen met minder platina toe
[] – Electrolysis of water
[] – Insituut for renewable energy storage

[] – There Could Be A Magnetic Solution To Building The Hydrogen Economy

Perhaps nanocages and magnetism could be combined to increase productivity even more.

18.1% – New Perovskite Solar Record

An international team of scientists claim to have developed perovskite solar cells with an efficiency of 18.1% by using a new configuration of cesium lead iodide perovskite CsPbI3, which has the narrowest band gap – 1.73 eV – of all inorganic lead halide perovskites.

Researchers from China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan observed CsPbI3 cystals in their more stable beta phase. Previous research focused on the crystals in their alpha, or dark phase.

[] – New configuration gives perovskite cells 18% efficiency
[] – Perovskite solar cell
[] – Why perovskite solar cells are so efficient

Hydrogen Out of Thin Air

“There is something in the air”… N2, O2, H2O, CO2, solar radiation. In principle all the ingredients are there to produce hydrogen H2, by using the solar light to split the moist H2O. That’s exactly what Japanese car company Toyota in Europe (TME) and DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) have agreed to research upon. The self-imposed restriction of using moist, naturally present in the air, is justified by pointing at the pure character of the water vapor, no bubbles, as well as applicability in those places where water is not available.

new solid photoelectrochemical cell that was able to first capture water from ambient air and then produce hydrogen under the influence of sunlight. This first prototype immediately took 60 to 70 percent of the amount of hydrogen you can make from liquid water. The system is a membrane reactor in which polymer electrolyte membranes, porous photoelectrodes and materials that absorb water are combined.

When Toyota approached DIFFER, the latter group was already working on hydrolysis of water vapor. They have meanwhile shown that the idea works, but only for the 5% UV light. The next challenge is to expand the amount of light that can be used for the desired conversion. Once that has been achieved, scaling is next.

Both DIFFER and Toyota are operating in a social climate that is receptive towards hydrogen as an energy carrier. Both Japan as well as the Netherlands aspire to operate a hydrogen economy. The end goal is (very) local hydrogen production (like your roof), for instance for mobility, Toyota’s interest. Your home as the replacement for the petrol station.

Sunlight and this stand-alone prototype: all you need to produce hydrogen.

[] – DIFFER and Toyota partner to produce hydrogen from humid air
[] – Hydrogen Fuel from thin air
[] – Catalytic and Electrochemical Processes for Energy Application
[] – Hydrogen fuel from thin air
[] – Toyota and DIFFER explore innovative hydrogen production from humid air
[] – DIFFER (fusion & solar fuels)

Read more…

Germany Missing Out on Power-to-Gas Revolution


German magazine der Spiegel despairs at the way with which Germany plays a significant role as a power-to-gas (P2G) innovator, yet fails to make a commercial success out of its endeavors.

One of the largest P2G installations is located in Pritzwalk, in East-Germany. Capacity 360 m3/hour. The installation can be seen as an opposition against an all-electric world. In the Pritzwalk Region 4 times more renewable electricity is produced as is consumed. P2G-installations could absorb this electricity and store it locally, either as H2, NH3 or CH4. In several parts in Germany, renewable wind electricity production is regularly switched off because of overproduction. P2G-installations would fit in wonderfully here.

Germany has a natural gas grid of 500,000 km that could transport renewable H2 or CH4. The trouble is that Germany isn’t pushing hard enough to roll out P2G on a large scale. Other countries do: the Netherlands, Denmark and Japan as prime examples. Official German justification: too low efficiency, 50%. According to der Spiegel installations with 75% do exist and there is room for even better numbers.

[] – Die verschleppte Energierevolution
[deepresource] – The Netherlands is Placing its Bets on the Hydrogen Economy

Solid State Battery Breakthrough

Japan’s Tohoku University and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization have announced that they accomplished a breakthrough with a new complex hydride lithium superionic conductor, with a record high energy density.

Keywords: hydrogen clusters (complex anions), high ionic conductivity, resulting in the ideal anode material for all-solid-state batteries.

Lithium is the most promising solid state battery material because of its very high theoretical energy density:

Lithium consumption required for a ~90kWh battery (size of useful car battery):

• Li -> Li+ + e- (3860 mAh/g-1)
• 1 kWh = 270,000 mAh ≈ 70 g of Li
• 90 kWh ≈ 6.3 kg of Li

[] – Highest energy density all-solid-state batteries now possible
[] – Awesome Solid State Battery Breakthrough News

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