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Old 2020-07-13, 03:55   #12
Uncwilly
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The advantages of using hydrogen include the the supply is local and it is compressible. No need to bring in tonnes of Pb and 10,000's gallons or liters of H2SO4. It is possible to bring in a huge volume of tanks on a single flight. By having tanks with one open end a 2.5m diameter x 12m long segment, with a 2.25m x 11.75 inside that, with 2m x 11.5, and then 1.75m x 11.25m, and finally a 1.5m x 11m section (16m segments if the C-130J-30 is used) can be shipped in a single flight (this assumes that the end to close the tank is also shipped or a second flight brings in their mirror image.) That is ~185 m3 of storage in 1 load. 3 flights would deliver about 400,000 kWh worth of storage at 300 bar @25C (more at -25C).

Alternately sledding them in (by Snow Cat) could bring in perhaps a couple of dozen much larger tanks in single go.

Fuel cells produce some waste heat too.
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Old 2020-07-13, 08:16   #13
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
Fuel cells produce some waste heat too.
Everything produces waste heat. 2nd law of thermodynamics.
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Old 2020-07-13, 11:31   #14
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Another abundant (albeit variable) energy resource in the Antarctic is the wind. It is sometimes so abundant, it becomes a bit hard to handle...
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Old 2020-07-13, 14:32   #15
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We should invent some method to trade resources: I send you electricity, you send me cold (snow accepted too). I am investing in cooling (computer only, not counting the airconds) double to triple the amount that I invest in computing effectively, hardware and electricity together...
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Old 2020-07-13, 19:17   #16
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Solar Flow Battery: Single Device Generates, Stores and Redelivers Renewable Electricity From the Sun

Just one of many examples of the work being done.
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Old 2020-07-13, 20:08   #17
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Gaseous-H2: agree that the tank infrastructure could feasibly be set up at possibly-not-egregious cost; the needed compressor-tech, siting - the tanks would need to be suitably far from the rest of the station for safety reasons - and efficiency are question marks. Compact Megawatt-scale fuel cells are already being deployed on ships for green-tech energy generation:
Quote:
The ABB and Ballard fuel cell power system was designed to create an electrical generating capacity of 3MW (or 4,000 HP) and fit within a single module no larger than a traditional marine engine.
Good overview of various currently used and prospective Hydrogen storage technologies. Let me pick 2 of the chemical ones:
Quote:
Ammonia

Ammonia (NH3) releases H2 in an appropriate catalytic reformer. Ammonia provides high hydrogen storage densities as a liquid with mild pressurization and cryogenic constraints: It can also be stored as a liquid at room temperature and pressure when mixed with water. Ammonia is the second most commonly produced chemical in the world and a large infrastructure for making, transporting, and distributing ammonia exists. Ammonia can be reformed to produce hydrogen with no harmful waste, or can mix with existing fuels and under the right conditions burn efficiently. Since there is no carbon in ammonia, no carbon by-products are produced; thereby making this possibility a "carbon neutral" option for the future. Pure ammonia burns poorly at the atmospheric pressures found in natural gas fired water heaters and stoves. Under compression in an automobile engine it is a suitable fuel for slightly modified gasoline engines. Ammonia is the suitable alternative fuel because it has 18.6 MJ/kg energy density at NTP and carbon-free combustion byproducts.[37] However, ammonia is a toxic gas at normal temperature and pressure and has a potent odor.[38] Hydrogen can be separated from unreacted ammonia using a membrane technology.[39]

In September 2005 chemists from the Technical University of Denmark announced a method of storing hydrogen in the form of ammonia saturated into a salt tablet. They claim it will be an inexpensive and safe storage method.[40]
The toxicity is a worry, but site it downwind of human habitation, and toxicity is not of a "spill will despoil Antarctica forever" variety. Best part, NH3 is *solid* at std-atm-pressure and temps below -78C, so would only need very light pressurization to solidify it in storage tanks at typical antarctic temperatures. Thus the tanks would be much lighter and cheaper than those needed for compressed H2. The nitrogen to make the stuff is all around us, in air.

Quote:
Formic acid

Formic acid is a highly effective hydrogen storage material, although its H2 density is low. Carbon monoxide free hydrogen has been generated in a very wide pressure range (1–600 bar). A homogeneous catalytic system based on water-soluble ruthenium catalysts selectively decompose HCOOH into H2 and CO2 in aqueous solution.[33] This catalytic system overcomes the limitations of other catalysts (e.g. poor stability, limited catalytic lifetimes, formation of CO) for the decomposition of formic acid making it a viable hydrogen storage material.[34] And the co-product of this decomposition, carbon dioxide, can be used as hydrogen vector by hydrogenating it back to formic acid in a second step. The catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 has long been studied and efficient procedures have been developed.[35][36] Formic acid contains 53 g L−1 hydrogen at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. By weight, pure formic acid stores 4.3 wt% hydrogen. Pure formic acid is a liquid with a flash point 69 °C (cf. gasoline −40 °C, ethanol 13 °C). 85% formic acid is not flammable.
Formic acid is smelly but low-toxicity. Even better than NH3, it's solid below 8.4C, so could be produced on-site, allowed to freeze and remelted as needed, or stored as liquid in an insulated storage building kept warmish using waste heat. The CO2 needed could probably be separated from the exhaust gases of the existing diesel-burning power plant.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-07-13 at 20:10
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Old 2020-07-17, 23:10   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
(NH3) toxicity is not of a "spill will despoil Antarctica forever" variety. Best part, NH3 is *solid* at std-atm-pressure and temps below -78C, so would only need very light pressurization to solidify it in storage tanks at typical antarctic temperatures. Thus the tanks would be much lighter and cheaper than those needed for compressed H2. The nitrogen to make the stuff is all around us, in air.
Ammonia if it was a little heavier as a gas would make an effective chemical weapon. First thing it does is destroy the victim's ability to smell it.

"Although common in nature—both terrestrially and in the outer planets of the Solar System—and in wide use, ammonia is both caustic and hazardous in its concentrated form. It is classified as an extremely hazardous substance in the United States, and is subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities which produce, store, or use it in significant quantities." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammoni...ty_precautions "Exposure to very high concentrations of gaseous ammonia can result in lung damage and death."
Diesel fuel can be hauled and stored as a liquid, in rubber bladders, and won't act as a caustic on contact. Its chemical reactivity and vapor pressure at normal human operating temperatures is not sufficient to cause rapid damage to lungs.

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2020-07-17 at 23:12
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Old 2020-07-18, 13:27   #19
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Methanol is liquid over a usefully wide range. Methanol (in a spirit lamp) was used by early polar explorers. Methanol's hazards involve ingestion in significant volume, or frostbite, or fire.
Methanol generation using solar energy https://maravelias.che.wisc.edu/over...s/#solar-fuels
Methanol fuel cell efficiency ~10% https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_methanol_fuel_cell

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2020-07-18 at 13:28
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Old 2020-07-18, 17:14   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
Diesel fuel can be hauled and stored as a liquid, in rubber bladders, and won't act as a caustic on contact. Its chemical reactivity and vapor pressure at normal human operating temperatures is not sufficient to cause rapid damage to lungs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
Methanol generation using solar energy https://maravelias.che.wisc.edu/over...s/#solar-fuels
Methanol fuel cell efficiency ~10% https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_methanol_fuel_cell
The whole idea is to not transport carbon down to the pole. Both of your solutions do that. Diesel is a dirty fuel. Even using Tier 4 engines DEF is needed, which is more 'down mass'.
Your methanol via solar cell link uses a fossil fuel plant as a feed stock. So you need a CO2 source there.
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Old 2020-08-12, 01:55   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Another abundant (albeit variable) energy resource in the Antarctic is the wind. It is sometimes so abundant, it becomes a bit hard to handle...
Thank you. I had been thinking about the same thing. It seems that ruggedness requirements might limit the size of turbines, but the high winds might make up for that in energy capture.

It's hard for me to imagine the design parameters for something that could survive and operate there.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2020-08-12 at 01:56
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Old 2020-08-12, 08:41   #22
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There are wind energy capture designs that have the spinning bits on a vertical axis. One involves a capstan like structure the funnels wind from any angle upward through a robust bladed device that looks like a boat propeller. Another takes funnel that gets turned into the wind by a tail and also sends it vertical. These designs also the heavy weight of the generator to be at ground level.

The traditional farm Western windmill can handle high winds well.
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