CCTV News:In the development process of hydrogen energy industry, reducing cost and ensuring safety are two core concerns. In the face of this emerging industry, how to answer the public’s concerns? Let’s take a look at the answers given by the guests in the "On Tao" column.
Reduce industrial costs
Dong Yang, First Vice President of the World Automobile Organization and former Executive Vice President of China Automobile Industry Association:It is still more expensive than this gasoline car, even more expensive than the ordinary battery car. However, I will tell you that there is such a rule in automobile production. After you reach this scale of hundreds of thousands and millions, its cost will drop to one tenth of the original. Or this aircraft engine is the price of gold, and the car engine, with the same technology, is the price of cast iron.
Zhang Weidong, Director of Energy and Environment Project of the United Nations Development Programme:According to some experts, the cost of battery stack is 11,833 yuan per kilowatt now, and it will reach 668 yuan by 2025, which will be lower.
Dong Yang:Compared with the internal combustion engine, the fuel cell stack is basically a quasi-static or quasi-dynamic process, and many processes are very similar, but there is no reason to say that the stack must be more expensive than the internal combustion engine. Now it is only a matter of technical maturity and market capacity.
Zhang Xiaoqiang, Executive Vice President and Executive Director of China International Economic Exchange Center.To solve the cost problem of hydrogen production, if we don’t have a reasonable framework in terms of electricity price and so on, it may trouble enterprises for a long time, that is, the cost can’t be reduced. How can we have a reasonable electricity price system? For example, when using off-peak electricity, can we make it cheaper enough, so that large users can establish such a direct purchase and sale relationship, instead of adding this network fee through the power grid, resulting in high cost. Many aspects like these need government guidance.
For another example, we now attach importance to the utilization of hydrogen energy, especially hope that it can transform renewable clean energy, that is, water, wind and light. According to the characteristics of China, water, wind and light are concentrated in the southwest and northwest. Therefore, under the guidance of the government, we established a large-scale project in the world in the past. We called it "West-to-East Power Transmission and West-to-East Gas Transmission". Then, the next step is how to cooperate with this kind of energy and pipe network facilities in existing countries and explore in some ways. By participating in power transmission and gas transmission, and exploring new long-distance transportation of liquid hydrogen, for example, we can clean the energy in the northwest and northeast regions where energy is abundant. Apart from local consumption, because our main and most developed area is in the east, to solve these problems, I think many of them need the government to do a good job.
Safety standard operation
Guo Liejin, Academician of China Academy of Sciences:Everyone is very concerned about safety. When we were in primary school, our teacher would tell us that hydrogen would explode. The concentration of hydrogen, the concentration in space is 13% to 90%, and it is likely to explode between them. However, there is a premise for explosion. It needs to see an open flame with sufficient concentration. In Toyota and related enterprises, they all talk about the same car in their reports, which is a car filled with gasoline and a car filled with hydrogen. The chassis structure is the same. They do experiments. Under the premise of causing an explosion, the explosion of the gasoline car is completely destroyed, while the whole structure of the hydrogen fuel cell car is basically unchanged. Therefore, from this safety point of view, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are much safer than our diesel gasoline vehicles.
The US Department of Energy and NASA have also done the same experiment. A barrel of gasoline, a barrel of diesel oil and a barrel of liquid hydrogen are shot from a distance, and then various protective facilities are built around to see who has strong explosive ability. The damage degree of the hydrogen tank after explosion is less than half that of the first two tanks, which is between 30% and 40%. What is the reason? Because hydrogen itself is a very light thing, once it is released, it runs into the sky and you can’t find it.
I have a personal experience. In 1997, I started to build facilities for hydrogen energy research in my State Key Laboratory. At that time, I was also worried about safety. I installed explosion-proof facilities on all the windows of the laboratory, and put hydrogen sensitive elements called sensors at key points around me, and I debugged them myself. Then when the concentration reaches a certain level, it will call the police and the fan will directly discharge the things. But it’s been twenty-two years since this year, and it hasn’t exploded, even ringing.
We operate according to the rules. Don’t our gas stations have many rules? It is also dangerous goods. Why can we do it well? Hydrogen can also be done very well, and even its destructiveness is much smaller than the fuel we use now. So recently, several hydrogen refueling stations in the world have reported explosions, such as those in California, South Korea and Europe, but when you read its reports, the final result is that the harm to people is minimal. Moreover, it is not the explosion of the fuel body itself, but the auxiliary device, which is caused by irregular operation or irregular installation. So in itself, as an energy source, you can use hydrogen with confidence, but you must of course obey the rules.
Dong Yang:This safety mainly depends not on whether the fuel can catch fire, but on whether you have mastered the norms and whether human beings have mastered the laws. Therefore, we must pay attention to the safety issue, which is the top priority for us to develop fuel cell vehicles. It is to do it seriously, accumulate experience, solve it, and monitor it with the industrial chain and life cycle, which can completely solve this problem.