A few days ago, Germany committed to $2 billion worth of construction of about 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations. A few months ago, London decided to build hydrogen refilling stations as well just in time for the 2012 Olympics. The problem is that outside California’s active hydrogen highway, there seems to be very little happening in terms of hydrogen infrastructure and the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the US.
In Israel, smallness is the theme. Israel researchers announce that they have come up with a way to store hydrogen without eating up too much space. Now, there’s no more need for super-insulated, bulky tanks which claim to be able to keep coffee warm for up to 28 days. The team of Israeli researchers found a way to keep hydrogen in glass filaments which are only slightly thicker than the human hair.
The “glass hairs” or “capillaries” will then be bundled into a glass tube to form a capillary array. The array consists of up to 370 glass filaments and will be about as wide as a drinking straw. 11,000 of these arrays should be enough to fuel a car for 240 miles’ worth of driving. This isn’t such a bad deal. The capillary arrays definitely take up less space and weight less than a bulky hydrogen storage tank.
The array system was developed in Switzerland under the watchful eye of C.En.Ltd.’s chief scientist Dan Eliezer. The system was first unveiled in Berlin at the Institute of Materials Research and Testing. There’s no word yet about any automakers who are interested in developing a similar technology.