THP-E178: Will HyVelocity Be The First Hydrogen Earthshot Winner?

January 05, 2023 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2023 • Episode: 178

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 178, The HyVelocity hub gets the official nod to move forward from the US Department of Energy, NREL announces a new software for techno economic analysis of hydrogen production, and has Cummins crack the code for hydrogen internal combustion engines. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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The HyVelocity hub gets the official nod to move forward from the US Department of Energy, NREL announces a new software for techno economic analysis of hydrogen production, and has Cummins crack the code for hydrogen internal combustion engines. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.

In an article from the Houston Chronicle, Shelby Webb writes Houston effort to host HyVelocity hydrogen hub gets US push. Houston area leaders seeking to make the city one of the nation’s designated hydrogen hubs have received a push from the US Energy Department. The Department’s Office of clean energy demonstrations received 79 concept papers from groups seeking to host one of the six to 10 hubs and 33, including Houston’s have been officially encouraged to follow through with complete applications. Full applications are due in April, and if Houston is selected, it will receive some of the $7 billion set aside by the Biden administration to spur hydrogen development. The hubs would be in places with abundant natural gas reserves and would test ways to produce and use hydrogen.

Already Houston sets itself apart from other applicants with its existing hydrogen production and infrastructure. The region produces about a third of all hydrogen made in the United States, with about three and a half million metric tons annually, and is home to more than half the country’s dedicated hydrogen pipelines. Most of that gas is used in the Houston areas refining and petrochemical industries, but a coalition of private and public groups including the University of Texas at Austin, French gas supplier Air Liquide, California oil major Chevron, the nonprofit Center for Houston’s Future and GTI Energy, a research and development company based in the Chicago area, are hoping a federal designation and funding will help expand the industry that come together under the moniker HyVelocity hub. And as leaders hoped that by expanding the hydrogen industry in Houston, and across Texas, the region could rake in a larger share of capital associated with the transition to lower carbon energy sources. All right, so great news to Texas and the HyVelocity hub, and a big congratulations to all the corporations and groups pushing the HyVelocity hub.

Now this announcement comes just a few weeks after the Biden and Harris administration, through the US Department of Energy, announced its intent to issue $750 million in funding from President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law, that’s going to dramatically reduce the cost of clean hydrogen technologies. Now, when that announcement was made US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm said, today’s announcement is yet another exciting step toward lowering the cost and scaling up clean hydrogen production, a versatile fuel essential to nation’s historic transition to an equitable and secure clean energy future. Now, to me, one of the most important things to note about this bill is that it’s clean hydrogen, and it’s not targeting any specific technology, and will include any kind of hydrogen produced with zero or next to zero emissions, either from renewables, nuclear energy, or natural gas with CCUS. But back to the HyVelocity hub for a second, and a few of the reasons why I think it should be at the top of the list to be granted that federal funding. Now the announcement does mention some of the reasons, one being the hydrogen infrastructure already around the Houston area.

And while that is a critical piece of the puzzle, the HyVelocity hub, compared to the other hubs that have been announced, have a much stronger technological and financial backing. Now, that’s obviously not to say that the other hubs within the United States won’t get a piece of that $7 billion prize, but rather to say that those other hubs that have been announced, should really start looking at the HyVelocity program to see just how it’s done. And for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, we had an interview with Michael Lewis, who heads up the University of Texas involvement in the HyVelocity hub. It’s a great interview and I suggest you take a listen. Next in an article from executive Jamie Bennet writes in real creates a new model to improve techno economic analysis of hydrogen production. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has created a new hydrogen analysis light production model to support the technical economic analysis of various hydrogen production technologies. H2A-Lite is part of a broader suite of tools used in studies that aim to reduce costs and environmental impacts of the elements production pathways. This according to NREL. And in a quote from Michael Penev senior analysts for infrastructure and energy storage analysis at NREL, the H2A model is rigorous with process information about each of the production technologies that helps you actually calculate nuanced production scenarios.

In the lite model. They said they’re focusing on making that framework more accessible to a wider set of audiences. H2A Lite uses technical and financial variables to provide projections of capital costs, operating costs and revenue. It builds on the h2a model used by the Department of Energy and hydrogen production case studies. Current methods of producing hydrogen include thermo chemical electrolytic, direct solar water splitting, and biological processes. Research has been conducted to make these pathways more sustainable as industries switch to renewable energy, and the demand for hydrogen continues to rise. Okay, so another software coming out for the economic analysis of the production of hydrogen, something similar to the carbon model that we saw from Syzygy. And what I really like about the software’s is that we’re finally getting a real true number on the economic realities of hydrogen production. The link to the download for the software will be included in the description for this podcast. I highly suggest that everyone interested in the economic impacts and evaluations of hydrogen, download the software and start using it. And along with that, really look at that carbon model from Syzygy. And lastly today in an article from Mopar Robert S. Miller writes could Cummins new B6.7 H hydrogen power plant be the future of Ram Heavy Duty? Robert writes, not everyone is excited about the automotive industry’s move towards electrification, battery electric vehicles or EVs continue to have a trend of costing a lot more than their internal combustion engine counterparts have a limited range capability and struggled to find their way in areas with unlimited fast charging infrastructure.

But currently, there is no bigger electric vehicle segment than the EV pickup market. Companies like Ford with their f150 Lightning GM with their GMC Hummer, EV pickup and their Chevrolet EV Silverado and GMC Sierra EV and the Rivian RT one and Tesla and their cybertruck If that ever happens, are ready to offer customers their version of the ultimate electric pickup and while they are innovative, not a lot of people are excited about the challenges ahead of being among the first to own one of these pickups. For those pickup owners who use their pickups to tow BEV pickups have shown underwhelming promise. Although the trucks have shown great towing skills thanks to the instant torque of their E motors, the battery pack performance continues to be a letdown. Those trucks have been shown on various towing reviews continue to show about a 50% loss of range when towing. This means if you are one who likes to take their family on a camping trip across the country, tow a boat to their summer cottage, or have to use their trucks as a work truck to tow equipment, you’re going to be facing even more challenges going forward. But instead of putting all of its eggs in one basket Stellantis has been focused on offering alternatives to electrification. Recently, the company launched a new lineup of mid sized light commercial vehicle vans in Europe that are powered by a combination of hydrogen fuel cells and electric battery technology and a fuel cell electric vehicle. The FCEV vans are designed as a solution that delivers a range of more than 250 miles or 400 kilometers with a refueling time of just three minutes.

Hydrogen proves the energy needed for an extended driving range, while a medium capacity battery provides the power for dynamic performance in addition to energy recovery, and plugging capability during its dare forward 2030 presentation,Stellantis said it was pursuing hydrogen powered versions of its next gen Ram Heavy Duty pickup for production. Such a vehicle would eliminate the towing range anxiety for customers while continuing to move the vehicle to a more friendly zero emissions target. Now in recent weeks, Cummins has teased the new B 6.7 H for its medium duty and heavy duty engine offerings in a video Cummins and showed how it can Han convert a medium duty delivery truck to operate on zero carbon hydrogen fuel powered by the new B 6.7 H hydrogen internal combustion engine without compromising performance, cargo capacity or payload, showing promise for those interested in a future Ram Heavy Duty truck. The h2 internal combustion engine proof of concept was revealed at the 2022 IWA Expo in Germany, where it attracted a lot of major attention. The h2 Ice featured a 700 bar pressure high capacity hydrogen storage system, allowing the vehicle to have a range of 310 miles. And I’ll go ahead and pull away from the article here, so as not to bore you with a lot of the technical specifications of that new truck, just to note that it has roughly the same power output as the standard diesel internal combustion engine. Now, I’ll be honest with you, I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to hydrogen internal combustion engines. But if what Ram is promising is true, and they can get the exact same performance with a 300 plus mile range. This could be an absolute game changer for local delivery vehicles. And as a side note, for those of you wondering about in NoX after hydrogen combustion, it will include an after treatment system, which is going to be used to eliminate most of the noX emissions. So I will definitely be keeping my ear to the ground to see how this progresses.

All right. That’s it for me, everyone. Now, if you have a second, I would really appreciate it. If you could leave a good review on whatever platform it is that you listen to Apple podcast, Spotify, Google, YouTube, whatever it is, that would be a tremendous help to the show. And as always, if you ever have any feedback, you’re welcome to email me directly at And as always, take care. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you later.

Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did want to hear more. I’d appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening very much. Appreciate it. Have a great day.