Listed below are answers to commonly asked questions about H2 Clipper, airships, hydrogen, and how all this pertains to addressing climate change. If you have a question pertaining to our business that’s not already answered below, please reach out to us through the Contact Us button below, and we’ll either answer you or direct you to the resources to do so.
Hydrogen fuel cell electric automobiles and trucks have been subject to extensive testing to prove this is the case. For example, it is well documented that a rifle fired at a tank filled with gasoline, diesel fuel, or natural gas will cause the tank to explode like a bomb. However, the same rifle shot from short range at a tank filled with hydrogen will cause a hole in the tank from which the hydrogen will be released, but no explosion (see video here).
It is also well documented that if a gasoline leak from a car is ignited, the tank will explode and rapidly consume the entire vehicle. But doing the same thing – igniting a leak – in a hydrogen tank will result in a faint blue flame escaping the tank until all the hydrogen is exhausted. Unlike the gasoline tank, this does not create an explosion and doesn't even raise the internal temperature of the vehicle by more than a couple of degrees (see video here).
The reason for this is the enormous expansion rate of hydrogen, and the fact that hydrogen is lighter than air and naturally moves to rise. In short, rigorous testing has confirmed that hydrogen is by far the safest fuel known to humans, as has been repeatedly demonstrated whenever a hydrogen accident has occurred, and no explosion followed. Honda, Toyota and Hyundai currently sell hydrogen fuel cell cars in California; and with over 60,000 hydrogen refueling events by ordinary citizens, not a single explosion has ever been reported. That’s a record that even battery-powered electric vehicles would envy!
Our latest patent (U.S. Patent 11,066,145, which issued on July 21, 2021 and has pending international counterparts already on file) contains extensive disclosures and allowed claims covering piloted, as well as autonomous and/or remotely piloted operations, the optional use of artificial intelligence (AI) and remote real-time displays to assist in some maneuvers. This recent patent also covers a number of safety systems for live pilots.
From a planning perspective, the capital cost projections we have prepared for H2 Clipper incorporate engineering personnel for designing, building and testing all systems to enable autonomous operation, and we plan to file for the necessary approvals to enable this flight mode when appropriate. At the same time, our operating cost projections incorporate the overhead cost for all flights to include live pilots. Hence, we’ve been very conservative with respect to enabling all options.
As a practical matter, we anticipate all H2 Clipper flights will initially have experience live pilots, both to fly the airship as well as to gain valuable operating data as part of a “continuous improvement” engineering approach. Over time, we anticipate the vehicle will move towards fully-autonomous operations, with a few operators ultimately overseeing multiple airships from a remote command and control center.
In addition to H2 Clipper's currently issued and pending patents, we are routinely applying for additional patents as engineering refinements are continuously developed and the company's disruptive technologies are fully deployed both for long haul transport of hydrogen and freight, as well as 'last mile' distribution of hydrogen. An NDA is required to obtain a list of all our pending patents that have yet to be published.
· Second, many leading scientists agree that hydrogen currently is the only fuel capable of replacing fossil fuels on a global scale for transportation and electricity generation. Over 30 countries have aggressive hydrogen roadmaps and top analysts like McKinsey & Company, Bloomberg, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs have identified hydrogen as a key energy transition pillar and investment opportunity. Due to the climate crisis, and the vast quantities of hydrogen that will be required, it is essential that the majority of hydrogen be created from clean, renewable energy sources.
· Third, any place that can generate electricity for 2¢ per kilowatt or less can begin immediately to extract hydrogen from water using simple electrolysis techniques and be able to export that energy to customers around the world. As Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other major fossil fuel producing countries have discovered, they must develop another commodity energy supply for export. The new plant being built in Neom, Saudi Arabia will alone produce 650 metric tonnes per day of green hydrogen. But this is a mere drop in the bucket of what is coming, at or below cost parity with fossil-based fuel.
· Fourth, getting massive quantities of hydrogen cost-effectively to global consumer markets will be the key bottleneck that the H2 Clipper has been specifically designed to resolve.
· Fifth, the cost of delivering cryogenic hydrogen anywhere in the world by the H2 Clipper is less expensive than rail, trucks, ships, and even pipelines for distances of approximately 1000 miles or greater.
· Sixth, we anticipate a significant “early mover advantage” among the many green hydrogen production facilities now planned or under construction will go to the producers with the best means to quickly and flexibly deliver the hydrogen they make to global markets.
· And finally, seventh, from our perspective, this means that those producers who are at the head of the line for receiving H2 Clipper airships for hydrogen transport will be the “winners” in this multi-trillion-dollar planetary fuel shift.