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Darth_Yuthura
04-29-2009, 08:36 AM
Since some have complained about my nonsense, I'm going to complain about someone else's nonsense to show that I can and do evaluate the OPPOSITE side of the argument before I make a judgment. So I'm going to attempt to advocate FOR something I don't believe to show just how much my convictions are really 'nonsense.'

Hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles:

This is a potentially everlasting fuel source for automobiles, but it depends upon another energy source to be produced. Nuclear, coal, wind, solar... all could be used for vehicles using hydrogen as a catalyst. Electricity is dependent upon either expensive batteries, or upon a physical connection to a power grid. In addition is that batteries take a long time to charge, but gasoline and liquid hydrogen take only about 5 minutes to replenish.

No emissions other than water vapor:

There are actually emissions that come from this fuel, but they originate from locations other than where the cars operate. A nuclear plant can be built in a public location, but coal could be 1000 miles away and the electricity could be transmitted via power lines. Hydrogen fuel is produced using that electricity and then transported via pipeline to fuel station. Cars powered by gasoline produce emissions on sight where hydrogen's emissions can be placed elsewhere.

Gasoline is only 30% efficient:

Internal combustion engines are only 30% efficient and can't be pushed passed that rating, so even with the loss of energy through hydrolysis, the larger the scale of the power plant, the more efficient it becomes.

Storage:

Electricity can't be stored on a large scale, so any excess energy produced from the US power grid is wasted. Hydrogen could take the excess energy and be used where that energy would otherwise be wasted. Batteries are expensive for electric cars, but hydrogen is dependent upon the size of the tanks. That is cheaper than with more batteries.

Universal:

The US has enough coal to last hundreds of years, but most American vehicles can't use anything that doesn't come from petroleum. This would allow for almost any form of energy to be interchangeable to be used for transportation.


So, how many people think this is nonsense?

Tommycat
04-29-2009, 09:21 AM
What alternative do you propose that does not use electricity? Ox carts?

Some of your observations are somewhat off. For one power plants achieve near 90% efficiency of energy production, so shifting the energy usage(and by extension the pollution) there makes far more sense.

Second you have no idea what a hydrogen fuel cell is. You are thinking of a hydrogen POWERED car. Which would burn hydrogen instead of petrochemicals. A hydrogen fuel cell generates electricity from the fuel source.
Reading material (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell)

Battery technology is improving. we are able to store more energy in smaller spaces.

So no, I don't see this as nonsense.

Sabretooth
04-29-2009, 09:47 AM
That sounds like pure balderdash to the highest degree, perhaps with a hint of nonsense within it.

You clearly have no idea how Hydrogen Fuel Cells work. The electricity is generated from the fuel, not sourced off a battery or a power grid. I actually had difficulty figuring out what you were saying until I read Tommycat's post on that you don't know what you're talking about, and then it all made sense (or rather, lack of it).

Tommycat
04-29-2009, 10:38 AM
That sounds like pure balderdash to the highest degree, perhaps with a hint of nonsense within it.

You clearly have no idea how Hydrogen Fuel Cells work. The electricity is generated from the fuel, not sourced off a battery or a power grid. I actually had difficulty figuring out what you were saying until I read Tommycat's post on that you don't know what you're talking about, and then it all made sense (or rather, lack of it).

Yeah. There's a bit of irony there when the information follows a line like:
I'm going to complain about someone else's nonsense to show that I can and do evaluate the OPPOSITE side of the argument before I make a judgment.

I was a little worried about my ox carts claim... ya know those darn methane emissions. Of course... it's not like we could trap that and use it as an alternate fuel source... Oh wait.. we DO use recovered methane... (http://people.uwec.edu/piercech/HazwasteWebsSp04/HAZPROJECTwebsite/)

edited to add: Interesting thing I heard on one of the "Future is beautiful" type shows was a GM exec saying that it is even possible that, when they get the design down, that you could literally plug your car into you house to power the house. This would cut down on energy drain on the grid which in some areas is already overtaxed(*looks at CA*).

Sabretooth
04-29-2009, 12:44 PM
edited to add: Interesting thing I heard on one of the "Future is beautiful" type shows was a GM exec saying that it is even possible that, when they get the design down, that you could literally plug your car into you house to power the house. This would cut down on energy drain on the grid which in some areas is already overtaxed(*looks at CA*).
The idea behind this reminds me of piezoelectric tiles, which is one of the sweetest technologies I've witnessed in the past 5 years or so.

Basically, these are tiles that convert mechanical energy into electricity (30 Watts per tile or something around that, iirc). I saw this snap in the papers that showed a demonstration tile in a public sidewalk over in Japan.

It's a very promising technology, and based on the general idea that human mechanical energy is largely wasted and can instead, be used to power electricity. I also remember seeing on a Discovery show this Spanish or Mexican gym that was entirely powered by the energy exerted by its members during workouts.

mimartin
04-29-2009, 01:31 PM
So, how many people think this is nonsense?

I remember my grandmother telling me not to put all my eggs in one basket. As a child that seemed stupid since we did not have any chickens, but it makes a lot of sense to me today. None of these seems nonsensical to me, at least until the technology is perfected so that we know the true cost, true efficiency and which technology best fits our needs. Another thing to think about is something that works wonderfully in one area of the world/country may be completely impractical for another area of the world/country.

We are too depended on petroleum, I can agree with that, but I would hope we have learned from our pass mistakes. As such the only nonsensical thing I see is ruling an alternative fuel out before exploring its true potential.

Q
04-29-2009, 02:39 PM
OK, guys, I know what she's saying.

Hydrogen is extracted from water by running an electrical current through the water, which is known as electrolysis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water). D-Y is arguing that power plants must produce this electricity, and that these power plants pollute, which is essentially correct, given that a large percentage of them in the US burn fossil fuels like coal, which is not a good thing.

Before things got carried away in the other thread, I was under the impression that I had clarified that the first priority would be to completely switch to non-emissive methods of generating electricity, such as nuclear power plants, to generate all of the electricity necessary to produce the hydrogen, which would make the hydrogen truly emission-free. A secondary priority would be to ensure that these methods use renewable resources (or close to it, as in the case of breeder reactors) and that the net cost of the power generated is so cheap that the efficiency question isn't such a big issue.

One source of energy with the potential to solve this particular problem is tidal power (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_power). If constructed with environmental considerations in mind, tidal hydroelectric power plants have the potential to generate vast amounts of cheap (once the construction costs are recovered), emission-free power while making a minimal impact on the environment.

Tommycat
04-29-2009, 03:26 PM
OK, guys, I know what she's saying.

Hydrogen is extracted from water by running an electrical current through the water, which is known as electrolysis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water). D-Y is arguing that power plants must produce this electricity, and that these power plants pollute, which is essentially correct, given that a large percentage of them in the US burn fossil fuels like coal, which is not a good thing.

Before things got carried away in the other thread, I was under the impression that I had clarified that the first priority would be to completely switch to non-emissive methods of generating electricity, such as nuclear power plants, to generate all of the electricity necessary to produce the hydrogen, which would make the hydrogen truly emission-free. A secondary priority would be to ensure that these methods use renewable resources (or close to it, as in the case of breeder reactors) and that the net cost of the power generated is so cheap that the efficiency question isn't such a big issue.

One source of energy with the potential to solve this particular problem is tidal power (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_power). If constructed with environmental considerations in mind, tidal hydroelectric power plants have the potential to generate vast amounts of cheap (once the construction costs are recovered), emission-free power while making a minimal impact on the environment.
As I noted, earlier. When you have a choice of burning fossil fuels in a 30% efficiency system or a 90% efficiency system, it makes better sense to at least move it there. Baby steps if you will. Gotta crawl before you walk. Gotta walk before you can run.

As for tidal power it suffers from the same drawbacks as solar, wind and geothermal. The middle of the US can't utilize it because it isn't available in all areas. It is location dependent. That is not to say we shouldn't use it. Just that we have to have something that is not location dependent. Until we have a viable replacement, nuclear is still the best for other areas.

mimartin
04-29-2009, 03:40 PM
Just that we have to have something that is not location dependent.Why? Do we really need to have a standardized system? Couldn't we just use whatever works best in that area of the country/world? If we set around waiting for one system that works perfectly everywhere, we may be waiting in the dark. I see nothing wrong with using multiple systems even within a single region provided they have the ability to funcition there.

Tommycat
04-29-2009, 03:56 PM
Why? Do we really need to have a standardized system? Couldn't we just use whatever works best in that area of the country/world? If we set around waiting for one system that works perfectly everywhere, we may be waiting in the dark. I see nothing wrong with using multiple systems even within a single region provided they have the ability to funcition there.
Simple, for the locations that don't have any of the needed criteria. Seeing as how I live in an area that has nuclear, solar and hydroelectric power, I'm pretty well off. Nuclear is the one that can be anywhere. I have no problem with using the available power. Just that not all areas have even one criteria.

And I certainly didn't say we should wait around. I think that would be inferred by my recommendation of utilizing nuclear power which is not perfect, but better than oil or coal fired plants. And I certainly did not recommend a standardized system. For instance Hawaii could use tidal. AZ can use solar(and hydroelectric). I'm not saying nuclear should replace those. That it should be used in conjunction with those to provide (relatively) clean power.

Q
04-29-2009, 03:56 PM
I agree that it would have to be a mixture of different solutions, but together they could get us off of burning fossil fuels to generate electricity while providing enough energy for hydrogen production, which would facilitate an eventual near-end to cars that run on gasoline.

Of course, this would also have the benefit of weaning us off of oil dependence, which is why it is being opposed.

Darth Avlectus
04-29-2009, 07:16 PM
I did a little research on this. Also living in Cali, where energy alternatives talk is just crammed down your throat...you do tend to try to solve the problems so people will just STFU and get out yer face.

So far as I know about the hydrogen energy issue there are 2 proposed ways I know of that they went at the problem:

1) making hydrogen gas to replace gasoline.

Failed for the basic reasons:
a) electrolysis is not efficient, even in a 1:1 ratio at bare minimum and thus not cost effective
b) pound for pound it could not match gasoline
Translation: lower MPG and performed poorer


2) hydrogen fuel cells

Neutral to failed

Since this is more or less the equivalent of an electric battery, it would be best suited to an electric car. Thus solving nothing of the fuel problem, and forgoing it with an electrical car I'm afraid it too is redundant. Capacitors and batteries have made TREMENDOUS leaps in improvements over the years. Well, at least capacitors have, though I'd imagine batteries have improved as well (we use them all the time and all the time we hear about their power and efficiency). Might just as well power the electric car the old fashioned way.

Utterly ridiculous? No I would not call it utterly ridiculous, just HIGHLY improbable.

However, I am at least aware that motion can be turned into electrical energy. Hand crank flashlights are evidence of this. In fact I disassembled one of these. Low and behold it's got an electric motor inside it. So applying motion to the motor produces power out its terminals...

So I wonder if you couldn't make the motion generated by driving recharge the spare battery as you drive. Switch batteries and recharge the first one as you continue to drive. It may not be 100% efficient and eventually it will end up drained but I'm always happy to offer improvements to keep performance going longer.....(I did aspire to electrical engineering)

You wanna see something that'll make your blood boil? Watch the documentary "who killed the electric car?" <cough GM>

Also, why are we not filtering grease from all those fast food restaurants and home cooked food so that it may be refined? Diesel engine cars adjusted for it. I see no good reason why not other than maybe producing it isn't as constant. But if we can run cars on it...that's better than just throwing it away, no?

Tommycat
04-29-2009, 07:40 PM
Re who killed the electric car: GM is the scapegoat. They had done more to further the electric car than anyone. Government regs, production cost, and limited range did far more to kill it than anything. In fact they are looking at releasing the Volt which is a primarily electric car with 40 miles before it even runs gas at all. Mostly what killed the EV-1 was the timing. If it had come out now, I doubt GM would have terminated the project the way they did.

Fuel cell vehicles: Well in their defense, they can run on petrochemicals(aka gasoline) while the transition to hydrogen is in progress. When hydrogen is more readily available then they can switch them to pure hydrogen fuel cell. I wouldn't say it's neutral to failed. I would put it as "Unknown" at this point. Since we haven't developed it fully yet. Where we're at right now is the equivalent of the first IC engine. Actually probably more like the first steam engine(since the IC engine is somewhat based on the steam engine). It's more of a novelty at this point, but could produce something very effective.

biodiesel: in warm climates this is more viable, however as anyone who's driven a diesel up north can attest... congealing becomes a problem. Biodiesel congeals more readily than normal diesel. But yes, running diesels on biodiesel would be preferable to chucking it out.

recycling energy to recharge batteries: GM actually has that in the Volt, and their concept for the "Skateboard" FCV. I believe most of the hybrids do as well.... not sure on that. But basically it is because the force to recharge batteries creates a great deal of drag on the car. They use it to aid in braking.

Q
04-29-2009, 09:28 PM
Biodiesel also has the advantage of adding no extra CO2 to the atmosphere. It only adds back what the plants that it is produced from have taken out. It can be cheaply produced from certain types of algae, of all things. It's really the only biofuel that I'm in favor of.

Darth Avlectus
04-29-2009, 09:47 PM
Fuel cell vehicles: Well in their defense, they can run on petrochemicals(aka gasoline) while the transition to hydrogen is in progress. When hydrogen is more readily available then they can switch them to pure hydrogen fuel cell. I wouldn't say it's neutral to failed. I would put it as "Unknown" at this point. Since we haven't developed it fully yet. Where we're at right now is the equivalent of the first IC engine. Actually probably more like the first steam engine(since the IC engine is somewhat based on the steam engine). It's more of a novelty at this point, but could produce something very effective.

But the way a fuel cell is applied is its electrical power output. That output is for electric cars. Batteries and capacitors are cheaper, more readily available and needless to say quite perfected comparatively.

Seriously, I'm not trying to be contrary here.

Unless you were talking about applying the chemical process of a fuel cell some other way. In which case I'm not entirely sure what you are talking about...:confused:

biodiesel: in warm climates this is more viable, however as anyone who's driven a diesel up north can attest... congealing becomes a problem. Biodiesel congeals more readily than normal diesel. But yes, running diesels on biodiesel would be preferable to chucking it out. Well, I guess it's time to use better thinning methods and improve upon filtering methods.

Refine it.

recycling energy to recharge batteries: GM actually has that in the Volt, and their concept for the "Skateboard" FCV. I believe most of the hybrids do as well.... not sure on that. But basically it is because the force to recharge batteries creates a great deal of drag on the car. They use it to aid in braking. Hey, time will only tell.

Tommycat
04-29-2009, 10:33 PM
FCV: Battery charge times are why they are looking at fuel cells. Run time with a FCV can be pushed to near the gasoline powered run times. Essentially being able to recharge the battery at a refueling station. People don't want to wait 30-40 minutes for their car to charge(heck they barely want to wait that long for their cell phone haha).

Biodiesel: Well when you start refining and adding agents it starts to lessen the green aspect of it. Typical thinning agents are almost as bad as the diesel they are trying to replace. Heck why not run cars on grain alcohol... er... never mind... been done.

Darth_Yuthura
04-29-2009, 10:37 PM
Fuel cell vehicles: Well in their defense, they can run on petrochemicals(aka gasoline) while the transition to hydrogen is in progress. When hydrogen is more readily available then they can switch them to pure hydrogen fuel cell. I wouldn't say it's neutral to failed. I would put it as "Unknown" at this point. Since we haven't developed it fully yet. Where we're at right now is the equivalent of the first IC engine. Actually probably more like the first steam engine(since the IC engine is somewhat based on the steam engine). It's more of a novelty at this point, but could produce something very effective.


Everyone should disregard Tommycat, as he clearly is the one who has no idea what he's talking about. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in nature; how could it not be readily available? Given as you need an electrolyzing unit, the question of hydrogen becoming more readily available depends upon whether there is a source of energy to power the electrolyzing unit that strips the hydrogen atoms from water molecules.

The Apollo spacecraft used fuel cells for power in the 1960's and 70's. Was it practical for that purpose? Most definitely.

Is is practical for America on a scale such as gasoline? By no means would that be likely to happen. It will likely serve a purpose that siphons excess energy on a limited scale where it otherwise would be wasted. If a wind turbine produces more excess energy than is demanded, it's wasted. Having an electrolyzing unit with energy sources like wind would allow for a more reliable and stable flow of energy from otherwise unreliable powerplants. Other methods ranged to pumping ground water into dried valleys and installing hydro electric dams.

Q
04-29-2009, 11:12 PM
Yes, hydrogen can be used as a medium in which to store excess generated power for later use, like a huge battery. This makes it incredibly useful, as most of this excess generated power is wasted at present. I'm still unsure as to why you don't believe that it should be used to power automobiles.

And please cut down on the all of the damned hostility. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm trying to be tolerant, here, and you're really not helping the situation.

Tommycat
04-29-2009, 11:54 PM
Everyone should disregard Tommycat, as he clearly is the one who has no idea what he's talking about. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in nature; how could it not be readily available? Given as you need an electrolyzing unit, the question of hydrogen becoming more readily available depends upon whether there is a source of energy to power the electrolyzing unit that strips the hydrogen atoms from water molecules.
Apparently you are not aware that free(meaning unbonded) hydrogen is not readily available. You can't go to your local shell and fill up on hydrogen. But feel free to pretend that I don't know what I'm talking about. Please explain to me how you could get a tank full of hydrogen readily.

The Apollo spacecraft used fuel cells for power in the 1960's and 70's. Was it practical for that purpose? Most definitely.

Is is practical for America on a scale such as gasoline? By no means would that be likely to happen. It will likely serve a purpose that siphons excess energy on a limited scale where it otherwise would be wasted. If a wind turbine produces more excess energy than is demanded, it's wasted. Having an electrolyzing unit with energy sources like wind would allow for a more reliable and stable flow of energy from otherwise unreliable powerplants. Other methods ranged to pumping ground water into dried valleys and installing hydro electric dams.
Because the difference in power required for the Apollo capsules required less energy than even the cheapest Nokia cell phone. It's still a developing technology. Would the Apollo computer be practical for surfing the web?

Darth Avlectus
04-30-2009, 12:00 AM
Everyone should disregard Tommycat, as he clearly is the one who has no idea what he's talking about. Whoa! Hold on!

I'm surre Tommy was just putting it out there as best as he knew. No need to be abrasive...We're here for friendly discussion now.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in nature; how could it not be readily available? I think this is simple semantics. What he probably meant was as to the hydrogen availability post-electrolysis.

In general, the use of hydrogen is not cost effective or feasible in a practical sense to most americans. Or as you'd put it, not realistic. :)

Tommycat
04-30-2009, 12:13 AM
Whoa! Hold on!

I'm surre Tommy was just putting it out there as best as he knew. No need to be abrasive...We're here for friendly discussion now.

I think this is simple semantics. What he probably meant was as to the hydrogen availability post-electrolysis.

In general, the use of hydrogen is not cost effective or feasible in a practical sense to most americans. Or as you'd put it, not realistic. :)

Thanks GTA. Yes, I'm quite familiar that hydrogen itself is the most abundant element in nature, however it is usually found bonded with other elements. H2 is actually pretty rare to find just floating around(at least here on earth). It likes to bond with other elements just a bit more.

You can get hydrogen from a number of sources. And if you have a nuclear reactor laying about, you can get quite a bit of it using the heat and sulfur-iodine process.
Source (http://www.hydrogenassociation.org/newsletter/summer06/generalAtomics.pdf) kinda nifty.

Darth_Yuthura
04-30-2009, 01:09 AM
Whoa! Hold on!

I'm surre Tommy was just putting it out there as best as he knew. No need to be abrasive...We're here for friendly discussion now.

Read post two and three.

Second you have no idea what a hydrogen fuel cell is. You are thinking of a hydrogen POWERED car. Which would burn hydrogen instead of petrochemicals. A hydrogen fuel cell generates electricity from the fuel source.
Reading material (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell)


That sounds like pure balderdash to the highest degree, perhaps with a hint of nonsense within it.

[quote]You clearly have no idea how Hydrogen Fuel Cells work. The electricity is generated from the fuel, not sourced off a battery or a power grid. I actually had difficulty figuring out what you were saying until I read Tommycat's post on that you don't know what you're talking about, and then it all made sense (or rather, lack of it).[quote]

If you want to discuss anything PM me or jae.- mimartin

True_Avery
04-30-2009, 01:18 AM
Everyone needs to calm down with the "you have no idea what you're talking about" comments. Either present an argument proving them wrong, or don't. Adding these comments just makes you and your argument look bad.

Secondly, doesn't it take -more- energy to strip out Hydrogen that you actually get in return -from- the hydrogen? Isn't that why hydrogen is generally considered a terrible replacement for... well, anything?

mimartin
04-30-2009, 01:26 AM
Everyone needs to calm down with the "you have no idea what you're talking about" comments. Either present an argument proving them wrong, or don't. Adding these comments just makes you and your argument look bad.
Could not agree more. If you believe someone's points are wrong present evidence and don't just say they are wrong. Please stop the flamebaiting and name calling.

Q
04-30-2009, 01:33 AM
Secondly, doesn't it take -more- energy to strip out Hydrogen that you actually get in return -from- the hydrogen? Isn't that why hydrogen is generally considered a terrible replacement for... well, anything?
So it's inefficient, but relative to what? Gasoline engines aren't exactly models of efficiency, either. As a matter of fact, short of a matter-antimatter reaction, no energy-producing process is anywhere near 100% efficient. If you have abundant, cheap electricity from non-emissive sources, this point becomes moot. That's why establishing a massive, non-emissive power grid should be the first priority.

Besides, can you think of a better way to power a car with 0 emissions? I'll admit that I can't, and until Mister Fusion™ becomes a reality, I doubt that anyone else can, either.

Darth_Yuthura
04-30-2009, 01:47 AM
Because the difference in power required for the Apollo capsules required less energy than even the cheapest Nokia cell phone. It's still a developing technology. Would the Apollo computer be practical for surfing the web?

That wasn't the reason. It was that fuel cells provided more energy per unit of weight than batteries or solar panels. One other advantage often overlooked was that the byproducts of the fuel cells, water, was provided for the crew. That meant they utilized the weight of the oxygen, hydrogen, and fuel cells much better than if they installed solar panels + a few hundred kg of drinking water.

This was the reason for having fuel cells on spacecraft; because they are more effective for their weight to power ratio than solar panels over short periods. The shuttle and apollo had fuel cells because they weren't designed to fly for more than two weeks at a time, but it makes more sense for satellites in orbit for much longer than that to use solar panels.

True_Avery
04-30-2009, 01:58 AM
So it's inefficient, but relative to what? Gasoline engines aren't exactly models of efficiency, either.
Not saying the hydrogen battery would be bad. Saying that getting the molecule in the first place takes more energy to initially get then you receive when using the molecule.

But, compared to Gasoline, nothing is currently more "efficient" considering it comes out of the ground and all we really have to do is dig, find, and pump. The engine's aren't environmentally friendly, but how friendly are the plants using tons of energy to get relatively small amounts of hydrogen?

As a matter of fact, short of a matter-antimatter reaction, no energy-producing process is anywhere near 100% efficient.
When used, sure. What I'm talking about is what it takes to get it is more than it gives you back, which is the exact opposite of an efficient energy source.

If you have abundant, cheap electricity from non-emissive sources, this point becomes moot.
Agreed, but we don't have that right now so it is currently not moot.

That's why establishing a massive, non-emissive power grid should be the first priority.
True, but outside of wind power what do you suggest?

Besides, can you think of a better way to power a car with 0 emissions? I'll admit that I can't.
Except it isn't 0 emissions. The car may let out water, but I doubt the nuclear power plant was as friendly when the electricity generally inefficiently cunjured up some hydrogen.

Now, that isn't to say I'm against research into it. With our current technology, obviously, getting hydrogen is incredibly inefficient. We have been making some breakthroughs though, and getting closer to overcoming that inefficient gap.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090406102555.htm

Web Rider
04-30-2009, 02:20 AM
Besides, can you think of a better way to power a car with 0 emissions? I'll admit that I can't, and until Mister Fusion™ becomes a reality, I doubt that anyone else can, either.

Well, unless you consider the danger of tearing holes in the fabric of space-time and destroying the universe an emission of concern.

Tommycat
04-30-2009, 02:25 AM
Actually, gotta appologize. Somehow I must have misread the first post.

My appologies DY. I thought you were talking about a hydrogen burning car and calling it a fuel cell car(I must have been more tired than I thought... or I need glasses... I am getting older...).

RedHawke
04-30-2009, 02:32 AM
Some tidbits about Hydrogen production... there is a station constructed by our Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) that is completely off the grid, self-powered and produces its own hydrogen via solar power and water. This station is used to fuel the Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles that they are currently testing.

This fuel source is viable, and so are the vehicles. I know I used to drive one, daily.

And I was an "Internal combustion accept no substitutes!" kind of person before.

All the data that you read about Hydrogen being hard to produce or more harmful are likely backed by interests that do not want to see this change. The gas companies stand to lose big if we were to change from gasoline for our vehicles. So be wary of who actually wrote what you are reading and who sponsored it as far as other sites and even textbooks.

Just my :twocents:

Darth_Yuthura
04-30-2009, 02:48 AM
Actually, gotta appologize. Somehow I must have misread the first post.

My appologies DY. I thought you were talking about a hydrogen burning car and calling it a fuel cell car(I must have been more tired than I thought... or I need glasses... I am getting older...).

Thank-you. No hard feelings now.

Some tidbits about Hydrogen production... there is a station constructed by our Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) that is completely off the grid, self-powered and produces its own hydrogen via solar power and water. This station is used to fuel the Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles that they are currently testing.

This fuel source is viable, and so are the vehicles. I know I used to drive one, daily.


Unfortunately, you cannot really look to one station and call it viable. Your one station... how much did it cost to construct? How much does the hydrogen fuel cost?

A nuclear breeder reactor is MANY times more efficient than a conventional heavy-water reactor, but because it costs twice as much, it is not economically feasible as a conventional reactor. That comes from the interest placed upon borrowed money and a low return on its investment. Even though solar may be free, its capital cost is so enormous that its interest expense almost makes it too expensive to make economic sense.

Although your single station exists and produces zero emissions, it likely was a terrible business investment for those who built it. In America, the first priority is to make the most profit from the smallest investment. The environment often comes second.

I have advocated for the split-cycle engine months ago and made the same argument that before doing a radical shift, the best alternative is to perfect what we already have. The split-cycle engine is a newer version of the internal combustion engine that pushes fuel efficiency from about 30% to 35% + cheaper potential energy storage than electric hybrid.

True_Avery
04-30-2009, 02:59 AM
Some tidbits about Hydrogen production... there is a station constructed by our Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) that is completely off the grid, self-powered and produces its own hydrogen via solar power and water. This station is used to fuel the Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles that they are currently testing.

This fuel source is viable, and so are the vehicles. I know I used to drive one, daily.

And I was an "Internal combustion accept no substitutes!" kind of person before.

All the data that you read about Hydrogen being hard to produce or more harmful are likely backed by interests that do not want to see this change. The gas companies stand to lose big if we were to change from gasoline for our vehicles. So be wary of who actually wrote what you are reading and who sponsored it as far as other sites and even textbooks.

Just my :twocents:
True, but it still does not entirely answer the problem of the inefficiency of the energy conversion.

Seems like a fair idea though if its working. If you can convince a company/group/etc to run a wind/solar/etc powered hydrogen station then I'm all for the idea.

If we are using a nuclear power plant, however, it doesn't seem to make hydrogen much better or worse than gasoline.

I, personally, have not seen much good evidence that it is dangerous, but it is still fact that it is inefficient as a source -unless- you pull the electricity from a "free" source, like wind or sun.

I've been wanting solar panels on every roof anyway, so the closer we can get to that the more hydrogen becomes a more valid source of energy.

Q
04-30-2009, 03:00 AM
Not saying the hydrogen battery would be bad. Saying that getting the molecule in the first place takes more energy to initially get then you receive when using the molecule.

But, compared to Gasoline, nothing is currently more "efficient" considering it comes out of the ground and all we really have to do is dig, find, and pump.
You're forgetting an important step in the process (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_refinement). You didn't think that it came out odf the ground as gasoline, did you? Fractional distillation requires boiling all of that crude oil, which requires energy; lots of energy, which is usually acquired by burning something dirty. ;)
The engine's aren't environmentally friendly, but how friendly are the plants using tons of energy to get relatively small amounts of hydrogen?
That's why I stated that establishing a massive, non-emissive power grid should be the first priority.
True, but outside of wind power what do you suggest?
Well, for the coasts, tidal hydroelectric power (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_power) looks pretty good to me, now that engineers are figuring out how to build the generators so that their environmental impact is minimal. Make no mistake: it would be a massive undertaking, but the potential power generation is astronomical, emission-free and a hell of a lot more reliable than wind or solar power. For the inland areas, nuclear energy is still the best option.
Except it isn't 0 emissions. The car may let out water, but I doubt the nuclear power plant was as friendly when the electricity generally inefficiently cunjured up some hydrogen.?
Modern nuclear power plants are far safer and more efficient than they were just a few decades ago. And the waste that everyone is so afraid of can be reprocessed into new fuel so that the net amount is minimized. It can then be safely stored, for centuries if necessary, until our descendants have the capability to either render it inert or even take it off-planet and send it into the sun if necessary. Ask the French about how great it is. They have such an abundance of power that they sell it to neighboring countries.
Now, that isn't to say I'm against research into it. With our current technology, obviously, getting hydrogen is incredibly inefficient. We have been making some breakthroughs though, and getting closer to overcoming that inefficient gap.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090406102555.htm
Cool. Interesting read. I always wondered if some sort of catalyst could be developed to help the process along. We're getting there. I'm totally with RH in believing that hydrogen is the future, and that some powerful, greedy people might not want that to happen, but maybe within our lifetimes we'll see the end of our dependence on fossil fuels. I for one would die happier that way. :)


EDIT: The split cycle engine that D_Y is referring to is also known as the Scuderi Engine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scuderi_Engine). It's efficiency is derived from how it generates a power stroke with every turn of the crankshaft instead of every other turn like with a conventional four-stroke cycle engine. It would probably be a good solution for the short-term, and is certainly compatible with existing automobile design, but I don't know how much more efficient it would be than a four-stroke cycle engine in real-world usage.

True_Avery
04-30-2009, 03:15 AM
Modern nuclear power plants are far safer and more efficient than they were just a few decades ago. And the waste that everyone is so afraid of can be reprocessed into new fuel so that the net amount is minimized. It can then be safely stored, for centuries if necessary, until our descendants have the capability to either render it inert or even take it off-planet and send it into the sun if necessary. Ask the French about how great it is. They have such an abundance of power that they sell it to neighboring countries.
Well, that is my main problem with power plants. You say they are efficient and such, but the waste, while -some- of it can be reused, is... stored. It renders the area it is being kept in a radioactive mess, and that waste can also be processed into weapons. While not a problem here, that seems to be our main problem with Iran right now.

Its fantastic power, but using them to create Hydrogen hardly makes it an emission or environmentally friendly process. Now, is you use coast, wind, solar, etc power on the other hand I have little problem as tons of dangerous energy isn't being wasted.

Cool. Interesting read. I always wondered if some sort of catalyst could be developed to help the process along. We're getting there. I'm totally with RH in believing that hydrogen is the future, and that some powerful, greedy people might not want that to happen, but maybe within our lifetimes we'll see the end of our dependence on fossil fuels. I for one would die happier that way. ;)
Least it shows there is a good amount of research and thought being placed into the idea.

Tommycat
04-30-2009, 04:04 AM
I'm more of a no replacement for displacement gasoline guy, but I know darn good and well that it isn't a safe bet to keep thinking the gas will always flow. Granted, most of what I do can be translated to running alcohol(mostly fuel lines carb and intake gaskets). but still... lets face it, I'm a dinosaur. My kind of vehicle is out.

Q
04-30-2009, 04:07 AM
Well, that is my main problem with power plants. You say they are efficient and such, but the waste, while -some- of it can be reused, is... stored. It renders the area it is being kept in a radioactive mess,
No arguments here. Unfortunately, people have been allowed to be very careless with the stuff over the past 60 years and AFAIK the Department of Energy has put a stop to that. The DoE, which is now responsible for it all, is in the process of cleaning up those sites and consolidating all of the waste into new, secure, long-term facilities so that kind of thing won't happen again. This is supposed to be completed by 2025.
and that waste can also be processed into weapons. While not a problem here, that seems to be our main problem with Iran right now.
That portion of waste that can be processed into weapons is what I said earlier can be reprocessed into new fuel, solving that problem. The US has never seriously dealt with reprocessing, which was stupid, of course, and one of the reasons why we have so much waste in the first place. The other stuff is all going to be under lock and key and guarded by the federal government.
Its fantastic power, but using them to create Hydrogen hardly makes it an emission or environmentally friendly process. Now, is you use coast, wind, solar, etc power on the other hand I have little problem as tons of dangerous energy isn't being wasted.
Maybe best solution would be to use hydro, wind and solar wherever they can be practical and only use nuclear to fill in the gaps where there is no other practical option.
Least it shows there is a good amount of research and thought being placed into the idea.
Well, the clean electricity problem has to be tackled first, but I think it will be the future of transportation if we want to drive clean cars. And don't worry, Tommy; I'm sure that there will be a way to soup up HFC cars, too. :)

Tommycat
04-30-2009, 04:32 AM
And don't worry, Tommy; I'm sure that there will be a way to soup up HFC cars, too. :)
Oh trust me, so long as there are wheels on the car, I'll be trying to make them turn faster.

Darth_Yuthura
04-30-2009, 07:31 AM
There is another issue to address that really is at the root of the 'hydrogen economy:' the difficulties in transitioning from one source of energy to another. Let's face it, no one would pay more for a vehicle powered by hydrogen under the conditions we have today. People will want gasoline-powered vehicles and any transition to another fuel source will be expensive. Hydrogen isn't like a liquid fossil fuel to store and handle, so the safety codes and gas station tanks and equipment would demand more new designs and implementation than something like gasohol.

Ethanol is way too unrealistic for practical use of a large scale in the US and with corn, but there are situations where it would make sense to use biodiesel fuel using waste products. That is only a way to make use of something that otherwise would have been lost, but unrealistic on a large scale. Vegetable oil is expensive compared to gasoline, but when it is to be disposed of; what little there is happens to be a good way to scavenge a little more energy that wasn't there before.

Tommycat
04-30-2009, 07:55 AM
Actually DY, FCV is a good transition as it will run on petrochemicals though the emissions are not as clean as if it is on hydrogen(though still cleaner than the cleanest hybrid). You're actually hitting apon the "not readily available" part of my earlier post. There are very few hydrogen refueling locations.

Q
04-30-2009, 02:33 PM
There is another issue to address that really is at the root of the 'hydrogen economy:' the difficulties in transitioning from one source of energy to another. Let's face it, no one would pay more for a vehicle powered by hydrogen under the conditions we have today. People will want gasoline-powered vehicles and any transition to another fuel source will be expensive. Hydrogen isn't like a liquid fossil fuel to store and handle, so the safety codes and gas station tanks and equipment would demand more new designs and implementation than something like gasohol.
There is a notoriously well-known marketing ploy that would be of good use here. It's called pigeon-holing, and it works by making any alternatives either unavailable or impractical. The market does it all time. Examples of this strategy are readily available, like forcing American consumers to buy Chinese goods, making CRTs unavailable so that people have to buy LCDs, and the most infamous example here on LF, LA's insistence on developing a ****ty MMO and pushing it on us in place of the SP KotOR 3 that most of us wanted (sorry, Avery :p). Is it ethical? Not really. Will it be necessary? Well, in this case, yes.
Ethanol is way too unrealistic for practical use of a large scale in the US and with corn, but there are situations where it would make sense to use biodiesel fuel using waste products. That is only a way to make use of something that otherwise would have been lost, but unrealistic on a large scale. Vegetable oil is expensive compared to gasoline, but when it is to be disposed of; what little there is happens to be a good way to scavenge a little more energy that wasn't there before.
No arguments here about ethanol, but biodiesel has the potential to be cheaply produced from certain strains of algae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel) far more efficiently than any seed crop, making it a possible and even realistic replacement for petroleum in the short-term using current technology.

Darth_Yuthura
04-30-2009, 03:30 PM
Actually DY, FCV is a good transition as it will run on petrochemicals though the emissions are not as clean as if it is on hydrogen(though still cleaner than the cleanest hybrid). You're actually hitting apon the "not readily available" part of my earlier post. There are very few hydrogen refueling locations.

That's not what I was emphasizing. When I was arguing for maglev instead of high speed rail, the idea was shunned because it was way too radical compared to the more standard 'wheels on tracks' concept.

The electrical infrastructure for electric hybrids or light rail are very much available today. It would involve setting up a new infrastructure for electric trains or recharge stations at parkways, but it would be relatively easy in comparison to starting a whole new, unrelated system from scratch. You would have to construct electrolysing devices on a massive scale before you could even consider mass-producing hydrogen vehicles. That in itself would be almost like constructing a new system of power plants to replace all those in the US. Setting up a massive new infrastructure very different from what is currently used would be astronomical.

Hydrogen historically has not been used on a massive scale and would not be easy to implement... or cheap for that matter... when it comes to becoming THE energy of the future for automobiles. As of today, it's not even close to the feasibility of batteries being gasoline's replacement. There is simply no infrastructure of any kind for hydrogen, but there is already one in place for electricity that simply has to be expanded.

Q
04-30-2009, 03:45 PM
Yeah, if batteries were to suddenly see a radical improvement, you can bet that I'd be advocating those for powering cars.

Tommycat
04-30-2009, 06:46 PM
Actually DY the difference is huge. FCV's CAN run on existing petrochemical fuels. This means that the argument that it would be impractical because there is no supporting infrastructure is a bit off. For the FCV you are able to reuse the existing gas stations until such time as hydrogen itself is more readily available.

Of course, nobody has mentioned yet that the development of the FCV does not preclude using electric vehicles on the same roadways.

RedHawke
05-01-2009, 02:25 AM
Unfortunately, you cannot really look to one station and call it viable. Your one station... how much did it cost to construct? How much does the hydrogen fuel cost?
Yes you can call it viable, it is called a prototype and they normally come in unique units or small runs of units. And I believe I answered this before, to you in your other thread full of misinformation about hydrogen... like your posts here in this thread.

Sorry folks, we in the program have heard your types of statements countless times, it is amazing how much effort the ones who stand to lose will spend to keep their strangle-hold on their monopolies. Mark well the source of your information, and who pays their bills.

Darth_Yuthura
05-01-2009, 07:46 AM
I was not referring to the stations; I was referring to the facilities that would have to produce the hydrogen and how it would be distributed throughout regions. Hydrogen is a gas at room temperature and needs to be pressurized. That's not remotely close to gasoline storage and transportation demands.

Yes you can call it viable, it is called a prototype and they normally come in unique units or small runs of units. And I believe I answered this before, to you in your other thread full of misinformation about hydrogen... like your posts here in this thread.

Sorry folks, we in the program have heard your types of statements countless times, it is amazing how much effort the ones who stand to lose will spend to keep their strangle-hold on their monopolies. Mark well the source of your information, and who pays their bills.

How expensive would it be for the various production facilities, pipelines, stations, additional power plants, and vehicle repair facilities? There is a very significant difference between gasoline and hydrogen/powered cars and it would require specialized training where a split-cycle engine upgrade follows the same principles as the four-cycle design. The simpler one can make a technology or system, the less likely there would be complications. Where would Redhawke have gone if he theoretically owned his vehicle and it broke down? If there weren't many hydrogen vehicles on the road, finding a mechanic would have been difficult to find.

Prototype, huh? So how much did that hydrogen fuel cost you? Let me guess... you either spent big, or you paid an artificially-generated price. I would be greatly interested in knowing the details that you haven't mentioned before about your evaluation of the vehicle you tested.

How much was the fuel? What was the fuel rating per gallon of hydrogen? How many vehicles could that one station with the non-emissive power source provide for daily? How much were the solar panels that powered that station? How much energy was lost in the hydrolysis process and how much did you get from the fuel cell on your vehicle? Little details like this would be easier for you to answer than me, but anything like this that you could also add would be appreciated. Hydrogen may be more realistic for the future than gasoline, but for it to be viable, it must first be economic.

Hawkstrong16
05-01-2009, 09:59 AM
Hydrogen may be more realistic for the future than gasoline, but for it to be viable, it must first be economic.

For Us to use it in the future, We need to be doing what we're doing right now. Do you think they got the internal combustion engine right on the first try? Or even the 100th? No they did not! Even now they are still working on making it better.

We may not see Hydrogen for fuel Right now but it will happen. It will be expensive to produce at first. But In the long run I think that it will be cheaper and much more economic.
I may not know as much about all this as the rest of you. But its just my two cents

Tommycat
05-01-2009, 10:53 AM
I'll hold off judgment on the split cycle until I see HP/TQ/fuel econ ratings versus a similar displacement engine in two identical vehicles. I still see it as problematic as it still relies very heavily on gasoline(and or diesel) for power.

Then I'll want to see how well it does on a race course. But that's just me.

Q
05-01-2009, 11:11 AM
I'm interested in it's power and MPG ratings as well. As far as performance is concerned, remember that it delivers a power stroke for every turn of the crankshaft, so a souped-up model would be a real high-revving monster.

Tommycat
05-01-2009, 02:37 PM
well high revving depends on the point at which you start getting valve float
remember too that every stroke is also a compression stroke and has friction from not one, but 2 full pistons.

mimartin
05-01-2009, 02:39 PM
I was not referring to the stations; I was referring to the facilities that would have to produce the hydrogen and how it would be distributed throughout regions. :confused:

Some tidbits about Hydrogen production... there is a station constructed by our Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) that is completely off the grid, self-powered and produces its own hydrogen via solar power and water. This station is used to fuel the Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles that they are currently testing. From what I'm reading, the station produces it own hydrogen. There is no need for distribution. It sounds to me that the only cost after construction would be maintenance and paying the water bill. Unless someone figures out a way to charge us for sunlight.

Tommycat
05-01-2009, 02:46 PM
:confused:

From what I'm reading, the station produces it own hydrogen. There is no need for distribution. It sounds to me that the only cost after construction would be maintenance and paying the water bill. Unless someone figures out a way to charge us for sunlight.

Not all areas can get consistent sun though. And someone will figger out a way to charge for using the sun. a land use tax or sun tax or somethin haha. Heck I'm sure they are looking into how to charge for breathing. Still doesn't mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater though.

mimartin
05-01-2009, 03:17 PM
I never meant to imply that it would everywhere. I thought I had already made it clear in this thread that I support a diversified energy strategy. Was only referring to the station RedHawke wrote about. Although using either solar or wind power could make a great deal of the stations in at least the southern and western states self sufficient.

Q
05-01-2009, 03:30 PM
Wind power would probably make the entire Midwest self-sufficient. I grew up there and it's so flat that the wind is completely unimpeded. It would still require an absolute buttload of windmills.

Tommycat
05-01-2009, 03:34 PM
I never meant to imply that it would everywhere. I thought I had already made it clear in this thread that I support a diversified energy strategy. Was only referring to the station RedHawke wrote about. Although using either solar or wind power could make a great deal of the stations in at least the southern and western states self sufficient.

Absolutely. Especially here in AZ. Dunno if you're aware of it or not, but we get a bit of sun here... like 300+days of it. Solar would be great here. Energy generation could be tailored to the preferences of the environment. My bad, I thought you were using it as a model for how other locations would be set up.

Web Rider
05-01-2009, 03:35 PM
Wind power would probably make the entire Midwest self-sufficient. I grew up there and it's so flat that the wind completely unimpeded. It would still require an absolute buttload of windmills.

assuming of course, that the wind is blowing and the annual onslaught of torndoes doesn't mean you have to build a thousand new ones every year.

Q
05-01-2009, 03:42 PM
Tornadoes usually prefer trailer parks. :p

Jae Onasi
05-01-2009, 05:36 PM
Tornadoes usually prefer trailer parks. :p
Heh, the tornado supercell that passed right over my head one time did drop down a tornado not two miles later, in the trailer park, of course.

If we put a windmill on top of every big building in Chicago, we'd probably be able to fuel half the world. :D

Darth_Yuthura
05-01-2009, 06:21 PM
:confused:

From what I'm reading, the station produces it own hydrogen. There is no need for distribution. It sounds to me that the only cost after construction would be maintenance and paying the water bill. Unless someone figures out a way to charge us for sunlight.

Forgetting one major expense: interest. You always have to take into account what you have to pay for interest off borrowed funds. Nuclear breeder reactors are WAY better than standard, but because they cost twice as much to build, it doesn't matter if you can get 20x the amount of energy per unit of fuel. The same thing goes for solar. If you can't produce much energy, then it doesn't matter if what little you get is free.

mimartin
05-01-2009, 06:33 PM
Interest would be part of construction cost. So no, I'm not forgetting since I said after construction cost.


Also if I were a large corporation with cutting edge technology I would not finance construction by burrowing funds from a bank. I would issue new stock (look no interest).

Your second point I've also already covered already in earlier post. No solar will not work everywhere, but you can always use an alternative at a different cost. You do understand that gasoline prices are not uniformed across the country either?

Q
05-01-2009, 09:53 PM
Heh, the tornado supercell that passed right over my head one time did drop down a tornado not two miles later, in the trailer park, of course.
They're always strangely attracted to trailer parks. I don't know whether it's the metallic structures or if the culling of the white ghetto is some bizarre form of natural selection. :p
If we put a windmill on top of every big building in Chicago, we'd probably be able to fuel half the world. :D
I've been to Chicago many times and you're right. They could put windmills all along the lake shore there and generate a lot of power.

RedHawke
05-02-2009, 05:43 AM
From what I'm reading, the station produces it own hydrogen. There is no need for distribution. It sounds to me that the only cost after construction would be maintenance and paying the water bill. Unless someone figures out a way to charge us for sunlight.
Bingo!!! We have a winner!

Web Rider
05-02-2009, 06:32 AM
Unless someone figures out a way to charge us for sunlight.

Shhhh!!!! Stop giving them ideas! I mean, it's not like we don't already have private beaches, private parks, tanning salons, and restricted movement within federally managed land.

Darth_Yuthura
05-02-2009, 08:46 AM
Bingo!!! We have a winner!

I asked you some questions and you just declared 'mission accomplished.'

Questions were:

How much was the fuel from this one station? What was the milage per gallon of hydrogen? How many vehicles can this one station with the non-emissive power source provide for? How much were the solar panels that powered that station? How much energy was lost in the hydrolysis process and how much did you get from the fuel cell(s) on your vehicle? Little details like this would be easier for you to answer than me, but anything like this that you could also add would be appreciated.

This is not meant to slap this particular member in the face; I just wanted to know more about hydrogen power from his perspective. His last post didn't add to the thread, as I already knew his opinion. The question is why?

RedHawke
05-03-2009, 02:49 AM
I asked you some questions and you just declared 'mission accomplished.'
You are inferring things here... perhaps I answered that poster in that manner for other reasons. Limited time, etc.

Since you asked clear questions without the wall of unnecessary text this time, it makes it easier to read them, I am more than happy to answer what I can.

Questions were:

How much was the fuel from this one station?
Nothing, it is free to us at this point... SMUD has a fleet of these vehicles and so does the partnership. We have free use atm.

Cost hasn't come into play yet, but rest assured it would be far less than filling your average 14 gallon tank is now.

What was the milage per gallon of hydrogen?
None, it is measured in different units of measure. Typically the current model of HFC vehicles that I am familiar with hold about 4kg of hydrogen at 5000 psi. Tanks are rated to twice that pressure.

4 kg of Hydrogen at 5000 psi gives you about 160 miles range, if the pressure were increased the range would increase. The vehicle with a fully pressurized tank went much, much further, but for insurance reasons we can only pressurize our tanks to 5k psi.

How many vehicles can this one station with the non-emissive power source provide for?
It is a full sized station in relation to a normal gas station in use today. I have yet to go in and have an out of fuel warning, nor has anyone in the program so far.

How much were the solar panels that powered that station?
No idea SMUD never released this info. Since SMUD is a power company and likely gets them for cheap or makes them themselves the cost was likely negligible to them.

Here in California there is a 45% rebate on using a solar system, there are I think 30% federal rebates nationwide (USA), so factor those in when thinking about the costs for solar panels. I'm sure other countries also provide similar incentives.

How much energy was lost in the hydrolysis process?
No idea, as SMUD hasn't released this info. But any energy loss at this station outweighs the sloppy and inefficient systems we use today.

and how much did you get from the fuel cell(s) on your vehicle?
Answered by the MPG question above.

This is not meant to slap this particular member in the face; I just wanted to know more about hydrogen power from his perspective.
No slap seen on this end, though you seemed to go on about energy loss and transportation, etc. when the solutions I have seen eliminate the most wasteful parts of what we have now. So any loss with the new tech is minimal compared to what we have now.

His last post didn't add to the thread, as I already knew his opinion. The question is why?
On the contrary mine indeed did, as it appears on my end you didn't get anything I had wrote and went off on a tangent of your own, I merely pointed out the poster who got what I wrote in the hopes you would re-read what I had said again.

Darth_Yuthura
05-03-2009, 08:13 AM
Nothing, it is free to us at this point... SMUD has a fleet of these vehicles and so does the partnership. We have free use atm.

Cost hasn't come into play yet, but rest assured it would be far less than filling your average 14 gallon tank is now.

Thank-you, but some of the most critical questions I had were not satisfied... either to you or to anyone. Clearly a hydrogen powered vehicle would compare to a standard in range, but still you have no idea what it would cost to actually buy the hydrogen. That's not very reassuring when you don't even know what it would cost... or even an estimate of the cost.

I'm still not convinced. I wouldn't imagine SMUD would promote its product by withholding statistics unless those statistics would hurt their goal. I'd like to know how efficient hydrogen has become and economic it is before I put any confidence in it. At the least, they could show how it has improved... to verify that if it's currently not, then it could be in the future.

No slap seen on this end, though you seemed to go on about energy loss and transportation, etc. when the solutions I have seen eliminate the most wasteful parts of what we have now. So any loss with the new tech is minimal compared to what we have now.

The 'most wasteful parts of what we have now'? If you mean the inefficiencies of automobiles, that's only a small part of the issue.

Some Americans don't have the luxury of buying clean fuel if it's going to be too expensive to budget, so I am not placing much faith in hydrogen... there is no mention of its price point. If hydrogen were projected to be cheaper than gasoline, I would assume some numbers would be released to the public. It's in testing phase, so that doesn't mean it's carved in stone, but I have seen no projections or estimates that it would be any less than $10 per 4 kg. It would very well cost more as fossil fuels become more expensive.

As for solar power, it represents <1% of electricity produced in the US. It's rising, but you would need an area the size of Rhode Island covered to be at the point of replacing oil demands with solar panels.

RedHawke
05-04-2009, 03:34 AM
(I'm still trying to understand your really off base quip about solar power, it had nothing to do with my reply, and is indicative of my issues with your replies, they start to drift off away from the topic at hand IMO. Just FYI)

Clearly a hydrogen powered vehicle would compare to a standard in range, but still you have no idea what it would cost to actually buy the hydrogen. That's not very reassuring when you don't even know what it would cost... or even an estimate of the cost.
Cheaper than gasoline is now... that is the goal. Options for home units to make hydrogen at your own home are also on the table, so some people might not be visiting the stations as frequently than they are now.

I know you want a hard number, but at this point you aren't likely to get any. With what is at stake here it is understandable that certain things are kept under wraps, and not for "conspiracy theory" reasons, but for business ones.

I wouldn't imagine SMUD would promote its product by withholding statistics unless those statistics would hurt their goal.
You invent something new you will keep things in-house until everything is finalized then when you are ready with your product you release hard data, that is why you make prototypes and test them and also how you keep competitors away. After all profit is a factor here for a business you don't just release everything to the public all along the way in development, that's not how it works.

The 'most wasteful parts of what we have now'? If you mean the inefficiencies of automobiles, that's only a small part of the issue.
No, the other information you listed before in your earlier posts that concerned you. "How expensive would it be for the various production facilities, pipelines, stations, additional power plants, and vehicle repair facilities?"

Some Americans don't have the luxury of buying clean fuel if it's going to be too expensive to budget, so I am not placing much faith in hydrogen... there is no mention of its price point.
Clean fuel is only a luxury if you call it such... the only thing they have now is petrol, tomorrow it may be hydrogen, they will buy whatever is available to run the vehicles available. When it was horses they bought/fed horses, gasoline they bought gasoline, whatever comes next they will buy it.

Also referring to a tidbit from an earlier post...
There is a very significant difference between gasoline and hydrogen/powered cars
Yes and no... there are shared systems and new ones.

and it would require specialized training where a split-cycle engine upgrade follows the same principles as the four-cycle design. The simpler one can make a technology or system, the less likely there would be complications. Where would Redhawke have gone if he theoretically owned his vehicle and it broke down? If there weren't many hydrogen vehicles on the road, finding a mechanic would have been difficult to find.
I have to say you are misinformed about who can repair these vehicles...

My father, in his 60's, took him less than 4 weeks training... for someone with only a grade 10 education and over 40 years experience working on many of the various vehicles in use (American/European/Asian/Autos/Diesels), and if my dad could adjust to these vehicles so readily (he loved it, up until he had to go on disability due to his cancer), it won't be difficult for younger more educated mechanics to make this adjustment as well.

The work force is already in place, the current shops will only need to buy a few new diagnostic systems/tools. For some shops working under the auto company names these things are supplied.

Tommycat
05-04-2009, 12:23 PM
My father, in his 60's, took him less than 4 weeks training... for someone with only a grade 10 education and over 40 years experience working on many of the various vehicles in use (American/European/Asian/Autos/Diesels), and if my dad could adjust to these vehicles so readily (he loved it, up until he had to go on disability due to his cancer), it won't be difficult for younger more educated mechanics to make this adjustment as well.

I have a question related to this, but it's kind of a selfish question. Will I be able to Hot-Rod it? Get it going really fast? I mean some of us like big torque and getting some wheel spin. I think it would be kind of fun to have a muscle car powered with clean fuel. Granted, I wouldn't have that V8 roar, but if I can make it down a drag strip in under 12 seconds, I don't think too many hot rodders are going to whine about an FCV(aside from the ones who love the V8 roar). It would make one HECK of a sleeper.

From what I understand the FCV has fewer moving parts than a conventional engine(a disadvantage of the split cycle engine is that it has MORE parts than a conventional engine). So maintenance is actually reduced. It shouldn't be near as complicated as working on a current vehicle with 10 feet of timing chain, 3 different computer systems, 32 valves, 32 springs, 4 cam shafts, and the myriad of other parts that are specifically added to reduce emissions.

One thing that concerns me a bit is the 5000PSI tank... I know 2000PSI can do a lot of damage to a person. 4000 psi can kill a person. Do you happen to know if they did any impact rupture tests and the results? I'm sure they did, otherwise they couldn't have them on the road... It's just my own curiosity.

Darth_Yuthura
05-04-2009, 01:07 PM
I don't know if you were addressing me or Redhawke, but I could answer that question. The Split-cycle engine, or FCV, does have more components than a conventional engine, but only because you have two different types of pistons and cylinders... the crank shaft and the compressed air components are parts that a conventional engine don't have.

Although there are only half the number of power cylinders, they will fire twice as rapidly. That means a FVC would theoretically be just as capable as a normal engine. There may even be a performance advantage. If only the power cylinders operate and the compression cylinders are left open, the engine would be able to feed from the tank of compressed air alone. I don't know how much extra power it could achieve, but with the compression cylinders open, there would be less power demanded to recharge the compressed air in the tank and less resistance to overcome.

Likewise, the power cylinders could be opened and only the compression cylinders would take the car's momentum and convert it to potential energy in the form of compressed air. This may be the greatest attribute of the FVC engine being able to do this cheaper than with batteries.

Tommycat
05-04-2009, 01:19 PM
Actually, FCV meaning Fuel Cell Vehicle.

I just know that Murphy's Law of machines dictates that the more moving parts you have the more chance of something breaking.

I know that from my experience once you get above 12:1 compression, you start breaking things on pump gas. I'd be interested to see a durability test on the Split Cycle. engine. I can see the high performance POSSIBILITIES of the split cycle. but the extra moving parts makes Tommy a very nervous cat.

Darth Avlectus
05-05-2009, 01:47 AM
WHOA! This thread certainly took off while I was gone...

Well, I'd like to clear this up: if you are talking about using hydrogen as a combustible fuel to replace gasoline, it is not the same process that you hear about where the hydrogen is recombined with the oxygen!!! So all this talk about how we can just convert the combustion cars to burn hydrogen and spit out steam instead of smoke is a bunch of bull puckey. First off you are separating H2 from O2, then burning the H2...do you expect after that if you recombine it with the oxygen that it will just magically turn back into water? If you do then you've got serious logic problems.

Sure it would be carbon with oxygen and that theoretically is supposed to work out to 0 emissions by process of cancellation... but it never quite works that way in reality as some leakage is always inevitable. Moreover it would be considered an additional process, and an extra cost not necessary to actually run the vehicle, just cut down on emissions... Extra $$$

The recombining process is fuel cells and a completely different process, akin to a battery b/c it produces electrical power. I already covered this: it's redundant considering to power electrical circuits batteries and capacitors do just fine and constantly make improvements due to how much in demand they are.

So it's inefficient, but relative to what? Gasoline engines aren't exactly models of efficiency, either. As a matter of fact, short of a matter-antimatter reaction, no energy-producing process is anywhere near 100% efficient. If you have abundant, cheap electricity from non-emissive sources, this point becomes moot. That's why establishing a massive, non-emissive power grid should be the first priority.

I'll refer you to mythbusters. There was an episode not too far back where they tested out the various alternative combustion methodologies. The electrolysis to gas to be burned (this is the method that DOES NOT return hydrogen to the oxygen and recycle it) had a very poor MPG compared to gasoline. It was advertised as 50 mpg...dream on? Indeed....

Besides, can you think of a better way to power a car with 0 emissions? I'll admit that I can't, and until Mister Fusion™ becomes a reality, I doubt that anyone else can, either.

Fusion...that is a nuclear process that releases energy by binding the particles as opposed to fission which does the opposite to release energy.
Makes nuclear waste but keeps it localized...or so according to simcity2000...

While Mr Fusion kept the time travel machine with that flux capacitor powered, if I do recall it did have a particular issue in part 3 where Marty ripped the fuel line... and that the vehichle was combustion powered--the primary concern for how the vehicle was going to reach that "88 MILES PER HOUR!!!!!!!!" so they could get back home to their time.

Some tidbits about Hydrogen production... there is a station constructed by our Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) that is completely off the grid, self-powered and produces its own hydrogen via solar power and water. This station is used to fuel the Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles that they are currently testing. Seen it too, though I never did get around to touring it. Nice?

This fuel source is viable, and so are the vehicles. I know I used to drive one, daily.

And I was an "Internal combustion accept no substitutes!" kind of person before.

All the data that you read about Hydrogen being hard to produce or more harmful are likely backed by interests that do not want to see this change. The gas companies stand to lose big if we were to change from gasoline for our vehicles. So be wary of who actually wrote what you are reading and who sponsored it as far as other sites and even textbooks.

Just my :twocents:

Amongst many other disingenuous conspicuous things added, omitted, etc. on a great number of other things I'm not entirely sure relate to the topic.

However, I will vouch that outside academic search engines like Ebsco, I was inundated with trash paranoia when attempting to actually do some research. A majority had something to do with transit or travel or the like (and any number of products fitting within a venn diagram of the above mentioned).
However, academics also have their own interests at hand as well, but certainly not in an area such as this where they were pro as opposed to con.
But you are correct, the gas companies would see this (as any other fuel source) as a major threat.

However, I have a question or two...was the hydrogen fuel used for combustion like a normal car or did it have a different process? I ask b/c there may be other methods I have not taken into consideration, and if you have info on this particular vehicle, I would very much like to see it... nothing commercial please. ;) I'm very much genuinely interested to see if any developments have been made of if I have overlooked anything.


There is another issue to address that really is at the root of the 'hydrogen economy:' the difficulties in transitioning from one source of energy to another. Let's face it, no one would pay more for a vehicle powered by hydrogen under the conditions we have today. People will want gasoline-powered vehicles and any transition to another fuel source will be expensive. Hydrogen isn't like a liquid fossil fuel to store and handle, so the safety codes and gas station tanks and equipment would demand more new designs and implementation than something like gasohol.

Look up actual statistics on the deaths of those inside those pre-WW1 zeppelins. While I agree it is volatile, part of the major explosion hazards fears are a bit unfounded.


However I will agree with you that some different precautions would most definitely be required for safe handling and storage.

Ethanol is way too unrealistic for practical use of a large scale in the US and with corn, but there are situations where it would make sense to use biodiesel fuel using waste products. That is only a way to make use of something that otherwise would have been lost, but unrealistic on a large scale. Vegetable oil is expensive compared to gasoline, but when it is to be disposed of; what little there is happens to be a good way to scavenge a little more energy that wasn't there before.

Are you talking about the waste greases and oils from food products? Why yes I do believe this was addressed earlier in the thread. This method (referencing the same mythbusters episode) actually ran a diesel powered car about the same with little adjustment to the vehicle and virtually no refinement other than meticulous filtering.

So far as ethanol for fuel...that is a bad idea simply b/c it will eat away at the supply of what it takes to make the ethanol, and with decreased supply, and the same demand...well costs go up. :) What that means is that certain foods will get more expensive, way more.

I never meant to imply that it would everywhere. I thought I had already made it clear in this thread that I support a diversified energy strategy. Was only referring to the station RedHawke wrote about. Although using either solar or wind power could make a great deal of the stations in at least the southern and western states self sufficient.

Why yes,

YES YOU DID!

http://lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2619529&postcount=9

And hint at it you did...

http://lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2619490&postcount=6

You're welcome.

Unless someone figures out a way to charge us for sunlight.
Shhhh!!!! Stop giving them ideas! I mean, it's not like we don't already have private beaches, private parks, tanning salons, and restricted movement within federally managed land.

I know, it makes ya wonder whose side he's on being so clumsy with those kinda comments. :smirk2:
(runs away)

Not all areas can get consistent sun though. And someone will figger out a way to charge for using the sun. a land use tax or sun tax or somethin haha.

Already do that.
It's called "Smart Meters" proposed to show just how and where exactly you are using those watts, and it helps you figure out how you can utilizer power more efficiently...and what they don't tell you is
1) how much extra power those suckers consume
2) what all of those extra seemingly unrelated components inside it you can't find data on are actually doing/made of

So you can be assured that you'll never misuse your power again. :dev11:

Heck I'm sure they are looking into how to charge for breathing. Still doesn't mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater though.

True enough.

Absolutely. Especially here in AZ. Dunno if you're aware of it or not, but we get a bit of sun here... like 300+days of it. Solar would be great here. Energy generation could be tailored to the preferences of the environment. My bad, I thought you were using it as a model for how other locations would be set up.

I wish idiots here in CA would actually read the ballots, though instead of depending on the sierra club to cast a reliable vote. We turned down actually making a solar power plant in the desert areas because of "harm to the environment" as the opposition said. ...sheeple put it on and voted it off...

assuming of course, that the wind is blowing and the annual onslaught of torndoes doesn't mean you have to build a thousand new ones every year.

Windmill generators ought to be placed more where wind is KNOWN to strongly occur a good bit of the time. For example, a valley at the foot of mountains or a steep canyon/cliff, beautiful work...central valley where they already are...I could drive out of LA on any given day and the majority of the time only a few are actually working unless the winds have really picked up.

@ Jae...yeah baby! Your city is notorious for wind, THAT's what I'm sayin'!
(Fills out ballot initiative with Jae Onasi as energy dept. representative)

Tornadoes usually prefer trailer parks. :p
Hey! HEY! :mad:
Oh, wait, mine isn't in tornado alley. My bad.


With what is at stake here it is understandable that certain things are kept under wraps, and not for "conspiracy theory" reasons, but for business ones.
QFT That's what "protprietary" privacy etc. is all about.

Or for science or politics for that matter. You just don't reveal your grand idea until the right moment.

You invent something new you will keep things in-house until everything is finalized then when you are ready with your product you release hard data, that is why you make prototypes and test them and also how you keep competitors away. After all profit is a factor here for a business you don't just release everything to the public all along the way in development, that's not how it works.QFT


Clean fuel is only a luxury if you call it such... the only thing they have now is petrol, tomorrow it may be hydrogen, they will buy whatever is available to run the vehicles available. When it was horses they bought/fed horses, gasoline they bought gasoline, whatever comes next they will buy it.
What it requires, though, is a transition. True what you say will most definitely occur after that has happened. Until then...well....

If there are things in the works that actually work, one thing I am surprised you have not mentioned yet is the intentional attempts at sabotage by competitors.

RedHawke
05-05-2009, 02:15 AM
What it requires, though, is a transition. True what you say will most definitely occur after that has happened. Until then...well....
Transition yes, how long is the question... I would prefer fast instead of slow.

Not many people will be put out of work either, as new fuel stations simply replace the old ones, and repair shops need only some minor adjustments. Transporting hydrogen is already possible. I see far less involved here than say the change over from horse and buggy to automobiles, far less people to lose jobs, etc. But that likely is just me.

If there are things in the works that actually work, one thing I am surprised you have not mentioned yet is the intentional attempts at sabotage by competitors.
I'm not at the levels to know if that has happened... but I would be completely naieve to believe things haven't happened. ;)

The fuel cell is not combustion. A fuel cell converts the chemicals hydrogen and oxygen into water and in doing so it produces electricity, said electricity runs the electric motor and thusly moves the vehicle. Basically it is an electric car for all intents and purposes powered by a fuel cell instead of a battery.

Darth Avlectus
05-05-2009, 02:32 AM
Transition yes, how long is the question... I would prefer fast instead of slow.

Not many people will be put out of work either, as new fuel stations simply replace the old ones, and repair shops need only some minor adjustments. Transporting hydrogen is already possible. I see far less involved here than say the change over from horse and buggy to automobiles, far less people to lose jobs, etc. But that likely is just me. Least you're honest about it.

TBH, I cannot really say...I imagine, though, you're probably right in a few respects.


I'm not at the levels to know if that has happened... but I would be completely naieve to believe things haven't happened. ;)

I'm not either. However, I have worked for people who have told me to destroy a competitor's stuff. There's good reason I do not work for them anymore. No, not in cars, though, just saying, alluding to the nature of sabotage.

The fuel cell is not combustion. A fuel cell converts the chemicals hydrogen and oxygen into water and in doing so it produces electricity, said electricity runs the electric motor and thusly moves the vehicle. Basically it is an electric car for all intents and purposes powered by a fuel cell instead of a battery.

That's what I thought. That's what it seemed you were implying too, just wanted to be sure.

Uhh, well, if there is data to suggest that it would perform vastly superior to batteries and capacitors combined with "sophisticated" circuitry (that's circuitry engineered with as little of loss as possible like in some flash cameras, econo gadgets, etc.)...I'd be happy to take a look at it.

Considering that most electrical/electronic products nowadays have obsolescence built in...it might be nice at least if they kept a higher efficiency.

Bimmerman
05-08-2009, 10:07 PM
Since some have complained about my nonsense, I'm going to complain about someone else's nonsense to show that I can and do evaluate the OPPOSITE side of the argument before I make a judgment. So I'm going to attempt to advocate FOR something I don't believe to show just how much my convictions are really 'nonsense.'

If this is in regards to the split-cycle engine thing, that actually looks to have some serious development time put into it, and may actually happen. It's interesting enough that it's getting talked about quite frequently here....it just needs to be cost effective and make good on its claims. Neither have been met yet. Anyway, on to your 'nonsense.'

Hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles:

This is a potentially everlasting fuel source for automobiles, but it depends upon another energy source to be produced. Nuclear, coal, wind, solar... all could be used for vehicles using hydrogen as a catalyst. Electricity is dependent upon either expensive batteries, or upon a physical connection to a power grid. In addition is that batteries take a long time to charge, but gasoline and liquid hydrogen take only about 5 minutes to replenish.

First, hydrogen as a fuel cell source is decades in the future for a nationally viable infrastructure. I am fully aware of the Honda FCX and such, but there is no infrastructure to make them accepted, and they cost far too much. We need a dual-fuel, a "flex fuel" if you will, hydrogen and gasoline vehicle to create the demand for the infrastructure (i.e. BMW's Hydrogen 7). Only then will fuel cells take off.

My proselytizing aside, the concept of hydrogen as a fuel is sound....generally. People have latched onto the idea of pouring water into your tank, and using it to create hydrogen to create fuel. There are several things wrong with that.

1) it takes more energy to break the OH bonds in water than you get by using the hydrogen in fuel cells. Without a catalyst, you will never break even.
2) you need some kind of liquified hydrogen (extremely cold) or highly pressurized hydrogen. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

No emissions other than water vapor:

There are actually emissions that come from this fuel, but they originate from locations other than where the cars operate. A nuclear plant can be built in a public location, but coal could be 1000 miles away and the electricity could be transmitted via power lines. Hydrogen fuel is produced using that electricity and then transported via pipeline to fuel station. Cars powered by gasoline produce emissions on sight where hydrogen's emissions can be placed elsewhere.

There are more emissions than you know of, both of fuel cell car, network, gasoline car, and fueling. If you want to be completely correct, look at the wheel to wheel cost of emissions. It's higher than you think.

Gasoline is only 30% efficient:

Internal combustion engines are only 30% efficient and can't be pushed passed that rating, so even with the loss of energy through hydrolysis, the larger the scale of the power plant, the more efficient it becomes.

You've never taken thermodynamics, have you?

Your statement is ridiculously false. Gasoline engines are only about 35% efficient. However, if you are right, how does a modern V16 in a Bugatti Veyron make 100x more horsepower and get about double the fuel economy of a 1909 Ford Model T inline four cylinder?

The thermodynamic efficiency can be increased by several means. Turbos, supers, nitrous, are just one way. Improving the volumetric efficiency (how well the engine flows, and burns, that air fuel mixture) is a key one. How else would a Formula 1 engine 2.4L V8 make 780 horsepower (without turbos) at 18000 rpm and get 5 mpg? My Suburban never got above 8 mpg, and it was a 5.4L V8.

Furthermore, you will be astonished to learn the efficiency of a modern coal power plant.

Ready?

Do you think it's....75%?



65%?



55%?



Nope. it hovers between 38 and 45% efficient, at best. That goes for any plant that uses steam and turbines; Nuclear, coal, etc all are the same for thermodynamic efficiencies.

I sincerely hope you mean electrolysis to get the hydrogen. It's only feasible when the plant is producing excess energy, as no matter how much you cross your fingers and pray, breaking the water molecules into H2 and O2 consumes more energy than you will gain.

Storage:

Electricity can't be stored on a large scale, so any excess energy produced from the US power grid is wasted. Hydrogen could take the excess energy and be used where that energy would otherwise be wasted. Batteries are expensive for electric cars, but hydrogen is dependent upon the size of the tanks. That is cheaper than with more batteries.

This doesn't make sense. "Hydrogen could take the excess energy and be used where that energy would otherwise be wasted." ....um...what? The energy content of hydrogen, for combustion, is the highest for any molecule or compound.

Universal:

The US has enough coal to last hundreds of years, but most American vehicles can't use anything that doesn't come from petroleum. This would allow for almost any form of energy to be interchangeable to be used for transportation.


So, how many people think this is nonsense?

I think there are serious flaws in your sources or your influences. Much of your post makes no sense whatsoever. I welcome a change to hydrogen, and am hoping the duel fuel hydrogen cars (aformentioned Hydrogen 7) make a large inroad into the market to spur demand for hydrogen internal combustion cars and thus create the infrastructure necessary to eventually transfer over to fuel cells.

Whether that happens, though, is anyone's guess.

Darth_Yuthura
05-09-2009, 06:49 AM
If this is in regards to the split-cycle engine thing, that actually looks to have some serious development time put into it, and may actually happen. It's interesting enough that it's getting talked about quite frequently here....it just needs to be cost effective and make good on its claims. Neither have been met yet.

And how exactly has hydrogen done any better?

First, hydrogen as a fuel cell source is decades in the future for a nationally viable infrastructure. I am fully aware of the Honda FCX and such, but there is no infrastructure to make them accepted, and they cost far too much. We need a dual-fuel, a "flex fuel" if you will, hydrogen and gasoline vehicle to create the demand for the infrastructure (i.e. BMW's Hydrogen 7). Only then will fuel cells take off.

What, do you mean a vehicle with an internal combustion engine and a fuel cell? It's not viable and won't come about if hydrogen is more economic than gasoline. Only when/if it does will hydrogen start to take over and leave gasoline behind.

There are more emissions than you know of, both of fuel cell car, network, gasoline car, and fueling. If you want to be completely correct, look at the wheel to wheel cost of emissions. It's higher than you think.

And why would you suggest increasing an already high rate of emissions?

Furthermore, you will be astonished to learn the efficiency of a modern coal power plant.

Ready?

it hovers between 38 and 45% efficient, at best. That goes for any plant that uses steam and turbines; Nuclear, coal, etc all are the same for thermodynamic efficiencies.

I wasn't astonished, for I was already aware of that. What you claimed is not accurate, however. The efficiency of coal depends upon the type of coal you use. Lignite is among the worst forms of coal to burn, but sometimes it is favored over bituminous because of the presence of other elements (mercury, lead, arsenic, ext.) Bituminous coal is much more cost effective and very abundant, which is why it is used so greatly in the US. Anthracite is the best grade and the 'cleanest' burning coal there is, but it is much more scarce and difficult to mine.

Although I do value the environmental impact being minimized, I really weigh the economic viability most heavily. Nuclear is the more economic and environmentally friendly energy source. The limitation of nuclear is that it has a huge capital cost before it can produce electricity, but a lower operating cost.

I think there are serious flaws in your sources or your influences. Much of your post makes no sense whatsoever. I welcome a change to hydrogen, and am hoping the duel fuel hydrogen cars (aformentioned Hydrogen 7) make a large inroad into the market to spur demand for hydrogen internal combustion cars and thus create the infrastructure necessary to eventually transfer over to fuel cells.

The US has 25% of the world's coal reserves. That energy provides the majority of the electricity used in the US, but how much of the transportation infrastructure is powered by coal? Except for light rail, subways, electric cars, and hydrogen cars; nothing else uses coal energy.

Electricity is a means of transmission and can be generated by ANY source of energy you can produce from a power plant. The biggest problem with electricity is that anything depending on it can't function without a link to a power grid. Batteries can only store so much, but take a long time to recharge. Excess electricity from the power grid can't be stored and is wasted, but if that electricity were to be used in ANY way that was beneficial, it would be significant.

Hydrogen is like that to a degree, but can recharge faster and has a range similar to a gasoline-powered car. Problem is that it takes more energy to produce than is returned, not part of the transportation infrastructure, expensive, and many other issues.

Bimmerman
05-11-2009, 09:04 AM
And how exactly has hydrogen done any better?

As FCV or IC? Fuel cell hasn't, IC only slightly less so.

What, do you mean a vehicle with an internal combustion engine and a fuel cell? It's not viable and won't come about if hydrogen is more economic than gasoline. Only when/if it does will hydrogen start to take over and leave gasoline behind.

Nope, the Hydrogen 7 has a fully internal combustion engine that can run on either gaseous hydrogen or pump gasoline. There is nothing fuel cell related there. Hydrogen = / = fuel cell.

And why would you suggest increasing an already high rate of emissions? I don't think I am. Hydrogen IC cars clean the air as they drive. The air going into the engine (which is effectively an air pump) comes out CLEANER than it goes in. Wheel to wheel, we should just ride bicycles, as anything with four wheels and manufacturing involved is bad.


I wasn't astonished, for I was already aware of that. What you claimed is not accurate, however. The efficiency of coal depends upon the type of coal you use. Lignite is among the worst forms of coal to burn, but sometimes it is favored over bituminous because of the presence of other elements (mercury, lead, arsenic, ext.) Bituminous coal is much more cost effective and very abundant, which is why it is used so greatly in the US. Anthracite is the best grade and the 'cleanest' burning coal there is, but it is much more scarce and difficult to mine.

Oooooookayyy. Respectfully, you're confused on the difference between thermal efficiency and fuel consumption. I agree, different types of coal burn with different consumption levels. This is not the same thing as I am talking about. Thermal efficiency is the measure of energy output over energy input to the working fluid. I.e. you have a boiler, a turbine, a compressor, and a pump / radiator. (this is a basic model). The boiler, regardless of what fuel you burn, will produce X MJ of energy. The water is flashed to steam and continues on its cycle through the turbine, compressor, etc.....in no way does the type of fuel, nor the consumption of said fuel, play a role in the THERMAL efficiency.

The oft-maligned ~30% efficiency of an IC engine is the THERMAL efficiency.

The larger a power plant becomes has absolutely no bearing on the efficiency. The increasing number of regenerators, reheaters, intercoolers, etc DOES have an impact, sometimes negative. The amount of fuel burned isn't as important as whether it can reach the needed temperature inside the burner/boiler. Same goes for an engine. It takes X amount of fuel to make X kJ of energy, regardless of the engine. All you are doing to the motor is making it burn cleaner, and therefore less fuel for the same power (kJ/s, W, hp, energy per second = power).


The US has 25% of the world's coal reserves. That energy provides the majority of the electricity used in the US, but how much of the transportation infrastructure is powered by coal? Except for light rail, subways, electric cars, and hydrogen cars; nothing else uses coal energy.

Do you know how dirty a coal power plant is? The emissions are measured in tons per hour. CO2 emissions from power plants account for 41% of the total US CO2 emissions from all sources. Just because the cars aren't physically emitting doesn't mean they aren't polluters; that energy that creates said CO2 also does the electrolysis of Hydrogen, supplies power to the light rail, subways, and electric cars. Nothing is free.

Electricity is a means of transmission and can be generated by ANY source of energy you can produce from a power plant. The biggest problem with electricity is that anything depending on it can't function without a link to a power grid. Batteries can only store so much, but take a long time to recharge. Excess electricity from the power grid can't be stored and is wasted, but if that electricity were to be used in ANY way that was beneficial, it would be significant.

I agree in principle. However, the technology for realistic road-trip capable electric cars (not <40 mi ranges, that's pathetic) is a good ways off. Subways, electric buses, and electric trains are really the only good uses, as they follow predictable and planable routes, and have no need to store energy onboard.

Hydrogen is like that to a degree, but can recharge faster and has a range similar to a gasoline-powered car. Problem is that it takes more energy to produce than is returned, not part of the transportation infrastructure, expensive, and many other issues.

All true. Furthermore, in an internal combustion engine, hydrogen makes significantly more power on less fuel than gasoline does. In simple terms, 600 hp where there was once 450 hp, same fuel economy or better. Granted, that requires tuning, fuel systems changes, etc etc.

What is NOT feasable with hydrogen is converting the cars on the road to run it. Can it be done? Yes. Is it safe or cheap? No. Everyone on the planet agrees that Fuel Cells are the future. In order to get from here to there, we need to embrace a bridging technology--i.e. duel fuel IC hydrogen/gasoline cars. Once the infrastructure (and all the issues with standardizing it are worked out) exist, the hydrogen fuel cell and IC future will happen. Just don't expect it anytime soon.

Darth_Yuthura
06-14-2009, 10:07 PM
Throughout this entire debate, there's been something that truly has never been addressed: costs. Yeah, it had been thrown about time and again, but has never actually been answered.

I asked Redhawke what he paid for his hydrogen fuel and the answer was never given. He didn't pay for it... then who did? How can so many be advocating for this glorious hydrogen future when no one has the vaguest idea what the fuel/stations/R&D/infrastructure costs will surmount to? Whenever the electric hybrid comes into the news, everyone cheers on a good step in the right direction, but if that means adding on another $8,000 to the price of the vehicle, how many will be glad to see this?

Right now there are many alternative solutions to transportation energy problems that have been proven to work, but involves steps that interfere with the American lifestyle. Reducing the number of times that people have to drive by carpooling is simple and effective in itself. Promoting mass transit allows the US to power transportation with electricity and from that, various alternative sources. It's an effective economic step to freeing us from dependence on foreign oil; but hydrogen supports actually want us to depend even more so on dirty fuels, or pay through the nose for unreliable (if clean) alternate sources. Don't proclaim that hydrogen is clean... it's only as clean as the energy that produces it. And before pointing to solar or wind, don't forget those combined form less than 1% of the power grid.

Any hydrogen solution (if it works at all) will inevitably add to the US power grid demand (As you must back hydrogen with another power source) And because you still only get 50% back what you invest in hydrogen, that would mean the US will have to increase its electrical output by over 50% (as 30% of our energy demands are for transportation and that energy is independent of the power grid, you have to substitute oil for another source) If all cars are powered by hydrogen, then where is this additional energy supposed to come from?

If anyone says from solar, then you might as well just use that energy for the US power grid and skip the hydrogen process altogether, as it will result in less squandered energy due to the fractional return from the fuel cell.

If anyone has a better idea, I'd like to hear it.

Bimmerman
06-15-2009, 03:45 PM
Throughout this entire debate, there's been something that truly has never been addressed: costs. Yeah, it had been thrown about time and again, but has never actually been answered.

I asked Redhawke what he paid for his hydrogen fuel and the answer was never given. He didn't pay for it... then who did? How can so many be advocating for this glorious hydrogen future when no one has the vaguest idea what the fuel/stations/R&D/infrastructure costs will surmount to?

About $500k per station is the grant that CA is currently offering to new hydrogen stations. I will double check that at work tomorrow. That money is intended to completely cover all costs from construction and infrastructure for the station. The cost of hydrogen itself is on par with the cost of gasoline, just measured in $/kg instead of $/gal or $/L.

Whenever the electric hybrid comes into the news, everyone cheers on a good step in the right direction, but if that means adding on another $8,000 to the price of the vehicle, how many will be glad to see this?

Hybrids.....are a step in the wrong direction frankly. They reduce fuel consumption, yes, but push the boundaries of what is possible with the electric motors and drivetrain, not what is possible with the gasoline. Ford has a new gasoline motor that makes stupid silly amounts of horsepower and torque, and gets frankly astonishing fuel mileage on par with a hybrid, all with better emissions. Hybrids are the status symbol for the ecologically gullible.

Adding $8k to the price tag of a car, or something similar, will not fly unless the fuel savings from the hydrogen fuel pay that cost down. Hybrids have an identical issue, just the cost of the hybrid feel-good badge is less than $3k in most cases. People love to save the planet, but money in the wallet is more important for nearly anyone.

Right now there are many alternative solutions to transportation energy problems that have been proven to work, but involves steps that interfere with the American lifestyle. Reducing the number of times that people have to drive by carpooling is simple and effective in itself. Promoting mass transit allows the US to power transportation with electricity and from that, various alternative sources. It's an effective economic step to freeing us from dependence on foreign oil; but hydrogen supports actually want us to depend even more so on dirty fuels, or pay through the nose for unreliable (if clean) alternate sources. Don't proclaim that hydrogen is clean... it's only as clean as the energy that produces it. And before pointing to solar or wind, don't forget those combined form less than 1% of the power grid.

Out of curiosity, where do you live? For the vast majority of american citizens, myself included, mass transit is useful only in big cities, where few people actually live. Most people commute to work via cars since they live hours outside of their jobs where the good houses are. No incentive for public transportation will change that. Furthermore, most big cities have buses that go just about everywhere....why complicate everything by adding rail?(we have amazing bus service in the Denver metro area, and limited light rail.) Mass public transit works inside the city, and for getting around inside said city from work to coffee or what have you, but from home to work, it is frankly silly.

That doesn't even begin to take into account the huge amounts of wasted time, wasted energy, as well as physical and mental stress and exhaustion, from using mass transit. I love my car, I love driving, and it is frankly faster, quicker, less tiring, more fun, and more convenient and comfortable to use. Mass transit is great for people who live in the big city. For everyone else.....it's more of a pain than a boon.

Any hydrogen solution (if it works at all) will inevitably add to the US power grid demand (As you must back hydrogen with another power source) And because you still only get 50% back what you invest in hydrogen, that would mean the US will have to increase its electrical output by over 50% (as 30% of our energy demands are for transportation and that energy is independent of the power grid, you have to substitute oil for another source) If all cars are powered by hydrogen, then where is this additional energy supposed to come from?

This isn't the first time I've said this-- you need to specify clearly what you mean by "hydrogen." Do you mean electrohydrolysis? Do you mean combusting? Fuel cells? Please specify.

I will assume you mean using energy from power plants to split the hydrogen and oxygen from water into their respective gaseous forms. Please cite where your statistics are coming from; they seem bogus to the extreme. I am also not sure at all what you are talking about with the power demands and grid and output and hydrogen: your paragraph makes no sense.

If you mean that gaseous hydrogen requires more energy to produce, from breaking the strong covalent bonds inside the water molecule, than it returns in either consumption or fuel-cell use, you are correct. There are ways of producing hydrogen that are not a net negative, such as aluminum-gallium catalytic conversion of water to gaseous hydrogen and oxygen. Unfortunately, these types of proven processes are in the laboratory experimental stage, not the production stage.

If what you mean is that gaseous hydrogen requires energy to produce, and that we need a source of energy to do so, understand that few power plants in this country operate at 100% capacity. Some operate at or above (CA in particular), but many do not. The best way is to simply build nuclear plants, as that achieves clean energy (no debate please, it's more than clean enough and that's not the point of the thread) and no dependence on fossil fuels.

If anyone says from solar, then you might as well just use that energy for the US power grid and skip the hydrogen process altogether, as it will result in less squandered energy due to the fractional return from the fuel cell.

If anyone has a better idea, I'd like to hear it.

Nuclear.

What do you mean by "fractional return from the fuel cell?" It makes enough power to move the car, or power the shuttle, or ....blah. What it is not is a net positive source of power, nor will it ever be when the source of the hydrogen is hydrolysis.

Darth_Yuthura
06-15-2009, 09:44 PM
This isn't the first time I've said this-- you need to specify clearly what you mean by "hydrogen." Do you mean electrohydrolysis? Do you mean combusting? Fuel cells? Please specify.


It's irrelevant to the issue I was bringing up. I am going to give a rhetorical statement that I know people must already have figured out, but just so they know where I am...

Hydrogen is not in itself an energy source like coal, nuclear, or solar. It is a method by which energy can be transfered from a source to its destination. It must be backed by another form of energy and no matter what form that is, any method you use will have a net loss of energy. When you use a chemical reaction to power your vehicle, you will get less energy back than what you used to produce the fuel in the first place.

My source is two years old, so maybe the production methods have improved, but in 2007, the net return was about 54% of what was invested to produce the hydrogen fuel.

What do you mean by "fractional return from the fuel cell?" It makes enough power to move the car, or power the shuttle, or ....blah. What it is not is a net positive source of power, nor will it ever be when the source of the hydrogen is hydrolysis.

Bad wording. You only get a fraction of the energy you originally invested into the hydrogen fuel. There is always going to be a net loss from changing one form of energy to another (solar to electrical, electrical to chemical(hydrogen), chemical back to electrical(fuel cell), electrical to kinetic energy) Might as well just go right from solar to electrical and skip the hydrogen fuel altogether. You only lose about 3% of electricity for each 1000 km it has to be transmitted.

And these powerplants that don't operate so efficiently... that has to also be taken into account if you are outputting hydrogen with that electricity from a power plant. And so how does this 100% powerplant capacity thing make any difference? It would just mean having to build more power plants in order to produce the hydrogen you are advocating for. It might be a means to harness this excess energy that otherwise would be wasted, but beyond that, nothing about it makes sense.

Bimmerman
06-18-2009, 08:45 AM
It's irrelevant to the issue.. No, it is absolutely relevant. ...I was bringing up. I am going to give a rhetorical statement that I know people must already have figured out, but just so they know where I am...

Hydrogen is not in itself an energy source like coal, nuclear, or solar. It is a method by which energy can be transfered from a source to its destination.

Please listen to me this time.

What you describe is fuel. "A method of transferring energy" is the definition of fuel. Fuel in the sense of stored potential energy to thermal, sonic, light, kinetic, electric energy. Batteries fall under this definition as well.

Gaseous hydrogen is a fuel, analogous to coal, nuclear, or sunlight.

Gaseous hydrogen can be combusted. So can coal.
Gaseous hydrogen can be combined with gaseous oxygen to create water and electricity. Coal can be liquified and burned in liquid form. Uranium can be split via nuclear fusion to produce byproducts and electricity.

Coal is burned as a fuel to heat water inside the coal-fired power plants. Hence the term "coal fired."

Hydrogen itself, a single molecule that is, does not exist in nature. It does not come in solid or liquid form. It is not a thing. It is a fuel upon which a process must be performed in order to transfer energy.

It must be backed by another form of energy and no matter what form that is, any method you use will have a net loss of energy. So mining coal and combusting the coal to heat water to spin turbines and compressors to generate electricity is a net loss of energy? Nuclear power is a net loss of energy? Burning gasoline in your lawn mower is a net loss of energy? Um......no.

What IS a net loss is the hydrolysis performed on water to obtain H2 and O2. That is a net loss of energy for the chemical reaction. It does not happen spontaneously in nature, and therefore there must be a net energy input for it to happen. It is also true that less enegy is recovered upon combustion of said H2 than was required to break the H-O bonds. Absolute, verified fact. Fuel cells, whether in cars, the space shuttle, or your toaster, operate at a lower loss, as the energy recovered from recombining H-O is closer to that required to break the bonds.

When you use a chemical reaction to power your vehicle, you will get less energy back than what you used to produce the fuel in the first place.

False. Absolutely false.

Gasoline combustion is a net positive energy. Otherwise it would not have ever been profitable. The production, transport, refining, and purchase all cost a good deal in terms of energy and money, but the energy released upon combustion is far higher and is greatly positive. Well to wheel efficiency is positive, not negative. Therefore, your statement is false and misinformation.

It's true for hydrolysis to produce hydrogen, but is false again for the catalytic conversion of water to H2 and O2. That happens above a certain temperature, and requires significantly less energy to raise the catalyst above 50°C than is released upon H2 combustion or fuel cell shenanigans. This is still lab research stuff, and not likely to come to market anytime soon, but still invalidates your point. Using hydrogen to fuel the car of the future, regardless of powertrain configuration, is not necesarily a net negative.

My source is two years old, so maybe the production methods have improved, but in 2007, the net return was about 54% of what was invested to produce the hydrogen fuel. Post it. Numbers can be skewed to mean almost anything. The hydrogen fuel industry is in its infancy, and as a result it will cost a lot to develop anything that is not a negative ROI for a while. That doesn't mean it isn't worth pursuing. Furthermore, many powerplants are producing excess energy, so even hydrolysis is a viable option.

Bad wording. You only get a fraction of the energy you originally invested into the hydrogen fuel. There is always going to be a net loss from changing one form of energy to another (solar to electrical, electrical to chemical(hydrogen), chemical back to electrical(fuel cell), electrical to kinetic energy) Might as well just go right from solar to electrical and skip the hydrogen fuel altogether. You only lose about 3% of electricity for each 1000 km it has to be transmitted. Yes and no. You are correct in that there are losses. That is what companies spend thousands of dollars on engineering R&D in order to reduce these losses. Solar is a joke. It only works profitably in a select few environments on earth. Who in their right mind would buy a solar powered car, house, bus, city, computer in the Pacific Northwest? If 54% (from your missing source) is what you consider a fraction, than you must think a 35% thermally efficient power plant is atrocious.

And these powerplants that don't operate so efficiently... that has to also be taken into account if you are outputting hydrogen with that electricity from a power plant. And so how does this 100% powerplant capacity thing make any difference? It would just mean having to build more power plants in order to produce the hydrogen you are advocating for. It might be a means to harness this excess energy that otherwise would be wasted, but beyond that, nothing about it makes sense.

I don't think you understand my point. Because plants don't run at 100% capacity, there is the headroom to create hydrolysis "plants," to coin a term, that would not require additional power plants or sacrifices on anyone's part. In the case of nuclear power, upping the load on the plant (read: percent of max capacity) doesn't even consume more resources.

Would commercial hydrolysis plants require the conventional powerplants to consume more fuel? Absolutely. Keep in mind that gasoline refineries don't magically operate without power, that steel works don't melt steel without power and fuel, that your computer doesn't run without power, that our entire society runs on electricity. If the powerplant is operating below capacity, or in many cases, producing a surplus of energy, adding another load to the line will not accidentally the whole earth.

Darth_Yuthura
06-18-2009, 10:14 AM
So mining coal and combusting the coal to heat water to spin turbines and compressors to generate electricity is a net loss of energy? Nuclear power is a net loss of energy? Burning gasoline in your lawn mower is a net loss of energy? Um......no.


That was not what I was suggesting and you know it. You get less energy back from hydrogen in a fuel cell or combustion than what you used to produce it in the first place. Hydrogen returns less energy from your automobile... much less than what you invested into producing the fuel in the first place. You might as well have just used electricity and you would have had a lot less energy lost in the transfer.


False. Absolutely false.


True absolutely true.

But that also applies to electricity. The difference is that you lose a lot less in the transfer of electricity from the power plant to your home than producing hydrogen fuel with that same electricity and getting even less back than what you invested in the first place.

The ONLY advantage the hydrogen has is that it can be stored where electricity cannot on a large scale.


Would commercial hydrolysis plants require the conventional powerplants to consume more fuel? Absolutely. Keep in mind that gasoline refineries don't magically operate without power, that steel works don't melt steel without power and fuel, that your computer doesn't run without power, that our entire society runs on electricity. If the powerplant is operating below capacity, or in many cases, producing a surplus of energy, adding another load to the line will not accidentally the whole earth.

So you are suggesting that we actually increase our demand for energy in a time when it is becoming increasingly more expensive? There are more subtle ways to deal with our energy crisis that don't require going to extreme lengths as switching to hydrogen power. The best thing would be to find inefficiencies and correct them before demanding more energy altogether.

What I've come to expect of supply/demand, all the focus is on increasing supply indefinitely with little or little concern with on decreasing demand. Hydrogen has an advantage of capturing squandered electricity that is not used during peak demand, but even a 60% RoI is that much energy that otherwise would have been lost. Any ideas that the US switch to hydrogen for most of its transportation needs are really not seeing that there are far easier and more effective steps that should be taken first.

Bimmerman
06-18-2009, 01:04 PM
DY, let's agree to disagree. I'm clearly not convincing you, you're clearly not convincing me, and I bet both of us have other things to spend our mental energies on. I'm done with this thread, and I stand by everything I wrote.

Jae Onasi
06-18-2009, 09:29 PM
Hydrogen is not in itself an energy source like coal, nuclear, or solar.
Horse hockey. I've put a number of links in this post--please click them so you can learn more about hydrogen. It combusts (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_flammability_of_hydrogen) readily just like other fuels--see the Hindenberg disaster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindenburg_disaster). Hydrogen is the single most common element in the universe. You can actually pull hydrogen directly from the air itself (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_atmosphere) and from numerous other sources besides electrolysis. In fact, the most common way hydrogen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen) is created in industry is pulling hydrogen atoms off of methane via steam reforming. Hydrogen is a byproduct of the reaction of acids and bases (remember your basic chemistry....). We don't need to rely on water electrolysis to create hydrogen. The reason it's used as an energy carrier right now instead of an energy source is that at this time, it takes more energy to create it than burn it. However, there are numerous processes being tested that would make hydrogen production far more energy effective. The reason it's being pursued so seriously is because it burns without the carbon emissions that burning petrochemicals create.

Bimmerman
06-19-2009, 03:52 AM
Horse hockey. I've put a number of links in this post--please click them so you can learn more about hydrogen. It combusts (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_flammability_of_hydrogen) readily just like other fuels--see the Hindenberg disaster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindenburg_disaster). Hydrogen is the single most common element in the universe. You can actually pull hydrogen directly from the air itself (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_atmosphere) and from numerous other sources besides electrolysis. In fact, the most common way hydrogen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen) is created in industry is pulling hydrogen atoms off of methane via steam reforming. Hydrogen is a byproduct of the reaction of acids and bases (remember your basic chemistry....). We don't need to rely on water electrolysis to create hydrogen. The reason it's used as an energy carrier right now instead of an energy source is that at this time, it takes more energy to create it than burn it. However, there are numerous processes being tested that would make hydrogen production far more energy effective. The reason it's being pursued so seriously is because it burns without the carbon emissions that burning petrochemicals create.

Exactly on the money! In the course of my job, I see emissions tests from internal combustion hydrogen vehicles. The air going into the car has higher levels of pollutants than what comes out; the car, with a 6L V12, actually cleans the air as it drives. That is why it is pursued so seriously. Once a hydrogen internal combustion infrastructure is set up and operational, a switch to fuel cells becomes that much more probable and feasible.

Darth_Yuthura
06-19-2009, 03:26 PM
Horse hockey. I've put a number of links in this post--please click them so you can learn more about hydrogen.

'Hydrogen' on wikipedia?

I've seen various sources that show the energy density of various fuels. Hydrogen actually has a higher energy density than most car fuels at a whopping 120 MJ/kg compared to gasoline at 45, diesel at 48, and methane at 55. Ethanol is horrible at only 30 MJ/Kg of mass. Hydrogen clearly has a higher energy density than many of these fuels we use today, but the matter is how much energy does it take to produce one Kg of compressed Hydrogen? 300 Mega Joules to get back only 120 at best from the fuel cell?

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell3.htm

Here's a source I would point to which advocates how clean fuel cells are, yet it didn't address how you're supposed to actually produce it in the first place. Why didn't they include how much energy was lost in the original conversion process to make the hydrogen fuel?

If you didn't, one might ask how much energy was required to produce the hydrogen fuel and where that energy is supposed to come from.

Here's another article that addresses that issue. It assumes you get a 70% powerplant efficiency in producing hydrogen fuel. Then when you take into consideration the other 50% lost in conversion back to electricity, 35% loss due to compression, and another 10% for the battery to motor... you get numbers as low as 17% and 25% efficiency from the original source of energy to the kinetic energy for the vehicle.

That means you invest four times as much energy into hydrogen as you get back... at least when this article was written.

Bimmerman
06-19-2009, 03:45 PM
Ugh.

Please post source #2 in which you get the numbers, you reference it but forgot to include it.

Regardless, there is no such thing as free energy; you cannot create energy. The maximum you can achieve is to break even. Otherwise you run counter to the fundamental physical law of conservation of mass and energy-- to sum it up, energy can be neither created nor destroyed. A final efficiency from powerplant and production source of around 25-30 is fantastic when you take all losses into account. (you have read both Jae and I's posts explaining that hydrolysis is far from the only source, yes? If not......)

Please understand that it may take a large investment of energy and money to create a hydrogen infrastructure, but it really is the way forward for cars. Electric cars will never be practical nor possible unless you are a commuter.....noone in their right mind will take a car with a 250 mi range and a 36hr recharge time on a cross country road trip, or even skiing. Gasoline burns and produces a great amount of energy, but it doesn't come close to breaking even. It is, however, profitable to drill, refine, sell, and consume.

Considering that the going rate for automotive H2 is the same price as gasoline for similar quantities (kg instead of gal), H2 is poised to soon begin spreading. It's the same price as gas, the consumer spends no more money to buy it, there is nothing different in fueling up the cars (youtube "top gear honda fcx clarity" or some combo of words)....the only bad thing is people getting their panties in a bunch over the irrelevant higher energy cost to produce hydrogen from hydrolysis.

People will pay for hydrogen. I don't see why it matters to you so much about where the energy to refine it comes from.....I don't see you arguing against supplying gasoline refineries with power; this is the same thing.

Darth_Yuthura
06-19-2009, 04:01 PM
The price of energy is highly variable, I assume everyone already knows.

As the price of coal goes up, so would the cost for producing hydrogen. The price of uranium has gone up as well, but because it only represents 10% of the cost that go into nuclear fuel, the price change isn't going to be as steep. If the price of coal doubles, then how much would hydrogen cost then?

Besides, where do you get hydrogen's cost competing with gasoline?

If using solar energy, then the issue of how much energy is lost in the conversion is still very relevant. (What does it matter? It's free) No, you still have to deal with the interest on the capital investment for the solar panels. And remember that if there were a simple solution, it would already have been done.

Jae Onasi
06-19-2009, 05:04 PM
'Hydrogen' on wikipedia?Yep, it''s a good starting point for basic information. I could have quoted an MSDS on it and given you flammability ratings, but I assumed you haven't had the same number of years of chemistry.

Hydrogen clearly has a higher energy density than many of these fuels we use today, but the matter is how much energy does it take to produce one Kg of compressed Hydrogen? 300 Mega Joules to get back only 120 at best from the fuel cell?
(snipped)
Here's a source I would point to which advocates how clean fuel cells are, yet it didn't address how you're supposed to actually produce it in the first place. Why didn't they include how much energy was lost in the original conversion process to make the hydrogen fuel? Right--that's why I said we need to work on making the hydrogen creation/extraction process more energy efficient in my previous post. If we can do that, we've just created a fuel source that burns without creating CO or CO2. I just wanted to point out that we aren't limited to water electrolysis to create hydrogen.

Bimmerman
06-19-2009, 06:36 PM
The price of energy is highly variable, I assume everyone already knows. And therefore all comparison is uselss? Methinks not.

As the price of coal goes up, so would the cost for producing hydrogen. The price of uranium has gone up as well, but because it only represents 10% of the cost that go into nuclear fuel, the price change isn't going to be as steep. If the price of coal doubles, then how much would hydrogen cost then?

Stop claiming that the cost of hydrogen is directly related to the price of coal. It's not. Coal fired powerplants are also not the only source of power in this country.

Besides, where do you get hydrogen's cost competing with gasoline?

....you didn't search youtube for the hydrogen fuel cell car test, did you?

No matter. Here it is, I implore you to actually watch it this time. Top Gear 2009 Test of the Honda FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Car (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOfzbaglUOo). Top Gear is an internationally recognized and respected automotive authority. In this video, they drive the FCX and draw conclusions on it. How it relates to this discussion is when they fill the car up. They discover that a kg of H2 costs similar to a gallon of gasoline. (for the lazy, relevant footage is at 3 min mark)

In the video, the price of compressed liquid H2 is $5.00 / kg. As the FCX gets 270 miles to a tank, and an average of 72 miles/kg (Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX_Clarity)), that works out to 3.75 kg per tank and $18.75 per tank. Still don't believe me that it is roughly equal to the cost of gasoline in Southern California?

Let's do a hypothetical. Say we take a 2010 Prius, which gets 50 mpg average. Let's restrict the range to the same 270 miles. That takes 5.4 gallons, and at $2.50 a gallon for regular gas, that yields $13.50 to travel 270 miles. As most cars average roughly half of that, I think it's a fair comparison.

If using solar energy, then the issue of how much energy is lost in the conversion is still very relevant. (What does it matter? It's free) No, you still have to deal with the interest on the capital investment for the solar panels. And remember that if there were a simple solution, it would already have been done.

Here's some info on the best competition for hydrolysis, and requires little energy to produce hydrogen gas: Source (http://cleantech.com/news/1205/gallium-and-aluminum-tigers-in-your-ta)

You don't seem to understand that it is fully possible to build a hydrogen infrastructure and future without building more power plants. This is the point I've been driving home each time over power plants running well below maximum capacity; all it requires is more fuel to compensate for added load rather than building new plants. That's not a bad thing either. Electricity is a product. It costs money to transmit and generate, it costs money to use. Any facility generating hydrogen will be using, and paying for, energy. How is this a shock to anyone?

Heaven Net
07-03-2009, 11:01 PM
In a nutshell, what is Hydrogen Engine Center’s (HEC) main technology and what are its principal applications?

Development of proprietary electronic controls and other technologies to allow for the use of hydrogen and other gaseous fuels for the generation of power. These technologies have applications in many areas, including but not limited to the distributed power industry, airport ground support, co-generation with certain manufacturing processes, buses, marine engines and agricultural irrigation pump systems.
http://www.altenergystocks.com/assets/hygs_logo.gif

Darth_Yuthura
07-06-2009, 01:59 PM
And therefore all comparison is uselss? Methinks not.

Stop claiming that the cost of hydrogen is directly related to the price of coal. It's not. Coal fired powerplants are also not the only source of power in this country.

I already know that. I keep using coal as a reference because it is the most reliable source of energy in the US. Although I favor nuclear more, it does not constitute more than 15-20% of the power grid. However first generation American reactors are starting to be decommissioned, so that number will only drop unless more are build than are taken offline.

If not coal, then which source of energy should I compare it to? I could compare it to nuclear or natural gas, but they don't represent as much of the US power grid as coal. And please don't say solar or wind, as they are not yet a cheap, nor prominent source of energy in the US.


....you didn't search youtube for the hydrogen fuel cell car test, did you?

No matter. Here it is, I implore you to actually watch it this time. Top Gear 2009 Test of the Honda FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Car (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOfzbaglUOo). Top Gear is an internationally recognized and respected automotive authority. In this video, they drive the FCX and draw conclusions on it. How it relates to this discussion is when they fill the car up. They discover that a kg of H2 costs similar to a gallon of gasoline. (for the lazy, relevant footage is at 3 min mark)

In the video, the price of compressed liquid H2 is $5.00 / kg. As the FCX gets 270 miles to a tank, and an average of 72 miles/kg (Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX_Clarity)), that works out to 3.75 kg per tank and $18.75 per tank. Still don't believe me that it is roughly equal to the cost of gasoline in Southern California?

Let's do a hypothetical. Say we take a 2010 Prius, which gets 50 mpg average. Let's restrict the range to the same 270 miles. That takes 5.4 gallons, and at $2.50 a gallon for regular gas, that yields $13.50 to travel 270 miles. As most cars average roughly half of that, I think it's a fair comparison.

I did so and rejected it. Here is another site with a radically different cost.

http://hydrogendiscoveries.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/cost-of-hydrogen-per-kilogram-at-benning-road-station-in-washington-dc/

The consumer cost of hydrogen is not always an accurate way to measure its viability because there are so many financial variables and economic loopholes that can distort the costs that go into producing it. (What do I mean by 'actual costs?') I remember instances when tax credits and subsidies were given for shipments of American exported fuel that had ethanol mixed in and even with 1% gasohol (90% gasoline 10% ethanol) added where the entire tanker qualified for that credit.

Macroeconomics is an extremely distorted system riddled with price floors, tax incentives, patent rights, cost-push inflation, and various other concepts that only make economic sense on a microscopic scale. It may make sense to the growth of certain corporations, but it makes no sense when you invest much more energy into hydrogen fuel than you get back from the vehicles they go into.

Oh, and the site I saw maybe could represent 2% of US transportation demands at the very most. Many anti-gas people say that we can power cars with the waste vegetable oil you get from Mcdonald's instead... but fail to recognize that we don't eat that many french fries.

Still going on the price comparison. Where will all the energy you need to produce hydrogen supposed to come from? You cannot possibly assume that you can replace more than a quarter of the US transportation infrastructure with only the wasted electricity that you salvage through the hydrolysis process. You could almost completely replace gasoline if you were to power all cars with electricity. (Of course that is taking into consideration that you use all electricity when it is demanded and not waste any of it, otherwise you could almost completely power the transportation infrastructure with the grid's waste electricity alone)


You don't seem to understand that it is fully possible to build a hydrogen infrastructure and future without building more power plants. This is the point I've been driving home each time over power plants running well below maximum capacity; all it requires is more fuel to compensate for added load rather than building new plants. That's not a bad thing either. Electricity is a product. It costs money to transmit and generate, it costs money to use. Any facility generating hydrogen will be using, and paying for, energy. How is this a shock to anyone?

look to the bottom of the link.
86% electricity grid to vehicle efficiency vs 25% hydrogen.
So if you demand more energy to produce hydrogen than just using the energy to charge a battery altogether, why bother with the hydrogen at all?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle

I'm sorry, but you must have another source of power to have a hydrogen infrastructure. We in the US have many power plants that are not being used to their fullest capacity and we would do best to switch to hybrid vehicles first to use as much of that wasted electricity as possible before we even consider investing in something that is far less efficient.

Bimmerman
07-09-2009, 12:55 PM
I already know that. I keep using coal as a reference because it is the most reliable source of energy in the US. Although I favor nuclear more, it does not constitute more than 15-20% of the power grid. However first generation American reactors are starting to be decommissioned, so that number will only drop unless more are build than are taken offline.

If not coal, then which source of energy should I compare it to? I could compare it to nuclear or natural gas, but they don't represent as much of the US power grid as coal. And please don't say solar or wind, as they are not yet a cheap, nor prominent source of energy in the US.

Solar. Wind.:thmbup1:

Just kidding. Let me ask you this: Why do you keep insisting that the consumer cost of gaseous or liquid hydrogen for vehicle consumption is directly related to the cost of energy from a coal-fired or alternative-fueled power plant?

By that line of thinking, the cost of absolutely everything is directly related to the cost of energy stemming from a coal fired power plant. This is the point you don't seem to comprehend: gasoline requires energy and money to refine. So does hydrogen. If they both require energy, one vastly moreso (gasoline) than the other, why has the price of gasoline skyrocketed way in excess of the increasing cost of coal or etc energy? Your metric for hydrogen costs is inherently and deeply flawed.

The cost of energy is not even close to the only cost for hydrogen. Same with gasoline. Why do you keep insisting this is so? Hydrogen does not fuel any power plants. The cost of hydrogen, therefore, is in no way even closely related to the cost of coal. Seriously, stop trying to say it is.

I did so and rejected it. Here is another site with a radically different cost.

http://hydrogendiscoveries.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/cost-of-hydrogen-per-kilogram-at-benning-road-station-in-washington-dc/

Let me get this straight....you looked at video proof of the cost of hydrogen in Los Angeles as of December 14, 2008 (airing of the episode), and compared it with the cost of hydrogen in Washington, DC, from September 4, 2008? You then, upon finding said conflicting sources, chose the earlier source in a different market as true, and the video proof as false? Absolute Genius, that.

Here's why that is a very poor way to discount my evidence, using the cost of Gasoline for both the DC and LA markets over the past year. http://66.70.86.64/ChartServer/ch.gaschart?Country=Canada&Crude=f&Period=12&Areas=LosAngeles,WashingtonDC,&Unit=US%20$/G (source = http://www.gasbuddy.com/gb_retail_price_chart.aspx?time=24, choose any two cities and time frame)

Look at the graph for a minute. Now, take a look at the price of gasoline in September, 2008 in DC. It is roughly $3.66/gal. For LA, same time, it is roughly $3.80/gal. Now, fast forward to December, 2008. DC cost: $1.92/gal. LA cost: $1.75/gal.

Now let's do what you just did. September, DC compared with December, LA: $3.66/gal vs $1.75/gal.

Wow, there's a big difference! The massive decline in cost for gasoline reflects the housing crisis, credit crisis, and the economic crapshoot. The cost of hydrogen would logically fall as well; the cost of damn near everything did. Do you see why your evidence is flawed?

Using the exact same percent difference in gasoline cost (1.75/3.66 = 47.8%), and using it to reduce the cost of hydrogen for different markets and times, we get that the $8.18/kg of H2 in DC on Sept 4, 2008 should be $3.91/kg in LA on Dec 14, 2008. Wow, the Top Gear guys got ripped off at $5.00/kg!!

Regardless, if you took the time to actually read the article you hotlinked, you would notice that they say it takes the hydrogen car $8.18 to travel the same 60 miles that would cost an average 24mpg sedan $9.35. Your article actually proves my point (thanks!): the cost of hydrogen is comparable to conventional fuel. It may cost more per fuel unit, yes, but it costs similar in running costs for a given distance, and far less in maintenance on drivetrain parts due to inherent design (no moving engine parts). Did you read the article or just see that the $8.18 was greater than my $5.00 and therefore I am wrong, without even thinking about it?

The consumer cost of hydrogen is not always an accurate way to measure its viability because there are so many financial variables and economic loopholes that can distort the costs that go into producing it.

No, it is a very valid way. Consumers pay for the fuel, which is sold at a certain price after all economic factors are taken into account. Tax credits, subsidies, investment (private and public), refinery cost (for what unfortunately won't be the last time, it's not just hydrolysis!!!!!!!!!), shipment and transportation cost, profit, wages, infrastructure, taxes, maintenance, etc, are all part of that price you pay at the pump. If the company can not profitably sell the fuel at a price consumers can afford, they will go out of business. Nobody sells at a loss without some means for expected recovery.

The cost may be kept artificially low to generate demand, after which point the increased volume reduces refinery and manufacturing and just about all costs to where they generate significant profits (see oil companies for a perfect example, or for that matter, any large company that builds and markets goods. Profit through volume). A company must do this in the beginning in order to create a customer base from which to grow. This is why the start up cost for any new business, product, or company is so high. The initial investment (tax benefits, subsidies, private/public dollars, etc) pays for the initial few years until enough people buy and use the product for it to become profitable.

(What do I mean by 'actual costs?') I remember instances when tax credits and subsidies were given for shipments of American exported fuel that had ethanol mixed in and even with 1% gasohol (90% gasoline 10% ethanol) added where the entire tanker qualified for that credit.

Sleazy, yes. Not really relevant at all, absolutely.

Macroeconomics is an extremely distorted system riddled with price floors, tax incentives, patent rights, cost-push inflation, and various other concepts that only make economic sense on a microscopic scale. It may make sense to the growth of certain corporations, but it makes no sense when you invest much more energy into hydrogen fuel than you get back from the vehicles they go into.

Um....wow.

Let's break your statement down. You did read my last paragraph, yes? Good, so I don't need to repeat myself. Let's start from a different angle. Do you know what investment is? Investment is not just public and private dollars thrown at a company in the hopes that something happens. Governments often invest in something through the use of tax incentives, grants, and subsidies. Tesla Motors, an electric car company, has made liberal use of all three. Why should hydrogen be denied that? In any case, how is this bad? These governmental assistance items are exactly what is needed for a product to lift off the ground in anything beyond the microscopic scale.

Side note: you're against patent rights? You really don't know how stupid that point of view is, nor how vitally important patent rights are to the general economy and growth. The protection of intellectual property is a cornerstone of a person's ability and right to earn a living. If I invent a product that has the potential to change the world, shouldn't I have the right to prevent (via suing) the blatant copying of my invention by, say, the Chinese? If I don't, all the money, time, and energy I spent inventing, perfecting, and producing it have gone to waste, and I am left with nothing. The lack of intellectual property is a very communistic idea, young padawan. You're regurgitating material you read in a classroom again, aren't you?

And yet again, let's use gasoline or diesel fuels as an example for comparison with hydrogen. The energy used to recover the crude oil, refine it, and transport it is never recovered by the process of consuming it. Why do you expect hydrogen fuel to be any different? The reason gasoline and diesel are profitable, volume considerations aside, is because the companies make profit on every barrel sold when all taxes, subsidies, energy costs (i.e. your argument in its entirety), transportation, construction, maintenance, marketing, and more, are taken into account.

Are you truly naive enough to think that hydrogen will be any different? Oil companies used government tax benefits, incentives, subsidies, grants, and more to get started and create the infrastructure we have today to sell fuel to our hungry personal conveyance appliances. Why is it suddenly bad to extend the exact same helping hand to a far cleaner source of mobility?

Oh, and the site I saw maybe could represent 2% of US transportation demands at the very most. Many anti-gas people say that we can power cars with the waste vegetable oil you get from Mcdonald's instead... but fail to recognize that we don't eat that many french fries.

And, yet again, you don't list your source. Your statement is wondefully useless. Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it true. I have first hand knowledge of what I'm talking about, do you have anything beyond websites?

As for the biodiesel example, many people pointing out that we don't eat that many french fries fail to recognize that there are more than just a few restaurants using vegetable oil that goes to waste, i.e. italian, mexican, wendy's, etc etc. Biodiesel also can be created from any source of biological waste. As it is not relevant to our discussion, I won't go into it any further, except to say that in my hometown there are numerous biodiesel pumps at gas stations that are significantly cheaper than regular diesel or gasoline.

Still going on the price comparison. Where will all the energy you need to produce hydrogen supposed to come from? Where does all the energy that is used to produce gasoline come from? The electric power grid connected to domestic power plants. They pay for the energy they use, just like anyone else. Just like hydrogen production and refinery facilities do. Why is it a shock to you that there is no free energy?

You cannot possibly assume that you can replace more than a quarter of the US transportation infrastructure with only the wasted electricity that you salvage through the hydrolysis process. No, I do not, especially since your point is absolutely nonsensical. "The wasted electricity salvaged through the hydrolysis process" makes no sense, as the definition of nonsensical would indicate. I am going to assume that you mean "using the energy supplied to the electrical grid that isn't used to power hydrogen production facilities." Notice how I was far less vague and did not use the word "hydrolysis?" As I, Jae, and others have pointed out time and time again, there are more options than just hydrolysis, which is the most expensive, most energy-consuming, and most time-consuming option available. Why the hell would anyone use it? Again, stop insisting that hydrogen production = hydrolysis, you just prove that you haven't read any of the posts that aren't yours.

As for the meaning behind your words, no I do not assume that. I know that the hydrogen production plants pay for the energy they use, and once the electrical grid can no longer sustain all the loads connected to it, be they houses, refineries, streetlamps, airports, office buildings, fountains, or steelworks, they will increase capacity by either renovating current plants to produce more power (eeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaasily possible due to the ancient plant designs we still have) or by adding sources to the grid.

To turn your question on you, you can't possibly assume that the construction of a hydrogen fuel production center will suddenly use all the energy in the electrical grid, prompting new plants to be built? You also can't possibly assume that they wouldn't pay for the energy they consume? Finally, you can't possibly assume that the electrical company would simply raise the cost for everyone rather than charge more for the loads using more energy? Have you ever paid an electrical bill?

You could almost completely replace gasoline if you were to power all cars with electricity. (Of course that is taking into consideration that you use all electricity when it is demanded and not waste any of it, otherwise you could almost completely power the transportation infrastructure with the grid's waste electricity alone)

No, you can't. Not even close.

Most current electric cars have a range of 50 miles. Let's be generous and say they have an effective range of 200 miles, to include the Tesla in our calculations. The Tesla, and all electric cars for that matter, have either a smart charging mode taking but a few hours, or a long lower amperage charging mode, taking upwards of 16 hours.

Aside from normal house-office-house commuting, how can you possibly think an electric car is a suitable replacement for the car you use today? If you live, like many do, an hour away from your job, that is approximately 30 miles when rush hour traffic is accounted for. Each way. That 60 mile there and back again commute is beyond the capabilities of nearly any electric car available for purchase today, save the hyper expensive Tesla roadster. Unless you live really close to the office, an electric car doesn't make sense.

Ask any parent how long their daily commute is, from home to school to work to lunch to work to school to soccer to grocery store to hardware store to home to bar to home, etc. Many people put over 25 miles on their car a day. Many put over 200 miles a day. How do you expect an electric car to manage that?

Furthermore, how do you expect to solve the recharging issue? Say your daily commute is 200 miles, but your car only makes it 100 without recharging. Your home docking station charges it in 5 hours, but your away-from-home (a la Tesla and others) charger takes 18 hours. Do you see the stupidity in this?

Finally, how do you take a road trip from Chicago to Detroit to visit relatives in an electric car? It takes about eight hours by conventional vehicle, but would take numerous days with an electric car due to charging time.

This is the primary reason nobody is seriously considering all electric vehicles for anything but inner city commuting. Fuel cells use hydrogen to create electricity; they are a mini power plant. Hydrogen combustion cars a la BMW's Hydrogen7, burn hydrogen to make pistons and crankshafts rotate and move the vehicle (also, for the Hydrogen7, it will burn Gasoline in case you can't find H2.). The emissions for these cars are absurdly clean. The Hydrogen7 was widely reported for cleaning the air as it drove. I have seen test results that confirm this fact. Fuel cells are even cleaner, as there is no combustion present.

Now, you will undoubtedly bring up the fact that the raw materials-tailpipe (i.e. everything lumped together) emissions aren't so clean. Compared to the identical measurement for gasoline vehicles, they are orders of magnitude different.


look to the bottom of the link.
86% electricity grid to vehicle efficiency vs 25% hydrogen.
So if you demand more energy to produce hydrogen than just using the energy to charge a battery altogether, why bother with the hydrogen at all?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle

That link says nothing about electrical grid to vehicle efficiency. Also I have a good feeling that the 25% efficiency will increase. However, it is pointless to discuss simply efficiencies. Electric vehicles aren't practical for numerous reasons, many of which I have stated above. Hydrogen is a much better alternative to pure electric vehicles, or even eco-cred gas/hybrid plug ins. Hydrogen cars have lower emissions, lower fuel consumption/higher fuel economy, and produce markedly more power per kilogram of fuel than gas/electric, diesel/electric, gas, or diesel cars. This is verified fact. Efficiency is not the end-all be-all, efficiency without sacrificing too much is. Hydrogen delivers that, the others do not.

Remember the vehement opposition you got in the Suburban Sprawl thread? That was due to your insistence that efficiency is paramount, and that comfort, convenience, and ease of living be damned. Same exact thing goes here. Electric cars are the most efficient, there is no denying that. They are NOT convenient, comfortable, or easy to live with. People don't want to be stuck 300 miles from anywhere. Engineers try to make things efficient. Engineers are useless if they do not also make them usable, practical, or attractive to purchasers. Electric cars, while engineering marvels, fail the first test: not usable in the real world for enough people.

I'm sorry, but you must have another source of power to have a hydrogen infrastructure.
Where do I say power plants would not provide the source? I'm sorry, but you are mistaken in your belief that we should avoid developing burgeoning technology due to it actually costing energy. Nothing is free.


We in the US have many power plants that are not being used to their fullest capacity and we would do best to switch to hybrid vehicles first to use as much of that wasted electricity as possible before we even consider investing in something that is far less efficient.

Hybrids are a band-aid. Diesels produce lower emissions and return equal or better fuel economy than hybrids do. Plug in hybrids are a band-aid on a band-aid. Diesel hybrids would actually be an intelligent move, but are still a band aid. Many plain gasoline cars in Europe get equal or better emissions and fuel economy than hybrids do, they just lack the elitist liberal eco-nazi cred and name recognition.

Why throw money at a solution that does nothing to alleviate our problems instead of throwing it at a solution that does?

Nedak
07-09-2009, 03:30 PM
GDHT0hBgVOw

It's extremely feasible and was developed a long long time ago.


The fact that people think that it's some sort of scam is absurd. Do research.

"Stanley Meyer died suddenly on 21 March 1998 after dining at a restaurant. An autopsy report by the Franklin County, Ohio coroner concluded that Meyer had died of a cerebral aneurysm, but conspiracy theorists insist that he was poisoned to suppress the technology, and that oil companies and the United States government were involved in his death"

mimartin
07-12-2009, 12:27 PM
I've deleted the ad hoc post and requested that those resorting to ad hoc rewrite and resubmit them without the ad hoc. Any future personal attacks will result in more than merely a deleted post or two.

Darth_Yuthura
07-12-2009, 06:55 PM
Okay I'm not trying to frustrate people; my interest is in the US getting its energy priorities in order. I will admit here and now that hydrogen will likely be what's fueling US cars in the year 2059, but that is not what is in its best interest today. There is going to be a complex and systematic withdrawal from the use of oil and an increase in the demand for electricity. Hydrogen should only come into the equation when electricity cannot substitute for a chemical fuel.

-------

Where does the energy come from that produces the hydrogen?

http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/steps.htm

It is dependent upon another source in order to work within an economy. This site probably explains all my concerns and I've checked with some of his sources to ensure he was credible.

If it is generated from the power grid, then hydrogen is 50% coal energy, 20% nuclear energy, 20% natural gas energy, 10% from other sources.

http://energyanalysis.org/2008/12/15/686/

Given that this is so, hydrogen fuel is NOT clean... it's just that the emissions don't originate from the vehicle. They originate from the source of the power plant that produces the fuel. Sorry, but energy isn't free. Even from perpetual sources, it is only going to become more expensive. (Interest on capital, repair, financial costs)

Even that precious coal I speak so highly of doesn't come cheap (10,000 tons/day per GW) And being the most dirty fuel there is (One plant emitting more waste per year than all the nuclear reactors in the US over 60 years), I don't support coal as much as nuclear, but it does represent a safety net by which we can tap into an abundant source of energy for hundreds of years.

As much as I would like wind and solar, they have proven to be somewhat... unreliable. And considering that they are outputting less than 1% with a maximum potential of 20% of the power grid. Beyond that and you will get unacceptably high levels of brownouts. The only real clean energy we can truly rely on is nuclear. It is also the most economic, but it is not favored by most US citizens who are still afraid of meltdowns, think they are the same first-generation reactors of the early 60's.

As for hydrogen...

The US will inevitably have to convert from oil to a substitute for transportation demands. As of today, demand and supply for oil are both increasing, but supply is rising slower than demand. When peak oil output is reached, the price for the fuel WILL skyrocket and it will have to be replaced. It is not a question of if, but when that happens. The issue before us is how to best make the transition from gasoline and diesel to a substitute.

Check the source below and evaluate scenario 6.

https://eed.llnl.gov/flow/pdf/ucrlTR204891.pdf

Compare it to scenario 8 and the difference in electrical output is drastically different. Nearly a 50% difference in electrical output from using hybrid vehicles than with hydrogen achieving greater than 50% efficiency. Oil dependence is higher in scenario 6 as well, but electrical demand increased by only 10%. (45 quads vs. 60 quads)

This source is difficult to interpret, so this will likely yield more questions than answers.

The difference between hydrogen and electricity is that hydrogen can be stored as potential energy where as electricity more or less has to be used as generated. When it is stored though, lithium hydride batteries achieve a 86% grid-to-motor efficiency where as hydrogen can be as low as 25%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle

Darth Avlectus
07-13-2009, 04:19 AM
Although I do value the environmental impact being minimized, I really weigh the economic viability most heavily. Nuclear is the more economic and environmentally friendly energy source. The limitation of nuclear is that it has a huge capital cost before it can produce electricity, but a lower operating cost.

Not biologically. I'm not an expert on Nuclear Science by any stretch, but I do know (from my hours of searches on Grolier/GME95 and Encarta '98 as a kid) that the types of radiation dealt with in nuclear is inoizing and non-ionizing or irradiative. If I had to guess, it is the irradiative that is the culprit for radiation poisoning with nuclear related stuff. (Ionizing being the combustive stuff that goes "kaboom"!).

Once it is spent, it is essetially poisonous waste emitting equally toxic radtion. With a tremendously huge half life. Not cost effective to refine, though it can be done--or so I hear. But most of the time it is just dumped. That is a real problem. We run out of space and need more and more.

Point is this stuff is poisonous in ways most of us probably can't even imagine and will make environments that it gets into a contaminated NIGHTMARE for a long long time. UN-ininhabitable for god only knows how long (like what, 25,000 years?). Nothing will be safe to eat or drink from there, or in there, and who knows what kinds of exposure you get by mere proximity or breathing the same air.

I think people are rightfully skeptical and dead set against having it stored in ther back yards. Like the whole Yucca Mtn. NV bit (which the way it has played out since the 70s, I think, is uber bull**** BTW).

So while it might be environmentally friendly, it isn't biologically friendly.

Hydrogen is like that to a degree, but can recharge faster and has a range similar to a gasoline-powered car. Problem is that it takes more energy to produce than is returned, not part of the transportation infrastructure, expensive, and many other issues.

:confused: Huh? If by hydrogen you mean gaseous, fine, except for the whole "charge" part. If you meant by the more battery-like Fuel Cell, you can charge those but that is not easily swapped in for from Gasoline--sounds to me you are not making the distinction between fuel cell and hydrogen gas.



First, hydrogen as a fuel cell source is decades in the future for a nationally viable infrastructure. I am fully aware of the Honda FCX and such, but there is no infrastructure to make them accepted, and they cost far too much. We need a dual-fuel, a "flex fuel" if you will, hydrogen and gasoline vehicle to create the demand for the infrastructure (i.e. BMW's Hydrogen 7). Only then will fuel cells take off.

Ah, but of course. 2 Fuels. The only real technical issue I see arising is the tuning of the vehicle's combustion to make it work best. This may not necessarily be so for Hydrogen gas and gasoline, but in other methods like diesel/food oil it will be. Still for the time being I agree, dual swap fueling would make a good bridge for the infrastructure. Eventually paving the way for fuel cell sper batteries in electric cars.


My proselytizing aside, the concept of hydrogen as a fuel is sound....generally. *brevity* (electrolysis and its associated downfalls quickly summed up as 1> efficiency:production ratio 2>delivery of fuel to combustion)

Yes, there are some major fundamental troubles with this process. Electrolysis.

Companies like Information Unlimited even sell it to DIY evil geniuses @ home wanting to do some R&D to help the process along of improving it and eliminating flaws. http://amazing1.com/hydrogen_fuel.htm
As a starting point of course.


I sincerely hope you mean electrolysis to get the hydrogen. It's only feasible when the plant is producing excess energy, as no matter how much you cross your fingers and pray, breaking the water molecules into H2 and O2 consumes more energy than you will gain.

Bingo. I'm afraid we're stuck here.

I agree in principle. However, the technology for realistic road-trip capable electric cars (not <40 mi ranges, that's pathetic) is a good ways off. Subways, electric buses, and electric trains are really the only good uses, as they follow predictable and planable routes, and have no need to store energy onboard. Not to mention from an electrical/electronic standpoint battery/capacitance abilities along with other components introduces a whole world of problems that further complicate the issue on top of exponentially decreasing efficiency rate for transferral of power, power quality, etc.


All true. Furthermore, in an internal combustion engine, hydrogen makes significantly more power on less fuel than gasoline does. In simple terms, 600 hp where there was once 450 hp, same fuel economy or better. Granted, that requires tuning, fuel systems changes, etc etc.

I believe this pretty much answered (at least in part what should/could be done) Darth Yuthura's challenge about how we should expunge the faults, flaws, and inefficiencies as much as possible before moving forth to a new source of power for our infrastructure.

What is NOT feasable with hydrogen is converting the cars on the road to run it. Can it be done? Yes. Is it safe or cheap? No. Everyone on the planet agrees that Fuel Cells are the future. In order to get from here to there, we need to embrace a bridging technology--i.e. duel fuel IC hydrogen/gasoline cars. Once the infrastructure (and all the issues with standardizing it are worked out) exist, the hydrogen fuel cell and IC future will happen. Just don't expect it anytime soon.

QFT. That's how trends generally have changed from one to another--so I don't see why this cannot be the answer as well as a sign of the times.

I want to go more into it but right now it is 1:20 AM and I'm dozing off. G'nite, I'll check this later.

Darth_Yuthura
07-13-2009, 08:36 AM
Once it is spent, it is essetially poisonous waste emitting equally toxic radtion. With a tremendously huge half life. Not cost effective to refine, though it can be done--or so I hear. But most of the time it is just dumped. That is a real problem. We run out of space and need more and more.

Point is this stuff is poisonous in ways most of us probably can't even imagine and will make environments that it gets into a contaminated NIGHTMARE for a long long time. UN-ininhabitable for god only knows how long (like what, 25,000 years?). Nothing will be safe to eat or drink from there, or in there, and who knows what kinds of exposure you get by mere proximity or breathing the same air.


The quantity of nuclear waste is very small compared to the output of energy you get from the fuel. In 60 years, the US has accumulated roughly 40,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel... that's about the size of a battleship. For the energy that those 100 or so reactors in the US have produced, the volume of waste is less than a single coal plant produces in one year... granted that fly ash isn't the same as gamma radiation, but nuclear waste products can be contained and confined to locations of choice.


:confused: Huh? If by hydrogen you mean gaseous, fine, except for the whole "charge" part. If you meant by the more battery-like Fuel Cell, you can charge those but that is not easily swapped in for from Gasoline--sounds to me you are not making the distinction between fuel cell and hydrogen gas.

I used 'recharge' because the literal definition applied to both kinds of vehicles. (As in charging a battery or refilling a tank)


Not to mention from an electrical/electronic standpoint battery/capacitance abilities along with other components introduces a whole world of problems that further complicate the issue on top of exponentially decreasing efficiency rate for transferral of power, power quality, etc.

I believe this pretty much answered (at least in part what should/could be done) Darth Yuthura's challenge about how we should expunge the faults, flaws, and inefficiencies as much as possible before moving forth to a new source of power for our infrastructure.


Thank-you, it's good to see someone not so much agreeing with me, but trying to bridge the gap between two separate lines of thought.

I would also have been for the idea of more mass transit, but most people are just going to flat-out refuse it. I think that it might have to come to establishing a system like a third rail to eliminate the need for onboard storage of electricity. I would be much more in favor of broadcasted energy than anything else, but that may be too idealistic to ever become a reality.

Nedak
07-13-2009, 02:23 PM
I guess nobody likes my post. psh ;)

Also, we can even run cars on air!

vfhw59uEpY0

But will the oil companies let that happen?

Darth Avlectus
07-13-2009, 02:43 PM
^^^I actually meant to acknowledge your first post. While that's cool, I do not like how he called what was quite obviously electrolysis, a "fuel cell". Shame too, he was onto something good. Your post here reminds me of "Who killed the electric car", somewhat. Do you have other sources besides CNN? That would be cool if you did.

The quantity of nuclear waste is very small compared to the output of energy you get from the fuel. In 60 years, the US has accumulated roughly 40,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel... that's about the size of a battleship. For the energy that those 100 or so reactors in the US have produced, the volume of waste is less than a single coal plant produces in one year... granted that fly ash isn't the same as gamma radiation, but nuclear waste products can be contained and confined to locations of choice.
Very true, but with that solution lies some snags during the storage period of its effective half life:
a> containment methods will eventually degrade and require replacement (NOT a pretty prospect, especially considering what it entails in the first place)
b> site considerations; there is a good *reason* why Yucca Mtn. is still being fought tooth and nail--it's right on a HUGE fault line between 2 tectonic plates. Something is bound to happen in 25,000 years. I also have my doubts about the nuclear activity being neutralized when lava streams swallow the waste...also downhill and south of Yucca Mtn. is Las Vegas and Los Angeles...lava in that scenario is already bad enough hitting massively populated areas, do you really want to risk it now being radioactive lava?
c> Transporting it, there in the first place will be risky, take a long time, and will be very expensive regardless of success or (god forbid) failure.

I would say refine it because being economically inefficient far outweighs the risks otherwise, but unfortunately we're already in a hurt for money in this current economic climate. I don't want there to be riots over a 20% tax level, either.

I used 'recharge' because the literal definition applied to both kinds of vehicles. (As in charging a battery or refilling a tank) Thank you for clarifying.

Thank-you, it's good to see someone not so much agreeing with me, but trying to bridge the gap between two separate lines of thought.
You're welcome.

I would also have been for the idea of more mass transit, but most people are just going to flat-out refuse it. I think that it might have to come to establishing a system like a third rail to eliminate the need for onboard storage of electricity.

Well, most people won't pay a state tax for something that doesn't even come close to where they live, enough to help them in any significant way. I.E. California. So many rural areas with citizens that pay taxes, yet the proposed and expensive rail system won't come near the majority of them outside the cities.

I would be much more in favor of broadcasted energy than anything else, but that may be too idealistic to ever become a reality.

Think of broadcasted energy this way:
For one, we know RF and EMF radiation can be harmful if we're exposed to it enough...If we had all of our power lines replaced by wireless radiative power (I'll get to the disparaging of efficiency in a moment), how many more times of exposure would we get on a constant basis, especially considering if we're already constantly exposed from our modern lifestyles? (hint it is exponential and on orders of magnitude larger) ;)

The other thing: wireless induction to power things as opposed to direct contact. Sounds nice but unfortunately it is just not as efficient. Unless Tesla really did discover/develop a high lossless transmission method with a 94% efficiency as opposed to the roughly 80-87% efficiency of direct contact methods commonly employed--then we just have to discover how he did it IF he even did it at all.
I don't know why, but it just simply isn't as efficient. :giveup:

If you wanted to test that theory of efficiency, there are power supply circuits available for things like fluorescent tubes or even gas lasers utilizing both direct and RF methods. While RF methods have little maintenance required over long periods of usage, that simply isn't worth it if the costs to run it more than make up for what you'd save on maintenance. Which really sucks, too. Which again totally ignores the fact that we're being bathed in this radiative energy that does, god only knows what.

The reason nothing is 100% efficient of course is that everything has some level of pure resistance to it and that loses are always inevitable.

Bimmerman
07-13-2009, 03:19 PM
Okay I'm not trying to frustrate people; my interest is in the US getting its energy priorities in order. I will admit here and now that hydrogen will likely be what's fueling US cars in the year 2059, but that is not what is in its best interest today. There is going to be a complex and systematic withdrawal from the use of oil and an increase in the demand for electricity. Hydrogen should only come into the equation when electricity cannot substitute for a chemical fuel.


Neither am I, I apologize for the antagonizing. Let's bury the hatchet.

To be completely honest, I see hydrogen powering cars in the next 20-30 years rather exclusively, and for a while afterwards. After probably 30 years from now, electric car technology will have caught up to the point of being a suitable replacement for a gasoline car for all the reasons I currently malign them for.

However, until that point is reached (technological, not a set number of years), the only electric cars will be short range commuters, cars like the Chevy Volt (40mi electric range, and a gasoline generator onboard...call it a gasoline fuel cell-ish car), and "halo" cars like the Tesla Roadster and Model S. None of those are suitable replacements for the majority of Americans, but are good options for second or third cars (Volt excluded due to gasoline engine). I see the electric car being more a toy of the rich for a long time, at least until technology catches up with reality.

Where does the energy come from that produces the hydrogen?

http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/steps.htm

It is dependent upon another source in order to work within an economy. This site probably explains all my concerns and I've checked with some of his sources to ensure he was credible.

If it is generated from the power grid, then hydrogen is 50% coal energy, 20% nuclear energy, 20% natural gas energy, 10% from other sources.

http://energyanalysis.org/2008/12/15/686/

I don't dispute that. What I do dispute is the idea that hydrogen is another form of coal powered energy. I see it much the same way as any raw fuel; gasoline, coal, hydrogen, all require power/energy from some source to extract the raw materials from the earth, the air, the water, oil shale, cow farts, etc, and are thus all based on 50% coal, 20% nuclear, 20% NG, 10% other. To my way of thinking, claiming hydrogen is more dependent on a particular energy source than another is foolish, as any raw material requires processing/mining/"acquisition" to be usable (eg, uranium, coal, gas, crude oil, hydrogen, etc).

Given that this is so, hydrogen fuel is NOT clean... it's just that the emissions don't originate from the vehicle. They originate from the source of the power plant that produces the fuel. Sorry, but energy isn't free. Even from perpetual sources, it is only going to become more expensive. (Interest on capital, repair, financial costs)

Again, no dispute. It isn't clean if you look at the total emissions from the fuel source and its backing energy source. However, that same statement of mine works equally well for any fuel: gasoline, by the same metric, is far 'dirtier' than hydrogen. The difference is that while both have unavoidable power plant emissions, the emissions from the device consuming the fuel are several orders of magnitude different. In the case of combustion hydrogen, it cleans the air as it drives; in the case of fuel cells, it doesn't clean the air but doesn't emit anything aside from water and are thusly even cleaner than hydrogen combustion cars.

And yes, it will only become more expensive. However, as that is an unavoidable reality, it makes sense to invest in a relatively renewable fuel source for personal mobility so that we are no longer paying for a rapidly decreasing supply of energy that we cannot control. Initially, the energy cost to develop both fuels will be massively greater, but as gasoline use is phased out (aside from gearheads like me who hate even automatics, let alone hybrids or these newfangled things called "catalytic converters." That was a joke....on cat converters), the energy usage for hydrogen production will be about the same as it once was for gasoline.

Since hydrogen is a more efficient fuel, it would, in theory, not require as much to be refined, and thus less fuel supplied to stations and thus less energy consumed. That's highly idealistic though, but a remote possibility.

Even that precious coal I speak so highly of doesn't come cheap (10,000 tons/day per GW) And being the most dirty fuel there is (One plant emitting more waste per year than all the nuclear reactors in the US over 60 years), I don't support coal as much as nuclear, but it does represent a safety net by which we can tap into an abundant source of energy for hundreds of years.

I am all for nuclear power. My dad is a consultant on reactor engineering, and as a result I've been exposed to the engineering side of what goes into the things for a good while. The sheer amount of safety margins and studies that are done on our current reactors are mind-bottling, and has convinced me at least that they are beyond safe. Chernobyl was an antiquated design, even by standards back then. No US plant has ever been that same design. Too bad they went and screwed it all up for everyone.

As for coal, it is a very dirty fuel. I have toured our local power plant, and while it still emits rather iffy particles and massive amounts of CO2 (unavoidable due to the combustion of carbon based fuels.....nothing you can do or catalyze away really), it is a very clean and impressive facility. The real reason they still exist in the face of hydro, wind, solar, nuclear, etc plants is the insanely cheap price of coal. The plant itself doesn't care what powers it, all it needs is a certain amount of heat to be transferred to the working fluid in the turbine/compressor part of the system (for combustion/nuclear based plants.....understandably hydro, wind, solar work on different principles).

As much as I would like wind and solar, they have proven to be somewhat... unreliable. And considering that they are outputting less than 1% with a maximum potential of 20% of the power grid. Beyond that and you will get unacceptably high levels of brownouts. The only real clean energy we can truly rely on is nuclear. It is also the most economic, but it is not favored by most US citizens who are still afraid of meltdowns, think they are the same first-generation reactors of the early 60's.

See above. I agree with you on all counts.

An interesting thing I was shown by a coworker is a new solar plant being built in the Saharan Desert, which is purportedly able to power about a third of continental Europe. o_O

As for hydrogen...

The US will inevitably have to convert from oil to a substitute for transportation demands. As of today, demand and supply for oil are both increasing, but supply is rising slower than demand. When peak oil output is reached, the price for the fuel WILL skyrocket and it will have to be replaced. It is not a question of if, but when that happens. The issue before us is how to best make the transition from gasoline and diesel to a substitute.

Yup. No arguments yet.

Check the source below and evaluate scenario 6.

https://eed.llnl.gov/flow/pdf/ucrlTR204891.pdf

Let me stop you there. I get an 'invalid security certificate' when I try to access it....can you summarize the different scenarios? I can't analyze or do any comparisons as-is.

Compare it to scenario 8 and the difference in electrical output is drastically different. Nearly a 50% difference in electrical output from using hybrid vehicles than with hydrogen achieving greater than 50% efficiency. Oil dependence is higher in scenario 6 as well, but electrical demand increased by only 10%. (45 quads vs. 60 quads)

This source is difficult to interpret, so this will likely yield more questions than answers.

Yea....especially when I can't see it. Not blaming you, as that's a website issue on a secure server (https and .gov). Odd though that its not a public website considering its url.

The difference between hydrogen and electricity is that hydrogen can be stored as potential energy where as electricity more or less has to be used as generated. When it is stored though, lithium hydride batteries achieve a 86% grid-to-motor efficiency where as hydrogen can be as low as 25%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle

Hydrogen is as much potential energy as gasoline. Technically, they are potential chemical energy, and are released into thermal energy when combusted, or in case of fuel cells, potential chemical -> electrical.

As for the efficiency issue.....always remember that it is just a number. Sacrificing usability for a massive increase in efficiency isn't a profitable decision unless the car itself is specifically designed to not be a replacement for your Camry or BMW or Ford. Cars like the Tesla Roadster get away with this, because it's a toy car....almost nobody will seriously try to daily drive a roadster, especially when filling up or recharging is such a time waster.

Efficiencies can be a great way to compare things, but ultimately meaningless. Say a current Ford Focus gets about 27mpg on average (more or less accurate). It is a very small hatchback that is designed for urban commuting and 1-2 people max, not for lugging things. My Subaru Legacy Wagon gets about 23mpg average when I'm not driving like I stole it (admittedly rare....what's the point of a redline if the engine never sees it?). This car carries 4-5 people in comfort, can carry 5 people worth of skis and gear, or bikes, or pull a lightweight trailer, has awd, and is unstoppable in snow. If you need such utility, doesn't the lowered ultimate fuel efficiency seem worth it? Another example: my race car gets about 20mpg average because I only drive it like I stole it despite its age. It has no rear seat anymore, harnesses, ultra sticky tires, a stiff suspension, and IIRC about 1.5 working speakers. It really isn't that useful for carrying anything of consequence, but gets over 74% of the efficiency of the hypothetical Focus.

Do you see what I mean by ultimate efficiency being less important that projected vehicle use? Electric cars are short range commuting cars now, and for the foreseeable future. Hydrogen cars already are acceptable replacements for conventional cars, aside from the whole lack of H2 pumps in most cities.

Ah, but of course. 2 Fuels. The only real technical issue I see arising is the tuning of the vehicle's combustion to make it work best. This may not necessarily be so for Hydrogen gas and gasoline, but in other methods like diesel/food oil it will be. Still for the time being I agree, dual swap fueling would make a good bridge for the infrastructure. Eventually paving the way for fuel cell sper batteries in electric cars.

Yup. Actually the Hydrogen 7 is a fully working vehicle produced on the regular assembly line. The car's 6L V12 outputs under 300hp, which is far from fantastic considering the same motor on gasoline makes 444hp, but this motor is tuned to run both fuels. Because both hydrogen and gasoline operate on the same Otto combustion cycle, this is possible. Diesel/hydrogen isn't possible due to the different combustion cycles, though diesel/food oil/biodiesel is possible and common actually. Not really the same though, I don't know of anyone doing a dual fuel on a diesel though.

The BMW engineers have stated numerous times that if they were not required to run both fuels (there is a video on youtube of Jay Leno driving this car on both fuels), they could massage nearly 600hp from the engine with identical or better fuel economy. 444 vs 600, same economy, sign me the hell up! It really is a matter of tuning for a dual fuel car.

Now, nobody needs 600hp except me, but scale down the motor and suddenly the anemic 1.2L motors in Europe actually have metaphorical....round objects...rather than praying for a tailwind.

Everyone agrees that a bridging technology is necessary for hydrogen to take off, but for whatever reason, only BMW is designing the bridging one; everyone else is perfecting fuel cells. That's great....but....that time is way off.

I would also have been for the idea of more mass transit, but most people are just going to flat-out refuse it. I think that it might have to come to establishing a system like a third rail to eliminate the need for onboard storage of electricity. I would be much more in favor of broadcasted energy than anything else, but that may be too idealistic to ever become a reality.

The only way I can think of that being feasible for the majority of Americans is to imbed such a third rail under the asphalt and have an array of inductors picking up the electric fields much like current electric buses and trains. The issue arises though, as that is a seriously MASSIVE amount of asphalt to tear up and modify. A physical third rail is also possible, but that eliminates freedom of movement...you basically have a very tiny train car.

Public transport, as I said in the ill-luck Suburban Thread, works very well in my town (many of our buses are natural gas powered also), so embracing electric buses is rather simple....but leaves ugly wires everywhere. I'm all for it, I just want the ability to drive for hours on end wherever I please for a good reason or none at all.

I guess nobody likes my post. psh :wink:

I did see it, and I had heard about it. I am very skeptical though, as no "water-car" has ever proved to be anything of consequence. Most simply waste time and lower mpgs.

Water intake injection, on the other hand, does work, but not the way you think. It is a common way to extract massive amounts of horsepower on forced induction motors (turbocharger, supercharger).

Due to the compression of the turbo/super, the air is heated. The compressed air is then usually piped to an intercooler, and then back to your intake. Often times, this is also supplemented by an alcohol/methanol/water injection system.

Rather than make the intake charge more flammable, what this does is supercool the intake charge. This makes the air denser, which means the engine combusts in a leaner state (more power for a given fuel quantity).

This has a huge effect on FI motors, but less so for NA (naturally aspirated) motors. There is an effect, but is about the same as driving on a cold/rainy day. You will make a tiny bit more horsepower, your engine will run a tiny bit better, and you may get one or two mpg better.

EDIT: Cool stuff on the air motor! I have seen something similar powering an Indian Tata Motors car. The only issues I see is the same as for electric cars- ultimate range (though compressed air is far more common than a 220V outlet at a gas station) and total emissions. The air gets compressed somewhere.... Cool stuff though. Also, bonus points if anyone can tell what year it is in that video. If you're an F1 nut, you'll see.

Think of broadcasted energy this way:
For one, we know RF and EMF radiation can be harmful if we're exposed to it enough...If we had all of our power lines replaced by wireless radiative power (I'll get to the disparaging of efficiency in a moment), how many more times of exposure would we get on a constant basis, especially considering if we're already constantly exposed from our modern lifestyles? (hint it is exponential and on orders of magnitude larger) ;)

The other thing: wireless induction to power things as opposed to direct contact. Sounds nice but unfortunately it is just not as efficient. Unless Tesla really did discover/develop a high lossless transmission method with a 94% efficiency as opposed to the roughly 80-87% efficiency of direct contact methods commonly employed--then we just have to discover how he did it IF he even did it at all.
I don't know why, but it just simply isn't as efficient. :giveup:

If you wanted to test that theory of efficiency, there are power supply circuits available for things like fluorescent tubes or even gas lasers utilizing both direct and RF methods. While RF methods have little maintenance required over long periods of usage, that simply isn't worth it if the costs to run it more than make up for what you'd save on maintenance. Which really sucks, too. Which again totally ignores the fact that we're being bathed in this radiative energy that does, god only knows what.

The reason nothing is 100% efficient of course is that everything has some level of pure resistance to it and that loses are always inevitable.

Way back when, a good friend and I set out to test Tesla's broadcastable energy. With all the scientific rigour of....a seventh grade science fair project....we designed, built, and tested a Tesla Coil to test our hypothesis of RF electricity transmission by attempting to light an LED a few inches away. We failed. Granted, we had issues with out materials, but the amount of energy we were broadcasting was enough to piss off our neighbors by interfering with their TV signal, but nothing close to enough to light the LED beyond sparking range. So we grabbed fluorescent tubes and pretended to be Jedi till we shattered a few, then played with sparks, then shut off the generator and Tesla coil.

Not really related, but damn it was a fun and cool project. The math was way over our heads....partial differential equations and such for the electric circuit analysis. Probably part of the reason we failed is that we had to use pre-made solutions, or try to use algebra to figure out seriously difficult math. The pre-made solutions required materials we didn't exactly have or could find easily.

Nevertheless, in seventh grade, my friend and I built a Tesla Coil, tried the RF transmission, and concluded that the energy it takes to run the coil is several orders of magnitude higher than what is recovered.

Also, on a rather random science tangent, this is why it will never work. The inverse square law: P ~ 1 / d^2. Power is proportional to the inverse of the square of the radius. Say you want to have 10W at a distance of 200 m from an emitter of some type (I am summarizing greatly in case readers don't have the background needed. I can go into more detail if needed as well..PM is probably better). So, assuming 100% transmission, we set up a proportion.

P2 / P1 = [ (1/d2^2) / (1/d1^2)]

or

P2/P1 = (D1/D2) ^2

Now, you/I see a problem with how I worded it. We will calculate the amount of power required 1 cm from the emitter; that will give you an idea of how much is required at the emitter itself.

P2 = 10W, D2 = 200m = 20000 cm, D1 = 1 cm

P1 = 4GW, or 4,000,000,000 W. This will never be feasible unless one could magically aim and direct electrical field energy.

If anyone wants more info, please PM me. This isn't really related to hydrogen, and yes I'm guilty of off-topicking

Darth_Yuthura
07-13-2009, 03:50 PM
I would say the first best hurdle to overcome in improving fuel efficiency actually isn't the hybrid design, because it is significantly more expensive than standard cars; it's the split-cycle engine. This design incorporates a very cheap means to store potential energy as compressed air instead of electricity. This could eliminate the batteries altogether and potentially increase fuel efficiency of gasoline from the standard maximum of 25% to in excess of 30%. It is also a very simple change for a very significant improvement in engine design.

http://www.symscape.com/blog/split_cycle_engine

I think this is the most logical first step in the sequence of events to switching from oil to another fuel source. In that time, battery and alternate sources would have time to improve as well. It is still in its infancy, but it has not been made as big a deal as hybrid or even ethanol fuels.

Bimmerman
07-13-2009, 04:09 PM
I would say the first best hurdle to overcome in improving fuel efficiency actually isn't the hybrid design, because it is significantly more expensive than standard cars; it's the split-cycle engine. This design incorporates a very cheap means to store potential energy as compressed air instead of electricity. This could eliminate the batteries altogether and potentially increase fuel efficiency of gasoline from the standard maximum of 25% to in excess of 30%. It is also a very simple change for a very significant improvement in engine design.

http://www.symscape.com/blog/split_cycle_engine

I think this is the most logical first step in the sequence of events to switching from oil to another fuel source. In that time, battery and alternate sources would have time to improve as well. It is still in its infancy, but it has not been made as big a deal as hybrid or even ethanol fuels.

While I agree with you (now, after a good bit of reading up on it....Split cycle was featured this year at the SAE world congress, so it is getting press among industry folks), I wouldn't say the standard four stroke otto motor has reached its zenith.

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/06/09/update-on-fords-new-bobcat-ethanol-injected-turbocharged-v8/

This engine.....my god. It is absurdly more fuel efficient and powerful than a modern diesel! And it's a gas engine. See, Ford at least can do things right! I do agree that hybrids are a waste of time, and that further R&D on powertrains is needed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions without sacrificing any or much power and driveability. BMW is a global leader in this, due to their efficient dynamics program. The only problem is that the "efficient dynamics" cars are...well.. slow. This Ford motor promises stupid hooliganism in high spec motors with amazing economy and low emissions. Sounds like a win-win to me. It is a prototype in the R&D phase, so don't jump on me for that. It does have Ford's engineering team and resources behind it though, and from what I've read, this is going to be a game-changing motor even if it only lives in trucks.

Split cycle, I'm sure, will be looked into, but consider how much manufacturers have invested in conventional motors....how could they rationally justify investing the billions it will take to bring the split cycle to a level of manufacturability, durability, and power/emissions to be introduced in a car? I have no doubt they will, I just don't see it happening at the moment considering how badly all manufacturers are hurting. The engine would have to be significantly better at power/displacement, driveability (torque band in essence), emissions, fuel consumption, packaging, and weight than a comparable gasoline/diesel motor, let alone this new Bobcat motor that really extends the gasoline four stroke motor efficiency range.

I honestly see the split cycle becoming like the Wankel Rotary: developed in earnest by one manufacturer to be competitive with conventional motors. I don't really see it taking off by everyone for decades at the minimum. Remember that car models are planned at least 7 years before they hit market, and you realize why it takes so long for manufacturers to react to the quick swinging sword of public opinion (see SUV dumping for perfect example, see Prius success, see retro Mustang and how long it took to get a Camaro and Challenger).

Darth_Yuthura
07-13-2009, 04:31 PM
I saw the site presented, but I could not get the gist of what the design improves upon.

The major benefit to the split-cycle engine is the means to store compressed air. That takes the place of a battery in allowing the benefits of a hybrid vehicle at a significantly reduced cost. That compressed air tank could also serve to improve the engine's maximum power for a short span of time, as the engine could rely solely upon the compressed air and leave the valves of the compression cylinders open. The ability to separate the function of the power cylinders from the compression cylinders opens a wide range of possibilities for the engine to operate.

This is a function of the SC that is not exactly emphasized, because the fuel efficiency often is what's focused upon. Is there anything about that Ford engine that operates to store potential energy as compressed air or something like that? I just don't know what makes it different from other engines.

Bimmerman
07-13-2009, 05:04 PM
I saw the site presented, but I could not get the gist of what the design improves upon.

The major benefit to the split-cycle engine is the means to store compressed air. That takes the place of a battery in allowing the benefits of a hybrid vehicle at a significantly reduced cost. That compressed air tank could also serve to improve the engine's maximum power for a short span of time, as the engine could rely solely upon the compressed air and leave the valves of the compression cylinders open. The ability to separate the function of the power cylinders from the compression cylinders opens a wide range of possibilities for the engine to operate.

This is a function of the SC that is not exactly emphasized, because the fuel efficiency often is what's focused upon. Is there anything about that Ford engine that operates to store potential energy as compressed air or something like that? I just don't know what makes it different from other engines.

No, the Ford doesn't store energy in any form. It is simply a conventional motor with turbochargers (increases the volumetric efficiency of the motor...uses waste exhaust energy to compress air to add power, economy, and torque....free power, as it were), that then has a secondary fuel system, ethanol, directly injected into the cylinders themselves. Most engines, have gasoline injected into the intake manifold before the intake valves. This engine has both; it is what you would get if you could somehow make a "FlexFuel" E85 idiotic engine run simultaneously on both gasoline and ethanol.

The key difference is that in this Ford motor, the ethanol is not intended to be a fuel for combustion but rather to dramatically lower the air temperatures which allows for much higher boost supplied by the turbochargers without damaging the engine. E85 is well known among the tuning crowd for allowing very high levels of boost (compression supplied by the turbo above atmospheric pressure, commonly given in bar or psi) compared to gasoline motors without damage. There's a bit of chemistry and science that goes into it, but E85 runs much cooler.

Since it does not have anywhere close to the energy potential of gasoline, using it as the fuel in this motor would have no effect. Combining the two to dramatically lower air temperatures, increase boost, and vastly improve combustion (the most important point) is what makes this motor so special; it's never been done before. Direct injection for just gasoline causes problems, but synchronizing and tuning for direct and port (pre-valves, in the manifold) is incredibly complex. A motor like this requires precise metering of both gasoline and ethanol in order to avoid leaning (air to fuel ratio too much in favor of air) to the point of engine damage. This engine uses the ethanol only as a coolant as it were, not a fuel...I'd imagine it as having an every few thousand mile refill distance for the ethanol tank.

I have run ethanol emissions tests on cars simply converted from gasoline to ethanol. While the fuel consumption rises dramatically, the emissions of NOx, CO, CO2, HC, and other bits are much much lower than a comparable gas motor. The injection of ethanol in this motor gives the same emissions benefits as a pure ethanol motor due to the air/fuel ratio; the key to emissions is achieving as close to a certain value air/fuel ratio as possible. Ethanol fuel allows you to run a drastically different A/F ratio than gasoline, on account of the cooling property of the fuel and the much higher octane rating (octane rating != energy content. Simply put, it's a measure of combustion).

This is why it is such a revolutionary motor. All the benefits of gasoline power and availability, turbocharging fuel consumption and powerband, and the emissions of an ethanol car to go with it, on par with or lower than a diesel. Diesels have lower emissions than gas motors for certain species (I know I'll get flak on that). Diesel emissions are higher for particulate matter and COx particles. The Ford Bobcat has low particulates due to gasoline, and lower CO and CO2 due to again, gasoline and ethanol combination. It really is a win-win.

As for the power/torque possibilities discussed in the article, that is a result of the higher boost levels allowed by the ethanol injection, and, I'd imagine, lower motor compression. That part is also amazing: much lower emissions and fuel consumption, much higher power and torque.

JediAthos
07-14-2009, 06:58 PM
http://gas2.org/2009/07/13/students-build-hydrogen-vehicle-that-gets-1336-mpg/

Perhaps not a direct contribution to the discussion at hand...mostly because I have little knowledge of the topic, but when I saw this article I thought of you guys :p

Bimmerman
07-15-2009, 07:30 AM
http://gas2.org/2009/07/13/students-build-hydrogen-vehicle-that-gets-1336-mpg/

Perhaps not a direct contribution to the discussion at hand...mostly because I have little knowledge of the topic, but when I saw this article I thought of you guys :p

Cool stuff there.

Shell has just opened a few H2 refuelling stations in NYC, JFK Airport, and in the Bronx..... i.e. the infrastructure is growing!

Link (http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/07/14/shell-brings-h-sub-2-sub-fueling-stations-to-nyc/)

Darth_Yuthura
07-15-2009, 04:03 PM
We should be less concerned with the expansion of this hydrogen infrastructure and more concerned with correcting flaws within the currently existing infrastructure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBZPoZsQitQ&feature=related

The Scuderi engine can be applied to the diesel engine as well. This is a more logical step than the electric hybrid because it should cost virtually the same as a traditional engine while barely changing the design of the engine. You have virtually the same components, so factory production, repair shops, and mechanics should be able to adapt a radically more efficient engine design with minimal problems. While this other engine design maybe more intriguing, it only applies to gasoline fuel.

I also had been investigating the potential of reducing the waste generated by the power grid and found that it is not as simple to do as simply tapping the excess energy. Almost 30% of all electricity produced by US power plants is wasted, or that US demands equal two thirds of what is outputted each day. Much of this happens because of peak demand during the day and reduced demand at night. The idea behind the electric hybrid is to increase demand for electricity during the night, when the rates are low; and that would reduce the fuel we'd use for transportation at virtually no cost. At the same time, the peak demands could be handled by cars plugged into the grid and acting as small power plants; owners getting paid for what their car generates. This could potentially make the power grid more efficient by taking a flaw and making two more significant improvements by switching to electric hybrids.

Of course all that is just IN THEORY. In practice, the idea of creating a grid where individual cars would be able to act as power plants wouldn't work unless the majority of people contribute with electric hybrids. And the economic scale you would have to expect for batteries to make a contribution would have to be enormous. Americans don't have unlimited budgets, so any theory where plug-in hybrids would have a significant impact on the power grid is not likely to happen.

In regards to the 'hydrogen' alternative, I've consulted with someone who would know about this and he says that you cannot really fix a flaw in a system by increasing demand during off-peak hours. You could buy cheap electricity at night, but it would only work to a limited extent. Once you push hydrogen production past a certain point, you would have to increase the production of the power plant... despite the grid's load not exceeding the plant's capacity. Hydrogen may be cheap when you produce it in small quantities, but when it becomes an increasingly dominant source of energy demand, it will cause the price of electricity to increase because power plants would be forced to output more to meet the demand.

There is justification for hydrogen being able to make solar and wind power more reliable. As electricity must be used when it is produced, any excess energy produced by wind turbines cannot make up for days when there is a shortage. With a system to convert excess electricity into some form of potential energy, you can increase the reliability of these renewable sources. What, oh what would be the best method to store excess electricity that would otherwise go to waste?

Hydrogen... is not the best, nor the only way to do this. It would make more sense to pump groundwater into a reservoir and use a dam for hydroelectricity, compressing air into underground cavities are very efficient methods of harnessing potential energy on a massive scale with a minimal cost compared to hydrogen production and using hydrogen to augment the power grid.

Darth_Yuthura
08-04-2009, 01:59 PM
There is actually another solution that's even better than hydrogen in almost every way, but the Scuderi engine only represented half of it. In my last post, I addressed ways to store excess electricity from off-peak hours in cheaper ways than hydrogen. One means was to pump compressed air underground... why not just use compressed air altogether?

The beauty of the Scurderi engine was a much cheaper method of storing potential energy than batteries. Compressed air at 12,000 PSI doesn't have the same energy density as hydrogen or even gasoline, but it allows for a fairly quick means to recharge a vehicle's tank, and it is much more efficient than hydrogen.

The greatest thing about compressed air is that it can be used in much the same way as burning gasoline within the cylinders of an engine. You can use both sources of energy in the same engine... compressed air directly driving the pistons, or just burn traditional gasoline. This would actually be the next best step in moving beyond fossil fuels.

During off-peak hours, you can use an air compressor to recharge your car at home using cheaper electricity. If industrial-grade compressors and storage tanks were installed at gas stations, the recharge time would compare to hydrogen. Otherwise home-recharge times would be the same as electricity. If gasoline stations don't instal terminals for hydrogen or compressed air, then regular gasoline would do just as well for hybrid compressed-air/gasoline vehicles.

The costs of the cars also are projected to compare to that of gasoline engines... it's virtually the same technology with some modifications. That combined with the higher efficiency of storing potential energy as compressed air makes this a much better solution than hydrogen or batteries.

Bimmerman
08-04-2009, 07:11 PM
There is actually another solution that's even better than hydrogen in almost every way, but the Scuderi engine only represented half of it. In my last post, I addressed ways to store excess electricity from off-peak hours in cheaper ways than hydrogen. One means was to pump compressed air underground... why not just use compressed air altogether?

The beauty of the Scurderi engine was a much cheaper method of storing potential energy than batteries. Compressed air at 12,000 PSI doesn't have the same energy density as hydrogen or even gasoline, but it allows for a fairly quick means to recharge a vehicle's tank, and it is much more efficient than hydrogen.

The greatest thing about compressed air is that it can be used in much the same way as burning gasoline within the cylinders of an engine. You can use both sources of energy in the same engine... compressed air directly driving the pistons, or just burn traditional gasoline. This would actually be the next best step in moving beyond fossil fuels.

During off-peak hours, you can use an air compressor to recharge your car at home using cheaper electricity. If industrial-grade compressors and storage tanks were installed at gas stations, the recharge time would compare to hydrogen. Otherwise home-recharge times would be the same as electricity. If gasoline stations don't instal terminals for hydrogen or compressed air, then regular gasoline would do just as well for hybrid compressed-air/gasoline vehicles.

The costs of the cars also are projected to compare to that of gasoline engines... it's virtually the same technology with some modifications. That combined with the higher efficiency of storing potential energy as compressed air makes this a much better solution than hydrogen or batteries.

I don't want to beat a dead horse deader, so I'll keep this short and succinct.

Efficiency: You keep touting this as the end-all, be-all metric by which prospective vehicle technologies should be measured. Real engineers in the field don't hold ultimate efficiency in such high regard, as it is only part of what makes a viable product. <Snipped> -- j7

Hydrogen: not a storage medium of potential electrical energy for off-peak or whatever. It is a fuel. A battery or capacitor stores electrical energy. Hydrogen and gasoline are fuels that require a chemical combustion reaction to create heat and expanding gases to create power, or in the case of hydrogen, it requires a catalyzed reaction to give off electrons during the formation of water from H2 and O2, these electrons cause a current, and electrical motor magic happens. Saying hydrogen is analogous to a battery is wrong...and not just because of the wide variety of applications, fuel cell, combustion, and otherwise.

Compressed air: while yes, it is simpler, the issue then becomes that of being able to store enough air at a constant enough pressure to give a usable range. Pressurizing (yes, mozilla thinks it's a word....odd) every five miles is useless. Similarly, filling the tank will provide a the rated 12 ksi for only a short time. As the air in the tank is depleted, the pressure drops, and with the pressure dropping, so does the power output of the engine, and with the lower power output, so rises the consumed air (as it has to work harder for a given load), and the tank is depleted faster.

Try this with a pneumatic Lego tank. Pressurize it, then see how many cycles the air tank will run a cylinder for at full speed and power, then see how quick and sharp the drop off becomes. That's what I'm talking about; the air tank would need to compensate for the dropping pressure by reducing effective volume or by raising the tank temperature. All of this is easily done, it just needs to be part of the thought process.

Also, Tata motors has had a compressed air powered car in mass production for a few years now. This isn't a new idea by any means. Again, range is the issue. Also, your home air compressor will not provide 12 ksi (12000psi). That's industrial strength, and would only be found at dedicated fueling stations. This idealized vision of a home recharging/pressurizing station is nothing but a rosy ideal. Noone will seriously consider an electric or air powered car if it is restricted to a limited range around its home station i.e. if it cannot be refueled elsewhere. Otherwise, you will end up with a very expensive limited range car (expensive considering its limited utility), and a separate "antiquated" "evil" "planet hating" "prius-driver-conniption-fit-giving" gasoline or diesel car, probably in SUV guise.

Why would anyone spend $10-20k on a car that can go 40 miles, in the name of efficiency, and also need to spend another $30k on a car to actually be used outside of the urban commute, when a $30k car that runs on old reliable technology and has no range restrictions is both cheaper initially and down the road?

I agree that it is an infinitely better idea than relying on/wishing for/pining lustfully for electric cars, or even better than hydrogen cars, but the air engines aren't nearly as developed as gasoline engines, let alone hydrogen powered cars of either internal combustion or fuel cell smugfest flavors.


wow, that was longer than I thought it'd be. Off to bed.

Darth_Yuthura
08-04-2009, 07:33 PM
Efficiency: You keep touting this as the end-all, be-all metric by which prospective vehicle technologies should be measured. Real engineers in the field don't hold ultimate efficiency in such high regard, as it is only part of what makes a viable product.

Well I CAN tell you that if something gets an efficiency bad enough, then all the surround sound, seat warmers, and GPS devices you can install won't compensate for that. I'm not emphasizing ultimate efficiency and forgetting performance and versatility. I AM emphasizing that the efficiency of hydrogen breaks its macroeconomic and environmental viability in this case.

Real engineers in the field don't hold ultimate efficiency in such high regard, as it is only part of what makes a viable product... but they know that it will kill the product if it's bad enough.


Hydrogen: not a storage medium of potential electrical energy for off-peak or whatever. It is a fuel. A battery or capacitor stores electrical energy. Hydrogen and gasoline are fuels that require a chemical combustion reaction to create heat and expanding gases to create power, or in the case of hydrogen, it requires a catalyzed reaction to give off electrons during the formation of water from H2 and O2, these electrons cause a current, and electrical motor magic happens. Saying hydrogen is analogous to a battery is wrong...and not just because of the wide variety of applications, fuel cell, combustion, and otherwise.

If you worked in this field, then are you deliberately neglecting the critical element as to where the energy in hydrogen fuel originates? It is a fuel, yes; but it is secondary source of energy, meaning that it depends upon a primary source to be produced. Oil and natural gas are photosynthetic energy that have been stored underground millions of years ago that was converted to chemical energy. Oil, nuclear energy, hydroelectric, coal... these are PRIMARY sources of energy whereas hydrogen is a secondary source. There is no potential energy in water, which is why you depend upon a primary source to strip the hydrogen atoms away from the oxygen.

If you're going to burn natural gas in order to produce hydrogen for a hydrogen-powered vehicle, you might as well skip that step and burn the natural gas directly in a vehicle that uses natural gas.


Also, Tata motors has had a compressed air powered car in mass production for a few years now. This isn't a new idea by any means. Again, range is the issue. Also, your home air compressor will not provide 12 ksi (12000psi). That's industrial strength, and would only be found at dedicated fueling stations. This idealized vision of a home recharging/pressurizing station is nothing but a rosy ideal. Noone will seriously consider an electric or air powered car if it is restricted to a limited range around its home station i.e. if it cannot be refueled elsewhere. Otherwise, you will end up with a very expensive limited range car (expensive considering its limited utility), and a separate "antiquated" "evil" "planet hating" "prius-driver-conniption-fit-giving" gasoline or diesel car, probably in SUV guise.

Why would anyone spend $10-20k on a car that can go 40 miles, in the name of efficiency, and also need to spend another $30k on a car to actually be used outside of the urban commute, when a $30k car that runs on old reliable technology and has no range restrictions is both cheaper initially and down the road?

??????

I'm sorry, you lost me at 'limited range.' That might apply to an electric car, but not a hybrid compressed air/gasoline vehicle. That's when the gasoline aspect of the engine comes into play. This kind of engine has all the qualities of your precious hydrogen vehicle with many fewer drawbacks.

How much are hydrogen vehicles to manufacture? Still that high? Well your point with costs/restrictions is moot if you wish to suggest something that is less versatile and more expensive. It's not efficiency, but versatility that makes the Scuderi engine and Tata vehicles more desirable than hydrogen.

Bimmerman
08-04-2009, 08:14 PM
Well I CAN tell you that if something gets an efficiency bad enough, then all the surround sound, seat warmers, and GPS devices you can install won't compensate for that. I'm not emphasizing ultimate efficiency and forgetting performance and versatility. I AM emphasizing that the efficiency of hydrogen breaks its macroeconomic and environmental viability in this case.

Real engineers in the field don't hold ultimate efficiency in such high regard, as it is only part of what makes a viable product... but they know that it will kill the product if it's bad enough.

You'd really be surprised on efficiencies. The Hummer caters to a particular buyer. So does a Prius. So does an M3 (ironically more efficient around a racetrack than a Prius at the same speeds). So does a Bugatti Veyron, which gets 2mpg at top speed and averages in the single digits.

What you need to accept is that efficiency is part of the package the buyer desires. A hybrid buyer wants max economy and range. A performance car buyer wants horsepower and really doesn't consider fuel economy as important. A truck buyer wants ultimate utility, and fuel economy as an afterthought.

I'm not going to keep arguing the economic point. Back and forth through multiple pages we've been debating that, and anyone interested in the topic can draw their own conclusions. We'll sum it down to this: you hate what hydrogen cars represent, and think they make no economic sense. I advocate hydrogen cars, and believe they make economic sense.


I thought you said you worked in this field. If you do, then you're deliberately neglecting a critical element here: where does the energy in hydrogen originate? It is a fuel, yes; but it is a fuel that depends upon another source of energy to be produced. Oil and natural gas are photosynthetic energy stored underground from millions of years ago. There is no potential energy from hydrogen stored in water.

Yes, I work in this field. It's 2am and I'm hardly eloquent when I'm tired.

What you also don't realize, as I've noted before numerous times, is that crude oil and natural gas both require refinement before they are suitable for combustion. Pouring crude oil into your car will sieze the motor. Thus, they require refinement that depends upon another source of energy. So, again, hydrogen can be treated identically to gasoline and natural gas. Hydrogen needs processing to be usable, so does gasoline and natural gas.

Also, for what I only wish was the last time: electrolysis of water is hardly the only method for obtaining hydrogen gas!!! I have said that, Jae has said that, you ignore that. It would be as if I claimed the only way to get gasoline would be to mine oil shale in Canada. It's the most expensive, most inefficient, most resource consuming, and most economically nonviable method possible.

If you're going to burn natural gas in order to produce hydrogen for a hydrogen-powered vehicle, you might as well skip that step and burn the natural gas directly in a vehicle that uses natural gas. If you're going to use coal to power the refineries to process gasoline from crude oil for a gasoline powered vehicle, you might as well skip that step and burn the coal directly in a vehicle that uses coal.

See what I did there?

Also, many buses in my town run on natural gas....

??????

I'm sorry, you lost me at 'limited range.' That might apply to an electric car, but not a hybrid compressed air/gasoline vehicle. That's when the gasoline aspect of the engine comes into play. This kind of engine has all the qualities of your precious hydrogen vehicle with many fewer drawbacks.

That wasn't so much directed at compressed air cars (although it is a concern, less so if there's a gasoline engine to act as compressor or alternate drivetrain) as electric cars.

Re- "precious" My my, aren't we snarky? You bump an old thread and take offense when I defend my position? Wonderful.

In any case, hybrid air compressor/gasoline cars do not have nearly all the same qualities. For one, added weight. Fortwo (play on words, you get a cookie if you get it), emissions. Hydrogen cars create H20 and are statistically able to clean the air of NOx, CH4, THC, NMHC, and other pollutants as they drive in combustion, fuel cell simply created H20 and emits waste H2 and O2. Gasoline cars don't, although modern SULEV cars can statistically give emissions results indistinguishable from zero for certain species. There's a fun fact for you!

How much are hydrogen vehicles to manufacture? Still that high? Well your point with costs/restrictions is moot if you wish to suggest something that is less versatile and more expensive. It's not efficiency, but versatility that makes the Scuderi engine and Tata vehicles more desirable than hydrogen.

....because I want to divulge trade secrets and get sued. Great idea!

The costs are high for the production of FUEL CELL hydrogen cars. Hydrogen COMBUSTION vehicles are built on the regular assembly line with minimal added cost, as the engine is simply a modified gasoline engine. It's less than you think, but not practical or feasible cost wise on financial loss classes like compacts, subcompacts, midsize. The costs are partially absorbed by the profit margin in luxury class vehicles, hence why the 7 is BMW's platform.

The Tata car exists. The Scuderi does not in automotive production, nor outside of a lab and probably a few experimental prototypes. The Scuderi engine will not catch on until Gasoline motors are fully R&D'd out. As is, with the advent of variable valve timing, variable valve lift, direct injection, and future technologies too numerous to list, the gasoline engine is anything but dead.

While the Scuderi is a good idea, it will take a lot more than that to be widely accepted. It needs to demonstrate economic viability, justify the cost difference by enhanced performance, lower consumption, and lower emissions, along with lower weight, and it needs to demonstrate as good or better reliability, durability, and packaging. It also needs to justify the cost of switching to this motor design instead of implementing newer technologies on a gas motor that change the performance metrics as desireably but have no tangible effect on the other ones.

There have been lots of good ideas in the past, and not all get built for many of the above reasons.

Darth_Yuthura
08-04-2009, 09:19 PM
If you're going to use coal to power the refineries to process gasoline from crude oil for a gasoline powered vehicle, you might as well skip that step and burn the coal directly in a vehicle that uses coal.

See what I did there?


No, I don't see what you're getting at. Oil is a primary source of energy and although you must refine it, you get more from the exchange from the gasoline and diesel fuels than what you spent on the refining process.

Hydrogen is a secondary source of energy, which means that all its potential energy originated from a primary source. And you would find that every joule of hydrogen energy required three joules of energy from a primary source. That is a 66% net loss.


Also, for what I only wish was the last time: electrolysis of water is hardly the only method for obtaining hydrogen gas!!! I have said that, Jae has said that, you ignore that. It would be as if I claimed the only way to get gasoline would be to mine oil shale in Canada. It's the most expensive, most inefficient, most resource consuming, and most economically nonviable method possible.

Alright, then what percentage of the hydrogen produced came from sources other than water? Is there enough of a supply that you could reasonably assume you will have enough to provide for all US vehicles indefinitely? Most of the best sources you mentioned were not very abundant. Probably we could expect them to provide for only a small fraction of all US automobiles.


In any case, hybrid air compressor/gasoline cars do not have nearly all the same qualities. For one, added weight. Fortwo (play on words, you get a cookie if you get it), emissions. Hydrogen cars create H20 and are statistically able to clean the air of NOx, CH4, THC, NMHC, and other pollutants as they drive in combustion, fuel cell simply created H20 and emits waste H2 and O2. Gasoline cars don't, although modern SULEV cars can statistically give emissions results indistinguishable from zero for certain species. There's a fun fact for you!

Hello! Hydrogen fuel depends on a primary source of energy! You forgot to mention that! Electric cars aren't emission-free either, but hydrogen cars are even worse. That MIGHT win against gasoline cars, but is anything but clean. The only clean hydrogen-fueled cars are those who's fuel was produced by a clean PRIMARY source, such as solar. Given as they only represent 1% of US energy production...

--------

I see that I'm not going to convince you otherwise. You have a stake in this, so I'll just assume you know of the issues I'm talking about. I won't hold it against you, but would rather that you not undermine what I bring up when they are indeed valid points. You can glorify hydrogen as much as you want, but don't proclaim it to be a primary source of energy because it's not.

Darth Avlectus
08-04-2009, 11:55 PM
*Looks at above posts*

I wonder...are some forgetting electrolysis and other means to obtain hydrogen (and similar brown's gasses) are an inefficient process? That the ratio of energy gained from such processes are <1 to 1?


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It's extremely feasible and was developed a long long time ago.


The fact that people think that it's some sort of scam is absurd. Do research.

"Stanley Meyer died suddenly on 21 March 1998 after dining at a restaurant. An autopsy report by the Franklin County, Ohio coroner concluded that Meyer had died of a cerebral aneurysm, but conspiracy theorists insist that he was poisoned to suppress the technology, and that oil companies and the United States government were involved in his death"

Boldened for emphasis. I think that is why your posts were ignored by everyone else. www.HappyMileage.com is a commercial source. This is contrary to what research guidelines will tell you to gather information from.

Mind you I am not saying you don't have something, just that most people who are for reals in research and otherwise will snort at the credibility of your sources given by virtue of what they are. I'm afraid the Government got to it and covered this one up well enough, so you won't get anywhere with this. Not without unearthing something more. Sorry. (I had the same frustrations in high school doing research for my senior project!!!)

I'm not bashing your sources, honest. What I am doing is trying to get you to realize that this story has holes in it that people have already seen. Things which shoot its own credibility in the foot.

Question: IS this story verifiable? Even if something is true, the proof that it is true is in the verification of it. (Example: This is one of the big problems of proving God actually exists)

Am I making any sense to you?

At the source material, it seems the guy in the report is pouring in water which would imply electrolysis for hydrogen or brown's gases. Though this has been pointed out by others already in this thread, I'll explain it again:

Look up Electrolysis from chemistry books. Plain english: You will basically find that the pure gasses it produces yield less energy than it took to produce it in the first place.

Brown's gasses is a similar process to electrolysis from my understanding, but it uses chemicals instead of electricity...(Someone care to jump in???)

Anyway, so this guy you see was pouring water into some kind of converter stage to make it a gas. It is an electrolysis process. Electrolysis is hardly a big secret.

What is more is that it was inefficient to begin with, so if it is economical it is only ideally about the same (at best) as gasoline. However, the equivalent use combustion wise will use up MORE of this new gas FASTER than gasoline. Look it up, and you will see (even on mythbusters) that this is true.

Also another thing I'm seeing wrong with the story: it refers to the engine as a "fuel cell"--a Fuel Cell is very similar to a battery. (Look it up.) Fuel Cells do their work electrically, not in combustion. So this engine in the story is not really a fuel cell. They don't even have their facts straight.

What this story is doing is mixing the two up. You have it talking about burning (combusting) the gas like it does to gasoline AND recombining the hydrogen with the oxygen like a fuel cell.

However, that cannot happen. If you separate the hydrogen and the oxygen, and burn the hydrogen before recombining the hydrogen back with the oxygen, do you really think the end product is going to be water like you began with now that you have altered its chemical composition? I didn't think so.

Combustion: there is no recombination process--it just makes carbon like gasoline. Burns it all away almost exactly the same.

The Fuel Cell: is the one that DOES recombine the oxygen molecule with the hydrogen after separation. However, there is no combustion because this is purely a chemical process to produce electricity.

Back to the story: It had a purely electrolysis thing going on. While, yes, it DOES work, it DOES NOT hold up against gasoline, performance wise. It burns much, much faster for the same performance.

I guess nobody likes my post. psh ;)

Also, we can even run cars on air!

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But will the oil companies let that happen?

Again, CNN--A mainstream media news outlet as a research source? You'll understand if I think maybe you ought to look somewhere else besides the news? Or go out and verify the story for yourself--ask questions, name names, refer to the story, formulate your own critical reasoning and questions for an interview, and check the data and facts.

I believe that DY and primarily Bimmerman were addressing that above as an integrated part of designs for newly developed products. Please read the above posts.

@ Bimmerman: Hey, you were addressing using ethanol. I don't want to put a kink in your hose, BUT, this use of ethanol has actually had an adverse effect on prices for corn. It has increased the consumption level for ethanol, so it follows that we need more of its base product (corn) to produce the ethanol. Unfortunately this takes form the corn crops faster and is causing the prices to go up. So this adverse effect is something to be seriously considered and not taken lightly.

However, I think it is absolutely great that we are coming out with such grand improvements nonetheless.

Darth_Yuthura
08-05-2009, 08:59 AM
@ Bimmerman: Hey, you were addressing using ethanol. I don't want to put a kink in your hose, BUT, this use of ethanol has actually had an adverse effect on prices for corn. It has increased the consumption level for ethanol, so it follows that we need more of its base product (corn) to produce the ethanol. Unfortunately this takes form the corn crops faster and is causing the prices to go up. So this adverse effect is something to be seriously considered and not taken lightly.

Thank-you. The adverse effects of using ethanol are not going to be very apparent on a small scale, but if it were to become the next source of automobile fuels for the US; they will be much more apparent. This may apply to virtually any gasoline substitute, but the more inefficient the process to generate the fuel; the less viable it would be.

Butterball was able to convert a waste product of theirs into a form of energy, which was very viable for them. But only because they turned something they would otherwise have to dispose of into a usable product. It works for them, but it can't be mass produced. There is only so much vegetable oil, turkey guts, and other organic waste products that could be converted to a form of fuel. These are only viable sources of energy because they come from waste products, but if you measured the costs that were required to grow the corn and make the canola oil; they wouldn't be as viable as fuels as they would for other purposes.



Look up Electrolysis from chemistry books. Plain english: You will basically find that the pure gasses it produces yield less energy than it took to produce it in the first place.

What is more is that it was inefficient to begin with, so if it is economical it is only ideally about the same (at best) as gasoline. However, the equivalent use combustion wise will use up MORE of this new gas FASTER than gasoline. Look it up, and you will see (even on mythbusters) that this is true.

Thank-you. The US is eventually going to have to convert from using petroleum-based fuels to using nuclear, wind, solar, and (yeah I said it already) coal. The question is how would you be able to use these energies for cars. This is why you may choose to use a secondary energy source, but you will pay a penalty every time to change energy from one form to another. The best solution is to find the simplest way with the fewest steps in converting electricity to a form of potential energy that can be stored rather than wasted.

You can produce hydrogen cheap right now, but the more demand you place on the power grid, the less viable the fuel becomes. Like ethanol raising the price of corn, hydrogen will have adverse effects on the prices of primary sources of energy.


However, that cannot happen. If you separate the hydrogen and the oxygen, and burn the hydrogen before recombining the hydrogen back with the oxygen, do you really think the end product is going to be water like you began with now that you have altered its chemical composition? I didn't think so.

That would be right. It doesn't happen in the combustion process, or even the hydrolysis process, but wherever the primary energy originated. If you used electricity that was generated by coal, then you must take into account the harmful gases that were generated in order to produce that electricity. You will find that more harmful gases are released even from burning natural gas and converting it to hydrogen than what you generate from a diesel engine of the same capacity.

Bimmerman
08-05-2009, 11:49 AM
*Looks at above posts*

I wonder...are some forgetting electrolysis and other means to obtain hydrogen (and similar brown's gasses) are an inefficient process? That the ratio of energy gained from such processes are <1 to 1?

Nope, that's been addressed. Aside from base electrolysis, all have acceptable efficiencies. Lots of Math warning.

Currently, according to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves#Estimated_reserves_by_country), the top seventeen oil reserves account for approximately 1,243 billion barrels of oil (1.243 x 10^9 barrels). According to wikipedia again (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline#Energy_content), approximately 46% of a standard barrel of oil ends up as gasoline.

So, 1.243x10^9 barrels * 46% * (42 US gallons / 1 standard barrel) = 2.40*10^10 gallons of gasoline available. Multiplying this by the density of gasoline, and converting to kilograms (SOURCE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline#Density)), yields:

2.4x10^10 US gallons * 6.073 lb/US gal * 1 kg/2.2046 lbs = 6.62x10^10 kg of gasoline.

Now here comes the fun part.

Last year, the US alone produced 9 million tons of Hydrogen gas by steam reforming of fossil fuels (SOURCE 1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_reforming#Industrial_reforming) SOURCE 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_production#From_hydrocarbons)), NOT electrolysis. Few people use electrolysis.

That 9 million US tons is equivalent to:

9x10^6 * 2000 lbs/US ton * 1 kg / 2.2046 lbs = 8.165x10^9 kg of H2 produced last year via a process that is between 65 and 85% efficient depending on which source you believe. Can we please, finally, put the electrolysis falsehood to rest?

I keep saying that electrolysis is rarely used in industrial situations. What do you know, I was right! Read the first paragraph! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water)

Quote for the lazy:
Electrolysis of water is the decomposition of water (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen gas (H2) due to an electric current being passed through the water. This electrolytic process is rarely used in industrial applications since hydrogen can be produced more affordably from fossil fuels.

Now can we put that lie to rest? D_Y, stop clinging to blatant falsehoods, kthnxbai.

Now, why did I convert both gasoline reserves and industrial hydrogen production in mass? Our current gasoline reserves are only a single order of magnitude higher than the yearly output of industrial hydrogen (mostly for the production of ammonia for fertilizer) in the United States alone. Our reserves should last for decades if not centuries. We can easily, cheaply, and conveniently switch to hydrogen gas for a fuel source, the logistical hurdle is converting the cars and filling stations, not the fuel demand nor the power consumption issue, D_Y. I'm a big believer in hard numbers and facts, as they're much more reliable than rhetoric.

Furthermore, this is simply production of hydrogen from other sources. It is possible to reclaim it from the atmosphere. More math:

Hydrogen is present as H2 in concentrations of 0.55ppmv (parts per million by volume) in our atmosphere. SOURCE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air#Composition) A single hydrogen has a molecular weight of 1.0079 g/mol (SOURCE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen)), so H2 has a molecular weight of double that, or 2.0158 g/mol. To calculate the mass pecentage, we use the molecular weight and ppmv according to the below formula (SOURCE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air#PPMV))

(MW / MW_AIR) * ppmv = ppmm

plugging in our numbers, and using the MW_AIR given in the linked source as 29 g/mol, we get:

[ (2.0158 g/mol )/ 29 g/mol ]* 0.55 ppmv = 0.0382 ppmm, or 0.00000382 % of air by mass. This seems tiny, but when multiplied by the mass of the atmosphere (SOURCE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air#Pressure_and_thickness)), we get an astronomically huge amount of H2 as a Primary Fuel

Formula:
Mass Percent * Atmospheric mass = H2 mass
0.00000382 % * 5.1480*10^18 kg = 1.968x10^13 kg of H2 naturally occuring in our atmosphere. This is more, consequentially, than the mass of crude oil that has ever existed on the planet. Hence, I am absolutely correct when I say hydrogen is a primary fuel.

Now, when you multiply the mass of hydrogen and gasoline with the energy output per kilogram, you begin to understand why hydrogen is a far better fuel than gasoline or oil could ever pretend to be.

Mass of hydrogen from last year: 8.165x10^9 kg H2
Mass of hydrogen in atmosphere: 1.968x10^13 kg H2
Mass of gasoline left in world: 6.62x10^10 kg Gasoline

Now, energy content per mass (SOURCE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline#Energy_content)):

Hydrogen: 121 MJ/kg
87 octane Gasoline (91 RON): 44.4 MJ/kg
Ethanol: 31.1 MJ/kg (GTA:SWcity, this is why ethanol frankly sucks as a fuel)

Now, simple multiplication:

Last year H2: 8.165x10^9 kg * 121 MJ/kg = 9.8797x10^11 MJ of energy
Atmospheric H2: 1.968x10^13 kg * 121 MJ/kg = 2.38x10^15 MJ
Total gasoline available: 6.62x10^10 kg * 44.4 MJ/kg = 2.94 x 10^12 MJ

Now, take a good look at those numbers. The energy from last year's H2 crop is 33.6 % of the total amount of energy available in our gasoline reserves. Frankly....that's an astonishing amount of energy.

I believe that DY and primarily Bimmerman were addressing that above as an integrated part of designs for newly developed products. Please read the above posts.

Yup. That's the perspective I was addressing, using it as part of a complete system.

@ Bimmerman: Hey, you were addressing using ethanol. I don't want to put a kink in your hose, BUT, this use of ethanol has actually had an adverse effect on prices for corn. It has increased the consumption level for ethanol, so it follows that we need more of its base product (corn) to produce the ethanol. Unfortunately this takes form the corn crops faster and is causing the prices to go up. So this adverse effect is something to be seriously considered and not taken lightly.

However, I think it is absolutely great that we are coming out with such grand improvements nonetheless.

I agree with you. I do not advocate for pure ethanol fueled cars. The technology I was referencing uses extremely small quantities of pure ethanol (small like the tank needs refilling every 15k miles or so small) as a method to supercool and condense the intake air charge, not as a fuel. As a fuel, it only makes sense with forced induction, and even so it barely does. Ethanol's the crack the politicians love feeding to gullible voters.

@D_Y-- I think I've addressed nearly every point you made in your post with the scientific analysis above. If not, well, sorry, but I have to run. I will address your post when I have more time if I need to, but please read the sources I conveniently linked to.

Darth_Yuthura
08-05-2009, 01:27 PM
Last year, the US alone produced 9 million tons of Hydrogen gas by steam reforming of fossil fuels (SOURCE 1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_reforming#Industrial_reforming) SOURCE 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_production#From_hydrocarbons)), NOT electrolysis. Few people use electrolysis.

That 9 million US tons is equivalent to:

9x10^6 * 2000 lbs/US ton * 1 kg / 2.2046 lbs = 8.165x10^9 kg of H2 produced last year via a process that is between 65 and 85% efficient depending on which source you believe. Can we please, finally, put the electrolysis falsehood to rest?

Okay so this process will still have us depending upon foreign oil? I don't understand what the benefits are to this. If you were aiming to disprove the electrolysis issue, then I would admit this does that.

NOW this opens up a wide range of new issues in regards to using this method. Here are some drawbacks that were listed in one of your sources:

"-The reforming reaction takes place at high temperatures, making it slow to start up and requiring costly high temperature materials.
-Sulfur compounds present in the fuel poison certain catalysts, making it difficult to run this type of system from ordinary gasoline. Some new technologies have overcome this challenge, however, with sulfur-tolerant catalysts.
-Low temperature polymer fuel cell membranes can be poisoned by the carbon monoxide (CO) produced by the reactor, making it necessary to include complex CO-removal systems. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and Molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC) do not have this problem, but operate at higher temperatures, slowing start-up time, and requiring costly materials and bulky insulation.
-The thermodynamic efficiency of the process is between 70% and 85% (LHV basis) depending on the purity of the hydrogen product.
-The biggest problem for reformer based systems remains the fuel cell itself, in terms of both cost and durability. The catalyst used in the common polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cell, the device most likely to be used in transportation roles, is very sensitive to any leftover carbon monoxide in the fuel, which some reformers do not completely remove. The anode catalyst is poisoned by the carbon monoxide and the fuel cells performance degrades.
-The catalyst in low temperature fuel cells is based on platinum, and is hence very expensive. A typical automotive fuel cell stack prototype (100kW) contains 20-30g of platinum metal in the form of nano-particles supported on carbon black."

Okay, a mouthful of issues all at once.

This is the cheapest method and does much better than electrolysis in terms of efficiency, but with this method still comes the dependency on petroleum-based fuel sources. Isn't hydrogen supposed to free us of our dependency?

This is riddled with complications that weigh in hydrogen's benefit one way, but then adds lots of complications elsewhere. This process is NOT any better than gasoline in regards to the environment. It still requires fuel cells and not combustion. Fuel cells require platinum, which makes these hydrogen-powered cars way too expensive. Lots of toxic byproducts that contaminate equipment.


9x10^6 * 2000 lbs/US ton * 1 kg / 2.2046 lbs = 8.165x10^9 kg of H2 produced last year via a process that is between 65 and 85% efficient depending on which source you believe. Can we please, finally, put the electrolysis falsehood to rest?

I keep saying that electrolysis is rarely used in industrial situations. What do you know, I was right!

Okay... so why didn't you just say so in the first place? You should have mentioned that you were talking about all the benefits of each method used for producing and using hydrogen and then disregarding the drawbacks of each.

You claimed that these hydrogen fuels are clean... no they are not through the fossil fuel reformation process. Your own sources say they COULD capture the CO2 in the process and keep it from being released into the atmosphere, but they don't.

You also mention that hydrogen is economic and competitive with gasoline... well if you were to confine the CO2 and put it into the ground, that would increase the cost of hydrogen. I don't have a source to give numbers, but I heard that such processes of 'carbon capture' have proven to be oppressively expensive.

Your own source couldn't verify that hydrogen w/out carbon capture would generate half the output of CO2. Joseph J. Romm made a compelling argument that hydrogen may at best be able to act as a substitute for fossil fuels, but that the issues are in regard to the expensive infrastructure required. Therefore, even if hydrogen was 'just as good as gasoline' through this process, it makes no sense to build the infrastructure which will collapse as quickly as the supplies of petroleum.

The hydrolysis process is really the only reliable means of producing the fuel once gasoline is gone. If you wish for a fuel that will be available 100 years from now, it must originate from a process that doesn't depend upon petroleum.


[ (2.0158 g/mol )/ 29 g/mol ]* 0.55 ppmv = 0.0382 ppmm, or 0.00000382 % of air by mass. This seems tiny, but when multiplied by the mass of the atmosphere (SOURCE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air#Pressure_and_thickness)), we get an astronomically huge amount of H2 as a Primary Fuel

Formula:
Mass Percent * Atmospheric mass = H2 mass
0.00000382 % * 5.1480*10^18 kg = 1.968x10^13 kg of H2 naturally occuring in our atmosphere. This is more, consequentially, than the mass of crude oil that has ever existed on the planet. Hence, I am absolutely correct when I say hydrogen is a primary fuel.


Yeah, and do you realize that there is enough deuterium in the oceans that you could theoretically get the equivalent energy of a barrel of oil for each gallon of seawater? That is assuming that you've siphoned the isotope from each gallon of water and injected it into a fusion reactor.

Although there is a lot of raw hydrogen gas in the atmosphere, it is not concentrated in places where you can easily extract it from other elements. Because we don't have stations that collect those those stray H2 elements from the atmosphere, then you can't exactly claim it to be a primary source of energy, can you?

You say we get an astronomically huge amount of primary energy? No, we HAVE an astronomical amount of primary energy, but we can't collect it; then it essentially is not usable. No, you are NOT absolutely correct.

I will admit that hydrogen that was extracted from a fossil fuel might constitute a primary source, as it was extracted from petroleum. However this is essentially energy that had already been captured millions of years ago, but altered into a different form of chemical energy. This still leaves it dependent upon another primary source.


Now can we put that lie to rest? D_Y, stop clinging to blatant falsehoods, kthnxbai.


Which lie? If you are referring to me spouting off about hydrolysis being the only way to produce hydrogen, then I will admit that to be wrong. Now that I see you are backing steam reforming, that still does not change the fact that hydrogen fuel is a secondary source of energy. Only steam reforming isn't a permanent solution if all oil gets depleted, or if coal is going to be rejected all the time.

-------

I realize that I'm likely frustrating a lot of people with this continued thread. I remain unconvinced that the benefits of hydrogen outweigh the sacrifice that comes with it. I know that petroleum won't last forever, but the worst thing is to transition to something that won't last indefinitely and will only increase energy demands. Our focus should be more for a sustainable primary source first... then we can worry about the secondary source upon which to use for vehicles.

With that, I'm signing off this thread.

Bimmerman
08-05-2009, 04:34 PM
Okay so this process will still have us depending upon foreign oil? I don't understand what the benefits are to this. If you were aiming to disprove the electrolysis issue, then I would admit this does that.
That was the point. This process doesn't remove our need for petroleum, no, but look at the massive amount of H2 gas generated from not a whole lot of petroleum. If most of the cars run on H2, the amount of petroleum being consumed daily will fall exponentially even accounting for the added demand. Plus...methane's a common naturally occurring hydrocarbon. Not in the same quantities as petroleum, but it occurs (not talking about farts). This reduced need for gasoline and diesel will allow our current reserves to last significantly longer until another technology can be suitably developed. Or until we're dead, either way....doesn't matter much.

NOW this opens up a wide range of new issues in regards to using this method. Here are some drawbacks that were listed in one of your sources:

"-The reforming reaction takes place at high temperatures, making it slow to start up and requiring costly high temperature materials.
-Sulfur compounds present in the fuel poison certain catalysts, making it difficult to run this type of system from ordinary gasoline. Some new technologies have overcome this challenge, however, with sulfur-tolerant catalysts.
-Low temperature polymer fuel cell membranes can be poisoned by the carbon monoxide (CO) produced by the reactor, making it necessary to include complex CO-removal systems. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and Molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC) do not have this problem, but operate at higher temperatures, slowing start-up time, and requiring costly materials and bulky insulation.
-The thermodynamic efficiency of the process is between 70% and 85% (LHV basis) depending on the purity of the hydrogen product.
-The biggest problem for reformer based systems remains the fuel cell itself, in terms of both cost and durability. The catalyst used in the common polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cell, the device most likely to be used in transportation roles, is very sensitive to any leftover carbon monoxide in the fuel, which some reformers do not completely remove. The anode catalyst is poisoned by the carbon monoxide and the fuel cells performance degrades.
-The catalyst in low temperature fuel cells is based on platinum, and is hence very expensive. A typical automotive fuel cell stack prototype (100kW) contains 20-30g of platinum metal in the form of nano-particles supported on carbon black."

Okay, a mouthful of issues all at once.

Yes, those are many issues. HOWEVER, those deal with the idea of miniaturizing the reformation process to run in parallel with a fuel cell, or example in a car. Those are not industrial scale issues, as not only do you benefit from economies of scale, but you also are simply producing, not fuel cells. A lot of what you listed (from the source) are fuel-cell specific, and the ones that aren't, are for miniaturization. The reformation process has been studied and developed since 1923, so the industrial aspect of it is well known and its issues have been thoroughly worked out.

If you are just producing hydrogen, for consumption elsewhere, it makes a whole lot more sense.

This is the cheapest method and does much better than electrolysis in terms of efficiency, but with this method still comes the dependency on petroleum-based fuel sources. Isn't hydrogen supposed to free us of our dependency? Yes, but you can't wean instantly. See my first paragraph about the reducing demand. It doesn't alleviate our need, but goes a looooong way to reducing it to not nearly as much of a factor. For the record, asphalt, plastics, and lubricants, among other things, are also dependent on crude oil, so......hydrogen can only do so much. The species used for reformation aren't what is normally used in cars or much of anything else for that matter.

This is riddled with complications that weigh in hydrogen's benefit one way, but then adds lots of complications elsewhere. This process is NOT any better than gasoline in regards to the environment. It still requires fuel cells and not combustion. Fuel cells require platinum, which makes these hydrogen-powered cars way too expensive. Lots of toxic byproducts that contaminate equipment.

I know, right? There's no silver bullet. If there was, someone would be a gazillionaire right now. It hardly needs fuel cells instead of combustion though, the gas itself doesn't care where it gets used, fuel cell or combustion engine. Remember, the issues listed in the source are for the implementation of miniaturized reformation in tandem with a mobile fuel cell, instead of industrial scale "factory" for lack of better wording.

Also...you do realize that your vehicle catalytic converter is covered in platinum, right?



Okay... so why didn't you just say so in the first place? You should have mentioned that you were talking about all the benefits of each method used for producing and using hydrogen and then disregarding the drawbacks of each.

I'm not going to say again the issues with the issues list above, I think I've explained that. I'm not glossing over the disadvantages of any of these methods, I am simply stating which is the current favored method and why. I'm more than happy to debate pros and cons, as without debate innovation doesn't happen (though this is an internet forum, but still).

You claimed that these hydrogen fuels are clean... no they are not through the fossil fuel reformation process. Your own sources say they COULD capture the CO2 in the process and keep it from being released into the atmosphere, but they don't.

Nothing is truly clean, not even electric. The only clean method is walking. The rest are simply variations of clean. Compared to gasoline cars, as one of those sources say, the end emissions are half that of a comparable gasoline emission. Not as good as electric, no, but at the present time, it's a very welcome drop and a very significant decrease.

Well, I'd imagine it's because it costs a lot of money to capture the CO2 and/or the technological requirements or regulatory punishments aren't keeping up. I have no idea. I think that if there's a regulation that requires them to keep and capture the CO2, then they would. Still, the CO2 released is much less than gasoline car emissions for similar energy use (same kg of H2 vs same kg of Gasoline). Nothing's perfect. Should they capture it? Definitely. Not my fault they don't. Same goes for power plants for electric cars...the majority of the gases from the smokestacks is now CO2. Same argument can be made there.

You also mention that hydrogen is economic and competitive with gasoline... well if you were to confine the CO2 and put it into the ground, that would increase the cost of hydrogen. I don't have a source to give numbers, but I heard that such processes of 'carbon capture' have proven to be oppressively expensive.

Yes, I imagine so. I also think that's why the CO2 capture isn't used at the present time. Still, think back to the Honda Clarity FCX I posted about earlier. Even if the cost of a kg of H2 doubles or triples from its current value ($2.70/kg I saw on wikipedia, or the $5.00/kg from the Top Gear video), it's still comparable to drive the same miles with the hydrogen car.

Quick and dirty numbers. Assuming a tripling of H2 cost, 72 miles/kg, 270 mile range (equals 3.75kg needed). For gas, take 25mpg avg car, traveling same 270 miles. This requires 10.8 gallons.

H2 @ $2.70/kg * 3 = $8.10 / kg. 270mi / ($8.10/kg * 3.75kg) = 8.89 mi/$
H2 @ $5.00/kg * 3 = $15.00 / kg. 270mi / ($15.00/kg * 3.75kg) = 4.80 mi/$

Gas @ $2.50/gal. 270mi / ($2.50/gal * 10.8 gallons) = 10 mi/$ (what is the current cost of gas in the states anyway? I paid $1.15 for 91 octane last time I filled up)

Keeping our miles traveled constant, our H2 cost of $8.10 constant, and our gasoline cost constant, we can calculate an equivalent mpg rating for the higher H2 cost of 22.225mpg. So it's not terribly far off. Not as good a prospect as it was, but considering the cleaner emissions, it's not a horrendous prospect.

Your own source couldn't verify that hydrogen w/out carbon capture would generate half the output of CO2. Joseph J. Romm made a compelling argument that hydrogen may at best be able to act as a substitute for fossil fuels, but that the issues are in regard to the expensive infrastructure required. Therefore, even if hydrogen was 'just as good as gasoline' through this process, it makes no sense to build the infrastructure which will collapse as quickly as the supplies of petroleum.

There is a very large debate going on about this very issue. It depends who you ask, what metric they measure by, and it all ends up being a lot of conjecture. Again, see my words on reduced demand on petroleum at the top.


The hydrolysis process is really the only reliable means of producing the fuel once gasoline is gone. If you wish for a fuel that will be available 100 years from now, it must originate from a process that doesn't depend upon petroleum. [/qutoe]

Eh....not so much. Electrolysis is one option, but I didn't list all the others. There are other methods of obtaining H2 from water without hydrolysis/electrolysis, which are more efficient. SOURCE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_production#From_water)

If we begin to rely more on steam reformation to produce hydrogen, in the near term we will end up increasing our demand for petroleum products. Once more and more cars are sold with hydrogen engines or fuel cells though, the overall demand for crude oil for vehicle transportation will fall rather markedly. Keep in mind that oil has many many more uses than just in cars, so we will never really wean ourselves off it without significant alternative technologies for plastics, asphalt, tires, rubber, lubricants, etc. Hydrogen just allows for it to last longer.


[QUOTE=Darth_Yuthura;2659773]Yeah, and do you realize that there is enough deuterium in the oceans that you could theoretically get the equivalent energy of a barrel of oil for each gallon of seawater? That is assuming that you've siphoned the isotope from each gallon of water and injected it into a fusion reactor.

Oh yes, I realize how ridiculous that comparison was. I made it just to make a point, I have no illusions on how ridiculously impossible it is to get anywhere near that amount of H2 out of the atmosphere. Some is easily reclaimable, but only a small tiny fraction. That said, even 0.0000001% of 2x10^13 is 2 million kg. Not a lot, but H2 is a naturally occurring element and a renewable resource. Still, yes, I mostly made that point as I wanted to know how much existed.


Although there is a lot of raw hydrogen gas in the atmosphere, it is not concentrated in places where you can easily extract it from other elements. Because we don't have stations that collect those those stray H2 elements from the atmosphere, then you can't exactly claim it to be a primary source of energy, can you? See above.


You say we get an astronomically huge amount of primary energy? No, we HAVE an astronomical amount of primary energy, but we can't collect it; then it essentially is not usable. Again, see above.
No, you are NOT absolutely correct.
I am from the point of view that it is a naturally occurring primary fuel. There are massive amounts of oil projected to lie under the sea floor in areas we can't get to with current technology, in much the same way as an abundance of atmospheric H2 is out of our reach. Doesn't mean I'm wrong, or that it's not a primary fuel. Plus, there are other places H2 exists in its elemental gas form than just in the atmosphere, such as from bacteria or algae.


I will admit that hydrogen that was extracted from a fossil fuel might constitute a primary source, as it was extracted from petroleum. However this is essentially energy that had already been captured millions of years ago, but altered into a different form of chemical energy. This still leaves it dependent upon another primary source. Yes, but is the need to process the petroleum to extract hydrogen any different really than processing it to extract gasoline? I never said it would not be dependent on another source, as gasoline is as well (electric power, petroleum for the both, etc etc).




Which lie? If you are referring to me spouting off about hydrolysis being the only way to produce hydrogen, then I will admit that to be wrong. Now that I see you are backing steam reforming, that still does not change the fact that hydrogen fuel is a secondary source of energy. Only steam reforming isn't a permanent solution if all oil gets depleted, or if coal is going to be rejected all the time.

The hydrolysis bit is what I was referring to. Now that it's apparent that you didn't know that it isn't used in nearly the same scale you had thought, I realize that it wasn't intentional hardheadedness. I apologize for the offense.

I'm not really backing steam reformation any more than biological hydrogen production from water (read my source above). I'm just showing that there are other options. The way I see it, hydrogen (atmospheric excepted) and gasoline are both secondary sources, as they must have processing done to their raw form to be usable. Coal isn't going anywhere soon, and liquefying coal to produce hydrocarbon molecules/solution to create hydrogen is an interesting prospect.

The plain truth is that there are a few natural resources that we simply cannot economically feasibly replace such as coal and petroleum, not just because of cars. Hydrogen and electric cars have the potential to eliminate the need for vehicle petroleum fuel distillates like gasoline and diesel, but they do nothing for the other uses of petroleum.

Furthermore, until electric car technology evolves to the point of addressing the range and utility issues, hydrogen cars are a much better alternative. Electric is the best ultimate option....but I don't see it happening anytime soon. Nor, for that matter, for wide scale hydrogen adoption.

machievelli
11-12-2009, 02:40 PM
Back in 1976, a book entitled colonies in space was published. The author, a NASA geek commented that at that time, it would cost only 186 billion dollars to build a series of solar collector satelllites that would be able to collect energy and transmit it down for use. He also pointed out that a standard power plant operates more efficiently if you don't have to cycle between high demand usage and low demand.

The technology was there in the 70s, and is still here in the next millennia. However the social engineers and anti-space lobby, along with the greens shot it down for get this; the possibility of military applications.

You see, the electricity would be beamed down to areas that have little or no weather interference, using microwaves in the KA-KU band. These frequencies are already in use by satellite communications and such TV companies as directv and dish network.

The greens fought it because the largest area with the necessary conditions is the deserts of the southwest. The beam would be tightly focused, and the 'military' application would be if you tightened that focus even more into a maser beam so if the government, decided to attack somone, they merely tighten focus, aim and shoot.

The social engineers just don't want to spend money where it's 'wasted', because they can increase welfare spending if it is kept here.

Using modern dollars, the entire system including habitats in orbit and the moon for materials would cost less than a trillion dollars. About what the US paid for the Ronald Reagan

ForeverNight
11-12-2009, 07:17 PM
And less than the projected health care reform costs.... I like this idea even more!

machievelli
11-13-2009, 02:31 PM
And less than the projected health care reform costs.... I like this idea even more!

The thing that it's detractors ignore, is this; that cost is a once off start up costs for two stations, one a space sation (Or building the International station to about twice it's present size) and one on the moon to mine materials such as titanium, which is higher in concentration there than on Earth.

This includes all of the vehicles necessary to make that trip and return with processed material.

It also includes the personnel necessary to operate the bases in question, and technicians needed to assemble the geosynchronous satellites to collect and deliver the power, and the ground stations necessary to transmit it.

But it doesn't stop there. The initial satellites would transfer power from ground stations in one country to another, so none of the present power stations need to be shut down; they would merely take the electricity from say the Tokyo megaplex and transfer it to say Europe when the usage drops in Tokyo. This has already been tested and the power loss is about 6%, comparable with transmitting power from Los Angeles to New York.

And once it is set up it doesn't need massive amounts of maintenance. From that point on power is as free as you can make it, since the sun will butn for maybe a few hundred million years yet, and with cheap power, the cost of converting to hydrogen fuel dops, as dos the price.

As an aside, the most stupid idea I heard regarding hydrogen as a fuel was a company patenting a way to make it from existing hydrocarbons. In other words, coal and oil.

Bimmerman
11-14-2009, 02:58 AM
As an aside, the most stupid idea I heard regarding hydrogen as a fuel was a company patenting a way to make it from existing hydrocarbons. In other words, coal and oil.

This is actually quite widespread and is the primary technology for the manufacturing of industrial hydrogen. It's much more efficient when compared against electrolysis. It's not a stupid idea for industrial use, but when you use hydrocarbon reformation to create vehicle fuels it gets a bit pointless as you lose energy.

However: the most common hydrocarbon used in this process is CH4, or normal methane. This gas is unsuitable for vehicle fuel use and is simply marked for industrial applications anyway (i.e. production of Ammonia and Hydrogen).....so saying that the technology reduces coal and oil to hydrogen is a massive misnomer.

Bimmerman
11-14-2009, 03:06 AM
Also, as far as the solar satellites go, a far simpler solution is to use the same sun-bathed areas as collectors instead of receivers. Simple sterling engines, using water vapor as the working fluid and an array of mirrors to vaporize said water, can be made cost effectively at ~$1k with current tech for a station of ~2 m^2. Multiply a lot of those together and you make an astonishingly large amount of power, all without the need for fancy satellites, control systems, possible weaponization, etc, and at extremely low cost relative to $186B in 1980s dollars (i.e. trillions in today's). However, it's so simple that it gets overlooked: the most elegant and best solution is often the simplest and crudest, not the fanciest and highest-tech.

Tommycat
11-14-2009, 06:51 AM
Actually when I went to Elementary <mumble> years ago. I went to Sky Harbor Elementary. The whole school ran on solar power. I heard they gutted all that though... It was cheap.. so cheap that it attracted low income families to a new neighborhood...

machievelli
11-17-2009, 07:11 PM
Also, as far as the solar satellites go, a far simpler solution is to use the same sun-bathed areas as collectors instead of receivers. Simple sterling engines, using water vapor as the working fluid and an array of mirrors to vaporize said water, can be made cost effectively at ~$1k with current tech for a station of ~2 m^2. Multiply a lot of those together and you make an astonishingly large amount of power, all without the need for fancy satellites, control systems, possible weaponization, etc, and at extremely low cost relative to $186B in 1980s dollars (i.e. trillions in today's). However, it's so simple that it gets overlooked: the most elegant and best solution is often the simplest and crudest, not the fanciest and highest-tech.

Back in the 70s and 80s the Us Government proved the argument, and failed in getting it done for one of the same reasons I enumerated. The Sierra club among others allowed them only a test plant, fighting the required bills that would have let such engines to be used. The rectennas I am talking about for satellite transmission on the ground would take up less than a 10th the space, and would run 24 hours, not just during daylight