View Single Post
Old 06-15-2009, 03:45 PM   #77
Junior Member
Bimmerman's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bouncing off the Rev Limiter
Posts: 437
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
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.

Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
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.

Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
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's more of a pain than a boon.

Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
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.

Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
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.

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.

A racing addiction makes a crack addiction look like a vague desire for something salty. -Randy Hickman

Fear disturbs your concentration. - Sabine Schmitz
Bimmerman is offline   you may: quote & reply,