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Old 04-29-2009, 08:36 AM   #1
Darth_Yuthura
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More nonsense: Hydrogen for an alternate energy source

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?
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:21 AM   #2
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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

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

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


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Old 04-29-2009, 09:47 AM   #3
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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).


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Old 04-29-2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth View Post
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:
Quote:
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...

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*).


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Old 04-29-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommycat View Post
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.


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Old 04-29-2009, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
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.


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Old 04-29-2009, 02:39 PM   #7
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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. 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. 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.


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Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:26 PM   #8
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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. 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. 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.


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Old 04-29-2009, 03:40 PM   #9
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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.


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Old 04-29-2009, 03:56 PM   #10
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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.


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Old 04-29-2009, 03:56 PM   #11
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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.


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Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:16 PM   #12
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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?


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Old 04-29-2009, 07:40 PM   #13
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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.


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Old 04-29-2009, 09:28 PM   #14
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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.


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Old 04-29-2009, 09:47 PM   #15
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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...

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.


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Old 04-29-2009, 10:33 PM   #16
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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.


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Old 04-29-2009, 10:37 PM   #17
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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.

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Old 04-29-2009, 11:12 PM   #18
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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.


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Old 04-29-2009, 11:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
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.

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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?


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Old 04-30-2009, 12:00 AM   #20
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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.

Quote:
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.


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Old 04-30-2009, 12:13 AM   #21
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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 kinda nifty.


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Old 04-30-2009, 01:09 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
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.

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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
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

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Old 04-30-2009, 01:18 AM   #23
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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?
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:26 AM   #24
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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.


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Old 04-30-2009, 01:33 AM   #25
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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.


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Old 04-30-2009, 01:47 AM   #26
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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.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:58 AM   #27
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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?

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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.

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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.

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Originally Posted by Qliveur
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?

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Originally Posted by Qliveur
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...0406102555.htm
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:20 AM   #28
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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.


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Old 04-30-2009, 02:25 AM   #29
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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...).


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Old 04-30-2009, 02:32 AM   #30
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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


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Old 04-30-2009, 02:48 AM   #31
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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.

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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.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:59 AM   #32
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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
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.
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:00 AM   #33
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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. 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.
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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.
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True, but outside of wind power what do you suggest?
Well, for the coasts, tidal hydroelectric 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.
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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.
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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...0406102555.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. 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.


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Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:15 AM   #34
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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.

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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.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:04 AM   #35
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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.


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Old 04-30-2009, 04:07 AM   #36
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.


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Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:32 AM   #37
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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.


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Old 04-30-2009, 07:31 AM   #38
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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.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:55 AM   #39
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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.


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Old 04-30-2009, 02:33 PM   #40
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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 ). Is it ethical? Not really. Will it be necessary? Well, in this case, yes.
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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 far more efficiently than any seed crop, making it a possible and even realistic replacement for petroleum in the short-term using current technology.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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