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Thread: New Fuel Cell System Idea

  1. #1 New Fuel Cell System Idea 
    Forum Bachelors Degree The P-manator's Avatar
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    Hey I've been working on this system and I need feedback to make it better. I've basically thought of using the heat that the fuel cell in a car generates to boil water and use the steam to run a turbine. Then I could either use the electricity form the turbine to make more hydrogen or help run the motor. I dunno if this would be practical, but it sounded like a good idea, so I started working on it.


    Pierre

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  3. #2  
    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    Good try, but the energy your losing in the phase change with the water and the ineffeciency of steam engines would put you into an energy defecit that would quickly run you out of "gas."

    One of the problems of using hydrogen is that electricity must be used to make the hydrogen (by decomposing water) and that this electricity must come from somewhere. If it comes from solar, or wind, the energy debt is no big deal, but burning fossil fuels to make hydrogen to run your car ends up being the same as just having a car that runs on fossil fuels. Basically, I'm trying to point out that what your trying to solve there is a problem even on an industrial scale.

    But I do admire your effort not to waste energy. I spend a lot of time myself thinking of the same scenarios.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Bachelors Degree The P-manator's Avatar
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    ...the energy your losing in the phase change with the water and the ineffeciency of steam engines would put you into an energy defecit that would quickly run you out of "gas."
    How would I be using energy? Where is my phase change? If I'm just using the heat to boil the water, then wouldn't I be saving energy than just wasting the heat? And what "gas" are you talking about. I thought of having the heat stored to boil the water for a while, then release it and let more heat in, to prevent overheating. But then again, I accept your comments as correct because I believe myself to be much less experienced than others in this field (being only 13). Thank you.
    Pierre

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  5. #4  
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    simply put, everytime you wanna convert 'lost energy' (heat usually) into 'useful energy' it takes more effort to do so then not to.
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  6. #5  
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    It seems like a reasonable idea to me. He's just talking about a way to make it waste less energy. I don't see any reason it couldn't work.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    Sorry, I misread your post.

    Still you wouldn't be getting much out of it. Steam engines are inefficient and I'm pretty sure you'd get into debt using it. A better method would be to use to kinetic energy of the vehicle to generate electricity, whether it be through the alternator or there is something else that I can't think of the word for to save my life, but I think it has a cousin in the Honda Insight where braking recharges the battery.

    I do agree with trying to save all the heat you can, and to me something running hot (like a car engine or an incandescent light bulb) show's me it's inefficient.

    You could always just stick one of these babies on there instead of a steam engine:

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/stirling-engine.htm
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  8. #7  
    Forum Bachelors Degree The P-manator's Avatar
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    That would be awesome, but how would you trap the heat? I was thinking of a thermal "room" were the heat can be trapped but not cooled by the outdoor temprature.
    Pierre

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  9. #8  
    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    An insulator?
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  10. #9  
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    Yeah, basically.
    Pierre

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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman KazaKhan™®©'s Avatar
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    You've been beaten to the punch
    turbosteamer...
    I started with nothing and I still have most of it left...
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  12. #11  
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    Yeah well mine doesn't pollute, so ha!

    I was also thinking of taking the water vapor (the exhaust of the fuel cell) and sort of cooling it to make it water, then use that water to make more steam, and the steam itslef could be recycled.
    Pierre

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