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Thread: Hydrogen powered cars

  1. #1 Hydrogen powered cars 
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    Well unless they make micro cold fusion reactors, hydrogen will never be used in cars for power. Mainly because storage is a nightmare. So the only contenders for replacing oil in cars are LiIon batteries and bio fuels, with a the scale tilting for the latter.


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    your point? It sounds like you are responding to another thread.


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    The problem is more transportation of the hydrogen than storage in cars. Pressurized hydrogen tanks combined with fuel cells are actually less wieght and size than conventional gas+engine or the hybrids and have excellent efficiency.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The problem is more transportation of the hydrogen than storage in cars. Pressurized hydrogen tanks combined with fuel cells are actually less wieght and size than conventional gas+engine or the hybrids and have excellent efficiency.
    That's not what I read. For a good range you would need a very heavy steel tank that eliminates all the weight gains from the lower density of hydrogen, or you would need to use materials which are currently very expensive, or not available.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekib82
    That's not what I read. For a good range you would need a very heavy steel tank that eliminates all the weight gains from the lower density of hydrogen, or you would need to use materials which are currently very expensive, or not available.
    The tech is already proven.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX_Clarity
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by shekib82
    That's not what I read. For a good range you would need a very heavy steel tank that eliminates all the weight gains from the lower density of hydrogen, or you would need to use materials which are currently very expensive, or not available.
    The tech is already proven.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX_Clarity
    the range is quite limited. 240 miles only, the tesla does better than that. Furthermore the tesla doesn't pose the same danger on collisions.

    Also what happens in the FX if you leave it filled up for a few days without driving it.
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    Range is roughly the same and the fuel cell vehicle can recharge in a few minutes compared to nearly an hour for the Tesla.

    Storage shouldn't be a problem and fears of explosion are mostly fear of the unknown--it's not more risky than gasoline.

    You're initial post was wrong. It's far too early to write them off and there are already practical examples. Other manufactures are going ahead as well:
    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/05...-cell-vehicle/

    The Europeans are forging ahead with establishing the infrastructure. My only reservation isn't whether the cars are practical or viable; they certainly are. The real problem is producing hydrogen which as far as know is still pretty energy intensive and challenging for long-term storage and transporting large amounts to support a robust refuel infrastructure.
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  9. #8  
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    Apparently, putting chicken feathers in the fuel tank increases its storage capacity.


    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0623120833.htm

    http://www.oregonlive.com/environmen...oaks_up_h.html

    http://cleantechnica.com/2009/06/24/...ve-55-million/


    The main problems will be the things Lynx has been mentioning: large scale storage and transportation. Also, the technology used in the hydrogen-electric process for cars uses platinum group metals as the catalyst, and those are rare Earth minerals. How to give everyone access to rare Earth minerals is one of those problems we couldn't solve even if we were infinity economically successful. You might as well try to find a way to give everyone an original Van Gogh painting.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The real problem is producing hydrogen which as far as know is still pretty energy intensive.
    Most hydrogen is still produced by methods that release as much, if not more CO2 into the atmosphere than directly burning fossil fuels. Building a hydrogen infrastucture is only going to create an incentive to increase CO2 generation until such time as alternative production methods come on line, if ever. In theory the CO2 can be captured and sequestered but this also has added costs and may require major pipeline construction. If refineries and coal producers can continue to make hydrogen cheaply and vent the CO2 (while neglecting to publicise this part of the process, naturally) the alternatives will probably never be viable. That's why I am a hydrogen skeptic.
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    The advantage is that, even though direct water-to-hydrogen conversion is among the least efficient ways to produce it, solar and wind farms could use excess electricity generated during off-peak hours to produce it instead of just letting it go to waste.


    In other words, if we go solar/wind and hydrogen at the same time together, the two will complement each other in a way that makes the combination of the two greater than the sum of its parts.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The advantage is that, even though direct water-to-hydrogen conversion is among the least efficient ways to produce it, solar and wind farms could use excess electricity generated during off-peak hours to produce it instead of just letting it go to waste.


    In other words, if we go solar/wind and hydrogen at the same time together, the two will complement each other in a way that makes the combination of the two greater than the sum of its parts.
    The point I was making, but apparently didn't make clear, is that we are years, or decades away from having wind/solar-produced hydrogen in sufficient quantities to make much of a difference. Meanwhile the coal producers will provide all the hydrogen the hydrogen infrastructure can suck up while dumping massive quantities of CO2 into the air and adverstising themselves to gullible consumers as green and clean.
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    The "power that is readily available" is mostly coal in the US, which is the most polluting source of electricity. And here in NJ electricity costs 15-25 cents per KWH, which ain't cheap.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The advantage is that, even though direct water-to-hydrogen conversion is among the least efficient ways to produce it, solar and wind farms could use excess electricity generated during off-peak hours to produce it instead of just letting it go to waste.


    In other words, if we go solar/wind and hydrogen at the same time together, the two will complement each other in a way that makes the combination of the two greater than the sum of its parts.
    The point I was making, but apparently didn't make clear, is that we are years, or decades away from having wind/solar-produced hydrogen in sufficient quantities to make much of a difference. Meanwhile the coal producers will provide all the hydrogen the hydrogen infrastructure can suck up while dumping massive quantities of CO2 into the air and adverstising themselves to gullible consumers as green and clean.
    That may be so, but they will soon be supplanted. I don't mind the idea of living off of that stuff for the 10-20 years it takes to get the solar/wind online.

    There are three stages in the process:

    1) - We need a demand for hydrogen powered cars and a distribution network. Cheap coal hydrogen makes that possible to create.

    2) - We need a demand for solar/wind. A large hydrogen powered cars and distribution infrastructure gives us that.

    3) - We need solar/wind-hydrogen to become cheaper than coal-hydrogen. A large demand for solar/wind will cause that to happen on its own. Once large factories have been built to meet large demand, economy of scale will kick in to naturally bring the price down, but you have to get to that economy of scale situation first.


    Unfortunately, there is no way all 3 could ever happen simultaneously. They have to follow each other in order. First #1, then #2, then #3. (So I'm kind of contradicting my earlier statement about doing both at once.)

    The reason I think coal will be supplanted is because there aren't a lot of ways for the coal mining process to get any cheaper than it is already. Economy of scale conditions for that field have already been met for a long time. That means whatever consumer driven advancement the field was ever going to get has mostly happened already. It's a dinosaur. Wind and Solar, on the other hand, are just getting started.
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  15. #14  
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    Solar Cells especially have a history that is closely tied to the semi-conductor industry, which I have some limited experience with. The semi-conductor industry has always really really really big reductions in price whenever economy of scale conditions are met. I think it would be unlikely for solar power not to follow in that pattern.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_C...ice_reductions
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The advantage is that, even though direct water-to-hydrogen conversion is among the least efficient ways to produce it, solar and wind farms could use excess electricity generated during off-peak hours to produce it instead of just letting it go to waste.


    In other words, if we go solar/wind and hydrogen at the same time together, the two will complement each other in a way that makes the combination of the two greater than the sum of its parts.
    I agree hydrogen could provide a great energy storage for renewable energy systems . In fact it is the only possible technology that could pave the way for a future where all electricity comes from renewable sources. Furthermore storing the hydrogen for electricity generation isn't as big a problem as it is for cars as it can be put in underground caves either natural or artificial.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    That may be so, but they will soon be supplanted. I don't mind the idea of living off of that stuff for the 10-20 years it takes to get the solar/wind online.
    The extra CO2 that hydrogen production from reforming fossil fuels for fueling cars for the next several decades will remain in the atmosphere for a very long time:

    David Archer wrote:
    I calculate a mean lifetime, from the sum of all the processes, of about 30,000 years. That’s a deceptive number, because it is so strongly influenced by the immense longevity of that long tail. If one is forced to simplify reality into a single number for popular discussion, several hundred years is a sensible number to choose, because it tells three-quarters of the story, and the part of the story which applies to our own lifetimes.
    If our grandchildren switch to wind, solar or other renewable methods of hydrogen production they can never remove the CO2 we bequeathed them.

    coal...It's a dinosaur.
    No, it's plant matter
    Wind and Solar, on the other hand, are just getting started.
    True, and Shell for one fossil company have decided to stop investing in wind and solar because there's no profit there.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by shekib82
    That's not what I read. For a good range you would need a very heavy steel tank that eliminates all the weight gains from the lower density of hydrogen, or you would need to use materials which are currently very expensive, or not available.
    The tech is already proven.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX_Clarity
    Please note a couple things the wiki article says:
    Running costs

    It is reported in 2009 that hydrogen made from natural gas cost about $5 to $10 per kilogram in California. Although it was more than double the equivalent amount of gasoline during the summer of 2009, fuel-cell cars have at least double the efficiency of similar models with a gasoline engine. The FCX Clarity averaged 60 miles per kilogram of hydrogen .[12]
    [edit] Tax credits

    On 25 July 2007 the United States Internal Revenue Service announced that the Honda’s FCX had met the requirements of the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit as a qualified fuel cell motor vehicle. Purchasers of the 2005 and 2006 Honda FCX are eligible for a $12,000 Section 30B(b) credit, but consumers are not currently allowed to purchase the vehicle, as it is still available only for leasing, and only in Southern California, where public hydrogen refueling stations are available.

    The leasing program began in July 2007 at a price of $600.00 USD per month for 3 years which includes collision coverage, all maintenance and roadside assistance.[13] Honda announced Power Honda Costa Mesa, Honda of Santa Monica and Scott Robinson Honda as the initial dealers, which were chosen for their proximity to hydrogen refueling stations.
    First off, I am not a fan of tax credits. However, it may be a long time before we can ever buy one of these vehicles. If they are sold in the USA, then they have to support spare parts for so many years. As these are all still essentially USA market prototypes, how long could it be before someone can actually buy one?

    I'm not very keen on the hydrogen costing so much either.
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