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Thread: why energy has to be fluid

  1. #1 why energy has to be fluid 
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    There are several 'alternative' energies discussed among people.

    Hydrogen
    Ethanol
    Natural Gas
    Propane
    ..


    However, have you wondered why they are all either fluids or gaseous ? The car industry has previously been working on electric vehicles, with better and better energy storage systems (batteries).
    Now producing the fuels mentioned above costs more electricity than their actual energy output. Why would someone want to spend 1kw to produce a fuel with 0.8 times that energy

    It is simple. While electric cars don't waste energy, the energy they consume can hardly be controlled by large oil companies. As long as a fuel is fluid, it can be sold at as stations. Electric vehicles can be plugged at home, and that's what the oil companies don't want.

    If you take all the money that is being spent on research for alternative energies, you could make batteries that are green, and which can store a lot of electricity.


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  3. #2 why energy has to be fluid? 
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    Because you should also look for source of energy. While existing petroleum products emits harmful CO2 gas, the alternative is not an alternate of oil, but for controlling the emission. The source of electrical energy in form of batteries is very less and it is also not so efficient in long run. (You have to change your battery every now and then and it costs much).


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  4. #3  
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    YES you have to charge it.

    BUT it is more efficient than filling up with hydrogen / ethanol

    WHY

    Because to produce the energy you have to use to PRODUCE 1 gal of hydroge, is much higher. In other words, if you use X amount of electricity to make a gallon of hydrogen, that 1 gal of hydrogen takes you less far than if you put that X amount of energy directly into a car battery.
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  5. #4  
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    You are totally missing the central point as to why the oil companies are investing in fluid alternative fuels. It is not conspiracy. It is not rampant capitalism. It is not an illuminati plot. It is inertia.

    Oil companies understand fluid fuels. They no how to process them, transport them, store them; analyse them, refine them, crack them and combine them; their laboratories are filled with chemists who are intimately familiar with them; they have engineers and technicians who have spent their lives working with them; they have facilities and resources that revolve around them.

    In that environment, to investigate alternative energy forms, is almost impossible.
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  6. #5  
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    I'm not missing the point. I understand that due to the design of the existing infrastructure the oil industry has, it would be impossilbe to switch to electricity for transportation, because that would mean:

    -Switch from fluid fuel production to nuclear fuel production

    -Supply oil/fluid fuels to power plants

    -Immense losses in money


    Oil companies have no control over the electricity grid, therefore it is vital to maintain a fluid fuel transportation system. I don't see where I am missing any point.
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  7. #6  
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    You believe the control reluctance to explore non-fluid power sources is a direct result of deliberate planning on the part of the oil companies. At heart this is a conspiracy theory.

    Like most conspiracy theories it falls down because it
    a) assumes that the conspirators (in this case the oil companies) have the level of foresight, planning, and commitment to implement such a plan.
    b) ignores the simpler explantion of inertia, I offered in my prior post.

    That is the point I believe you are missing.
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  8. #7 Re: why energy has to be fluid 
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    Quote Originally Posted by oracle
    However, have you wondered why they are all either fluids or gaseous ?
    Yeah, I did. Then I looked into it an learned that liquid fuels like gasoline have an energy density of around 40 megajoules/kilogram, which is about fifty times greater than the best batteries available (lithium-ion batteries, which store about 750 kj/kilogram).

    When you pump gas into your car you are transfering energy at a rate of around 5-10 megawatts. You could probably build a 5 megawatt charging station for a battery-powered car, but I doubt anyone would want to stand near it...
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  9. #8  
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    Yeah, and a hydrogen tank in a vehicle can hold about 4kg of fuel. Also, since you have electricity everywhere, why would anyone need a 5 MW charging station Most people drive 39 miles a day, and electric cars can roll for about 100 miles before having to be charged. People plug them in in the evening and they are fully charged in the morning, so....

    Secondly, super capacitors are being developped, and they will replace batteries anyways.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by oracle
    Yeah, and a hydrogen tank in a vehicle can hold about 4kg of fuel.
    I'm not aware of any serious proposals to power cars with a tank of hydrogen gas.

    Also, since you have electricity everywhere, why would anyone need a 5 MW charging station
    Because people want to be able to drive 100+ miles on trips without having to stop after every 2 hours of driving in order to spend 3-4 hours charging their car. A 500 mile, seven hour trip in a gasoline-powered car becomes a 30-hour trip.

    Most people drive 39 miles a day, and electric cars can roll for about 100 miles before having to be charged. People plug them in in the evening and they are fully charged in the morning, so.
    Yes, but most people also want to be able to take long car trips. Very few people would be willing to buy an electric car for communting and also buy a second car just for long trips.
    Secondly, super capacitors are being developped, and they will replace batteries anyways.
    Capacitors are hideously expensive, and although super capacitors have to potential to replace batteris in many application there is no reason to suspect that capacitor technology will get any cheaper.

    However, I grant you the possibility that at some point in the future electrical storage technology might be good enough to allow for efficient electric cars - we just aren't there yet.

    It doesn't help that no one has yet managed to make an electric car that doesn't cost tens of thousands more than an equivilant regular car. Any possible savings from high gas prices are quickly eliminated by the much higher cost.
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  11. #10  
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    True that. But unlike you, I think there are many people who would be ok with a 120 mile driving range. Most households already have several cars, there is often at least one other available for longer trips.

    You are right, electricity storage capacity is improving, and hopefully we will soon have longe range electric cars. By the way, Toyota is going to sell a plug-in hybrid, it will roll the first 40 miles or so solely on electricity, and for the rest it will use its gasoline engine. I expect the oil industry to start worrying when that happens.
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  12. #11  
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    Also, you have to keep in mind that the oil industry and the car industry are not the same thing. If a car company thought they could make money selling electric cars, they would do it. The oil industry might not like it, but the car industry isn't going to worry about hurting the oil industry's feelings if there's profit to be had.
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  13. #12  
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    First of all,couple of problems with batteries should be solved:

    1)Energy density of batteries
    2)Cost of batteries (Lithium would not work)
    3)Longevity of batteries
    4)Speed and safety of charging process

    Currently most vitable in those senses look mechanically replaceable
    metal-air fuel cells,such as Silicon-air,Aluminum-air and so on.
    But first, they need to work to increase their practical energy density
    (as opposed to theoretical).
    Antislavery
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  14. #13 here's an idea 
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    skip the industry and make yourself an engine!

    pro: you don't have to deal with industry inefficiency or slowness to change. you don't have to pay labor costs. its fun. you get exactly what you want, and you know your model inside and out, so you can tweak it.

    con: it may or may not be legal. you have to know what you're doing. you probably need some form of 3D modeling software. parts can be expensive.
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