Thread: Hydrogen Now!

Rusty - 6/15/2010 at 06:21 PM

I apologize to the purists, but I found this article on the FOX News site. Hydrogen may be closer than we think! Initally, the cars will be expensive. But I'm sure as with most new technology, prices will come down pretty quickly.


Adam Housley

Los Angeles, CA

Can the Hydrogen Highway Exist?
June 15, 2010 - 12:59 PM | by: Adam Housley

Sitting alongside what was once the last couple miles of Route 66, pumps of petrol are in full use, but one stands alone, and for most of the time we've been here, goes unused. This pump looks the same from afar, but as you move closer, the blue writing sticks out from the familiar Shell red and yellow logo.

What makes this pump different is compressed Hydrogen and what could be the future along the mother road for American drivers. Chevrolet, Honda, Chrysler and most other car manufacturers believe that by 2015, car production could be ramped-up to make Hydrogen viable as a fuel alternative and a possible answer to get America off of fossil fuel and the dependence on foreign oil.

According to Shad Balch, the Advanced Technology Product Spokesman for General Motors, "Right now, we've put more than 100 fuel cell Chevy vehicles on the road to demonstrate that the technology is real, that it's not a science project, that we can use this sort of application hopefully that will spur the investment into the infrastructure."

Balch and Honda's Jessica Fini say that their companies and others are already in the product demonstration phase and that these vehicles are already being leased by everyday American's ready to help do what they can to end the dependence. The cars are filled up with compressed hydrogen much the same way you fill your car with gas. Basically, you plug in the hose and 5 minutes later the car is full. The cost is much less than a full tank of gas and the compressed hydrogen recharges the electric batteries, which only emits a water vapor, so it's virtually clean.

While the thought of all this is exciting, some critics claim it just isn't as easy as it sounds. First, the cost of these cars is much more than most consumer's are willing to pay. GM and Honda believe they could be below $50,000 by 2015 if enough cars are ordered, but that would mean a ton more infrastructure. Right now, only 200 stations world-wide carry hydrogen and that is not nearly enough to fuel a change. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had proposed a network of stations up and down California called a "Hydrogen Highway" by 2010, but right now the state is far from that.

Jim Hossack, a consultant at Auto Pacific thinks it would be great to move away from fossil fuels, but believes we are a long way off since the cost of using petroleum can't be beat. He says, "I think its very wishful thinking that we could use hydrogen by 2015, it's already 2010, I expect as much change in the next five years as the last five years, in terms of alternative fuels it isn't a whole lot of change."

It does come down to price, but if our time sitting here at a Shell station in West Los Angeles is any indication, American's are at least interested in this idea more than before. One by one people come up and begin to ask for information about hydrogen. This pump that sat silent earlier this morning and likely has gone with little notice since it went in, now gets more action as people check it out. Is it the future? Well 2 years ago when gas prices spiked, people began to think about change and the BP spill seems to have fueled that curiosity even more.

According to Balch, "It certainly has fueled the anger to the use of petroleum and from our perspective we can't get off petroleum quick enough, I say that standing under a shell station, but yeah if anything it's just raised the debate about methods and urgency to get off the use of petroleum."


spacemonkey - 6/15/2010 at 07:29 PM

The other problem with Hydrogen is distribution.

But it is a good stop gap for clean energy, until the kinks of Nuclear Fusion are worked out.

The CERT Fusion reactor is currently being built in France. It should be the first fusion reactor to
produce more energy that it takes to start the fusion process.


Fujirich - 6/15/2010 at 09:57 PM

I was taking a late lunch break today and saw a report on this on Fox News, with the reporter at a hydrogen filling station, and a hydrogen fuel-cell powered Chevy Equinox there to demonstrate on. They discussed all the stuff mentioned in the article.

They also pulled back and showed where the hydrogen comes from. On the roof of the station sat production equipment that took local water, used electricity to split it into its component parts via electrolysis, and then retained the hydrogen to fill the tank. Considering that production process, I wonder just how efficient a hydrogen car really is. After all, what's fueling the electrical plant?

Hydrogen may be the most abundant element in the universe, but it rarely is available in its basic form.


nebish - 6/16/2010 at 04:50 AM

quote:
The other problem with Hydrogen is distribution.


I've thought that with LNG or Hydrogen fuel for cars and trucks it would make the most sense for fleet vehicles to convert to those fuels since they often fill-up in centralized locations. Like buses or delivery vehicles. Getting those vehicles off gasoline and diesel would be a small, but meaningful step in the right direction.


Rusty - 6/16/2010 at 11:45 AM

Hydrogen is simply the most readily feasible alternative out there. At least at the moment. Conservative estimates (liberal ones, too!), are that we could totally convert in as little as 15 years.
Several automobile companies (mostly foreign) already have prototype models. There are several fuel stations (mostly in California, here in the U.S.).

President Obama alluded to the fact (last night's address) that the oil companies and their lobbyists have actively been fighting against hydrogen and other alt-fuels. I was so glad to at least hear him pay reference tho this fact. This is part of my political jadedness. "Big Oil" butters the bread of virtually EVERY viable candidate. They support both sides so that no matter who wins - they are beholden to "Big Oil".

If the matter of alternative automobile fuels had been tackled back in the '70s - like it SHOULD HAVE, we probably wouldn't have this mess in the Gulf of Mexico right now.


Chain - 6/16/2010 at 12:35 PM

As mentioned above, why use electricity to create hydrogen when the same electricity can power the car in the first place? You're basically adding an unneeded step in the process.

Now obviously electricity can be "dirty" depending upon how it's made, but from an efficiency stand point, hydrogen isn't the answer. And as we move to more clean, renewable electricity production (via solar, wind, expanded hydro, geothermal, nuclear fission and fusion), and utilize an already installed and more and more efficient infrastructure (smart grid), the lower costs of providing the electricity to our vehicles makes hydrogen less and less appealing. Until the process for creating and distributing hydrogen makes a huge breakthrough, it won't be cost effective of efficient to use it on a mass scale.

And keep in mind that Honda has pumped tons of money into its Hydrogen car and very little (comparatively speaking) into pure electrical and/or hybrid vehicles. They have a lot riding on hydrogen becoming the next big fuel.


Rusty - 6/16/2010 at 12:57 PM

Not sure Chain. I'm still in the studying process, but I think that range (distance between recharge/refuel) might be a downside for a total electric vehicle.

Let me emphasize that I am not an expert. Every year I attend a conference (several, actually) where electric and hydrogen vehicles have been demonstrated.

A benefit of hydrogen - probably the one that draws the most fire from "Big Oil", coal and even electric utility companies is that one day you could power your home and car without their assistance. A total in-house system is completely plausible.

And since you brought it up - I don't care if cars are electric powered or hydrogen powered. Either will prevent messes like the one in the Gulf from occurring.


skyponydogboy - 6/16/2010 at 06:49 PM

It is the 'cost' of production that may be holding this back.
Further, do not be fooled by the 'ethanol' hoax. This is NOT the answer as it costs
20%+ more to produce, lowers gas mileage, and is harmful to most engines.
Maybe the technology will come thru for hydrogen to be a viable source. I wonder why
more nuclear plats have not been built...seemd to me that is the best way to go.
Oil and petroleum will always be needed for this nation but reduction of use would be of great benefit. The use in vehicles is not one of the problems...it's manufacturing goods that use oil based products. Plastic. Rubber.


Billastro - 6/16/2010 at 06:58 PM

However, hydrogen produces dihydrogen monoxide, which:

is called "hydroxyl acid", the substance is the major component of acid rain.

contributes to the "greenhouse effect".

may cause severe burns.

is fatal if inhaled.

contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.

accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.

may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.

has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

as an industrial solvent and coolant.

in nuclear power plants.

in the production of Styrofoam.

as a fire retardant.

in many forms of cruel animal research.

in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.

as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.

FFI, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrogen_monoxide_hoax


Billastro


Billastro - 6/16/2010 at 08:08 PM

quote:
quote:
However, hydrogen produces dihydrogen monoxide, which:

is called "hydroxyl acid", the substance is the major component of acid rain.

contributes to the "greenhouse effect".

may cause severe burns.

is fatal if inhaled.

contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.

accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.

may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.

has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

as an industrial solvent and coolant.

in nuclear power plants.

in the production of Styrofoam.

as a fire retardant.

in many forms of cruel animal research.

in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.

as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.

FFI, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrogen_monoxide_hoax


Billastro


Phew...Billastro. I thought you were serious about this one until I saw your link. I'm no chemist, but I know that dihydrogen monoxide is nothing more than water, LOL! H2O.

I was going to paste the same link to refute your claims...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrogen_monoxide_hoax




Billastro


Bhawk - 6/16/2010 at 08:12 PM

Bill

Back and with a sense of humor to boot!


Brucebcd - 6/17/2010 at 02:01 AM

and it makes your voice all BeeGee like...


Brock - 6/17/2010 at 02:16 AM

There are some downsides to using hydrogen in transportation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F54rqDh2mWA


Rusty - 6/17/2010 at 11:59 AM

There are downsides to any and every form of transportation fuel. The volatile nature of hydrogen is certainly a concern - especially at the pumps and in the event of a collision. The engineers that I work with assure me that these things can be worked around and that safety standards can be developed.

Two things that wont happen with hydrogen:

1. Young men and women will not have to go off and die in foreign countries to obtain it.
2. Coastal life and ways of life will never be endangered due to eruptions of hydrogen on the sea floor.

Whenever anything new (especially when it comes to energy) comes along, all the "Chicken Littles" line up. I was actually glad to hear President Obama address wind generated electricity during Tuesday's speech.

The stories of birds (most always cited as being endangered Condors) getting killed by wind turbines seem to always arise. As I mentioned in a thread (sometime during last year), I worked on a "green" energy video (actually, several of them) last year. We spent 4 weeks on the road visiting "wind farms". During this time, I never saw one single dead bird in the vicinity of a wind turbine. Not one.

I'm sure that on rare occasion, a bird or two might get killed. But these things are so tall (you'd have to stand next to one to appreciate how tall), it would take a very lost and confused bird of any kind to fly into one.

"What about those images that ______ posted of the dead birds at the windmill?", you might ask. They might be legit - they might be staged. "Who would stage something like this?", you might also ask. Proponents and politicians who have been "bought" by rival energy sources (consider coal and petroleum) have a vested interest in keeping new CLEAN technologies like wind, solar and even hydrogen out of the picture.

If you don't like hydrogen - fine. Feel free to select your own form of clean energy. You're going to need it one day because coal and petroleum are finite resources. They will be gone one day. The time has come to think of future generations. The time for viable alternate fuel sources is ... 1975.


MissElf - 6/17/2010 at 02:11 PM

Thanks for this topic and your posts, Rusty. I, too, was so glad to hear the president say out loud what we have known forever!

We plan to go solar and wind all the way.

There was a documentary on HBO about electric cars that were leased to a few people. Each of the people loved his/her car. Each car was taken back and stored on a lot, behind a 10 ft. tall fence. The former leasers would, go and sit and look at the cars, wondering why they were not allowed to lease anymore and certainly not allowed to buy the car! Each ones' guestions went unanswered. My guess, ...Big Oil payed them lots of money to take those cars off the road and threatened to put them out of business. The things that big companies with big money can and will do, in an instant, when their livelyhood is threatened. To Big Oil, there is only one bandwagon, and it is Big Oil's.


skyponydogboy - 6/17/2010 at 03:42 PM

Charlie, what the point was, is that vehicles are not the largest use of petroleum.
The manufacturing of goods and items we use in food containers, tires, toys, every
kind of utensil or building material, ect...uses far more than vehicles.
Why do you want to be such an **** ?


Fujirich - 6/17/2010 at 05:02 PM

We all want to see this clean energy future, but the simple fact is that unless we are willing to pay many, many times what we pay now for gas, cars, and energy to power homes and businesses, then we're on fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. Probably well past the lifetimes of most of the people posting here.

And since others (China, many parts of the developing world) will continue to use fossil fuels, we can not just blaze our own path and maintain a stable economy unless our energy costs are reasonably in line with global competitors. Getting to that point with alternatives or green solutions is far more than simply forcing them in place, hoping economies of scale will bring costs in line. If that were true, then someone from the private sector would already be doing it, since whoever cracks that nut will own the future and the trillions in profit that will come therefrom.

The best we can do today is look toward domestic solutions that keep our economy competitive and our money closer to home. I'm not surprised, given the radical objectives of this administration, that the most obvious step - natural gas - doesn't even get mentioned. But it should. I was suspicious of the "Picken's Plan" when first announced, but it has merit. Transitioning our truck fleets to natural gas as a first step is the most practical strategy we could employ to reduce oil consumption. Its cleaner, its domestic, its focused, its achievable, and its manageable. But where's the commitment? All we get are speeches like the other night's, filled with vacuous rhetoric and no plan.

Much as we might like to, we're not getting off of fossil fuels any time remotely soon. A sensible plan that bridges us to that future is sorely needed.


MissElf - 6/17/2010 at 05:11 PM

I think I'm worth every penny it takes. We pay to dirty things up, now we can pay to clean them up and to keep them that way. It is our responsibility as human beings.


Rusty - 6/17/2010 at 05:21 PM

Costs aside, the time to start development is now. Those fossil fuels WILL go away - maybe not in our lifetimes, but soon enough. I mean, we could just sit around and wait until they're gone before we get resourceful. Oh, wait! We already are. Never mind.

But seriously, as new technologies develop, prices tend to come down. I am sure that his will be the case with hydrogen - or whatever new fuel systems that may come about. Bottom line - it HAS to happen.


Rob_in_NC - 6/17/2010 at 05:34 PM

quote:
Thanks for this topic and your posts, Rusty. I, too, was so glad to hear the president say out loud what we have known forever!

We plan to go solar and wind all the way.

There was a documentary on HBO about electric cars that were leased to a few people. Each of the people loved his/her car. Each car was taken back and stored on a lot, behind a 10 ft. tall fence. The former leasers would, go and sit and look at the cars, wondering why they were not allowed to lease anymore and certainly not allowed to buy the car! Each ones' guestions went unanswered. My guess, ...Big Oil payed them lots of money to take those cars off the road and threatened to put them out of business. The things that big companies with big money can and will do, in an instant, when their livelyhood is threatened. To Big Oil, there is only one bandwagon, and it is Big Oil's.


I have to think you're talking about Who Killed The Electric Car?

http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car/70052424

Here is more info. on the EV1 electric car:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1

Kind of a heartbreaking movie - I agree, it seems as simple as the oil lobby or whatever it's called shutting down that scene.

quote:
We plan to go solar and wind all the way.


Right on!


Bhawk - 6/17/2010 at 05:35 PM

quote:
All we get are speeches like the other night's, filled with vacuous rhetoric and no plan.



He mentions alternatives to begin with and you pass scorn because he's taking advantage of the crisis to advance his evil energy agenda.

But, since he did mention them, you pass scorn because he didn't mention the right ones or the right plan with exact details of that evil energy agenda.

Give. Me. A. F*cking. Break.


Fujirich - 6/17/2010 at 06:09 PM

quote:
quote:
All we get are speeches like the other night's, filled with vacuous rhetoric and no plan.

He mentions alternatives to begin with and you pass scorn because he's taking advantage of the crisis to advance his evil energy agenda.

But, since he did mention them, you pass scorn because he didn't mention the right ones or the right plan with exact details of that evil energy agenda.

Give. Me. A. F*cking. Break.
Give. Yourself. A. F*cking. Break.

You seem far more in need than I, offering knee-jerk defenses for this boob at the slightest negative comment.

Even the Obama asskissers on MSNBC, the NYT's, and many others on the left decried his lack of "how" in the speech the other night, and his obvious poor management skills. How can this come as some surprise from someone who never managed or ran anything in his life before?


Bhawk - 6/17/2010 at 06:17 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
All we get are speeches like the other night's, filled with vacuous rhetoric and no plan.

He mentions alternatives to begin with and you pass scorn because he's taking advantage of the crisis to advance his evil energy agenda.

But, since he did mention them, you pass scorn because he didn't mention the right ones or the right plan with exact details of that evil energy agenda.

Give. Me. A. F*cking. Break.
Give. Yourself. A. F*cking. Break.

You seem far more in need than I, offering knee-jerk defenses for this boob at the slightest negative comment.

Even the Obama asskissers on MSNBC, the NYT's, and many others on the left decried his lack of "how" in the speech the other night, and his obvious poor management skills. How can this come as some surprise from someone who never managed or ran anything in his life before?


This "boob" got BP to pledge $20 BILLION dollars to help the "small people." I'd say that's a decent accomplishment. As a matter of fact, he did that by sitting down with the heads of BP and discussing it in a calm, respectful manner, which is exactly what YOU bagged on him for NOT doing just a few short days ago. If Obama is so weak with no skills, why didn't BP tell him to go f*ck himself?

I don't give a $hit what MSNBC or the NYT say, Rich. I could care less, and, besides, why get pi$$ed at me? If I'm so wrong about the guy then you should be laughing at me, not getting mad, right?

You go on ahead and keep dissecting the speeches. I prefer to watch actual actions.


Fujirich - 6/17/2010 at 07:06 PM

quote:
I could care less, and, besides, why get pi$$ed at me?
What evidence shows that I'm pissed at you? I just used your own phrase back at you for goodness sakes. The famous Bhawk sensitivity strikes again!

quote:
I prefer to watch actual actions.
So then everything's dandy because he got a pledge of money from BP, but spent the first two months mostly acting as an absent landlord, showing up for a few photo-ops when necessary. Interesting judgement on what actions are important or not. I'd say your opinion is in the minority compared to the almost all media sources, and polls of US citizens.


Bhawk - 6/17/2010 at 07:10 PM

quote:
What evidence shows that I'm pissed at you? I just used your own phrase back at you for goodness sakes. The famous Bhawk sensitivity strikes again!



LOL...never mad once here. Funny you read it that way.

quote:
So then everything's dandy because he got a pledge of money from BP, but spent the first two months mostly acting as an absent landlord, showing up for a few photo-ops when necessary. Interesting judgement on what actions are important or not. I'd say your opinion is in the minority compared to the almost all media sources, and polls of US citizens.


So what if my opinion is? I don't care.

Funny how much of my last response you avoided. I'm sure the idea of a corporation losing money to the small people brought a tear to your eye, huh?


Bhawk - 6/17/2010 at 07:10 PM

By the way, Rich, how do they stop the leak?


Fujirich - 6/17/2010 at 07:33 PM

quote:
Funny how much of my last response you avoided.
quote:
Haha, I write four paragraphs from which you pick out one sentence starting this detour, and you're criticizing me for avoidance? Try living by your own standards if you hope to be taken seriously.


Bhawk - 6/17/2010 at 07:40 PM

quote:
quote:
Funny how much of my last response you avoided.
quote:
Haha, I write four paragraphs from which you pick out one sentence starting this detour, and you're criticizing me for avoidance? Try living by your own standards if you hope to be taken seriously.


I'm not taken seriously? Gasp! You wound me.

Get on with your bad-a$$ self, Rich.

Apologies to Rusty for the thread swerve.


Chain - 6/18/2010 at 01:25 PM

Back to the thread subject. I still say we need to move toward electric and hybrid vehicles for average consumers and the large fleet vehicles (over the road trucks, mass transit buses, etc.) could be fueled by liquid natural gas. Given we have was is now reputed to be the third largest reserves in the world of Natural gas, it seems crazy not to be using more of it.

Again, the increased electrical demands could be met with natural gas powered electrical plants, solar, wind, hydro, geo-thermal, and additional newer technology nuclear plants. We also need much greater emphasis on electrical efficiency. All the way from a "smarter grid" to energy efficient households (appliances, lighting, heating, cooling, etc..) and buildings.


Billastro - 6/18/2010 at 02:15 PM

quote:
Bill

Back and with a sense of humor to boot!
I've always had a sense of humor, but it sometimes deserts me in the WP. I went on hiatus for a while to distance myself from some of my responses.

I'd rather go for quality over quantity, and to be able to keep myself a little bit lighter. I'll still post opposing opinions, but I'm aware that I probably won't change anyone's foundational beliefs, and that I'll still hold to mine. But as long as I can maintain this, I'll avoid crankiness

Billastro


Bhawk - 6/18/2010 at 02:20 PM

quote:
quote:
Bill

Back and with a sense of humor to boot!
I've always had a sense of humor, but it sometimes deserts me in the WP. I went on hiatus for a while to distance myself from some of my responses.

I'd rather go for quality over quantity, and to be able to keep myself a little bit lighter. I'll still post opposing opinions, but I'm aware that I probably won't change anyone's foundational beliefs, and that I'll still hold to mine. But as long as I can maintain this, I'll avoid crankiness

Billastro


I'll believe it when I see it.

Always good to see you posting, Bill.


alloak41 - 6/18/2010 at 03:00 PM

quote:
I mean, we could just sit around and wait until they're gone before we get resourceful. Oh, wait! We already are. Never mind.


Are we about to run out of oil?


Rusty - 6/18/2010 at 03:12 PM

quote:
quote:
I mean, we could just sit around and wait until they're gone before we get resourceful. Oh, wait! We already are. Never mind.


Are we about to run out of oil?


If you were to create a timeline that started at the Industrial Revolution and ran to the present - then added a bar that refelcted the amount of "sanely accessible" oil supplies available then and now, I think you'd see that at the current rate of consumption, supply exhaustion can't be too far up the road.

Early in the 1970's, estimates for PEAK OIL PRODUCTION were given based on the number of automobiles on the road (gasoline consumption) at THAT TIME. I think the estimate was that we'd peak at a point in the late 90's. The problem is, the number of automobiles on the road has increased at a rate higher than the original estimate. I believe that the current general consensus is that we actually passed peak production in the late '70s/early '80s.

If you're only concerned about the amount of petroleum that will be required during your own lifetime - yeah, you're probably safe. We will not run out of oil on your watch or calendar.

We just might want to save some for the next several generations. they'll need it to stay warm in the winters while they actually have to develop alt-fuels out of necessity.

I mentioned in another thread that I am actually a tad bit more conservative than a lot of the folks who post here. I am also a dirt-wallowing, tree-hugging fan of the environment.

This issue should not be one that divides political parties. Like all others, though it can be turned into a poilitcal football.


alloak41 - 6/18/2010 at 03:16 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
I mean, we could just sit around and wait until they're gone before we get resourceful. Oh, wait! We already are. Never mind.


Are we about to run out of oil?



Should we wait until we do before we plan for the future?


Sure we should plan, and base those plans mainly around sources that already
exist -- natural gas, nuclear, coal. I realize the lack of trendiness in these sources. They are stodgy and boring -- but time tested and effective. If these were expanded, we probably wouldn't need a drop of oil for power generation. Our oil consumption would
fall by around 30%.


Billastro - 6/21/2010 at 02:36 PM

quote:
Bill

Back and with a sense of humor to boot!
I drop out every now and then so folks will welcome me back

Spare time has been short, and I've mostly lurked. But this one drew my attention, as well as my vast expertise (all together now, "Yeah, right!").

Electric cars exist:
but cost a fortune and have limited ranges. Wikipedia says
quote:
According to an independent analysis from the U.S. EPA, the Roadster can travel 244 miles (393 km) on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack, and can accelerate from 060 mph (097 km/h) in 3.7 seconds. The Roadster's efficiency, as of September 2008, was reported as 120 mpgge (2.0 L/100 km). It uses 135 Wh/km (21.7 kWh/100 mi or 490 kJ/km) battery-to-wheel, and has an efficiency of 92% on average.

The Roadster has a net base price of US$101,500 after a $7,500 U.S. federal tax credit is discounted ($109,000 MRSP price), and there are other tax credits and incentives in several states.
I'll wait....

Hydrogen has a whole raft of problems beyond its explosiveness, with its cost effectiveness probably being one of the worst. How much energy does it take to produce compared with the energy it releases for a car? How much will 300 miles' worth of hydrogen cost? A tankful of 87-octane in my '99 Escort less than $30, and fills a small volume of space.

How will our cars carry around the compressed hydrogen? A tank strong enough to contain it will probably weigh enough to affect the mileage, etc.

Liquefying it will condense it, but storing and refrigerating it will add to the weight of the storage "trailer".

If it explodes (crash, etc.)...


Overall, it sounds like a good idea, but I don't think we have the technology to pull it off, and I doubt that it would be competitive with gas, unless subsidized. And I'm agin' subsidies.

Billastro


Bhawk - 6/21/2010 at 02:40 PM

quote:
If it explodes (crash, etc.)...



We made it through the Pinto years...


Chain - 6/21/2010 at 02:45 PM

Again, why use hydrogen (and all the costs, technical issues, HUGE infrastructure investment, etc.) to produce electricity to drive a car when we already have the infrastructure in place now to allow you to simply charge your car with electricity? You're adding a hugely expensive and inefficient process into the equation. And as batteries become cheaper, more efficient, longer life span, etc. and the grid and generating processes the same (and greener and more renewable) it makes hydrogen even more cost prohibitive. And electric and/or hybrid cars are getting cheaper faster. Hydrogen is way behind in this all important category.


Rusty - 6/21/2010 at 03:41 PM

The main problem with electric vehicles is that you can't "fill-up" in 5 minutes. They'll be great for around town (plug in and recharge overnight), but long drives (more than 100 miles or so) will not be feasible.

Like I said, I'm certainly no expert but gasoline is going to be phased out eventually. I imagine that in the next several years we'll see a return to gasoline rationing - a la WWII. Alternate fuels will become a reality eventually.


Chain - 6/21/2010 at 03:45 PM

Actually Rusty, there's already companies leveraging themselves to be providers of batteries as well as charge stations. For instance if you don't want to wait 20 minutes to charge your car, you simply swap out your batteries in five minutes and away you go. It's just one concept that's being proposed to address the range and charge issues.


Chain - 6/21/2010 at 03:50 PM

quote:
quote:
Again, why use hydrogen (and all the costs, technical issues, HUGE infrastructure investment, etc.) to produce electricity to drive a car when we already have the infrastructure in place now to allow you to simply charge your car with electricity? You're adding a hugely expensive and inefficient process into the equation. And as batteries become cheaper, more efficient, longer life span, etc. and the grid and generating processes the same (and greener and more renewable) it makes hydrogen even more cost prohibitive. And electric and/or hybrid cars are getting cheaper faster. Hydrogen is way behind in this all important category.


I agree with you to a point, but my question is that there are many cities whose electrical grids are already overloaded, especially in the summer, and could they handle the influx of many electric cars? IMO, cities are the first place that electric cars would be feasible because of the relatively short range they have right now.


And those grids need to be updated anyway. So why not just update the electrical grid and solve two problems at once instead of building an entire new infrastructure for the hydrogen and also updating the electrical grid. And the beauty of electric and hybrids is you can more easily pump excess electricity back into the grid or use them as a home generator. Hydrogen cars may also serve that functions too, but again are still in their infancy and much more expensive and costly.


Chain - 6/21/2010 at 05:06 PM

A complete upgrade of the electrical grid was estimated to cost between about 60 - 100 Billion a year or so ago (yeah that's right, about the same amount of money we pissed away in Iraq last year alone). But to do both, upgrade the grid and build an entirely new hydrogen infrastructure, would be many, many more billions. That's why it makes even more sense to simply upgrade the electrical grid. One big project that would have a much greater return on investment. It simply doesn't make sense, as the technology stands at the moment anyway, to move to hydrogen powered automobiles. Electric, hybrids, and liquid natural gas fleet vehicles are hugely advantageous to hydrogen.


Jerry - 5/26/2019 at 02:48 AM

To answer the question of production of Hydrogen, dc power is needed to split the oxygen and hydrogen, so solar power would be the best all around way to go. Iceland uses steam from geothermal vents to split the water.

Distribution can be done at full service stations already in place. Car companies would need to set up the vehicles with quick connect fittings like on gas grills, just with more robust piping.
The attendant would merely have to unlock the "filler door", take loose three bolts, pull the cylinder out halfway, undo the connecting hose and finish sliding out the cylinder.
Slide in the fresh cylinder halfway, hook up the hose, finish seating the cylinder, tighten the three bolts, and weigh the old cylinder for credit on what fuel remains inside.
One added benefit of using hydrogen is that the tank could be seated in a heat exchanger so that evaporation of the gas could help cool down the car on hot days.


BrerRabbit - 5/26/2019 at 05:20 PM

quote:
Slide in the fresh cylinder halfway, hook up the hose, finish seating the cylinder




Jerry - 5/27/2019 at 02:05 AM

quote:
quote:
Slide in the fresh cylinder halfway, hook up the hose, finish seating the cylinder






Don't forget to use the three nuts.


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