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The tipping point is right around the corner.

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by MJSfoto1956, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    My understanding of fuel cells is that, at least early on, they had a problem with hydro-carbon based sources of hydrogen, of getting clogged up (contaminated). Maybe that isn't the case with 'pure' hydrogen?

    There are other problems such as the heat generated and that they need to warm up before they are efficient. They do not work well with the typical cycle of jump in the car and take off, drive ten minutes and then shut down?

    Japan is a lot smaller than the USA, so it will take a lot less time to create any infrastructure needed for any alternative fuel/energy.

    There are batteries that work somewhat similar to fuel cells in that the electrolyte is replenished to recharge them. The electrolyte is held in a tank separate from the battery and when exhausted it can be removed and then refilled with recharged electrolyte. The exhausted electrolyte can be recycled by being recharged. This allows the vehicle to be "refueled" almost as fast as a petroleum based vehicle.

    The future is electric - whether the electricity comes from a battery or a fuel cell remains to be seen.
    NikonsAndVStroms likes this.
  2. RedRocket

    RedRocket Yeah! I want Cheesy Poofs

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    Last year Texas used more green energy than it did coal. Natural gas is still their largest energy source though.


    Drifter you're dreaming again if you think fuel cells are taking off.
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  3. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    I haven't talked about safety concerns, they have issues well beyond any potential ones there. The big problem you first need to deal with is energy density per a given volume.

    And then the issue if efficiency has come up a lot. Both with combustion and fuel cells you lose out on a lot more and that's not counting what will be lost to evaporation.
  4. magnussonh

    magnussonh Adventurer

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    Volume is not so much an issue. Just look how many drive around in big pickup trucks with empty beds. There is plenty of space for less energy dense fuels.
    You have "evaporation" in all forms of fuel. Self discharge in batteries, vapors in gasoline.
  5. FPGT72

    FPGT72 Long timer

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    Sorry it is just the way my brain works...it bounces around.....I have trouble staying on one task.

    We had test buses here in KC and I don't remember a huge tank for the LP...it looked like a bus. And granted the cars look like cars....just don't put one on a scale. And having the weight of a toyota camery in just batteries....just what does that do to all things car related....I know for us chargers sucked...so heavy, we went through brakes, and other susp parts like mad.....I would think with an electric car (I will pick on tesla) that has the real weight of two cars that those parts are going to be used up pretty quick.....and the joy of tesla you are not going to O'riley and getting anything for it.....tesla does not think you should do any service on the car yourself.....they seem to follow the business model of everyone from apple to john deere.

    Do you think if a car was designed from the ground up as a _________ it would not have the same advantages.

    And batteries will never EVER get to the point of other fuels like good ole gas, or hydrogen.

    This was a pretty good video:
  6. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    If you had a truck with the space of an empty bed then it wouldn't be an issue for any fuel, how about compact or mid sized car? What would it do to useable space?

    You lose roughly 1% per day with automotive hydrogen tanks.
  7. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    I'm going to start with this bit:

    "Do you think if a car was designed from the ground up as a _________ it would not have the same advantages."

    Things aren't always the same for different technologies :deal

    No because it's much harder to make a tank a structural member of the frame than batteries. Both in the strength of them and due to their size per cell a battery pack can be sized into a lot of different shapes.

    With hydrogen you need tanks which are larger and a specific shape making that type of design impractical.

    If you see a NG bus again look at the roof, usually that have a cap on there covering an additional fuel tank. Here's an example from Boston.

    [​IMG]


    Start that video you posted at 6:54 @magnussonh you should watch that bit as well as it highlights the problem. You can't form fit the tanks like with gasoline and they need to be 4x the size for combustion. Fuel cells can help boost efficiency but you still need a larger volume with a tank that's not so easy to place.

    Here's the Honda FCX and you basically need to give up your trunk.

    [​IMG]

    And this isn't even getting into the huge issue of a huge infrastructure/inefficiency of converting water to hydrogen/back again instead of simply using that electricity to drive a car.

    All while battery tech is advancing and there are multiple promising technologies to reduce charge time. To put it simply it already works for many people and has a more promising future in terms of performance advancements. That's why automakers have mostly moved their R&D away from H2.
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  8. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    Not even remotely the same. The batteries don't burn under normal conditions, and diesel fuel is not that flammable. You can literally douse a flaming torch in it.
    Efficiency is the main driver of sustainability.
  9. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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  10. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    Solar panels are just silicone, glass (i.e. silicone), and aluminum - all ultimately recyclable.
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  11. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    Glass and aluminum are.
  12. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    That's one driving factor in battery development right now. There's also the benefit that once capacity goes above X range or if you're willing to give some up your car can become a battery backup for your house.

    This could be a huge thing for the grid on renewable energy to help balance the load.

    And the infrastructure for hydrogen would be a huge pain and very, very expensive with large loses due to efficiency at both ends. It's interesting tech and likely will have some niche uses but it's looking unlikely that it'll be mainstream for ground transportation.
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  13. PoundSand

    PoundSand Long timer

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    Uh huh. What's the bigliest selling one so far? :Ear
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  14. thumpism

    thumpism Between bikes

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    Our county uses NG vans in its fleet and they are Chevy/GMC Savana/Express models with a roof cover similar to the one on that bus. Looks like a highroof at first but you can see closeup that it's merely a skirt covering a roof rack assembly mounting a large tank. I'll get a pic.
  15. magnussonh

    magnussonh Adventurer

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  16. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    Volume is a big issue in cars - which make up most of the vehicles on the road. Also, my understanding of hydrogen tanks is that most, if not all, are cylindrical (due to the pressure), so they cannot be made to conform irregular spaces like batteries and liquid fuel tanks can.
  17. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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  18. magnussonh

    magnussonh Adventurer

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    Types of vehicles on the road differs from regions. For US it is near 50% for pickups, SUVs, and minivans, and 50% regular cars, plus/minus few percent. But that is beside the point. There is nothing that says all vehicles must use the same type of energy.
    Cylindrical yes, not spherical. So you can get long narrow tanks, that are not difficult to place low in a long tall vehicle, like pickup, SUV, or minivan.
  19. discochris

    discochris Stayin' Alive

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    Here's something you have to remember about recycling.
    Recycling companies are not doing it for altruistic reasons. They, like every other business, are trying to make money. If it is not cost effective to recycle a material, they will landfill it. I work in an industry where much of our product is packaged in plastic bags. We often get questions about recyclabilty, and the fact is, while our bags are technically recyclable, it's not profitable for recycling companies to do so.

    The same would hold true for solar panels, batteries, and anything else.
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  20. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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