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  • Hydrogen - Our Energy Future

    Here's a cool story about the next generation Boeing spy plane.
    It can stay aloft for 4 days at a time, its two Ford 2.3L, 4-cylinder engines producing 150HP (each), running on Hydrogen and exhaling nothing but water.

    A LONG time ago, I wrote my senior thesis on "Photovoltaics and the Production of Hydrogen for Use as an Alternative Energy Resource" (yes.. I was a bigger geek then than I am now)... I'm glad I didn't wait around for a job in this field, but, I do find it interesting to watch Hydrogen technology develop.

    I'm definitely not a believer in electric vehicles that run on plug-in power, for lots of reasons...
    Hydrogen is the answer, without a doubt..

    Anyhow... Here's the article..

    http://www.popsci.com/technology/art...fly-65000-feet

    http://www.overoll.com/Content/Boein...13/287417.news

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/...e-phantom-eye/

    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”...Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

  • #2
    i'm definitely no expert or even well informed. as a matter of fact i didn't even graduate from college. that being said i find this type of discussion interesting.
    my question is this: where do we get the hydrogen from?
    my understanding leads me to believe that hydrogen does not occur by itself in nature since it has a missing electron and bonds to lots of other elements pronto and requires and input of energy to seperate it all unto itself. in my mind this property relegates it to basicly an energy storage device much like a battery, or oil,coal,etc. it seems that we must either capture radiant energy from the sun or kinetic energy from the movement of the sun and planets. all the rest is just figuring out the cheapest, cleanest, least harmful way to convert these to heat, motion, etc.
    that said hydrogen does seem to be a relatively benign method of storing energy aside from it's being a pressurized gas and it's nature to expode.

    pete

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    • #3
      I'm just a reading Hillbilly my damn self but for me the answer is;Fusion.
      If they can ever get around the containment issue and make it replicating,the stars are ours.

      That little Ford 4 rocks. Had one in a Chenoweth 120" woodsbuggy,weren't much it wouldn't climb and the sound coming off the Eslinger swept header was Boss.

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      • #4
        once we can get the hydrogen, store it and distribute it in a cost effective manner - it is by far the best energy source and abundant too ;)

        fuel cells combustion engines yeppie.


        issue is getting the hydrogen.
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        • #5
          Yeah where is that hydrogen hiding..Pour a glass of water or look at the ocean.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by zzralohas
            Yeah where is that hydrogen hiding..Pour a glass of water or look at the ocean.
            try to burn it and see what happens..........nothing...

            pete

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pete
              my question is this: where do we get the hydrogen from?
              pete
              Exactly the right question..!

              My proposal at the time was to use solar energy to "crack" (hydrolyze) water. Solar power is locally available almost everywhere, as is water (sea, ground, rain, etc)... In fact today BP and Toyota (IIRC) have a small array of Hydrogen generating "gas stations" that use the sun to produce Hydrogen. You can drive your car up to the pump and buy it like gasoline.

              Honda is working on a similar type station..

              http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?...tentId=7001568

              http://www.gizmag.com/honda-solar-hy...vehicle/14049/

              Unfortunately, the efficiencies of Photovoltaic cells are not yet sufficient. It takes too many panels (cost) to produce the juice.... Time and ingenuity are working to fix that, but for now, solar hydrolysis is still not economically viable...

              Which leaves us with heat...
              I object to nuclear power, primarily because the waste is FOREVER. Yes, it's "clean", as long as you can forget that some of the waste products have a half life of 500,000 years or more. That said, think about the waste heat given off by a nuclear reactor. Instant energy for hydrolysis. We can solve the waste issue by either a foolproof storage method (unlikely.. Burying it in a cave was an epically stupid idea... Talk about sticking your head in the ground) or by converting the toxic spent fuel into something less toxic, but it's still several hundred years of toxic waste.... Heading in the right direction, but, still dangerous.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Fast_Reactor

              While we're talking heat, if we can develop efficient heat-capture hydrolyzers, why not use waste heat from every type of manufacturing to recapture that waste heat as Hydrogen fuel... Steel mills, industrial furnaces, etc... Only fair to mention that Hydrogen has some storage issues still, but, we're closer to solving those than de-toxifying nuclear waste..

              My biggest gripe with electric vehicles, especially plug-in vehicles, is that it's just smoke and mirrors.... You burn coal or use nuclear power to generate electricity with relatively low efficiency. Then you ship the electrons out over long distances, on very "lossy" power lines... How much greenhouse gas do you generate per mile with an electric car? Given that you're burning coal and losing so many electrons shipping it on power lines? Not to mention the toxic (although not as toxic as nuclear) waste from all that lead battery production... And those batteries are only good for a few years before they need to be recycled... More cost, more energy used... Kind of reminds me of the Gasahol fiasco we have today...

              I've never seen a study that looks at the TOTAL (from cradle to granny's house to grave) efficiency of electric vehicles, but, I'm willing to wager big bucks it's not very pretty. I would bet that DIESEL cars are substantially more energy efficient (cradle to grave) than electric cars... Why the hell don't we have a real diesel program in the country? in 10 years we could improve automotive fuel economy by 30% at least (blatant ballpark guess)... There's no technology remaining to be developed... WTF are we sitting on our hands for? It a low hanging opportunity for a substantial easy to implement improvement in fuel economy..

              I believe the solution needs to be local.... And that's also part of the problem.... There's little incentive for today's power providers to develop technology that puts them out of business.... The long term solution will be local and multi-pronged.... Capture wave or wind energy as electricity or convert it to Hydrogen... Solar to electric or Hydrogen... Biomass... Geothermal.... All of these will need to play a role. In Greenland, for example, Geothermal is already huge... http://www.ens.dk/en-us/oilandgas/re...r/forside.aspx

              If I can buy an efficient solar panel for my house (more efficient than available today), I don't need the local power company any more.. Do you really think their heart is in developing solar panels for my house?

              If I were President, "Energy Independence" would be #1 on my list of priorities.... Energy is the cause of the wars we're involved in today... It's the reason we don't give Saudi the finger. It's the reason all these crazy Islamist guys and Russian gangsters have any sway... But let's not get this thread sent to the dungeon...

              The two strongest arguments for Hydrogen are, IMHO, 1. It burns into water (zero pollution) and 2. once the generation and storage hurdles are overcome, Hydrogen fuel will require zero change in the way we access and use energy... Drive up to the pump, fill up and go... Same with businesses, etc. In fact, fuel should become even more convenient than it is today...

              Here's my favorite example, from Top Gear... The Honda Clarity.
              If you haven't seen this bit of video, it's 8 minutes well spent..
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AUurBnLbJw

              Anyhow... Maybe I answered Pete's question in here somewhere?
              “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”...Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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              • #8
                I like the use of Hydrogen also....like in Jimmy's avatar....a few hydrogen bombs and you have heat, light and even eliminate some undesireables to free up some other resources......














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                • #9
                  Here's why electric plug-in vehicles suck from a logistics and consumer usability standpoint... They don't get into debunking the mirage of "greenism", but, the drawbacks are pretty clear...

                  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...247963772.html

                  Range? Depends....
                  Refills?... How about a fast battery swap (not possible) rather than waiting HOURS to recharge.

                  I don't see how the usability issues can be overcome... It takes TIME to recharge a battery, and can you imagine the refilling station logistics involved with keeping, charging and swapping swappable batteries weighing hundreds of pounds..??

                  Betting on electric plug-ins to replace the automotive gas engine is a sucker bet... Maybe for small, short-range vehicles... Maybe... But that's not the big payoff if you're an investor..
                  “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”...Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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                  • #10
                    Hydrogen is definatly the way forward! No doubt.

                    Electric cars/hybrids, , Not gonna work - and still causes pollution at the point of production of the electricity...

                    The only problem is - getting the Hydrogen..

                    A crazy statement it seems as it's one of the most abundant elements - but
                    it attaches itself to other stuff quite well and seperating it is an effort.

                    If someone can crack that - - - Well, Happy Days!!

                    And one very rich Dude - who, no doubt is a Geek!!
                    An Englishman, has all the qualities of a poker - except the occasional warmth.
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                    • #11
                      I'm all for it, but it ain't gonna happen until someone figures out how to make an obscene amount of money doing it. People won't support government investment in this kind of research and development and the only companies who have the means to do it are the same companies who stand to lose the most-the oil companies. Their interests in hydrogen and other forms of alternative energy are directly proportional to legislation that would make it more difficult to drill, refine and burn hydrocarbons, so the lip service R&D they claim to be doing is only a hedge bet against something they don't want but are making sure they're prepared for just in case. We could be moving in the right direction with more energy efficient vehicles, but as you may have noticed from some of the posts on this site, huge motored highway behemoths are still popular in some circles and as long as the auto companies can make big bux building them, they will continue to burn 2-3 times as much fuel as would be actually necessary to transport their occupants. The only thing that will change that is for fuel prices to be comparable here to what they are in Europe and nobody wants that. Until someone figures a way around that Catch-22, not much will change.

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                      • #12
                        I've put a lot of thought into this. Where to get hydrogen .... hmmm.

                        Then it hit me! Drain a few of these babies and you're good to go ...












































                        Just build a bunch of zeppelins and you'll never run out!


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Danno
                          People won't support government investment in this kind of research and development
                          They would support it if we had a real LEADER to explain to us why it's important... Kind like John Kennedy did at the beginning of the space race.

                          IMHO, nothing is more important to the future of this country than energy independence. It's key to almost everything... When we don't need Mideast oil MANY seemingly insurmountable and seemingly unrelated problems will be solved...
                          “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”...Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CrazyTrain
                            I've put a lot of thought into this. Where to get hydrogen .... hmmm.

                            Then it hit me! Drain a few of these babies and you're good to go ...

                            Just build a bunch of zeppelins and you'll never run out!
                            Cool.! A mobile filling station...
                            Where's the pump?
                            “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”...Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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                            • #15
                              Geez, just ignore my tactical nuke idea....sure go for the 80 year old Zepplin tech....


                              I am taking my idea and going to Iran.....








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