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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-15-2007, 09:02 AM   #61
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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Originally Posted by mb
Nope, sorry. You get more energy per CO2 for gasoline than from coal.
No, my apologies, you are correct. I was going from memory which I should not do

I was recalling the co2 content of natural gas vs oil (per unit energy).

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Originally Posted by mb
But you just transfer the carnot/heat engine (in)efficiency, the single largest source of inefficiency, from the internal combustion engine to the power plant where you combust the fuel to make electricity.
No, you don't, because the engine of the electric car is much more efficient than the ICE. Unless you can build a better engine that runs on oil the efficiency has a lot of ground to make up.

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Originally Posted by mb
I recall studies showing that it doesn't make sense from an energy efficiency point of view to power electric vehicles from electrical power produced from liquid fuels.
At one time it didn't. The study you recal may have been very old. If you are truly interested, check out http://www.teslamotors.com/display_d...lectricCar.pdf. There are tons of great details there and I don't want to spam the board by copying and pasting all of it. Or, I will be happy to give you any specifics from it.

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Originally Posted by mb
The argument for electric vehicles then reduces to one of pollution control - it is easier to control pollution from one source (the power plant) than from many sources (all the cars). The numbers are of course different for electrical energy produced from coal where you would have to liquify or gasify it or from nuclear or solar where you would have to reduce CO2.
I believe I am not understanding you correctly. Are you saying that solar generated electricity requires a further co2 reduction?

Currently many of our plants are coal (about half). However, if you average all the grid power, it is cleaner than coal (adding natural gas, hydro plants, a tiny bit of wind and solar). So it is a net gain right now. In the future as coal plants get cleaner and more wind and solar are used it will be a further gain with no need to re-engineer the car engines or fuel sorce. Electric cars will automatically get cleaner as electrical generation gets cleaner.
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-15-2007, 09:44 AM   #62
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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Originally Posted by samclem
For those who demand a new car (for reliability/safety/vanity reasons, whatever) then I'd recommend they look for a flex-fuel vehicle that gets good mileage and buy alcohol-based fuels if they are available in your area. Take the money you saved by not buying a Prius and send it to your favorite environmental organization--or plant a few hundred trees. Then, in 10 years when you would have needed to replace the Prius batteries, send another few thousand bucks to the charity.
Why not buy a used Prius? The pre-2004 models are extremely cheap and the 2004-5 models aren't too expensive.

Our "newest" car is a 1997 Nissan Altima, so to us every Prius ever made is an upgrade.

Hey, Ed, I'm still looking for the magic formula converting liquid-fuel efficiency (mpg) to electric efficiency (miles per KWHr) so that we can start comparing recharging to refueling prices...
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-15-2007, 11:00 AM   #63
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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Originally Posted by Nords
Hey, Ed, I'm still looking for the magic formula converting liquid-fuel efficiency (mpg) to electric efficiency (miles per KWHr) so that we can start comparing recharging to refueling prices...
I thought we discussed this in another thread?

It all depends on the efficiency of the engine. There's no magical formula unless the kwh/mile and mpg rating are known beforehand.

The GM EV1 had a .19 kwh/mile efficiency.


Edit: grammar
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-15-2007, 11:04 AM   #64
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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Originally Posted by Nords
I'm still looking for the magic formula converting liquid-fuel efficiency (mpg) to electric efficiency (miles per KWHr) so that we can start comparing recharging to refueling prices...
The info is on that Tesla motors site linked above. Just be aware, their numbers are based on their lightweight sports car with expen$ive, high power/weight lithium batteries. The more affordable NIMH batteries used in hybrids won't provide that mileage boost as they weigh too much and/or take up too much space.

EDIT/ADD: OK, if I did the conversions correctly, Tesla says they get 1.14KM/Mjoule. That is .7 miles , and 1MJ = 1M watt-seconds, which is .278 KWH. So, .7Miles/.278KWH is about 2.52 miles/KWH. At $0.10 per KWH, that means about 25 miles per dollar of electricity. Pretty good when a gallon of gas takes you about that far for $2-$3. Of course, there is that pesky little amortization calculation involving spending $100,000 for the vehicle.

http://teslamotors.com/media/white_p...terySystem.pdf
Quote:
In the past, to achieve such tremendous range for an electric vehicle it would need to carry more than a thousand kilograms of nickel metal hydride batteries. Physically large and heavy, such a car could never achieve the acceleration and handling performance that the Tesla Roadster has achieved.
And don't let the fact that this is a super-high performance car fool you into thinking commuter cars would get much better miles per KWHr. That fantastic performance (0-60mph in 4 sec!) comes almost as a by-product of having enough of those lithium batteries for a 250 mile range combined with the torque curve of an electric motor.

The plan for Tesla is to sell enough of these ~ $100,000 sports cars at a high profit margin to justify investment in a mid-size luxury car at somewhat higher volumes, and for those volumes to reduce the costs enough to start producing real commuter vehicles in the mid-price range. It is a good plan, IMO, but an awful lot hinges on the performance, reliability, safety, and cost of those lithium batteries.

Looking forward, if we can increase generation of low-CO2 electrical power (nukes, wind, tides, sequestered coal, bio-mass, etc), an efficient electric vehicle should help in the pollution battle. But, those old EV-1 lead-acid models probably did much more harm than good.

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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-15-2007, 11:49 AM   #65
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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Originally Posted by CCdaCE
Now if we could bring in moderator name calling, then we'd really have something!
Hey, thats already been done and the thread was promptly closed and promoted to 'best of boards'.

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
The other way around as in, "CCdaCE, you are a %^#$#@! and CFB, you are a !@#$%" ?
I think that works either way.

But just in case, @%#$&* YOU you #^%$@#$ing @^%$@#er !

There, we've got a short reciprocated diatribe AND moderator name calling all rolled into one.
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-15-2007, 12:19 PM   #66
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Just adding my two cents; I have actually driven two hydrogen cars, both different models from Honda and they are terrific. We used them on our site in Pasadena CA and I believe Kennedy Space Center has several, nice because they generate hydrogen (&oxygen) fuel there. Great cars, good mileage only serious problem is in Southern California there are only two refueling stations. But these vehicles work and you can generate hydrogen anywhere you have electricity and water and it can be converted from other fuels as well.

I do see hydrogen as a long range solution just not real soon as I just hate trailering a car that runs out of fuel.
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-15-2007, 12:31 PM   #67
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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The GM EV1 had a .19 kwh/mile efficiency.
Thanks for that number.

Assuming that I'd be paying the top tier rate for electricity if my car were plugged in a lot:

.19 kwh/mile * .17 dollars/kwh = 3.23 cents per mile

My Toyota Echo:

2.95 dollars/gallon / 40 miles/gallon = 7.28 cents per mile
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-15-2007, 04:43 PM   #68
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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Originally Posted by yakers
I do see hydrogen as a long range solution just not real soon as I just hate trailering a car that runs out of fuel.
I'm sure the cars were fine, but I haven't heard any argument for hydrogen use that makes sense from a "whole system" standpoint. Too expensive to make (esp using electrolysis), less energy per unit of carbon produced than intermediate fuels, too difficult to store, and then there's the issue of needing a whole new infrastructure different from the current liquid-fuel vehicle fuel infrastructure. Now, if by "long range" you mean "the years when we've got permanent colonies in orbit around a giant hydrogen planet" then I'd agree.

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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-15-2007, 09:45 PM   #69
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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Originally Posted by samclem
the current liquid-fuel vehicle fuel infrastructure. Now, if by "long range" you mean "the years when we've got permanent colonies in orbit around a giant hydrogen planet" then I'd agree.
Or when we run out of cheap, liquid fuels!

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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-16-2007, 08:06 PM   #70
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

in re using natural gas for autombiles, this post was on Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree. Subject was driving in Uruguay. See the last part of the post.

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Unless there is a specific left turn lane at an intersection on a two-way street with signals, left turns are prohibited. Right turns at red lights are also prohibited. Cutting a traffic circle, whether or not there is cross traffic, is an offense. Although there is currently a temporary exception for Argentine coins used by Argentine drivers, made because of the decline in tourism resulting from international access road blockages, tolls (peajes) must be paid in Uruguayan pesos. Uruguayans in cars and trucks are nearly as sane and disciplined as Chileans on major roads and in cities. Autos obey traffic signal lights. On potholed streets or rural roads the concept of lanes can get pretty fluid as drivers dodge holes (pozos) as best they can. Bicyclists and motorcyclists, however, behave as though traffic rules apply only to vehicles with four or more wheels. Many cyclists do not have or use lights at night. Some drivers believe that keeping their own lights OFF or on parking improves their night vision - so look very carefully before turning, entering onto a major highway or approaching an intersection after dark. I lived 30 km east of Montevideo for nearly three years, half driving a Peugeot, half on our two motos. Fuel brands vary but prices do not, all being set by ANCAP (Administración Nacional de Combustibles, Alcoholes y Portalnd) which also runs the largest chain of service stations. Service stations are nearly everywhere, except not many are open along the route from Colonia to Montevideo if you arrive on the Buquebus that departs Buenos Aires at 0030. Legal fuels are nafta (gasoline)and diesel ( same as Argentine gasoil or US diesel.) A number of cars, trucks and what-have-yous run on Supergas, that is compressed natural gas. Unlike Argentine instalations with secure tanks, etc, the Uruguayan versions are illegal, informal, conversions using 13 kg steel tanks, loosely mounted on inclined wooden ramps inside car trunks. Rear-ending a Uruguayhan auto an thus be a very poor move. Enjoy Uruguay.
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-16-2007, 10:16 PM   #71
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

I cant believe we made it through five pages without an "Oh...the humanity!" comment...
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-18-2007, 02:51 PM   #72
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

The Deparment of Energy has a paper on Hydrogen and Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology. If I rememeber correctly DOE scientist indicated that Hydrogen production and the infrastructure on a scale for automobiles is 30 to 40 years off and will require several break-throughs. Apparently it takes more energy today to produce hydrogen than is yielded. Plus, the main approach of producing hydrogen [today] uses natural gas.

As a side note look at this concept. It comes from a french company. A car that runs on compressed air.

http://www.theaircar.com/


Interesting and creative... but I think I will continue with conventional technology for the near future.
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-19-2007, 09:19 AM   #73
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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If I rememeber correctly DOE scientist indicated that Hydrogen production and the infrastructure on a scale for automobiles is 30 to 40 years off and will require several break-throughs.
I think that is the point that the Tesla Motors guy is trying to make. The steady improvements in battery and solar (w/o any breakthroughs) make renewable electricity production and battery cars a more reasonable option.

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Apparently it takes more energy today to produce hydrogen than is yielded.
Absolutely. If that were not true, you could build a perpetual energy machine! More energy out than in! That is why the title of this thread refers to the 'Hydrogen Hoax'. It seems the general public think of (and politicians push) hydrogen as some sort of free energy source. It is not - it just stores the energy that we create, and loses some in the process.

That is why fossil fuel is so hard to compete with (on an energy basis) - all the energy was put in millions of years ago. All we do is burn it.

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A car that runs on compressed air.

http://www.theaircar.com/
These are interesting, I understand a bunch are running in Mexico as Taxis. Again, just like hydrogen, batteries, flywheels, etc, the compressed air is just storing energy that was expended somewhere else - like winding up a spring.

I think FedEx is experimenting with this technology in a hybrid delivery truck. They use the compressed air in place of the battery/motor in a 'typical' hybrid.

So, bottom line is, can we compress air, provide filling stations, transport it, and use it more efficiently and more cost effectively than other alternatives? Maybe - that is why I like a free market instead of these things like govt rebates for a hybrid car or subsidies for ethanol. What if a hybrid car or ethanol is not the best solution? Tax the fossil fuels, and let the market respond.

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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-19-2007, 10:57 AM   #74
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

I've owned several compressed air cars in the past, and was very happy with them.

Click here for a picture of one of them.
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-19-2007, 11:10 AM   #75
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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I've owned several compressed air cars in the past, and was very happy with them.

Click here for a picture of one of them.
It comes with it's own airbag! Cool - utilize the same device for safety and power - now that's efficient!

There were some model airplanes that ran on compressed air also - my neighbor had one. I guess it is an old idea:

http://tinyurl.com/2sk6pn



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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-19-2007, 11:39 AM   #76
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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Originally Posted by samclem
I'm sure the cars were fine, but I haven't heard any argument for hydrogen use that makes sense from a "whole system" standpoint. Too expensive to make (esp using electrolysis), less energy per unit of carbon produced than intermediate fuels, too difficult to store, and then there's the issue of needing a whole new infrastructure different from the current liquid-fuel vehicle fuel infrastructure. Now, if by "long range" you mean "the years when we've got permanent colonies in orbit around a giant hydrogen planet" then I'd agree.
I install Hy fuel stations and can tell you co's are starting to convert (not autos) as there is beginning to be an economic benefit case as opposed to say batteries. Certainly slow right now but building steam, pun intended. To me a co. making the benefit case carries more weight than the DOE throwing money around, although I think that is an important element also.

In regards to the infrastructure, sure it will take lots of time and some innovations must be made; however Hy can and will be delivered via PL, via tanker, or better generated onsite (garage electrolyzer). Hy infrastructure could be similar or same as for other fuels.

I don't know why it should surprise anyone that some innovations and infrastructure(for all the alternatives) need to be made over the next couple of decades, and likely Hy is part of a portfolio of energy choices in the future.

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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-19-2007, 08:03 PM   #77
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

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Originally Posted by Daddy O
I install Hy fuel stations and can tell you co's are starting to convert (not autos) as there is beginning to be an economic benefit case as opposed to say batteries.
I'm curious - what kind of application is this? I've read about some pilot programs, but none that provide an economic benefit at this time.

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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-19-2007, 09:22 PM   #78
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

This is public domain, not sure about the others.

http://news.com.com/2061-11128_3-6114690.html

[quote]
Hydrogen-powered vehicles are out, and they are lumbering around the warehouse.

Six companies--including Wal Mart and Bridgestone--are currently conducting trials with fork lifts that run on hydrogen rather than lead acid batteries, according to John Sheridan, CEO of Ballard Power Systems, which makes hydrogen fuel cells, at the ThinkEquity Partners Growth Conference taking place in San Francisco this week. Cellex Power and General Hydrogen produced the vehicles, which run on fuel cells from Ballard.

Granted, a fork lift isn't as glamorous as a four-seater hydrogen-powered convertible, or a 21st Century version of the Hindenburg, but the application fits pretty well hydrogen. Fork lift drivers don't have to worry about being stranded far from a hydrogen filling station. Acceleration and high speeds, two concerns about hydrogen cars, are also not really an issue with fork lifts. And if you dropped a pallet of Gorton's No Flip Fishsticks one is going to scream "Oh, the humanity!!!"
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-19-2007, 09:33 PM   #79
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Thanks Daddy O. Forklifts were the first thing that came to mind. It is still not clear if this is really economical vs a battery forklift. One comment there pointed out that in some warehouses, the forklifts run 24/7, so they require 2 or 3 battery packs to eliminate downtime. So there would be some savings there.

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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-20-2007, 12:20 AM   #80
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Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

"and likely Hy is part of a portfolio of energy choices in the future. "

But of course Hydrogen is not an energy choice. Hydrogen is an energy carrier.

Sort of like saying batteries are an energy choice. Let's make more batteries and then we'll have energy!
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