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Hydrogen Power for Vehicles.

John

John

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I have for some time believed that the next clean alternative to fossil fuels is Hydrogen extracted from water using an electrolytic process.

It may be a while before we see this technology coming into mainstream use as there are too many large organisations and governments with a vested interest in oil. Although a Canadian Company called Hydrogenics are doing some interesting work in this field.

https://www.hydrogenics.com/

It will also be a while before we see commercially available water/hydrogen powered cars but in the short term there is the possibility of hybrid conversions using small hydrogen generators powered using onboard 12 Volt electrics. The hydrogen is feed into the inlet manifold and burning the hydrogen with the fuel means less petrol or diesel is consumed and less pollution.

There are a lot of amateurs small companies and even some scientist who have been experimenting in the field of hydrogen boosters particularly in America and Canada. But beware there are also a lot of small HHO company's making exaggerated claims about the hydrogen conversion kits they are producing and some have even been proved to be scams.

Here is a link to a interesting site that looks at all the technology and even gives recommendations to reputable company's.

Also of interest is the water powered beach buggy designed by an inventor called Stanley Meyer. He developed a hydrogen fracturing process which with a low power electric input produced large quantities of gas that burnt at a high temperature (3000 deg F). Stanley Meyer mysteriously died just before he was about to make his technology commercially available .

http://waterpoweredcar.com/

More about Stanley Meyer and his work;

http://www.theorionproject.org/en/hydroxy.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_cFi_kK ... ure=fvwrel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBLLOuyO ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=en ... K4wko&NR=1

water_car_2008.jpg

Stan Meyer's 'Water Powered Car'
as seen in January, 2008.

John
 
Andy

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Didn't Top Gear go to the states to look at a hydrogen powered honda a while back ?



Andy here is the link for the Honda Clarity which uses the hydrogen in a fuel cell to produce electric. The car then uses the electric to power a electric motor that turns the wheels. It has very few moving parts so is very reliable and low maintenance. Finally the only emission from the tailpipe is water vapor.

http://www.topgear.com/uk/videos/honda-clarity

John
 
L

Linda

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Thanks John, I've bookmarked this to read later.
I went to a lecture years ago when it was just a whisper... Be great to read how things are progressing :)
 
John

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Having looked more into the basic Hydrogen boosters I must admit I am a bit sceptical. Although by adding hydrogen to the air fuel mix in the engine it improves burning efficiency, a lot of electrical power from the alternator is needed to produce the hydrogen with standard electrolysis.

The only way this could be overcome is by producing the hydrogen externally to the vehicle by using say solar or wind turbine generated electric power. The hydrogen would then be stored in a tank in the vehicle that would need to be recharged with use.

However, the technologies developed by inventors like Stanley Meyer produced gas in quantities much greater than would be predicted using standard "brute force" electrolysis.

What is worth reading is this extract from the lecture given by Admiral Sir Anthony Griffin who was examining how the Navy could power its fleet when fossil fuels became scarce. Anthony Griffin met Stanley Meyers and witnessed his hydrogen fracturing process. He concluded that the large quantity of gas being produced, which burnt at such a high temperature, would need a lot more electrical energy input than the 10 watts of energy that was being consumed. The extra energy could only come from the zero point energy in the water.

http://www.theorionproject.org/en/documents/Griffin.pdf

What blows my mind is that if this technology worked all of the possible uses for this free fuel technology. :clap

John
 
John

John

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But STOP THE PRESS :eek:

The reality is that Stan Meyer was convicted of fraud in 1996 after he was unable to demonstrate his claims to investors or the court after soliciting large sums of money for commercializing his technology.

For more info on why Meyers technology and his claims were never vindicated look at this.

http://www.aardvark.co.nz/stanley_meyer.shtml

So in conclusion until a onboard, compact, lightweight, sustainable method of producing large amounts of hydrogen is found we will not be using self sustaining hydrogen/water powered vehicles. :cry:

Having said that I still believe that hydrogen is the next logical step to move away from fossil fuels as a means of storing the energy to power our vehicles. We will however, have to find clean pollution free ways of generating the electric to make it.

A problem that Electric generating and distribution company's face is the bath tub effect at night when consumer demand is low. They have to be able to generate enough electric power when demand is high in the peaks, which normally occur in the morning or early evening. But then end up with too much capacity at night and turning off power stations is a expensive process. This would be a perfect time to convert this large volume of power into hydrogen as a means of storage to either produce electric again, when demand is high, or for use in hydrogen powered vehicles, or domestic use for heating.

Maybe in the future we will see hydrogen generated in hot countries like Africa, using solar power, then piped or tanked to Northern Europe to supply our energy needs. Or small hydrogen plants powered by wind turbines feeding our own hydrogen infrastructure.


John
 
John

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Alternative Vehicle Comparisons.

This is a interesting site which looks at what’s wrong with existing cars?

Gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles are polluting our planet while consuming non renewable fossil fuels. The three major threats to society caused in large part by motor vehicles are:

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Dependence on Imported Oil
Urban Air Pollution

It examines the alternatives and the web site evaluates and compares each of these alternative vehicles.

http://www.cleancaroptions.com/index.html

John
 
John

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Another look at the Honda Clarity this time by Robert Llewellyn from his Fully Charged series.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYYR_wG-x_E[/youtube]

He also talks to James Courtney at the University of Birmingham about Fuel Cells and how they work.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3PkgUcI4Z8[/youtube]

How a Fuel Cell Works.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dcomfck7xDg[/youtube]

John
 
Andy

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Interesting John, you're obviously sold on the idea. Definitely the way to go.
 
GeoffB

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The BBC radio 4 science programme was discussing hydrogen powered vehicles, and one expert said "it's a good idea, but if things go wrong you end up with a small crater in the road."
 
C

choplee

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GeoffB said:
The BBC radio 4 science programme was discussing hydrogen powered vehicles, and one expert said "it's a good idea, but if things go wrong you end up with a small crater in the road."

So I can see that it has its plus and minus points then ...
 
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nickstjt

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I wonder what size crater you get from a Campingaz cylinder and £100 of diesel... :lol:
--Nick
 
John

John

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GeoffB said:
The BBC radio 4 science programme was discussing hydrogen powered vehicles, and one expert said "it's a good idea, but if things go wrong you end up with a small crater in the road."

Not true,

Hydrogen safety: one perception. Mention “hydrogen” and some people think of the Hindenburg or the Hydrogen bomb.

The Hindenburg: the Hindenburg dirigible burned as it tried to dock at Lakehurst New Jersey in May 1937. The fact that 60 of the 97 passengers and crew survived the fire proves that hydrogen did not explode, but in fact burned relatively slowly.

But the Hindenburg fire has virtually no bearing on the safety of a fuel cell electric vehicle:

Hydrogen in the Hindenburg was carried in flimsy cloth bags, each coated with a flammable mixture of cellulose acetate or cellulose nitrate impregnated with aluminum chips....a mixture similar to rocket fuel! By contrast, the hydrogen on a FCEV[1] is stored in extraordinarily strong carbon fiber composite tanks; these tanks have been shown to survive a 50 mph rear-end collision without leaking.
The Hindenburg carried 2,300 times more hydrogen than is stored on a FCEV.

The Hydrogen Bomb: a hydrogen bomb requires three ingredients that would never be present on a FCEV: deuterium, tritium and an atomic bomb! Hence any association of hydrogen fuel with the so-called “hydrogen bomb” is completely unwarranted.

The term “hydrogen bomb” is a misnomer, shorthand for a thermonuclear fusion device as opposed to a fission or “atomic bomb” such as those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A fusion bomb requires an atomic bomb to trigger the fusion of deuterium and tritium gas. Deuterium and tritium are two isotopes of hydrogen, which is the only connection with the word “hydrogen”: deuterium has one neutron, and tritium has two neutrons, while hydrogen atoms such as those in ordinary hydrogen gas have no neutrons.

Hydrogen safety: the reality. Hydrogen, like any fuel, contains significant energy, and can therefore pose a serious risk in some circumstances.

Hydrogen Vehicle Safety. The Ford Motor Company, in their report to the US Department of Energy included this statement [2]:

“Overall, we judge the safety of a hydrogen FCV system to be potentially better than the demonstrated safety record of gasoline or propane, and equal to or better than that of natural gas.”

In a collision, a trapped survivor in a hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicle would have considerably lower risk of death or injury from fire than a survivor in a gasoline car due to four factors:

Compressed gas tanks are far stronger than gasoline tanks and can survive much greater impacts (see below), minimizing the chances of a hydrogen release after an accident.

In the unlikely event that any hydrogen was released, it would rise and disperse faster than any other fuel. Gasoline vapors, on the other hand, are heavier than air and linger in the vicinity of a wrecked car, posing a large risk to any trapped survivors.

The hydrogen stored on a FCEV will have less than half the energy of the gasoline on a regular car due to the higher efficiency of a FCEV.

FCEVs can be designed with an inertial switch to cut off any hydrogen flow from the high pressure tank via a solenoid valve located inside the neck of the tank; this valve would close within milliseconds of any collision, thereby keeping all hydrogen safely inside the composite tank that has been shown to survive collisions up to 52 mph.

Footnotes
[1] FCEV Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle.
[2] Hydrogen vehicle safety report,” prepared by the Ford Motor Company for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Transportation Technologies under contract # DE-AC02-04CE50389, Dearborn, Michigan May 1997

Watch the test on the Honda Clarity to see how safe it is. :thumb

And also look at this.

http://www.cleancaroptions.com/html/hyd ... afety.html

I would much rather be in the Hydrogen Car in the crash test than the Petrol Car. :lol:

John
 
John

John

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nickstjt said:
I wonder what size crater you get from a Campingaz cylinder and £100 of diesel... :lol:
--Nick

You are absolutely right Nick diesel is a very safe fuel. If you had a bucket of diesel in front of you and you wanted to set it alight with a lighter you would not be able to unless you heated the diesel up to its flash point temperature. This is the temperature when it would be producing enough gas vapor to ignite.

So that is not the problem with diesel. Putting aside, greenhouse gas emissions, our dependence on imported oil, and urban air pollution the problem is the future cost.

We all love the freedom that our Cali's give to us in our spare time but what if we no longer could afford to pay for the diesel to put into their tanks?

Its not rocket science to get round the fact that the oil burning internal combustion engine, refined as it has become, is quite a primitive Victorian invention that we have become reliant on. Unfortunately we are going to have to wake up to the fact that its life span is limited and we are going to have to find a alternative.

Oil Supply and Demand.

With the new major eastern economies like China, with its new huge road infrastructure, joining major consumers like America and Europe our oil consumption has gone through the roof. Just for a moment consider how much oil is being consumed at this moment in time. All those vehicles being driving , all those paraffin (AVTUR) burning aircraft, the large ships, and all the other consumption of oil all over the world at this time. It is a immense amount of oil that is being consumed.

How are the suppliers of oil going to meet the increased demands?

Well we have been developing better and more ingenious ways of extracting oil from increasingly more difficult to get to locations. But the cost of extracting it is becoming more expensive and guess what it will run out. Add in to the mix the political instability in the Middle East and it is obvious that the price of oil and the diesel for our Cali's is only going to go one way and that is up.

We do have to wake up to the fact that the oil consuming party is coming to a end and the Cali's that we love so much, that give us so much freedom, will have to be propelled by a alternative means.

Or this may be the future for us. :eek:

camper-bike-6.jpg

John
 
Californiaman

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There will be plenty of oil for us for many, many years to come. We're just going to have to buy it from the USA...
 
John

John

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Californiaman said:
There will be plenty of oil for us for many, many years to come. We're just going to have to buy it from the USA...

The only thing you need to consider is that if America has the only remaining oil reserve left in the world, that we can buy, how much would a gallon of diesel cost. :?:

So I guess you have to ask the question, with the supply and demand changing between now and then, at what point in the future will it not be viable to run our Cali's on diesel. :?:

John
 
C

choplee

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I do find the hydro power a lot more interesting than the electric that's being pushed at the moment and with oil being used at a rate of knots it's defiantly the way to go in the future :)
The production of hydro could be a big issue I must admit ..
 
Californiaman

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I'm not so sure, the van's already got three batteries in it. Just need to add some bloody great solar panels and viola - just run it around on the starter motor. No worries.
 
C

choplee

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Californiaman said:
I'm not so sure, the van's already got three batteries in it. Just need to add some bloody great solar panels and viola - just run it around on the starter motor. No worries.

Like where your coming from :) lol
 
John

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Californiaman said:
I'm not so sure, the van's already got three batteries in it. Just need to add some bloody great solar panels and viola - just run it around on the starter motor. No worries.

:thumb :lol:

I agree in that the concept of a basic electric powered vehicle is flawed by the storage of the power in the current generation of batteries. They do not have sufficient capacity, they are large, heavy, expensive and take too long to charge.

Don't get me wrong as a second car to use for shorter distances (for say local journeys like commuting, the school run, or just doing the shopping) electric cars do work. The advantage is that they can be charged at night (on cheep electric) and they do not cost anything to tax so I can see their usefulness. :thumb

However, not for a vehicle like a Cali. That's why I believe the next logical power source is hydrogen powering a fuel cell that can be quickly recharged when you need to refuel.

The one thing that is right at the moment with electric vehicles is the new generation of electric motors. For anyone who thinks electric vehicles are boring take a look at this.

The Agility Saietta Super Bike. :D

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi7EhYgHPX4[/youtube]

The Lightning GT Electric Supercar. :eek:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbSLl8PmJYM[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EzkrXJjP4Y[/youtube]
John
 
Californiaman

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The biggest problem as I see it is that the batteries are full of rare earth metals and are incredibly bad for the planet!

I don't think electric vehichles are boring at all. You've only got to look in a current (geddit!) F1 garage to see the amount of "crooks" they have to get the mechanics aways from a carbon chassis that has "gone live" (not to mention defibrilators).
 
John

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Californiaman said:
The biggest problem as I see it is that the batteries are full of rare earth metals and are incredibly bad for the planet!

Yes I agree I think that is a important point. :thumb

There is no such thing as a Eco friendly car.

However, some cars are a lot more Eco friendly than others. You have to look at the whole story from the production of the car to when it comes to the end of its working life and is scrapped.

Looking at the production the obvious question is the environmental effect of producing its parts and then the assembly. One of the biggest factors is the country where the car is produced. For example if it was manufactured in China where the energy is predominately produced from coal fired power stations the Eco cost is high. If the car was produced in Germany its Eco cost would be considerably lower as Germany has largely been moving towards hydro, solar, and wind generated power.

Looking at the operational life the longer a car last the better so the more reliable it is and the longer the life of parts like say batteries the lesser impact it will have on the environment. During its operational life you need to consider how the energy is produced to power it. Even tho a electric car may have little or no emissions if the electric to charge it is dirty i.e. from a coal fired power station it is still having a negative environmental effect.

Finally when the car is scrapped what are we left with ?

Can its parts be recycled are they toxic or how many tons of CO2 and pollution has our planet inherited during the cars life. :shocked

John
 
L

Linda

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John said:
There is no such thing as a Eco friendly car.

However, some cars are a lot more Eco friendly than others. You have to look at the whole story from the production of the car to when it comes to the end of its working life and is scrapped.

John

We like to think that the Cali is slightly better for the environment given that we won't be flying off on holiday for years to come. While we are waiting for cleaner fuel are any of the fuel stations slightly greener or cleaner than the others do you think?
 
John

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Hi Linda.

As far as I am aware all petrol and diesel come from the same regional distribution depot in that local area. In other words the tankers may all have different liveries/logos but the fuel inside their tanks come from the same local depot. :eek:

So I guess its down to which oil company you want to give your cash to. Sunoco, BP and Marathon Ranked as the best of the Greenest Oil Companies. Sunoco and Marathon are American companies so that just leaves you with BP in the UK.

http://www.earthsfriends.com/environmental-gas-station

However, Shell came 3rd in a sustainability survey.

http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-res ... urvey.html

John
 
Andy

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In the UK we now refine (make) more unleaded than we use & refine less diesel than we use. This means we import diesel & export unleaded. So some of the UK's diesel is much greener than other.
 

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