Captain Hybrid

Hyundai Hits the Road With Fuel Cell Car

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Makes no sense
CharlesM   6/23/2014 10:30:56 AM
j-allen's right. Even assuming they can bring costs down farther than Tesla needs to be able to, which really can be a green car, where does the hydrogen come from? The economics would dictate that fossil fuels be used to manufacture it, while all of the same old fossil costs--and risks of fracking, which are not known or understood and could turn out very badly--would continue to be externalized onto society to deal with on another day. How would this be an improvement on straight gasoline/diesel ICE vehicles?

Of course they could use green renewables to make the hydrogen and this may eventually occur some decades in the future, but it's far too expensive and inefficient to do this now.

Here's an article that explains the whole picture on FCVs in general and Honda's Clarity in particular. How is the Hyundai fundamentally different? Also, if the EV charging infrastructure is a large obstacle to mainstream EV adaptation, what has changed to make anyone want to invest billions in a hydrogen infrastructure and one that is just as flawed as the current petroleum-based infrastructure?

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Re: Fuel cell car go BOOM!
a2   6/23/2014 5:51:47 AM
@fdos: Good point but how are you suggesting it be used to its maximum level ? 

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Re: Fuel cell car go BOOM!
fdos   6/23/2014 1:23:35 AM
@Treanth: Well I feel the risk of it has reduced dramatically now isn't it ? Now its time to make sure the controllability of it is in safe hands and make maximum out of it. 

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Fuel cell car go BOOM!
Trenth   6/21/2014 8:01:28 PM
These 10,000 PSI hydrogen tanks are a terroists dream IED.   A hydrogen air explosion in the 11 lb tanks: Assume that about half the hydrogen is replaced with air, that is a nice explosive mixture at 10,000 psi! That's an energy of around 300 MJ! that's the equivalent of about 300 sticks of dynamite! nearly 80 lbs of TNT. 

10,000 PSI hydrogen will never be safe.  Even the experts have explosions and deaths.  

Hydrocarbons are the perfect fuel, so far.   

Remember: Carbon is not the problem: excess fossils carbon is.  
Using our waste converted to fuels is carbon neutral, massively carbon negative is used for soil biochar.  

Right now we pay to dump our wastes.   

That will never be sustainable.  We need the raw materials from that waste, and we need the energy.  

http://www.hysafe.org/science/eAcademy/docs/1stesshs/presentations/Ireland_hydrogen_safety.pdf check out China Light and Power Cast Peak 
Generating Station (August 28, 1992) where air got mixed with hydrogen 
The blast was equivalent to 275KG of TNT, and caused extensive damage at 100 meters! 

Even without air added to the tank, just defeating the pressure release valves creates a deadly bomb! 

I'm pretty sure 10k psi leaks would cut through flesh like butter too. Wait till those hydrogen filling stations spring a leak on someone. It will fly around like a fire hose. Even shop air at 80psi has killed people by injecting gas into the blood stream. 

looks like the detonation velocity in air h mixes is about 2k meters per sec,  but what about pressurized.  

http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/37313/690060330_ftp.pdf?sequence=1  It destroyed their test setup,  several times atmos.  
Some say at 10k psi, the speed of sound and thus the detonation is four times atmos, or about 8,000 which put's it in the high explosives range. 


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Fuel cell car
j-allen   6/21/2014 3:18:44 PM
First, note that hydrogen is not, strictly speaking, an energy source.  Elemental hydrogen doesn't exist in significant quantities in nature.  It is at best an energy storage medium.  So let's do some rough calculations.  Unlwss I have missed a major breakthrough, electrolysis of water to liberate hydrogen runs at about 65% efficiency.  Small fuel cells which would power a car run at about 60%, and you lose another 10% storing and recovering the gas.   Multiplying all these out 0.6 x 0.65 x 0.9), you get a "round trip" efficiency from electricity to hydrogen and back to electricity of 35%.  Compare this with even the lowly lead-acid battery's 85%. 

Based on these numbers, the hydrogen feul cell car does not look so attractive from either a thermodynamic, ean economic, nor an environmental perspective. 

Charles Murray
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Re: The way to go!
Charles Murray   6/18/2014 6:27:30 PM
In the long run, this may indeed be the way to go, naperlou. The problem right now is still one of economics. Industry analysts believe they need to be close to $30,000 to be successful. Right now, they are 2X-3X that. Researchers are looking at alternatives to platinum inside the fuel cell. Also, the cost of hydrogen is still about 3X as high as it would need to be for success. All that said, many analysts believe this is the way to go over the very long haul. Morgan Stanley recently release a report called, "EVs Are Dead, Long Live Tesla." In it, they cite fuel cells as the long term alternative to pure electric cars.

Charles Murray
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Re: Cray Research
Charles Murray   6/18/2014 6:16:08 PM
Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Misegades. Surprisingly, though, I can't look up your e-mail address. You're welcome to contact me at charles.murray@ubm.com.

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The way to go!
naperlou   6/18/2014 3:36:48 PM
Chuck, this is the way to go.  $1.5M for a refueling station cannot be much more than a conventional station.  I know it is more, but when you amortize the cost over the life of a filling station, it is very manageable.  In addition, both are paid for out of the sale of the fuel.  This is doable.

What people don't seem to understand is that the whole issue is storage of energy.  In the days of coal and wood steam locomotives, the fuel was not very highly processed.  On the other hand, the mechanism required to use these fuels was massive.  It was also complex to operate (I have done it).  In some sense there is a sort of conservation law at work here.  Gasoline requires a very complex infrastructure, but the mechanism to use it is very well understood and simple.  People were making their own engines over 100 years ago.  Electric motors for automobile transportation, at the required power density, are comparatively newer.  Hydrogen is a good compromise.  You could, in theory, have refueling tanker trucks that could be deployed when someone ran out of fuel.  Heck, you could carry a small tank for a short distance charge.  With a battery powered car that is much more problematic. 

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Re: Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
naperlou   6/18/2014 3:28:34 PM
kmisegades, your quest to be free from the electric grid is shared by some.  On the other hand, you need to consider the costs of a technology that is essential to your home's operation.  We all have responsibility for our HVAC systems, for example.  We are responsible for maintenance and replacement, if necessary.  These systems are very reliable.  On the other hand, if they go out, there are many places, and times of year in other places, where that is not a big problem.  Electricity, on the other hand, is necessary for everything else in your home.  If it goes out refrigeration is goine, etc.  I think we may see the home freed from the utility at some point.  Just remember it puts a new responsibility on you.

User Rank
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
kmisegades   6/18/2014 8:49:59 AM
Although it is pretty hard to beat the efficiency and low emissions of advanced German turbo diesels for cars, natural gas-fueled solid oxide fuel cells are worth considering with the dramatic decline in gas thanks to fracking.  I am particularly interested in small fuel cells for home use.  This would free one from monopolistic, over-regulated, over-politicized utilities and result in many providers of natural gas  competing for my business.  I could time my purchases of CNG, stored in a tank under my house, just as my German relatives now time purchases of heating oil stored in their basements.  Allow free markets to compete and fuel prices will plummet.  Can you report on the status of small NG-fired fuel cells?   Bloom is one manufacturer, but they appear to be focused on backup generators for hospitals, etc.  I understand that there are smaller units now available in Japan.

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