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Slideshow: Aston Martin Puts Hydrogen on the Race Track

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Re: Hydrogen fueling stations?
bobjengr   5/11/2013 11:37:37 AM
 Hello napelou,  What if you could generate enough H2 "on-board" to satisfy the needs of a blended mixture; i.e. fuel and H2--whether that fuel is biogas, diesel, low lead, etc etc?  Seems to me that would be a significant breakthrough and would possibly eliminate the need for fueling stations. (Other than gasoline.)

William K.
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Re: Nice idea in theory but . . .
William K.   5/12/2013 7:15:16 PM
Billvon, thanks for saying the same things that I stated in another blog today, except that your explanations werer a bit clearer, and I didn't mention the fire and explosions issues. Hydrogen is one of those things that seems like a good idea until you look at the implementation of it. Are we engineers the only ones who can see problems, or what? 

My feeling is that it would be real interesting to know how the aston-martin race car places in the race.

Charles Murray
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Re: Hydrogen - can't get there from here.
Charles Murray   5/13/2013 8:03:09 PM
You're absolutely right, Contrarian. Hydrogen-powered vehicles are not new. In a slideshow on this site, there's a photo of the hydrogen-powered GM Handivan from 1966.  

Charles Murray
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Re: It's vaporware
Charles Murray   5/13/2013 8:12:19 PM
Basically, TJ, this is an engineering exercise. In fact, the people we talked to at Aston Martin used those exact words. As many commenters here have pointed out, hydrogen power isn't practical and it isn't new. Personally, I think the automakers are treating this as it should be treated -- as long-term research. Luckily, no state is trying to force the technology with passage of laws mandating that the auto companies build these vehicles.

TJ McDermott
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Re: It's vaporware
TJ McDermott   5/13/2013 9:12:07 PM

I understand Charles, and thank you for the clarification.

Electric and hybrids got significant subsidies; it seems somewhat odd that hydrogen did not get as big a boost.

TJ McDermott
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Re: It's vaporware
TJ McDermott   5/13/2013 9:14:53 PM
RChin, that's one vehicle, and only 50 frames in use.

That's enough for a usability study.

When three or more manufacturers roll out limited production, then we might see some movement.

B6 years after Bush announced the hydrogen economy, 50 cars is simply not a going concern.

User Rank
Hydrogen is dangerous
cookiejar   6/14/2013 5:31:27 PM
Any fuel has energy that can be dangerous if suddenly released.

Hydrogen has properties conducive to sudden energy release. 

1.  It is the smallest atom, most able to leak through the minutest passages.

2.  In general it loves to react with other materials.  It embrittles metals making pressure vessels easy to fracture. 

3.  It cannot be readily liquified, requiring very high pressure vessels (350 bars is over 5,000 psi).

4.  It is the easiest gas to ignite - a little bit of static charge will do.

5.  Hydrogen burns with a colorless almost invisible flame.  By the time you notice a fire, it's already too late.  The only nice thing about a hydrogen fire is that the product, water, is basically non-toxic, though everything else engulfed will give off toxic fumes.

Weather services used hydrogen for their weather balloons most of the 20th century using electrolyzers. Despite all the training and modern safety precautions taken, accidents still occured alarmingly often.  As a result, most weather services have changed to using helium.  Helium is a non-starter for fuel. 

Cars routinely crash.  Cars need to be serviced. 

History will repeat itself. "Oh the humanity!"


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