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bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
HYDROGEN ON DEMAND
bobjengr   4/18/2014 7:06:39 PM
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AL KLU, I am working with a design, hopefully to prototype soon, that provides hydrogen on demand rather than producing H2 then storing.  We have build three devices for demonstration and will soon be producing 50 for installation on diesel engines.  Combining that with and electronic control unit, we will collect data to determine cost savings relative to improved gas mileage.  With the one now installed, we have accomplished an 18 % improvement as installed on a Mercedes Benz Sprinter.  This is the "van" used by FedEx.  Hopefully, we will get this design commercialized by the end of the year.  We feel this is more viable than the H2 fuel cell design.  Thank you Charles for keeping us up to date. 

 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Fuel cell car
William K.   2/5/2014 11:55:46 AM
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J-Allen, you are exactly correct about the overall energy consumption. And even if the car uses a fuel cell, which is much more efficient than any ICE power source, it still is a logistic challenge to handle hydrogen in any form, and it still uses a lot of energy to "package" that fuel for the car. Hydrogen is not as slippery as helium, but  it still likes to leak out of any storage system. And the returning of hydrogen to a condition where it has recoverable energy is still an energy consuming process. 

Al Klu
User Rank
Gold
Re: Fuel cell car
Al Klu   1/24/2014 10:21:54 AM
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Yes.  I agree that this needs to be a zero sum equation.  But you have to agree that running a fuel cell on hydrogen does not add hydrocarbons or other pollutants to the environment at the car level.  The water/aluminum/gallium reaction brings the materials to their natural (i.e. lowest energy) state.  Having an on-demand supply of hydrogen is safer than super high pressure tanks of the gas.

So the real question is how do we convert the oxides back to the base metals in an efficient and cost-effective process.  This is the already-existing technology of recyling aluminum.  Yes, this is energy intensive.  But so is the process of pumping oil, transporting it to refineries, refining it, and transporting fuel to the gas station just to burn it off at 35% efficiency. 

The best part of the recyling process is that it is already available, so that we can then work on improving the recycling process with respect to using pollution-causing fossil fuels (i.e. running the smelters with solar energy, wind energy, wave energy, and all the other green technologies).  Improving the environmental impact at a power station is more effective than in an ICE.  What this means is that the de-oxidation process can be run when the external energy is available so that energy would be stored for when it is needed. 

This reaction is like a battery (stored chemical energy), except that a material changeover (refueling) would be much faster than recharging a battery.  And storing alloy pellets in an existing gas station is far easier to implement than building a hydrogen pumping station. 

j-allen
User Rank
Gold
Re: Fuel cell car
j-allen   1/24/2014 9:59:15 AM
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No matter what method is used to reduce hydrogen from water, the First Law of thermodynamics requires that at least as much energy go into the process as one would get by burning the hydrogen back to water.  Otherwise you would be proposing a perpetual mothion machine of the First Kind.   No free lunch!


In the real world the practical processes are considerably less than 50% "round trip" efficiency.  So again, hydrogen is great for filling buoyant balloons, and talking in a funny voice, but not for running a gas engine economically. 

Al Klu
User Rank
Gold
Re: Fuel cell car
Al Klu   1/24/2014 9:30:01 AM
NO RATINGS
j, I agree that creating hydrogen off-vehicle, and then storing it in a high pressure canister on vehicle is incredibly inefficient.  I think the future would be more in line with creating hydrogen on demand.  Purdue Univeristy has created an aluminum-gallium alloy, which when mixed with water, creates hydrogen in volumes that can run a car's IC engine.

The resultant byproducts are aluminum and gallium oxides that can be just drawn from the "engine" compartment and recycled back to the initial alloy.

Imagine driving up to a gas station and filling up your tank with water!

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Honda design futility
Charles Murray   1/6/2014 7:06:21 PM
NO RATINGS
I'm with you, protobobby7. Clean lines create a much more pleasing appearance. Giving carte blance to designers can yield some pretty unusual results.

protobobby7
User Rank
Iron
Honda design futility
protobobby7   1/2/2014 3:19:20 PM
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Why is there a need to design the exterior of an auto with so many cuts, slots, random grooves, etc when clean simple aerodynamic lines offer a much more pleasing look?

Honda in particular has such a conservative design approach to their Accord line that one would think they have lost their design team to the competition or just a few to the Accura division.

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
HONDA AND FUEL CELL VEHICLES
bobjengr   12/21/2013 1:36:52 PM
NO RATINGS
 Excellent post Charles--good update.  I'm very impressed with the attempt to provide aerodynamic properties to the design.  Also, it does seem that more and more auto makers are getting on the "hydrogen fuel cell bandwagon".  I personally think this is fascinating technology and applaud their efforts to develop this alternative to the "standard" internal combustion engine.  That's what engineers do.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: FCEV far from implication
Charles Murray   12/18/2013 6:54:17 PM
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Unfortunately, I'm unable to view the photo in your comment, JimT. I'll just have to take your word for it that the front of the car (which does seem to have a facial expression) is modeled after Robert Downey Jr.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: FCEV far from implication
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   12/17/2013 3:37:46 PM
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Does anyone else see Robert Downey Jr. in the grill of that car-?



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