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Old 03-26-2007, 03:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pop Science article on FCX

There is a nice article on the new FCX here.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/03/09/cars ... en.popsci/

Joe Brown puts the pedal to the carbon fiber.
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default FCX at Shanghai Auto Show

I happen to be in Shanghai right now, so got to pop over and take a look at the latest concepts at the show. The Honda really does look very neat. It also is fairly big - no problem for 4 people at all.

Honda also had a "Flex Fuel" vehicle there. A Chinese mfr had a car marked "Hybrid", GM had their Volt, and others had some hybrids shown.

Can't wait to get to the U.S. and try out my "new to me" Insight!
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I saw a REALLY good green program on Discovery channel last weekend. The host of the show, who is an environmentalist, asks the question:

"Fuel cell cars are great, but where does all the hydrogen come from?" He then points out the great flaw: "In order to drive this car just 200 miles, requires a week's worth of solar energy, with a panel the size of two homes." (quoting from memory).

You see hydrogen is not really a solution. It's just opening-up a whole new set of problems:
- Where does it come from?
- If it's solar-derived hydrogen, then it requires a LOT of space to erect those panels (at least the size of 2 household roofs per car).
- Which is far more space than we have.
- Which means we'll have a SCARCE fuel supply.



In the LONG term, I think if you're going to use solar panels, don't waste time with hydrogen. Just use the solar panels directly:
- An EV
- married with a small engine (hybrid) for distances over 40 miles

Don't waste time converting solar-to-electricity-to-hydrogen. Use the electricity directly.
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricTroy
In the LONG term, I think if you're going to use solar panels, don't waste time with hydrogen. Just use the solar panels directly:
- An EV
- married with a small engine (hybrid) for distances over 40 miles

Don't waste time converting solar-to-electricity-to-hydrogen. Use the electricity directly.
And do a LOT more walking. Ever with the most effificnt solar cells and a vehicle 100% covered in them the amount of energy converted will be small in compairson to what we "normally" spend going down the road.



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Old 04-26-2007, 10:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insightful Trekker
Ever with the most effificnt solar cells
Uh.

I was talking about solar panels on your roof, feeding into a battery. Like 99.9% of all Electric Owners do. Use the electricity directly, and skip the hydrogen conversion step.

What are you talking about???
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricTroy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Insightful Trekker
Ever with the most effificnt solar cells
Quote:
Originally Posted by Insightful Trekker
Even [typo edit] with the most effificnt solar cells and a vehicle 100% covered in them the amount of energy converted will be small in compairson to what we "normally" spend going down the road.


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Old 04-26-2007, 07:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I believe Troy meant solar panels on the roof of a house being used to charge a battery in the car (say - overnight). As compared with those same solar panels being used to create hydrogen for fueling your hydrogen fuel cell car.

I think that fuel cell cars are probably a good idea but..... One problem with fuel cell cars is that they are used by many people as an excuse for doing nothing now about their consumption of fossil fuels. There is I believe an irrational faith in "big bang" technological solutions to the enviromental impacts of humanity's current (and increasing) levels of energy use. In Australia, one solution being touted is large scale development of nuclear power stations (currently there are none due to community opposition).

As Troy says... you've got to think about where the hydrogen is going to come from. Technological developments will provide valuable assistance but I think that small scale collection of renewable resources will prove more important than "miracle" solutions. Oh... and as John says we should be walking much more - which would be a GOOD THING.
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Old 04-30-2007, 11:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricTroy
I was talking about solar panels on your roof [of your house], feeding into a battery. Like 99.9% of all Electric Owners do. Use the electricity directly, and skip the hydrogen conversion step.
Solar ---> Electric ---> Battery ---> Move the car

is far FAR more efficient than this:

Solar ---> Electric ---> Hydrogen ---> Electric ---> Move the car



Rather than waste time with making and storing and carrying hydrogen, just skip that step, and use the electricity directly via a battery-powered car.
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The problem with new / high tech stuff is that it is new. This may sound a bit obvious but…

As time goes by the capability of any new fuel technology advances. Consider alcohol, there are still people saying that more energy is needed to make a gallon of the stuff than it contains. This was true 10 years ago when the only commonly known method to make it was to distill it. Today the energy balance is 20% more energy content than energy investment. With new bacteria methods of extraction this situation should improve.

The same type of thing is happening with H2. Greenland has a major effort on to make H2 using geothermal energy. There are advances in the efficiency and cost of photo voltaic cells. There are windmills (the big ones) going up all over (I pass a bunch of ‘no windmills’ signs on my way to work, I may need to drive my 4X truck in one day to mow some of them over).

Honda has an experimental solar powered hydrogen reforming / refueling station. I believe the solar array is about the size of a typical garage. However I was not able to find any information on how large the solar array is. There is a picture of it at this link:

http://www.ieahia.org/pdfs/honda.pdf

In the end it will be a combination of economics and customer acceptance that dictates the change. Big money will not be thrown at technology that has low customer acceptance, so it is possible that the solution that emerges may not be the ‘best’ but if there is wide spread acceptance the net result will be a huge improvement.

The advantage of H2 is that is can be re-charged in a similar way to what we currently have. People are used to the idea of gassing up. And it is a reasonable method to store and transport large quantities of energy. H2 has reasonable energy density with today’s technology. So people will have a car that can take them over the hill to grandma’s even if they don’t go.
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah I talked about the Honda Refueling Station in an earlier post. It's a good idea, but not requires a LOT of space. Which is something we are lacking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricTroy
I saw a REALLY good green program on Discovery channel last weekend. The host of the show, who is an environmentalist, asks the question:

"Fuel cell cars are great, but where does all the hydrogen come from?" He then points out the great flaw: "In order to drive this [Honda Fuel Cell] car just 200 miles, requires a week's worth of solar energy, with a panel the size of two homes." (quoting from memory).
As Scotty used to say on Star Trek,
"You cannae change the laws of physics!"
That's why, even after 100 years of development,
EV cars still only go 100-150 miles per charge.

And gasoline cars still only average 25-30 MPG.
The universe places boundaries on what we can do.
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