Honda Insight Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
ElectricTroy said:
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
Insightful Trekker said:
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??? :roll:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
ElectricTroy said:
Insightful Trekker said:
Ever with the most effificnt solar cells
Insightful Trekker said:
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
344 Posts
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. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
ElectricTroy said:
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
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.
ElectricTroy said:
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,332 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
"but where does all the hydrogen come from?"

One of our own IC members did the math and proved that an advanced system could provide the typical energy needs for a vehicle using just the surface area of the vehicle. In the California area Sterling engine concentrator light farms are providing competitive energy rates now from solar. Granted electric vehicles are severly hampered by the cold temperatures of northern climates, but considering that the population of California is about equal to Canada, it's a good start. Meanwhile sun starved Ontario (where I live) is producing 50 percent of its electricity with atomic power and is projecting almost 100 percent atomic for the near future.

"EV cars still only go 100-150 miles per charge."

Aside from the fact that such cars are not yet in large scale production and still have to be proven, this does show the potenial for EV cars of the future. Furthermore, if rechargeable aluminum batterys turn out to be more than hype (see http://www.europositron.com/en/index.html) , cheap EVs with several times this range will be practical soon.

"gasoline cars still only average 25-30 MPG"

True, but the Prius and Civic hybrid have proven that cars can average 45 to 50 MPG AND provide for the safety and practicality needs of the average person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
b1shmu63 said:
"but where does all the hydrogen come from?"

One of our own IC members did the math and proved that an advanced system could provide the typical energy needs for a vehicle using just the surface area of the vehicle.
Can you share those numbers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Speaking of H2, I thought this was looking pretty good, until I noticed that the government has shut them down. It figures, since something like this, coupled with solar/wind turbines, would make a household independant from the oil/energy companies. We wouldn't want that now would we? Heck no...

http://www.switch2hydrogen.com/

The only way H2 or any other method of propulsion is going to be available to the public, is if you have to BUY IT from someone. Independance would just be too much of a strain on the "hands in the cookie jar" corruption family that we currently have.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
The thread has now terminally drifted off-topic.

Political issues cannot be corrected on the forums. I would _strongly_ recommend that whatever such issues members have that are important to you to put the effort for change in the real world, where it will make a difference. :)

Locking.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top