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10167 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  &eye
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Greenman, Your numbers for fuel cell efficiencies are way off. For those seriously considering fuel cells it's important to read the following links. They should be required reading and have all the numbers needed to make intelligent comparisons:

If you have doubts about those results you can turn to Ulf Bossel's complete analysis (this docked the hydrogen ship and it has not set sail since):

The truth is that hydrogen has nowhere near the efficiency as a BEV system. It's even worse than air car technology efficiency and that is very bad.

There is a very lively (excuse the drama) thread on this forum that talks about and compares many of the options people are talking about these days including hydrogen, air car and BEVs.

If you read though to the end you will certainly hear passionate debate on both sides. Some of the posters (me included) have dug their heels in the sand and will probably never be convinced otherwise but to all new readers try to read with an open mind an make your own conclusions.

How much energy a system can store and it's ability to convert that stored energy and the difficulties in storing that energy should be a person's first concern. You cannot, for example, count on high technology to get you out of efficiency losses that are tied to the laws of physics. The compression of real gases and the resulting heat losses can only be minimized but never eliminated. They are a fact of nature and 50 more years of technical advances will not make much of a difference. For example look at the modern ICE. Everyone knows that they have horrible efficiencies of around 40 percent despite a 100 years of refinement. When you are converting energy from one form to another and especially when dealing with heat conversions or working with compressible gasses there are inherent losses. If someone is trying to convince you otherwise please go talk to a physics teacher or maybe check out the following primer on energy by Rick Miley. He has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) and the lessons are geared at the absolute beginner. Great stuff:

This will give you the basic tools to analyze different options. The first questions you should be asking are energy and efficiency questions. Then you should be comparing other proposed options. Sometimes a poor efficiency system is chosen like our current petroleum systems. This happened because oil is an amazing liquid (just watch the video by Rick) that stores unbelievable amounts of chemical energy. Most other alternative energy options do not have this luxury. It will take great effort by many scientists and engineers to come up with a workable alternative to oil.

If you can't decide on a clear winner we should continue to aggressively fund all worthy challengers. Some say hydrogen is a smoke screen. I'm not so sure about that and feel it has great promise for some niche markets. When hydrogen supporters do not acknowledge the worthiness of advanced battery technology that should put up a red flag. Ask why. Ask about the energy!
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Rather that find fault with hydrogen, or any other alternative fuel, let's cheer the efforts. I for one am greatly encouraged by this announcement.
pennor1, I agree that we should not only cheer the efforts but help fund aggressive research. However, we need to be very diligent that interested parties do not use hydrogen as a way to divert funds, hinder consensus or delay transition from our oil economy. Do you think it's not important to get the facts correct?

Let me ask you a question: what would happen if tomorrow hydrogen was proven and agreed on by all the world's scientists to not be a worthy challenger to battery technology and that 2nd generation biofuels would never reach the efficiencies and costs of battery technology. Heck, imagine if tomorrow that not only EEstor but 10X lithium-ion batteries were proven to not only be for real but were going into full production next week at a cost savings of more than 5 times. That all specifications exceeded engineering requirements for the freedom car by several times. What would happen?

I'm guessing that politicians, company leaders, oil companies, etc. would all announce huge projects to get us off of oil. Within a decade America would not be importing a drop of oil. That seems to make sense right? That is why we need to keep working the numbers, testing all viable options, figuring out what method is best to move forward.

Look at our past. The zero emission requirements that California passed were reversed mostly because of the promise of a workable hydrogen car. A hydrogen economy is not very compatible to a BEV economy is it? With hydrogen you will most likely have to purchase a liquid fuel from a energy company or have a complicated mechanical and chemical device at your home rather than have a simple solar panel and home battery to recharge your car. Back when the electric car was killed for the first time (might be killed again) they said a practical hydrogen car would go on sale in 10 years. Funny how they say the same thing today. Don't you think?

The result is that not only have us Americans not started building electrical charging stations we have actually dismantled the ones we already built! Just watch Who Killed the Electric Car. You don't have to blame any one person or company. Just look at what happened and try to understand how to keep it from happening again. "Those who do not study the past are doomed to repeat it." Sound familiar?

Many people are angry and upset about what happen with the EV. Not me. We now have a tragic event in history to point to when interested companies try to pull the same tacit again. OPEC dropping the price of oil to stop alternative energy research? No, I don't think so. Not this time. The auto companies recalling green technology and destroying all evidence (just about every auto company did this)? No way.

So, I ask you should we not try to find faults with and seriously debate all options to the oil economy to weed out the very best solution as fast as possible? To get consensus and move forward in a meaningful way? I'm ready to get to work on the new system. If everyone says hydrogen then lets go. If people say lets wait 10 years to see if hydrogen will be the way to go then I say. No!

Let's continue to research hydrogen with great passion but not wait for it. It may never come, and that just might suit some people quite nicely. Think about it.
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Jason, Please show me where I tell anyone to stop hydrogen or other forms of research (maybe compressed air as a range extender because it's impossible for a practical sized car - see air car thread) and I will provide many links where I write to not only fund them but increase R&D spending. Do you take this challenge? Oh and I feel we can move forward with existing technology that's in production today (, A123, etc.). You like air car technology, hydrogen, etc. Do you see the irony? I don't want to get into another ridiculous hissy fight with you. It's almost a complete waste of time.

Greenman, They SAY 80% efficient but that has never been demonstrated in a real product. Does that include wall plug-to-wheel efficiency? I have said many times that we need to continue hydrogen research. I don't feel it will be practical for normal drivers but maybe specialty applications. I have written this so many times I can't even count. I love hydrogen and the research!

I'm betting on BEV in the long run and plug-in hybrids in the short term. I just feel battery technology will advance quicker than hydrogen technology and the efficiencies of the overall systems are not even close. If I see a hydrogen fuel cell beating out a pure BEV in the next 10 years I would be extremely happy because that would be an amazing advance. Can we at least agree to move forward with the electrification of the automobile and not wait for the hydrogen car, again (reference to where California's zero emission legislation was killed in order to make way for the hydrogen car - it's still a long way out)?
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