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'[OT]:: Al Gore - A Generational Challenge to Repow'
2008\07\25@011654 by Apptech

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Some whacko has to post on this sooner or later.
May as well be me :-).

This belongs in TECH *BUT* I'm posting it in OT as we don't
have the maturity to handle it in TECH at a noise level that
is appropriate. If it gets out of hand here we'll have to
trash the thread. If it gets ignored here, that's fine.

This is a very recent 'speech' by Al Gore challenging the US
(the title says America) to convert all US electricity
generation to non-hydrocarbon dependent sources within 10
years. It covers more than that, but that's the core.

There is the inevitably unavoidable rubbish content and some
good ideas and thoughts. The ideas are not without merit but
will probably meet with mindless scathing putdowns from his
opponents & detractors and mindless adulation from his fans.
In between the two it would be good if there could here be
some useful sage and reasoned comments. One can hope :-).

You can find the speech on zillions of sites by Gargoyling

   A Generational Challenge to Repower America

or if you really must, an unembellished html 'plain text'
copy at http://others.servebeer.com/misc.agctra/htm



       Russell



2008\07\25@111800 by Apptech

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> You can find the speech on zillions of sites by Gargoyling
>
>    A Generational Challenge to Repower America
>
> or if you really must, an unembellished html 'plain text'

Doh !!!!!!!!!!!!

> copy at http://others.servebeer.com/misc.agctra/htm

       copy at http://others.servebeer.com/misc.agctra.htm


       Russell




2008\07\25@133140 by piclist

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On Fri, 25 Jul 2008, Apptech wrote:
> This is a very recent 'speech' by Al Gore challenging the US
> (the title says America) to convert all US electricity
> generation to non-hydrocarbon dependent sources within 10
> years. It covers more than that, but that's the core.

We simply do not have the technical, political or economic capital to do
this in ten years.

However, if we pushed as hard as we could on all fronts we could make some
massive improvements.  If we reduse the need for oil a small amount, it
can make a HUGE decrease in the cost.  Thats how things work when a
resource is not enough to meet demand.  The price skyrockets as you hit
that limit.  A 10% reduction in oil use would probably put the price of
gas back to $1 or $2 a gallon.

So his goals are unrealistic, but there is absolutly nothing wrong with
trying.  Anything would be better than the last 7 years of head in the
sand do-nothings we have had for our leadership.

(You were right to post it in OT.. I would have moved it here for my
crazy ranting post anyway :-)

--
Ian Smith
http://www.ian.org

2008\07\25@140331 by Derward Myrick

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----- Original Message -----
From: <spam_OUTpiclistTakeThisOuTspamian.org>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu>
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]:: Al Gore - A Generational Challenge to Repower America


<snip>
>
> So his goals are unrealistic, but there is absolutly nothing wrong with
> trying.  Anything would be better than the last 7 years of head in the
> sand do-nothings we have had for our leadership.

The leadership problem did not start the last 7 years,  we had this problem
start
in the late 1970s.  And I have not seen any one do anything about it.

Derward Myrick



> (You were right to post it in OT.. I would have moved it here for my
> crazy ranting post anyway :-)
>
> --
> Ian Smith
> http://www.ian.org
> --

2008\07\25@141422 by Tony Smith

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{Quote hidden}

Using less oil won't drop the price, there are other markets besides the USA
that'll ensure high prices remain.  Still, if you don't use it, who cares
what the price is?

As you say, no harm in trying.  A politition with vision, must be a mirage.

Tony

2008\07\25@142021 by piclist

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On Fri, 25 Jul 2008, Derward Myrick wrote:
> The leadership problem did not start the last 7 years,  we had this problem
> start
> in the late 1970s.  And I have not seen any one do anything about it.

True.  Carter said we needed to get off of forign oil, move to renewable
engery, conserve resources.  Even put solar panels on the roof of the
White House.

Then Regan came in, pulled the solar panels down and eliminated most of
the programs Carter started.  And since then, nobody has done anything
about it.

--
Ian SMith
http://www.ian.org

2008\07\25@145217 by Spehro Pefhany

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Quoting piclistspamKILLspamian.org:

> On Fri, 25 Jul 2008, Apptech wrote:
>> This is a very recent 'speech' by Al Gore challenging the US
>> (the title says America) to convert all US electricity
>> generation to non-hydrocarbon dependent sources within 10
>> years. It covers more than that, but that's the core.
>
> We simply do not have the technical, political or economic capital to do
> this in ten years.
>
> However, if we pushed as hard as we could on all fronts we could make some
> massive improvements.  If we reduse the need for oil a small amount, it
> can make a HUGE decrease in the cost.  Thats how things work when a
> resource is not enough to meet demand.  The price skyrockets as you hit
> that limit.  A 10% reduction in oil use would probably put the price of
> gas back to $1 or $2 a gallon.

That was the case in the old days, when the US was a huge part of oil
consumption and growth in oil consumption-- partly because rich Europe
and rich Japan chose to squelch consumer demand for fuel (which they  
had to import) through extremely heavy taxation. By simply reducing US  
demand
(for example, by devaluing the dollar and increasing the price to US
consumers) the price would be reduced in real terms since the market
would only bear so much. But with the BRIC countries experiencing  
massive increases in wealth, and even with the non-oil energy sources  
being exploited to a much greater degree by wind farms in China, coal  
fired and nuclear plants, and biofuels in Brazil, we are still seeing  
very high growth rates in industrializing countries. Further, they`ve  
chosen to tax fuel to a very limited degree, so prices are  
more-or-less on a par with US prices.

So, I think conservation and alternative energy sources are most likely
not to reduce US dollar valued energy costs but more likely just keep things
steady. Further, as the rupee and the yuan appreciate vis-a-vis the  
USD, that means that two billion people can more easily outbid  
Americans for the same limited energy (and polymer) resources. As it  
is, we seem to be on an
unstoppable curve to 100E6 barrels per day, which is a problem if
supply in fact tops out at 80E6 barrels per day. I do think prices will
likely moderate a bit from current levels, but nothing like the $15-20
a barrel we saw in the 90`s.

> So his goals are unrealistic, but there is absolutly nothing wrong with
> trying.  Anything would be better than the last 7 years of head in the
> sand do-nothings we have had for our leadership.
>
> (You were right to post it in OT.. I would have moved it here for my
> crazy ranting post anyway :-)
>
> --
> Ian Smith
> http://www.ian.org
> -

2008\07\25@160039 by Bob Axtell

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"Pushing as hard as possible on all fronts" is a good idea but financially
disastrous.

It would be cheaper to simply invade Saudi Arabia and take the oil. Sooner
or later, somebody else will if we don't.

--Bob A

On Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 10:31 AM, <.....piclistKILLspamspam.....ian.org> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\07\25@160642 by Bob Blick

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On Sat, 26 Jul 2008 04:13:40 +1000, "Tony Smith" <EraseMEajsmithspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTbeagle.com.au>
said:

> As you say, no harm in trying.  A politition with vision, must be a
> mirage.

When former politicians dedicate themselves to philanthropic work they
can focus on one thing and perhaps do some good - Jimmy Carter with
Habitat for Humanity comes to mind. It must also be rewarding work since
you aren't fighting the same partisan battles over and over.

Cheerful regards,

Bob



--
http://www.fastmail.fm - A fast, anti-spam email service.

2008\07\25@170345 by mikecreid

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If we could design a methane and hot air recovery system for use with all the politicians we would become energy independent very quickly!!!
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

{Original Message removed}

2008\07\25@182124 by Rich

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I don't know why we just don't use the petroleum we have in the ground and
in the capped off oil wells.  It seems a logical enough solution; we
certainly have enough oil to achieve energy independence; even though there
is no harm done in pursuing "feasible" alternatives.  As it turns out
ethanol was not a feasible.


{Original Message removed}

2008\07\25@185255 by Bob Blick

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On Fri, 25 Jul 2008 13:00:12 -0700, "Bob Axtell" <bob.axtellspamspam_OUTgmail.com>
said:
> It would be cheaper to simply invade Saudi Arabia and take the oil.
> Sooner
> or later, somebody else will if we don't.

Do we have the crypto keys for all those F-15's we just sold them?

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - Same, same, but different…

2008\07\25@190331 by Carl Denk

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Generally when a well production drops to a low level, the well is
capped (there are some exceptions). At this point the well usually needs
a maintenance cleaning, but it just isn't worth sending the equipment
out to do the cleaning. Capping isn't cheap either, and the well owner
would be just a happy to keep producing, but there just isn't the oil or
gas left to get out. Here in Northern Ohio, there are wells scattered
all around, most are gas producers, some produce a small quantity of oil
also. Generally these well don't produce sufficient oil to justify an
oil pipe line to a terminal and there are tanks next to the well, any
where from 500 gallons to several thousand gallons. Typically these
tanks get visited by a tank truck once a month at most. These wells
typically don't have sufficient pressure to force the oil to the surface
and a pump jack is operated continuously or periodic depending on the
needs of the well. A pump jack is a walking beam type equipment that
moves a rod that goes to the bottom of the well up and down a few feet.
There are numerous pistons with check valves on the rod. The production
could be a few gallons per minute.

30 years ago I drilled a gas well in our back yard, it is 1000' deep and
produces only enough gas for the house. Within a few mile radius there
are probably a half dozen similar wells in use. The well produces no oil
and has had no maintenance since drilled.

Rich wrote:
> I don't know why we just don't use the petroleum we have in the ground and
> in the capped off oil wells.  It seems a logical enough solution; we
> certainly have enough oil to achieve energy independence; even though there
> is no harm done in pursuing "feasible" alternatives.  As it turns out
> ethanol was not a feasible.
>
>
> {Original Message removed}

2008\07\25@201606 by Apptech

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> Do we have the crypto keys for all those F-15's we just
> sold them?

Not personally.
But it's probably something like

       "NxF22 >>1xF15:-)"


   R

2008\07\25@211041 by Vic Fraenckel

picon face
Bob Blick wrote:
> Do we have the crypto keys for all those F-15's we just sold them?
>
>  
Of course!

Vic
--

*____________________________________________________________________________________________*


*Victor Fraenckel
KC2GUI
windswaytoo ATSIGN gmail DOT com**
*

2008\07\25@235929 by Cedric Chang

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If you plan to invade SA ( and maybe Iran plus staying in Iraq ) ,  
the only rational approach is to kill everyone that lives there and  
replace them with Americans.  Then you are all set.
cc


{Quote hidden}

2008\07\26@000427 by Cedric Chang

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I expect to see some good things happening on the energy front  
because the price of oil is creating a mother of invention.
1)  Development of hydrogen production, distribution and the use of  
Hydrogen as a fuel.
2)  Various methods of producing electricity  ( Solar, wind and yikes  
nookies )
3)  Politicians on stationary bikes

cc

2008\07\26@014627 by Rich

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Thank you for the kind reply and explanation.  There are wells to which you
comments do apply and there are wells that were capped because of
environmental complaints.  The Alaskan pipeline was a political battle
because it was said (by greens) that the moose would die out.  But they have
not, nor have they decreased their population.  The bottom line, however, is
that the US has plenty of oil and does not need to depend on foreign
imports.  The use of it, however, depends on the outcome of a political
struggle between the far left and the center-right.  I am not convinced that
the green arguments are legitimate with respect to the environment.  They
are legitimate with respect to political philosophy; that is, the political
philosophy of those who oppose the use of domestic oil and the construction
of new additional refineries are in opposition because it serves their
political purpose.  There is no shortage of resources in America and ethanol
has proven to have unintended adverse consequences.  There is nor reason
other than political philosophy to keep America dependent on energy that
someone else controls.


{Original Message removed}

2008\07\26@020013 by Rich

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Cedric, I believe that you are being facetious.  No one in this age wants to
wipe out entire populations.  Wars are limited nowadays.  They do not
involve entire populations as they did in the two World Wars and the
American Civil War.  At least they do not involve the entire population in
the direct conflict.  They are, however, involved in the propaganda aspects
of war; which since the First World War has become more sophisticated and
intense.  Wars no longer depend exclusively on the outcome on the battle
field.  Wars are being directed more and more by political forces.  Wars are
no longer understood tactically as they once were, and Carl von Clausewitz
is being revisited by the Pentagon.

{Original Message removed}

2008\07\26@075718 by Apptech

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> Cedric, I believe that you are being facetious.

Occasionally Cedric falls short of the mark and doesn't
manage to be obviously facetious, but usually he manages OK
:-).


       Russell


2008\07\26@085339 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Rich wrote:

> Cedric, I believe that you are being facetious.  No one in this age wants to
> wipe out entire populations.  Wars are limited nowadays.  They do not
> involve entire populations as they did in the two World Wars and the
> American Civil War.  

?? Invading Iraq has proven to be a /very/ expensive proposition, and it
wasn't even with the purpose of controlling anything there. It isn't
limited, at least not as far as we can see, and Iraq is and was a poor
country, run down and with very little resources. And this is a
"liberation" war. Imagine if it had been an "occupation" war -- wiping out
the entire population probably would be the most economical solution (not
that I'm proposing that... :).

> Wars no longer depend exclusively on the outcome on the battle field.
> Wars are being directed more and more by political forces.  

Ah, yes, this is true (and always was -- nothing really new here). Now
apply that to Saudi-Arabia and a possible invasion -- the currently still
ongoing devaluation of the dollar is nothing compared to what you'd see.
While there are other factors also, the loss in confidence in the dollar is
a major contributor. And the current administration's foreign policy is a
major contributor to the loss in faith in the dollar.

War is good for economy, some say -- this may be true in a very limited
sense, as long as the war's overall economical impact is low, there is not
a huge amount of pre-existing debt, most of the war's cost can be carried
by new debt, and people close their eyes towards the fact that the
short-term influx of money into the economy and its "boom" effect  has to
be balanced against the long-term effect of having to carry (and eventually
re-pay) that debt. Nothing of this is given anymore, at least not for the
US economy and a war against a country like Iraq or Saudi-Arabia.

Just for fun, calculate, on top of the known and usually discussed figures,
the (domestic) cost of the devaluation of the dollar (which is arguably a
direct consequence of the current mid-east "policy") -- for example, much
of the rising price of oil (in dollar) is due to the dollar's devaluation
relative to other currencies --, and you're starting to see what those
political forces can cost.

> Wars are no longer understood tactically as they once were, and Carl von
> Clausewitz is being revisited by the Pentagon.

Possibly, but alas it's not the Pentagon that makes those decisions. It's
not even the president. It's his media advisor... :(

Gerhard

2008\07\26@091316 by Jinx

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> Iraq is and was a poor country .... with very little resources

One resource isn't so insignificant (no, not sand, the other one)
and very very strategic

2008\07\26@094941 by Rich

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I always respect and enjoy your comments, Gerhard.  I was using the
definition of limited war
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerhard Fiedler" <KILLspamlistsKILLspamspamconnectionbrazil.com>
To: <RemoveMEpiclistTakeThisOuTspammit.edu>
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 8:52 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]:: Al Gore - A Generational Challenge to Repower America


{Quote hidden}

> --

2008\07\26@125946 by Brian B. Riley

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 Exactly!

On Jul 25, 2008, at 1:31 PM, spamBeGonepiclistspamBeGonespamian.org wrote:

> So his goals are unrealistic, but there is absolutly nothing wrong  
> with
> trying.  Anything would be better than the last 7 years of head in the
> sand do-nothings we have had for our leadership.



--
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
  <http://web.mac.com/brianbr/>  Tech Blog
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   Home of the
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      PICAXE chips and accessories   Freeduino systems



2008\07\26@130209 by Brian B. Riley

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True, but this last seven years the actions of 'the leadership' with  
regards to this matter have been particularly egregious and  
disingenuous!

On Jul 25, 2008, at 2:03 PM, Derward Myrick wrote:

{Quote hidden}

--
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
  <http://web.mac.com/brianbr/>  Tech Blog
  <http://www.wulfden.org/TheShoppe.shtml>
   Home of the
      K107 Serial LCD Controller Kit    FT817 Power Conditioner Kit
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2008\07\26@183916 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Jinx wrote:

>> Iraq is and was a poor country .... with very little resources
>
> One resource isn't so insignificant (no, not sand, the other one)
> and very very strategic

That's right, of course -- but I meant in terms of using them for defense
(first) or resistance (later).

Gerhard

2008\07\27@001916 by Vitaliy

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Cedric Chang wrote:
>I expect to see some good things happening on the energy front
> because the price of oil is creating a mother of invention.

Undoubtedly.

> 1)  Development of hydrogen production, distribution and the use of
> Hydrogen as a fuel.

Not feasible. Feasible solutions have to use existing infrastructure. There
are other reasons why hydrogen is not a feasible alternative to gasoline.

> 2)  Various methods of producing electricity  ( Solar, wind and yikes
> nookies )

Nookies.

Vitaliy

2008\07\27@002541 by Matthew Miller

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On Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 10:04:01PM -0600, Cedric Chang wrote:
> I expect to see some good things happening on the energy front  
> because the price of oil is creating a mother of invention.
> 1)  Development of hydrogen production, distribution and the use of  
> Hydrogen as a fuel.

Unfortunately, hydrogen isn't a fuel but an energy carrier. There is also
the part where the energy available from hydrogen is less than the energy
used to generate it.

Google "don lancaster" and hydrogen, and you will quickly learn why the
"hydrogen economy" is a loser.

Matthew

2008\07\27@004710 by Apptech

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>> 1)  Development of hydrogen production, distribution and
>> the use of
>> Hydrogen as a fuel.

> Not feasible. Feasible solutions have to use existing
> infrastructure. There
> are other reasons why hydrogen is not a feasible
> alternative to gasoline.

New infrastructure will come if the solution is good enough
or we are desparate enough.

I'll suggest that Hydrogen's day may come (but not in 10
years) if something better isn't found. Hydrogen is, of
course, not an energy source per se but an energy transport
medium. It's advantages include very clean combustion when
combusted appropriately, superb energy density per mole and
thus superb energy mass density, half a chance of being able
to be produced half efficiently and utilised half
efficiently with enough development effort, ability to be
used both for thermal (combustion) generation and as a fuel
cell feedstock (ie a different way of performing
combustion). It's disadvantages include ultra-horrendously
low volumetric energy density (improved by eg metal hydride
storage etc) and a nasty habit of being far better than
Houdini at escaping from confinement.

Clearly superior alternatives seem hard to find due to
difficulties with efficiencies, bidirectional store/utilise
processes* , messy byproducts and lower mass energy
densities. Almost anything beats Hydrogen for volumetric
energy density.

* Hydrogen has one trick which is very heard to match. It
can be used in an (almost) open loop monodirectional energy
transfer mode without anyone caring too too much (yet). ie
you can eg split water to generate Hydrogen, transport the
Hydrogen then oxidise it to release energy AND THEN throw
the combustion product away (water!) without anyone caring
too too much. You don't have to ship the ash (water) back to
be regenerated or recharged. It is a very very hard trick
for anything else to match.


       Russell

Just for interest:

Hydrogen ash is water.
Star ash is Iron.



2008\07\27@004953 by Vitaliy

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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> ?? Invading Iraq has proven to be a /very/ expensive proposition, and it
> wasn't even with the purpose of controlling anything there. It isn't
> limited, at least not as far as we can see,

As Rich has already mentioned, the Iraq war fits the definition of "limited
war" well.

> and Iraq is and was a poor
> country, run down and with very little resources.

Some would argue that in terms of economic well-being most Iraqis are better
off than they were. Especially in regions where there is less
insurgency(Kurdistan). One thing that is very visible in countries that were
economically isolated and suddenly became open to trade, is the explosion in
the number of cars you see on the streets. I've seen it happen in the
country I'm from, and it is happening in Iraq, too. Our company has a
distributor in Kurdistan.

> War is good for economy, some say

Most economists agree that wars are *bad* for the economy. One argument by
the other side is that when the military needs something, it buys the stuff
from American contractors, thereby increasing the GDP and creating jobs. The
problem is, it diverts resources from other sectors of the economy, and
creates a net loss. Following the logic, tanks and bombs should be all we
produce. TANSTAAFL.

Vitaliy

2008\07\27@005009 by Apptech

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> Google "don lancaster" and hydrogen, and you will quickly
> learn why the
> "hydrogen economy" is a loser.

Isn't that the techo equivalent of Googling Dr Mercola to
learn about health?

Yes, that's unfair (to both to some extent), but Don is a
bit much of a self appointed high-priest to be right all the
time.


       Russell


2008\07\27@010024 by Apptech

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> There is also the part where the energy available from
> hydrogen is less than the energy
> used to generate it.

True. But this is true of any energy distribution medium
that you have to "charge" and "discharge".
The most common form of discharged Hydrogen is called water
:-).

With Hydrogen you have to eg charge water by deoxidising it.
And discharge it again in due course by reoxidising it.
Both processes are theoretically lossless and in practice
lossy. Both can be made "pretty good" [tm] with enough
effort. Enough effort will occur when you finally have to do
SOMETHING else and this is the best solution. If it is. (Or
if somebody can convince industry and politicians that it is
the most beneficial system.)('Beneficial for whom?' is left
as an exercise for the student.)

Hydrogen has inefficiencies in deoxidation, oxidation, gas
loss in transit and mechanical transportation energy. Plus
some others no doubt.

When considering rejecting Hydrogen as an energy transport
and storage medium, it is useful to consider how well any
alternatives compare.


       Russell McMahon







2008\07\27@011300 by Matthew Miller

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On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 04:48:56PM +1200, Apptech wrote:
> > Google "don lancaster" and hydrogen, and you will quickly
> > learn why the
> > "hydrogen economy" is a loser.
>
> Isn't that the techo equivalent of Googling Dr Mercola to
> learn about health?
>
> Yes, that's unfair (to both to some extent), but Don is a
> bit much of a self appointed high-priest to be right all the
> time.

Russell, Don might be a high-priest in some ways, but with regard to
hydrogen I have not been able to find him to be incorrect. I've read a lot
of his usenet postings and mostly what I read is a person who doesn't suffer
foolishness. Hydrogen is a bust regardless of Don Lancaster's reputation.

I also have the suspicion that Don and Olin are twin brothers! ;)

Matthew

2008\07\27@012611 by Matthew Miller

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On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 04:59:58PM +1200, Apptech wrote:
>
> When considering rejecting Hydrogen as an energy transport
> and storage medium, it is useful to consider how well any
> alternatives compare.

Certainly. You already (in another post) mentioned the poor enregy per
volume that H has. That's a big strike against it. There is also the energy
losses associated with producing the hydrogen. Electrical energy is better
used to charge batteries for cars, not generate hydrogen. Petroleum is
better used to produce gasoline than create hydrogen. And it turns out that
the alternatives to hydrogen are better suited.

For energy transport, hydrogen is a boondoggle. It's just too bad I guess.

Matthew

2008\07\27@021416 by Vitaliy

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piclist@ian.org wrote:
> So his goals are unrealistic, but there is absolutly nothing wrong with
> trying.

Yes, there is. The government can end up spending trillions, and achieve
nothing. I highly recommend this book:

   The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America
   by Philip K. Howard

One of the examples talks about the EPA forcing an oil company to spend
millions to capture benzene at the smokestack, rather than at the loading
dock, where most of it was escaping. There are many others.

Al Gore himself coauthored a book that talks about how inefficient the
government is:

   Creating a Government That Works Better and Costs Less
   by Al Gore and Tom Peters

It's actually pretty well written.


> Anything would be better than the last 7 years of head in the
> sand do-nothings we have had for our leadership.

No, it wouldn't be better. I actually _prefer_ a government that does
nothing.

I am not an anarchist. There are certain functions that we need the
government for, for example protecting our right to life, liberty, and
property. However, in an overwhelming majority of cases, everyone would be
better off if the government did nothing.

If the government did nothing, the market would take care of the current oil
crisis. As oil prices continue to go up, companies have a greater incentive
to develop alternative technologies, and to do more with less oil. In the
meantime, high gas and energy prices are already causing people to drive
less, and conserve.

Whenever government tries to "help", bad things happen. Without government
price controls, there would be no oil crisis of the 1970s, or the "rolling
blackouts" in California. If it wasn't for excessive government regulation,
the US would have energy independence, today.

In general, my views on the role of government coincide with Ron Paul's,
except when it comes to his opinions on immigration:

http://www.ronpaul.org/

Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of people that want to use the
government to mess with other people's lives and wallets. :-(

Vitaliy

2008\07\27@024346 by Vitaliy

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Apptech wrote:
> New infrastructure will come if the solution is good enough
> or we are desparate enough.

Would you like to venture a guess regarding the cost of the current US oil
infrastructure? US$10e9? 10e12? ...?

Alternative solutions must use currently available infrastructure to be
economically feasible. There are two options: electric grid or gas stations.

To me, the most sensible economically feasible solution involves:

1. Substituting other energy sources for oil to generate electricity.
2. Developing lighter cars with more efficient IC engines.

Coal is too dirty, natural gas is too expensive, leaving nuclear as the only
option for electricity.

Lighter cars powered by efficient diesel engines require no changes to
existing infrastructure, nor significant technological breakthroughs. As
batteries become cheaper and better at storing energy, there will be more
hybrid and pure-electric cars.

Note that this plan requires no government spending or any action by the
government, with the exception of removing the obstacles in the form of
harmful regulations it itself has created.

Hydrogen has too many flaws to be practical.

Vitaliy

2008\07\27@045549 by Tony Smith

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> > 1)  Development of hydrogen production, distribution and the use of
> > Hydrogen as a fuel.
>
> Not feasible. Feasible solutions have to use existing
> infrastructure. There are other reasons why hydrogen is not a
> feasible alternative to gasoline.
>
> > 2)  Various methods of producing electricity  ( Solar, wind
> and yikes
> > nookies )
>
> Nookies.
>
> Vitaliy


Yeah, screw hydogen, fire up the nukes and build electic cars (or ride your
bike).

Nukes is the only 'alternative' that is known to work.

Tony

(yeah yeah, electric cars suck, I know, but ok for most uses)

2008\07\27@125337 by Byron Jeff

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On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 04:54:38AM -0400, Tony Smith wrote:
> > > 1)  Development of hydrogen production, distribution and the use of
> > > Hydrogen as a fuel.
> >
> > Not feasible. Feasible solutions have to use existing
> > infrastructure. There are other reasons why hydrogen is not a
> > feasible alternative to gasoline.
> >
> > > 2)  Various methods of producing electricity  ( Solar, wind
> > and yikes
> > > nookies )
> >
> > Nookies.
> >
> > Vitaliy
>
>
> Yeah, screw hydogen, fire up the nukes and build electic cars (or ride your
> bike).

Personally I think we should be working towards solar power satellites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_satellite

With 10x the radiation energy out in geostationary orbit, a couple of
square miles of solar collectors can power a significant amount of
infrastructure.

The problem with nuclear is virtually all political. People believe that
it's inherently unsafe, and so will insist that the government overregulate
the industry to make the public feel safe. This drives up the cost to a
point where it's unprofitable to build. That's why there have been no new
nuclear plants built in the US in nearly 30 years.

If I were the guy, I'd do extensive testing on an integral fast reactor
design:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Fast_Reactor

then build the heck out them with fast track approval as long as it follows
the well tested design. Since IFR reactors consume 99+% of their nuclear
fuel, the waste issue disappears as very little waste leaves the site.

> Nukes is the only 'alternative' that is known to work.

But like all the others it's not cost effective. Oil and coal continue to
be used because they are cheap. You make nuclear cheap, or solar cheap,
then folks will switch.

>
> Tony
>
> (yeah yeah, electric cars suck, I know, but ok for most uses)

Electric cars are limited. They don't suck. If they had the same
infrastructure in place that gas vehicles have now, then no one would drive
a gas vehicle.

It's going to require massive infrastructure changes to get EVs up to
speed. That's the problem. If EVs could pick up power from off the road
using induction so that you never had to plug them in, then everyone would
switch.

BAJ

2008\07\27@134104 by Byron Jeff

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On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 02:44:49AM -0400, Vitaliy wrote:
> Apptech wrote:
> > New infrastructure will come if the solution is good enough
> > or we are desparate enough.
>
> Would you like to venture a guess regarding the cost of the current US oil
> infrastructure? US$10e9? 10e12? ...?

Something in that ballpark.

>
> Alternative solutions must use currently available infrastructure to be
> economically feasible. There are two options: electric grid

Yes.

> or gas stations.

No!

>
> To me, the most sensible economically feasible solution involves:
>
> 1. Substituting other energy sources for oil to generate electricity.

Yes.

> 2. Developing lighter cars with more efficient IC engines.

No. Oil and gas are non renewable, polluting, expensive resources. Retool
the infrastructure so that for transporation and heating you don't need it.

>
> Coal is too dirty, natural gas is too expensive, leaving nuclear as the only
> option for electricity.

Solar power satellites would become viable if we make the effort to lower
the cost of lifting stuff into space.

> Lighter cars powered by efficient diesel engines require no changes to
> existing infrastructure, nor significant technological breakthroughs.

But the cost of the oil to produce the diesel will keep rising. It's like
ther frog sitting in the pot of water that's slowing rising to boiling. By
the time you realize that you can't afford to keep doing it that way, it's
too late.

There's nothing technologically preventing electric cars right now for a
significant number of miles that are traveled every day. The existing
infrastructure, both cars and homes can be used to charge and drive them.
The battery technology is available and it's not to terribly expensive.
Electric retrofits that get upwards of 50 miles on a charge and plugs into the
wall are available right now for a conversion cost of between $3000 and
$10000. But there are virtually no EVs on the road. And that will continue
until gas and diesel cost too much for people to pay for.

> As
> batteries become cheaper and better at storing energy, there will be more
> hybrid and pure-electric cars.

It's really not a matter of storing energy. It's a matter of not having an
infrastrcture in place for fast refueling. The California PATH project did
studies on electrified roadways nearly 15 years ago. They had a 15 ton
electric bus drive continuously for 8 hours transferring power inductively
from the roadway. Put that technology into the nation's interstate highway
system and electric cars become practical.

But its going to take some guts to do. With the foreign oil bill topping
$400 billion in the US alone this year, we need to get some guts.

> Note that this plan requires no government spending or any action by the
> government, with the exception of removing the obstacles in the form of
> harmful regulations it itself has created.

Your belief that folks in a free market will do the right thing is
downright scary to me. It's been shown over and over that when an industry
is deregulated, that the unscrupulous will do anything and everything to
make a buck.

I guess we just stand on opposite sides of this issue.

>
> Hydrogen has too many flaws to be practical.

But not on that one. We are agreed.

BAJ

2008\07\27@142402 by Cedric Chang

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>
> On Jul 26, 2008, at 10:20 PM, Vitaliy wrote:
>
> Cedric Chang wrote:
>> I expect to see some good things happening on the energy front
>> because the price of oil is creating a mother of invention.
>
> Undoubtedly.
>
>> 1)  Development of hydrogen production, distribution and the use of
>> Hydrogen as a fuel.
>
> Not feasible. Feasible solutions have to use existing  
> infrastructure. There
> are other reasons why hydrogen is not a feasible alternative to  
> gasoline.

Suppose someone develops a method of storing hydrogen in a substance  
that can be trucked to gas stations, stored in tanks or on shelves,  
and distributed to automobiles.  Maybe you drive into a station and  
get petrol or exchange  hydrogen cylinders.  There are hydrogen  
solutions that can use existing infrastructure.  If the pain of fuel  
prices is high enough, it will happen.   Hydrogen has too many  
upsides to not be adopted eventually.
cc

Vitaliy


2008\07\27@142829 by Cedric Chang

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>
> On Jul 26, 2008, at 10:25 PM, Matthew Miller wrote:
>
> On Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 10:04:01PM -0600, Cedric Chang wrote:
>> I expect to see some good things happening on the energy front
>> because the price of oil is creating a mother of invention.
>> 1)  Development of hydrogen production, distribution and the use of
>> Hydrogen as a fuel.
>
> Unfortunately, hydrogen isn't a fuel but an energy carrier. There  
> is also
> the part where the energy available from hydrogen is less than the  
> energy
> used to generate it.

Why is being an energy carrier unfortunate?  Being a energy carrier  
is no problem.  Especially if electrical power becomes easy to  
obtain.  Anyway, I know Don Lancaster and he is smart and I would  
make a bet with him that hydrogen is successful.  Just not the  way  
most people expect.
cc

> Google "don lancaster" and hydrogen, and you will quickly learn why  
> the
> "hydrogen economy" is a loser.
>
> Matthew
>

2008\07\27@143025 by Chris Smolinski

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>Suppose someone develops a method of storing hydrogen in a substance 
>that can be trucked to gas stations, stored in tanks or on shelves,
>and distributed to automobiles.

Perhaps hydrogen in some sort of a compound, say with carbon? :-)

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2008\07\27@143509 by Cedric Chang

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{Quote hidden}

flaws that are being corrected.
cc
>
> Vitaliy
>
>



2008\07\27@145057 by Bob Blick

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Cedric Chang wrote:

> Anyway, I know Don Lancaster and he is smart and I would  
> make a bet with him that hydrogen is successful.  Just not the  way  
> most people expect.

Because most people don't expect it to come from coal?

The CO2, sulfur, and mercury produced during the coal gasification
process are what bother me, but the coal industry is behind hydrogen all
the way.

Not to say that I think Don Lancaster is wrong about hydrogen, he made a
nice book on opamps. When he started cheerleading for Postscript I
decided I didn't trust his judgement and gave the opamp book away.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

2008\07\27@145654 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 02:29 PM 7/27/2008, you wrote:
> >Suppose someone develops a method of storing hydrogen in a substance
> >that can be trucked to gas stations, stored in tanks or on shelves,
> >and distributed to automobiles.
>
>Perhaps hydrogen in some sort of a compound, say with carbon? :-)

Indeed. Synthetic hydrocarbons make a lot of sense to me.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
TakeThisOuTspeffEraseMEspamspam_OUTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com



2008\07\27@160236 by Byron Jeff

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On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 02:27:18PM -0400, Cedric Chang wrote:
{Quote hidden}

The problem isn't being an energy carrier. The problem is fourfold:

1) It's cost a lot of energy to get that carrier. Hydrogen isn't efficient
to produce. Estimates of conversion efficiency via Electrolysis are as low as 50%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis

2) Hydrogen is leaky. Systems that are airtight will leak hydrogen gas.

3) Hydrogen is very explosive. Hindenburg. Enough said.

4) The worst one of all. Hydrogen has low energy carrying capacity. Which
means you have to carry a lot of it. Under pressure. Couple this with the
above 3 issues and...

...Hydrogen is a loser. It's a leaky, explosive, inefficient way to store
energy.

BAJ

2008\07\27@161145 by Tony Smith

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> > Not feasible. Feasible solutions have to use existing
> infrastructure.
> > There are other reasons why hydrogen is not a feasible
> alternative to
> > gasoline.
>
> Suppose someone develops a method of storing hydrogen in a
> substance that can be trucked to gas stations, stored in
> tanks or on shelves, and distributed to automobiles.  Maybe
> you drive into a station and get petrol or exchange  hydrogen
> cylinders.  There are hydrogen solutions that can use
> existing infrastructure.  If the pain of fuel  
> prices is high enough, it will happen.   Hydrogen has too many  
> upsides to not be adopted eventually.
> cc


And where do this hydrogen come from?

Tony

2008\07\27@162857 by Tony Smith

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> > Why is being an energy carrier unfortunate?  Being a energy
> carrier is
> > no problem.  Especially if electrical power becomes easy to
> obtain.  
> > Anyway, I know Don Lancaster and he is smart and I would make a bet
> > with him that hydrogen is successful.  Just not the  way
> most people
> > expect.
>
> The problem isn't being an energy carrier. The problem is fourfold:
>
>.....
>
> ...Hydrogen is a loser. It's a leaky, explosive, inefficient
> way to store energy.


Almost all hydrogen produced today comes from... Wait for it... Drum roll
please... Oil.

Nah, can't see any problems in the upcoming 'hydrogen economy'.

The only reason it's produced by electrolysis is if you want it
exceptionally pure.  Rather than use all that power to crack water, why not
just recharge your electric car with it?

TOny

2008\07\27@183306 by Apptech

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A couple of minor quibbles (one with the article below).

> Personally I think we should be working towards solar
> power satellites:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_satellite
>
> With 10x the radiation energy out in geostationary orbit,
> a couple of
> square miles of solar collectors can power a significant
> amount of
> infrastructure.

10:1 seems somewhat high.

Energy available outside the atmosphere is around 30% more
than at planet surface in full sun. Adding in the effect of
day/night cycles and weather increases this gain, While a
factor of 10x may apply to mean planet wide insolation it's
not appropriate to comparisons that would be made for power
generation purposes. ie few large scale solar powered
surface power stations are liable to be built in Antarctica.
Daily surface insolation approaches about 8 kWh/day/m^2 in
summer in best areas and falls to a mean of say 5
kWh/day/m^2 in winter. Call that an average of 6 kWh/day/m^2
in areas where you would most likely build power stations.
So say 24/6*1.3 =~ 5:1 compared to always on, out of
atmosphere sunlight.

The above cited article has an excessively optimistic
estimate of the efficiency of rockets, and the cost to
launch is not related solely (or so far even laregly) to
propellant energy costs. Assuming say $10,000/kg to GSO and
$0.10/kWh for energy costs, a kg launched costs about the
same as 100,000 kWh of energy. Their payback calculation was
(to me) obscure but this sort of cost ratio may be a better
basis for calculation.



       Russell.

2008\07\27@183331 by Apptech

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> Suppose someone develops a method of storing hydrogen in a
> substance
> that can be trucked to gas stations, stored in tanks or on
> shelves,
> and distributed to automobiles.

Metal Hydride storage schemes are among the more
volumetrically energy dense Hydrogen storage systems so far
available. Not without problems (of course) and they greatly
reduce the mass energy density compared with eg liquid
Hydrogen.

Liquid Hydrogen (LH) is a good target for demonstrating
upper limits for energy density - not that too many people
would advocate LH as a practical 'domestic' Hydrogen
transport medium. The combination of its high energy per mol
and thus per gram BUT its low liquid density yields about
2.5 kWh/l or about 25% of typical hydrocarbon fuels such as
petrol. (LH's SG ~= 0.07 for liquid at atmospheric pressure
!!!) (~= 140 MJ/kg or 61,000 Btu/lb compared to ~~= 20,000
Btu/lb for petrol, diesel or kerosene). It has advantages in
'cleanness of combustion' but the -253 C storage temperature
does rather offset many advantages. Compression as a gas is
badly hurt by its propensity to diffuse through metals at
high pressure with the 'bonus' of embrittlement of many
metals in the process.


           Russell McMahon







2008\07\27@184518 by Apptech

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>Suppose someone develops a method of storing hydrogen in a
>substance
>that can be trucked to gas stations, stored in tanks or on
>shelves,
>and distributed to automobiles.

> Perhaps hydrogen in some sort of a compound, say with
> carbon? :-)

CH4 does this reasonably well :-).
Burn it "properly" (ie in a manner which would usually be
frowned on) and you get the carbon back as a solid which can
be trapped.

The problem with CH4 (aka Acetylene) is that compressing it
by a very small amount makes it release all its energy all
at once in most spectacular fashion. This is why acetylene
welding bottles dissolve it in acetone, have upper pressure
limits for releasing gas and low energy densities.

The Hydrogen in CH4 is 25% of the mass and CH4 is a very
dense gas (fill a balloon with some for most interesting
"lead balloon" demonstration). As a means of storing
Hydrogen CH4 is almost feasible if low pressure storage is
acceptable. Which, for cars, it would not be.



       Russell.



2008\07\27@185225 by peter green

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> CH4 does this reasonably well :-).
> Burn it "properly" (ie in a manner which would usually be
> frowned on) and you get the carbon back as a solid which can
> be trapped.
>
> The problem with CH4 (aka Acetylene)
Umm CH4 is methane, acetylene is C2H2 iirc


2008\07\27@195506 by Apptech

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>> The problem isn't being an energy carrier. The problem is
>> fourfold:

> 3) Hydrogen is very explosive. Hindenburg. Enough said.

You can hardly fault an energy carrier for the fact that the
energy it carries can be misused under extreme
circumstances.

Explosiveness, ideally in a controlled manner, is the very
heart and soul of an energy carrier.

If petrol had been of low enough density they may have flown
"airships" on that. And it would have been about as bizarre
a choice. Hydrogen was used because they were politically
barred from using the less effective but safe Helium
alternative. Propane, another "energy carrier" makes a very
good refrigerant. Its use in this role can cause problems if
it escapes from the refrigeration system. (As happened here
recently with one fireman dead and several injured).



       Russell

2008\07\27@200108 by Apptech

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>> CH4 does this reasonably well :-).
>> Burn it "properly" (ie in a manner which would usually be
>> frowned on) and you get the carbon back as a solid which
>> can
>> be trapped.
>>
>> The problem with CH4 (aka Acetylene)
> Umm CH4 is methane, acetylene is C2H2 iirc

Yep. Brain fade :-). I managed to type that several times
without my brain seeing what my finders were doing.

C2H2 gives you only  ~7.7% H2 by mass :-( compared 25% for
Acetylene.
Acetylene propensity to spontaneous dismantlement comes from
the unusual triple bond between the two carbon atoms.

FWIW hydrocarbons settle down to N x CH2 as the chain gets
longer or about 14% H2 content.



           Russell




2008\07\27@212034 by Cedric Chang

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{Quote hidden}

Water and electricity
cc

2008\07\27@212639 by Cedric Chang

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{Quote hidden}

Well my vision ( and others ) is that batteries would be fine for  
some things.  Electricity + Water ---> Hydrogen and Oxygen for other  
uses.    Light radiation ----> modified Flora/Bacteria + water  -----
> Hydrogen  might work as well.
cc

2008\07\27@221203 by Apptech

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Note to start. I am NOT a 'Hydrogen economy" (or whatever)
apologist.
Just, as ever [tm],  a pointer out of 'the alternative view'
and supplier of possibly otherwise unseen extra information,
in any given case.

>>> ...Hydrogen is a loser. It's a leaky, explosive,
>>> inefficient
>>> way to store energy.

Storage efficiency, apart from leakage (which you mentioned
separately) can be extremely good.

>> Almost all hydrogen produced today comes from... Wait for
>> it...
>> Drum roll
>> please... Oil.

Which is largely irrelevant. Hydrogen is largely not being
touted as an energy storage medium because it is available
via a low energy path (as from petroleum) but as a portable
energy storage medium BECAUSE there are vanishingly few
other superior alternatives.

>> Nah, can't see any problems in the upcoming 'hydrogen
>> economy'.

It would be useful (extremely so) when people note
Hydrogen's disadvantages, to also hear from them re superior
or even passingly similar alternatives.

>> The only reason it's produced by electrolysis is if you
>> want it
>> exceptionally pure.

No.
The reason to produce it with electrolysis is that it is
then not assuming any energy already coupled to the
Hydrogen. It becomes a pure transport medium.

Somebody mentioned a figure of ~= 50% for electrolysis
efficiency. I suggest (WITHOUT having checked on latest
developments) that figures in excess of 90% will be
achievable if Hydrogen is ever needed as a true
portable-petroleum replacement. The process is lossless in
theory and should be able to approach this in practice. What
is achieved at present may be 'rather less'.

> >Rather than use all that power to crack water,
>> why not
>> just recharge your electric car with it?

Recharge WHAT in your car with it.
That is the whole point.
A "battery" is also an energy storage system. Current
battery systems fall very short of an ideal system. While
Hydrogen is far from ideal it does have some advantages. Few
battery systems allow recharging by exchanging their
internal components or chemical while leaving the
infrastructure intact. One that does is the Vanadium redox
cell system that stoes energy in the difference in oxidation
states in Vanadium based fluids. So far end to end
efficiencies are not marvellous and energy densities are
also not especially good.  The systems shows promise, but a
better vehicular based system is desirable.

> Well my vision ( and others ) is that batteries would be
> fine for
> some things.  Electricity + Water ---> Hydrogen and Oxygen
> for other
> uses.    Light radiation ----> modified Flora/Bacteria +
> water  -----
> > Hydrogen  might work as well.

There are many POSSIBLE ways of using energy + xxx to
liberate Hydrogen. One such is to use sunlight +
microbes/bugs/fauna + yyy to liberate Hydrogen. Some such
scheme may prove useful. There are also possible catalytic
high temperature processes for water cracking that may prove
more manageable than electrolysis. "MAKING" (sic) the
Hydrogen is the easier part of the task. Storage
transportation and utilisation are the challenge.


       Russell




2008\07\27@222421 by Matthew Miller

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On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 07:19:50PM -0600, Cedric Chang wrote:
> >
> > On Jul 27, 2008, at 2:09 PM, Tony Smith wrote:
>
> > And where do this hydrogen come from?
> >
> > Tony
> Water and electricity
> cc

Yes, but what is the source of the electricity? This is one of the important
questions! Right now in the US coal produces close to half of all our
electricity. It makes no sense to burn more coal and petroleum to produce
electricity and then throw away a good portion of that energy to produce
hydrogen. Even if nuclear power was used to produce hydrogen, it still
wouldn't make sense.

Matthew

2008\07\27@224348 by Apptech

face
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> Even if nuclear power was used to produce hydrogen, it
> still
> wouldn't make sense.

I'm also not a nuclear apologist.
Especially not a fast-breeder nuclear apologist.

BUT imagine that eg fast breeder reactors were used to
liberate Hydrogen from water, probably using whatever method
proved most energy effective, and this was used to power
motor vehicles, thereby replacing hydrocarbon use.


Would or might that "make sense"?



       Russell



2008\07\27@231909 by Matthew Miller

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On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 02:42:45PM +1200, Apptech wrote:
> > Even if nuclear power was used to produce hydrogen, it
> > still  wouldn't make sense.
>
> I'm also not a nuclear apologist.
> Especially not a fast-breeder nuclear apologist.
>
> BUT imagine that eg fast breeder reactors were used to
> liberate Hydrogen from water, probably using whatever method
> proved most energy effective, and this was used to power
> motor vehicles, thereby replacing hydrocarbon use.
>
> Would or might that "make sense"?

No, I don't think that it would make sense even then. Hydrogen has its uses,
but replacing petroleum isn't one of them. The low volumetric energy density
is just one issue; I personally like my car to have a back seat area.

You say that you're not a nuclear apologist, but I think that you should
become one and join me! (and others)

Matthew

2008\07\27@234754 by Cedric Chang

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>
>
> No, I don't think that it would make sense even then. Hydrogen has  
> its uses,
> but replacing petroleum isn't one of them. The low volumetric  
> energy density
> is just one issue; I personally like my car to have a back seat area.
>
> You say that you're not a nuclear apologist, but I think that you  
> should
> become one and join me! (and others)
>
> Matthew

I am a nookie advocate ( not an apologist .... I am not sure what  
there is to apologize for ... the laws of physics being beyond my  
control ).  Do I understand that if the world could reduce the carbon  
footprint by *1,000 % that you would block the effort if it meant  
giving up your backseat ?
cc
* or even 53% ?

2008\07\28@000455 by Apptech

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>> BUT imagine that eg fast breeder reactors were used to
>> liberate Hydrogen from water, probably using whatever
>> method
>> proved most energy effective, and this was used to power
>> motor vehicles, thereby replacing hydrocarbon use.

>> Would or might that "make sense"?

> No, I don't think that it would make sense even then.
> Hydrogen has its uses,
> but replacing petroleum isn't one of them. The low
> volumetric energy density
> is just one issue; I personally like my car to have a back
> seat area.

OK. I'll ask again again then:

For portable (eg vehicle powering)

1. What energy transport medium / technology would you
suggest to eventually replace petroleum.

2. What are its advantages over / how does it solve the
problems inherent in, using Hydrogen as an energy transport
medium?

Issues would include, but not be limited to,  end to end
efficiency, ease of energy transfer into and out of the
medium, energy density (volumetric and mass), safety, cost
(vehicular and infrastructure, both implementation and
operating), infrastructure roll out and impact, transition,
... .

The Mr Fusion unit that I saw a brief demo clip of a few
years ago, running in that instance on, AFAIR, banana skins,
seemed like it might meet most of the needs well. Anything
else seems lacking, so far.



           Russell

2008\07\28@000817 by Apptech

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> ... if the world could reduce the carbon
> footprint by *1,000 % that you would block the effort if
> it meant
> giving up your backseat ?
> cc
> * or even 53% ?

My wife usually objects to me tracking in dark footprints at
any percentage, be they carbon or other substances. I don't
think 53% reduction would be enough to convince her. But at
1000% we would have 10 times fewer footprint for every new
one (or 9?) so I could probably sell her on that, as long as
the price was right. A 1000% reduction in the price as well
would be a sure sell.


       R

2008\07\28@004255 by Apptech

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> ... ( not an apologist .... I am not sure what
> there is to apologize for ... the laws of physics being
> beyond my
> control ).

Speak for yourself.

       R

2008\07\28@032720 by Vitaliy

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Byron Jeff wrote:
>> 2. Developing lighter cars with more efficient IC engines.
>
> No. Oil and gas are non renewable, polluting, expensive resources. Retool
> the infrastructure so that for transporation and heating you don't need
> it.

First, there's actually lots of oil available, when people talk of "running
out of oil" they mean the "easily accessible" oil. When you have cars that
get 100 mpg, paying $10 or even more per gallon isn't that big a deal -- and
suddenly oil fields that were cost prohibitive to develop, cease to be so.

Second, if oil is not used to make electricity, there's less demand for it,
resulting in less polution and lower cost per barrel.

Third, diesel engines do not necessarily need mineral oil-based fuel. They
happily run on vegetable oil or peanut butter. At last year's annual Clean
Air Conference (CAC) there was a presentation on using inexpensive algae
farms to produce biofuel.

Fourth, diesel engines have a reputation for being dirty, but there have
been significant technological breakthroughs in the past two decades that
make it possible to talk about "clean diesel". A guy did a presentation on
"Green Diesel" at a local SAE meeting, according to him there are cars on
the roads in Europe that actually pollute *less* than gasoline powered cars,
thanks to computer control and solid particle filters. Better refined fuel
also makes a big difference.

> Solar power satellites would become viable if we make the effort to lower
> the cost of lifting stuff into space.

How likely is that?

> But the cost of the oil to produce the diesel will keep rising. It's like
> ther frog sitting in the pot of water that's slowing rising to boiling. By
> the time you realize that you can't afford to keep doing it that way, it's
> too late.

As I've said above, it's possible to reduce demand and increase supply, and
there are alternatives to mineral oil.

> But there are virtually no EVs on the road. And that will continue
> until gas and diesel cost too much for people to pay for.

We're starting to see it happen.

> It's really not a matter of storing energy. It's a matter of not having an
> infrastrcture in place for fast refueling. The California PATH project did
> studies on electrified roadways nearly 15 years ago. They had a 15 ton
> electric bus drive continuously for 8 hours transferring power inductively
> from the roadway. Put that technology into the nation's interstate highway
> system and electric cars become practical.

I can't see this system being very efficient, nor cheap. Why spend the
trillions that the new infrastructure will require, not to mention the
pollution that it will create, when the IC infrastructure is already there?

> Your belief that folks in a free market will do the right thing is
> downright scary to me. It's been shown over and over that when an industry
> is deregulated, that the unscrupulous will do anything and everything to
> make a buck.

First, let me just say that there is nothing wrong or shameful about wanting
to "make a buck", in fact that's the secret behind the success of
capitalism: individual acting out of self-interest creates benefit for the
society.

Whenever an industry is deregulated, you always see a drastic increase in
efficiency. Usually when people talk about the woes of deregulation
nowadays, they mean the housing market crash. I'd be happy to address this
issue separately if anyone is interested. For now, suffice it to say that I
believe that deregulation has nothing to do with the crash, although other
government actions are. In the best interest of everybody, things should
have been left alone, but it is too late now (the bill was just passed, and
the President said he'll sign it).

A control theory instructor at the MASTERS mentioned that, by the way, the
stock market (or any market for that matter) is an inherently unstable
system. It is normal for it to have "ups" and "downs" at regular intervals.
Adding constant input (on/off) to such system is disastrous, but that is
exactly what the government is doing.

> I guess we just stand on opposite sides of this issue.

Byron, I respect you a lot, and I don't want you to take what I'm about to
say, personally.

There are certain groups, namely trade unions, government contractors, trial
lawyers, government workers, and college professors, who directly benefit
from the government's "redistribution of wealth" and therefore support the
government, and oppose those who consider such actions unfair (private
businesses).

I assure you that if you were a small business owner, you would see things
very differently. I've worked with union workers, and had contact with
unionized government workers (postal employees) on a daily basis, and
although I'm sure there are good people among them, they appear to be the
laziest, most unproductive bunch of people I have ever seen. That's just how
the system works -- USPS folks and union workers are grossly overpaid,
underworked, and have virtually permanent job security. There is little
incentive to work hard, be polite to a customer, or, say -- come to work
sober.

On the other hand, you have small business owners, who work 10 and 15 hour
days, sometimes even Saturdays and Sundays, just to make ends meet --  
because the government takes a lion's share of the profit. It hurts even
more when they see how that money is being spent (wasted).

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (government-sponsored organizations) should not
have been bailed out. 400,000 home owners (less than 1% of all homeowners)
who made a stupid decision, should not have been bailed out, either. Did you
know that the recent bill allocates $300B to "help insure" troubled
mortgages? That means that roughly $4000 that our family of four paid in
taxes, will go straight into this fund. Did you know that people who bought
houses between April 2007 and July 2008, will get a $7500 tax credit? We
bought our (first and only) house in 2005, its value has also dropped, but
we get no such credit. I don't think it's fair, and it is just another
example why the government should not mess with the economy.

Everyone would be much better off if the government just left things alone.

Vitaliy

2008\07\28@054143 by Apptech

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I'll leave the rest alone, but

>> Solar power satellites would become viable if we make the
>> effort to lower
>> the cost of lifting stuff into space.

> How likely is that?

Modestly so, and becoming more likely by the year.


       Russell


2008\07\28@064754 by Lindy Mayfield

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What happened to the ladder to heaven we were going to build?


-----Original Message-----
From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu [piclist-bouncesEraseMEspam.....mit.edu] On Behalf Of Vitaliy
Sent: 28. heinäkuuta 2008 10:28
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [OT]:: Al Gore - A Generational Challenge to Repower America

> Solar power satellites would become viable if we make the effort to lower
> the cost of lifting stuff into space.

How likely is that?

2008\07\28@074820 by Tony Smith

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> >> get petrol or exchange  hydrogen cylinders.  There are hydrogen
> >> solutions that can use existing infrastructure.  If the
> pain of fuel
> >> prices is high enough, it will happen.   Hydrogen has too many
> >> upsides to not be adopted eventually.
> >> cc
> >
> >
> > And where do this hydrogen come from?
> >
> > Tony
>
> Water and electricity
> cc


And as previously stated, why not just rechage your electric car, like this
one: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster>.

~4 hours recharge time gives you a range of some 350km / 200 miles.  That's
prefectly adequate for urban use.  They actually sell these things, which is
one up on the hydrogen cars.  Is there more than one hydrogren station (or
was it two) in the States yet?

BAJ said the infrastructure doesn't exist for the electric car (unlike
petrol), but that's wrong of course.  You're never too far from a power
point.  The downsides to electric are initial cost and that slow recharge
time.

If you believe in the hydrogen economy, let's see some numbers from that
solar farm you're planning on building.  And you had better build it quick,
there are others well ahead of you.

Tony

2008\07\28@075452 by Apptech

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> What happened to the ladder to heaven we were going to
> build?

> What happened to the ladder to heaven we were going to
> build?

Tower of Babel, did you say? :-)

See my [TECH] Space Elevators post

Here's one on 'some world somewhere'.

       http://www.blog.speculist.com/archives/06_SpaceElevator.jpeg



           Russell

2008\07\28@083346 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> ?? Invading Iraq has proven to be a /very/ expensive proposition, and it
>> wasn't even with the purpose of controlling anything there. It isn't
>> limited, at least not as far as we can see,
>
> As Rich has already mentioned,

I didn't see that. All I saw was a response by Rich that says "I was using
the definition of limited war" and then stops without explaining which
definition he used.

> the Iraq war fits the definition of "limited war" well.

While not knowing what definition you guys are using, I can't really tell
whether it makes sense to me. So far /every/ war was limited, in a sense --
or all wars were (and are) flare-ups of the one and only, really unlimited
war of human stupidity against itself.

Besides, if you really think it's limited (in the general sense of the
word), can you define at least the economic limits? I think they are still
quite unknown, and few people really go there and put it all on the scale;
and even when they do, they only can put existing costs on the scale, not
future ones.

In another post you wrote about the tax-payers' contribution to saving the
credit companies that got themselves in trouble. I think that's probably
peanuts compared to their contribution to the current president's marketing
strategy.

And another "besides": a war can only be regarded as "limited" in a very
abstract sense, and only if you're far far away. Usually, for many people
in the war zone, there is no limit to it; it covers all of the aspects of
their life. In this sense, I tend to regard the concept of a "limited war"
as part of Doublespeak.

(I'm not contesting that the war has had some positive effects for some
people, but that's a no-brainer; there is almost nothing that's been done
on a large scale that didn't have some good effects for some people, so
this fact proves or even indicates little if anything at all.)

>> and Iraq is and was a poor country, run down and with very little
>> resources.
>
> Some would argue that in terms of economic well-being most Iraqis are
> better off than they were.

Possibly; I haven't been there before, and I haven't been there afterwards,
and information coming out of there is mostly heavily tainted IMO. But this
has nothing to do with my comment. I was trying to make the point that even
a "liberation" war against a country with very few resources is so
expensive that nobody has the guts to put the actual price tag on it.
Definitely not the ones who vote for it :)

> TANSTAAFL.

That's only true when you look at the big picture :)  -- there are enough
"small picture lookers" who take somebody else's lunch and think it's free.

Gerhard

2008\07\28@092819 by Apptech

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> And as previously stated, why not just rechage your
> electric car, like this
> one: <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster>.
> ~4 hours recharge time gives you a range of some 350km /
> 200 miles.  That's
> prefectly adequate for urban use.  They actually sell
> these things, which is
> one up on the hydrogen cars.  Is there more than one
> hydrogren station (or
> was it two) in the States yet?

It's a dream.
53kWh of battery capacity.
If that 200 miles is at, say, 66 mph then it takes 3 hours
so you have an average of 53/3 =~ 18 kW available.
Do it at 50 mPh and it's an average of about 13 kW. That is,
apparently, adequate for a super modified Lotus Elise
lugging who knows what value of LiIon cells around but it's
far from practical. And the ~ $US100,000 price tag gives an
idea of what it takes to achieve that result at present.

I'm not suggesting that Hydrogen fuelled cars are much more
practical at present. Nor much less :-). But as an example
of what could be achieved practically long term I think
Hydrogen has the inside running at present. LiIon's energy
density compared to hydrocarbon fuels is utterly abysmal.
And its cost is attrocious. And its longevity is laughable.
Choose any three.

Now, if they were talking about Vanadium redox batteries ...
:-) !!!

> BAJ said the infrastructure doesn't exist for the electric
> car (unlike
> petrol), but that's wrong of course.  You're never too far
> from a power
> point.  The downsides to electric are initial cost and
> that slow recharge
> time.

Indeed. The above 53 kWh in 4 hours is about 15 kW input at
good efficiency. At 110 VAC that's about 35A.
At 3 phase 230 VAC per phase that's under 6A per pahse. The
latter is doable, the former will be in some cases. Not
quite a plug into the average wall socket system though.

FWIW, the 53 kWh of energy in the Tesla's batteries could be
provided by under 2kg of Hydrogen. Say make that 6 kg in
practice. Still not nice to store given Hydrogen's low
volumetric density. But potentially doable in a very
practical vehicle.  FWIW.

This page

       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_storage

suggests targets (ha!) of 3 kWh/kg and 2.7 kWh/l by 2015 in
metal hydride storage.
For the above 53 KWh that's ~18 kg and  20l. Half a moderate
family saloon (perhaps not a US one?) gas tank size and as
that includes the tank, no heavier than a half tank of gas.
Lower densities than for petrol, but almost acceptable.
(2010 targets are 50% to 100% worse than this). What does
the 53 kWh battery weigh? How large? What cost?



   Russell


2008\07\28@105147 by Matthew Miller

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On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 04:04:08PM +1200, Apptech wrote:
>
> OK. I'll ask again again then:
>
> For portable (eg vehicle powering)
>
> 1. What energy transport medium / technology would you
> suggest to eventually replace petroleum.
>
> 2. What are its advantages over / how does it solve the
> problems inherent in, using Hydrogen as an energy transport
> medium?
>
> Issues would include, but not be limited to,  end to end
> efficiency, ease of energy transfer into and out of the
> medium, energy density (volumetric and mass), safety, cost
> (vehicular and infrastructure, both implementation and
> operating), infrastructure roll out and impact, transition,

For powering vehicles, two infrastructures are currently in place: the
electric grid and hydrocarbon transport. It is through these channels that
we'll be powering our vehicles. I can't imagine building a hydrogen
infrastructure just to burn hydrogen in an internal combustion engine.

What I think will happen is that vehicle power sources will become more
heterogeneous, moving away from primarily gasoline/diesel to including more
hybrids and electric battery models. Anyway, this is the progression that I
think will happen. Sorry that I didn't answer each point you asked about.

Matthew

2008\07\28@115906 by Apptech

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> I can't imagine building a hydrogen
> infrastructure just to burn hydrogen in an internal
> combustion engine.

Indeed.
Stirling engines are the only way to go.
:-)


       Russell

2008\07\28@132914 by piclist

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On Mon, 28 Jul 2008, Matthew Miller wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 04:04:08PM +1200, Apptech wrote:
> > 1. What energy transport medium / technology would you
> > suggest to eventually replace petroleum.
>
> For powering vehicles, two infrastructures are currently in place: the
> electric grid and hydrocarbon transport. It is through these channels that
> we'll be powering our vehicles. I can't imagine building a hydrogen
> infrastructure just to burn hydrogen in an internal combustion engine.

So you are saying that it's too hard to build new infrastructure so we
should just keep burning petroleum in slightly more efficent engines?

Thats not a very good long (or even short) term solution, considering the
price of oil is going to continue to rise.

Building a hydrogen distribution system is not going to be easy, or cheap.
But it does have one HUGE advantage over sticking with the current system
that we have... it is sustainable.

Batteries are expensive and take forever to recharge and have a limited
lifetime.  In the future we might solve these problems, but with the
technology we have NOW we could make hydrogen work.

Hydrogen is not perfect. It's far from it.  But the price of doing nothing
is simply too high.  If something better comes along, I'll dump hydrogen
in a second, but delaying doing something because we might figure out a
better way is insane.

--
Ian Smith
http://www.ian.org

2008\07\28@133706 by piclist

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On Sat, 26 Jul 2008, Vitaliy wrote:
> Lighter cars powered by efficient diesel engines require no changes to
> existing infrastructure, nor significant technological breakthroughs. As
> batteries become cheaper and better at storing energy, there will be more
> hybrid and pure-electric cars.
>
> Note that this plan requires no government spending or any action by the
> government, with the exception of removing the obstacles in the form of
> harmful regulations it itself has created.

So.. if we remove the laws putting a lower limit on car millage, the car
companies will magically start making more efficent cars?

Maybe you mean if the government removes it's safety laws so the car
companies can make them out of tin foil so they will be lighter and more
efficent?  Who cares if it kills people.

Or maybe get rid of OSHA.  It would be much cheaper to build a car if you
don't have to buy expensive things like hard-hats.  They would then of
couse spend the profits on making cars get better MPG, not making their
stockholders richer.

Just what laws are stopping car makers from building more efficent,
cleaner engines?

(The world has three evils.  The public.  The government.  The private
sector.  The world works best when they are all balanced.  Sadly we are
currently living in one where the corporate world has the most power,
followed by teh government, and last by us, the people.)

--
Ian Smith
http://www.ian.org

2008\07\28@145502 by Matthew Miller

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Hi,

On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 01:29:05PM -0400, EraseMEpiclistspamian.org wrote:
>
> So you are saying that it's too hard to build new infrastructure so we
> should just keep burning petroleum in slightly more efficent engines?
>
> Thats not a very good long (or even short) term solution, considering the
> price of oil is going to continue to rise.

It's not too hard, just very expensive. There is also no reason that the
hydrocarbons we use must come from petroleum.

> Building a hydrogen distribution system is not going to be easy, or cheap.
> But it does have one HUGE advantage over sticking with the current system
> that we have... it is sustainable.

What sustainable source of energy is going to be used to produce the
hydrogen? The US gets half it electricity from burning coal and 95% of the
hydrogen that is produced is done so using petroleum. Hydrogen would only be
evo friendly if generated using nuclear power (so more plants need to be
built), but producing hydrogen would still be a wasteful use of that energy.

> Batteries are expensive and take forever to recharge and have a limited
> lifetime.  In the future we might solve these problems, but with the
> technology we have NOW we could make hydrogen work.

I'd rather use electrical energy to charge batteries than waste half the
energy producing hydrogen.

> Hydrogen is not perfect. It's far from it.  But the price of doing nothing
> is simply too high.  If something better comes along, I'll dump hydrogen
> in a second, but delaying doing something because we might figure out a
> better way is insane.

I don't advocate doing nothing, it's just that hydrogen isn't going to be a
solution. I also don't look for solutions to be only technical, there is
going to be a societal aspect as well regarding transportation, urban
planning, etc.

Matthew

2008\07\28@151455 by Martin K

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Carl,
My grandparents used to live in West Virginia, home of many a
hydrocarbon molecule. They had a few gas wells on their property, all
built and maintained by a large third party. How did you manage to drill
a well on your own (financially)?
-
Martin

Carl Denk wrote:
>
> 30 years ago I drilled a gas well in our back yard, it is 1000' deep and
> produces only enough gas for the house. Within a few mile radius there
> are probably a half dozen similar wells in use. The well produces no oil
> and has had no maintenance since drilled.
>
>  

2008\07\28@152010 by Cedric Chang

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>
> On Jul 27, 2008, at 10:39 PM, Apptech wrote:
>
>> ... ( not an apologist .... I am not sure what
>> there is to apologize for ... the laws of physics being
>> beyond my
>> control ).
>
> Speak for yourself.
>
>         R
I am looking forward to meeting you. Can you fly ?
cc


2008\07\28@153127 by Martin K

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My latest thought (certainly not just mine) has been to produce a
synthetic fuel that is hydrocarbon compatible (methyl ester - biodiesel
- miscible alcohol) that can be piped/trucked with oil or as an
alternative, from solar or electrical power.

How do you transmit and store 1GW of power? With a liquid fuel,
probably. Thermal solutions are nice but they "leak" and are only
practical for storage awaiting the electrical grid. Water pumping is out
of the question if you're in the desert, the grid can't store energy
(yet)...

-
Martin

2008\07\28@154812 by Martin K

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Vitaliy wrote:
> First, let me just say that there is nothing wrong or shameful about wanting
> to "make a buck", in fact that's the secret behind the success of
> capitalism: individual acting out of self-interest creates benefit for the
> society.
>
> Whenever an industry is deregulated, you always see a drastic increase in
> efficiency. Usually when people talk about the woes of deregulation
> nowadays, they mean the housing market crash. I'd be happy to address this
> issue separately if anyone is interested. For now, suffice it to say that I
> believe that deregulation has nothing to do with the crash, although other
> government actions are. In the best interest of everybody, things should
> have been left alone, but it is too late now (the bill was just passed, and
> the President said he'll sign it).
>
>  

I wouldn't go so far as to say "whenever" - whenever there's a lot of
money to be made, the accounting gets creative. It's not longer
capitalism it's "who can stuff the most into their sacks" (Enron, Fannie
Mae, most any credit company)


> A control theory instructor at the MASTERS mentioned that, by the way, the
> stock market (or any market for that matter) is an inherently unstable
> system. It is normal for it to have "ups" and "downs" at regular intervals.
> Adding constant input (on/off) to such system is disastrous, but that is
> exactly what the government is doing.
>
>  

It may be, but that sounds like a horoscope reading or a generic prophecy.


> Everyone would be much better off if the government just left things alone.
>
> Vitaliy
>
>  

Where would the US be now if the government didn't break up Standard
Oil, US Steel, AT&T? "Don't take it personally," but I think people need
to realize that the government should never always leave things alone,
or always be the iron fist. Too often people get wildly polarized
because they lost a buck of their taxes to something they don't want to
pay for.
This is politics though so we should keep this thread on a short leash.

-
Martin

2008\07\28@160008 by piclist

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On Mon, 28 Jul 2008, Matthew Miller wrote:
> > Building a hydrogen distribution system is not going to be easy, or cheap.
> > But it does have one HUGE advantage over sticking with the current system
> > that we have... it is sustainable.
>
> What sustainable source of energy is going to be used to produce the
> hydrogen? The US gets half it electricity from burning coal and 95% of the
> hydrogen that is produced is done so using petroleum. Hydrogen would only be
> evo friendly if generated using nuclear power (so more plants need to be
> built), but producing hydrogen would still be a wasteful use of that energy.

I am assuming we build more nuclear power, as it's the only means I can
think of that could replace petroleum use.

> > Batteries are expensive and take forever to recharge and have a limited
> > lifetime.  In the future we might solve these problems, but with the
> > technology we have NOW we could make hydrogen work.
>
> I'd rather use electrical energy to charge batteries than waste half the
> energy producing hydrogen.

Charging batteries is not 100% waste free.  Then there is the energy
cost to make and dispose of the batteries when they wear out.  Hydrogen is
still not as efficent, but it's pretty close.

> I don't advocate doing nothing, it's just that hydrogen isn't going to be a
> solution. I also don't look for solutions to be only technical, there is
> going to be a societal aspect as well regarding transportation, urban
> planning, etc.

The reason I don't see batteries is the social aspect.  People are used to
filling up their cars at will, not planning ahead for a 4 to 8 hour
recharge cycle.  Makes long trips rather impossible too.

Batteries are not going to help trucks, and that is where hydrogen can get
a foothold.  Trucks already have a seperate system in desil, and you can
build your refueling along interstates and major trucking lines.  Expand
from there.  Add government support to the mix and it can go much faster.

But I would be equally happy if we moved to electric cars and cleaner ways
to generate the power too.  I just think hydrogen is a better long term
move.

Unless we suddenly invent superconducting capacitors and can run cars off
those.  That would be nica, but currently a fantasy.

--
Ian Smith
http://www.ian.org

2008\07\28@171926 by Matthew Miller

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On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 03:59:44PM -0400, RemoveMEpiclistEraseMEspamEraseMEian.org wrote:
> On Mon, 28 Jul 2008, Matthew Miller wrote:
> > > Building a hydrogen distribution system is not going to be easy, or cheap.
> > > But it does have one HUGE advantage over sticking with the current system
> > > that we have... it is sustainable.
> >
> > What sustainable source of energy is going to be used to produce the
> > hydrogen? The US gets half it electricity from burning coal and 95% of the
> > hydrogen that is produced is done so using petroleum. Hydrogen would only be
> > evo friendly if generated using nuclear power (so more plants need to be
> > built), but producing hydrogen would still be a wasteful use of that energy.
>
> I am assuming we build more nuclear power, as it's the only means I can
> think of that could replace petroleum use.

This might happen in France or Japan, but building nuclear power plant in
the US has enormous political hurtles to overcome. As energy costs increase
the out cry against nuclear should lessen...

{Quote hidden}

Folks are just going to have to adjust! If someone doesn't like the recharge
time, then they can own a car with a gasoline engine. People who can't plan
or want instant gratification are going to be paying a premium.

> Batteries are not going to help trucks, and that is where hydrogen can get
> a foothold.  Trucks already have a seperate system in desil, and you can
> build your refueling along interstates and major trucking lines.  Expand
> from there.  Add government support to the mix and it can go much faster.
>
> But I would be equally happy if we moved to electric cars and cleaner ways
> to generate the power too.  I just think hydrogen is a better long term
> move.

You should get a copy of Skeptic magazine Vol.14 No.1 2008 and read the
article "The Hydrogen Economy" by Alice Friedemann. The article explains in
very stark terms what is wrong with hydrogen. The author states that
increasing the average overall fuel economy of vehicles would be the best
place to spend our money. Here is part of the conclusion section:

"The laws of physics mean the hydrogen economy will always be an energy
sink. Hydrogen's properties require you to spend more energy than you can
earn, because in order to get it you must overcome water's hydrogen-oxygen
bond, move heavy cars, prevent leaks and brittle metals, and transport
hydrogen to the destination. It doesn't matter if all of these problems are
solved, or how much money is spent. You will use more energy to create,
store, and transport hydrogen than you will ever get out of it."

Matthew

2008\07\28@175902 by Apptech

face
flavicon
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Too much good stuff in all these posts. No time to start to
wade into most of it. Let's just address a small aspect:

> What sustainable source of energy is going to be used to
> produce the
> hydrogen?

That's not the key issue. The reason that Hydrogen is
suggested is that SOME energy carrier is needed to turn
non-portable energy into portable energy sustainably.
Hydrogen is not good at this. Any other alternative that I
am aware of is worse. Any such system is called " a
battery". We just don't think of Hydroben in those terms,
yet. Hydrogen energy storage and recovery is arguably the
best battery we know of, all things considered. Bob said
it's stupid. He's correct. But all other batteries are more
stupid. Which doesn't stop people using them.

> I'd rather use electrical energy to charge batteries than
> waste half the
> energy producing hydrogen.

i Energy conversion to Hydrogen need not wate 50% of the
energy. That continued claim is an unjustified assumption
(so far in this discussion) whose basis needs documenting.
ii What energy conversion efficincy is claimed for what sort
of batteries that is superior to Hydrogen conversion
overall?
iii What is the cost and ebergy mass and volumetric
densities for these other batteries. Perhaps use LiIon or
NimH as examples as they are the leading on market
contendors. Or Vanadium redox as an in the wings waiter.


> I don't advocate doing nothing, it's just that hydrogen
> isn't going to be a
> solution. I also don't look for solutions to be only
> technical, there is
> going to be a societal aspect as well regarding
> transportation, urban
> planning, etc.

Apart from using up all the oil as we become more desperate
and can justify the cost of doing so, have you got any other
suggestion for a portable sustainable energy storage medium
that will work acceptably?

So far I am not aware of any "sensible"  suggestion that
replaces petroleum that has performance and cost that people
are liable to find acceptable for everyday use. Hydrogen is
the pits. Everything else seems worse. I'd be genuinely
pleased to hear of alternatives.


       Russell

2008\07\28@175906 by Apptech

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> This is politics though so we should keep this thread on a
> short leash.

Definitely.

The following is NOT a veiled comment on anyone's posts. All
seem to be doing well enough, so far.

I started this thread in OT even though it was legitimate
enough as TECH because it was clear how it would probably
go.

So far it has been interesting and probably useful. If 'we
all' can keep it not above the dull roar level it may
survive a while longer yet. It has the possibility to leap
into flame war at any moment so if we all think carefully
about our responses it would be good.



       Russell


2008\07\28@184003 by Bob Blick

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On Tue, 29 Jul 2008 09:46:42 +1200, "Apptech" <RemoveMEapptechspam_OUTspamKILLspamparadise.net.nz>
said:

> That's not the key issue. The reason that Hydrogen is
> suggested is that SOME energy carrier is needed to turn
> non-portable energy into portable energy sustainably.
> Hydrogen is not good at this. Any other alternative that I
> am aware of is worse. Any such system is called " a
> battery". We just don't think of Hydroben in those terms,
> yet. Hydrogen energy storage and recovery is arguably the
> best battery we know of, all things considered. Bob said
> it's stupid. He's correct. But all other batteries are more
> stupid. Which doesn't stop people using them.

Good points. Good humor, too :)

One thing nobody has mentioned so far is standardizing on 2 or 3 battery
pack sizes and trading them at gas stations. So you'd be paying for the
energy you used and no time spent charging, they charge at the gas
station for the next customer. Have some usage charge through a leasing
pool or whatever to handle wear and tear if you charge them at home with
your own power.

Then it doesn't matter what type of "battery" it is.

Your car would be electric and can take whatever battery pack is
available, be it nimh, lion, hydrogen or even lead-acid.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - And now for something completely different…

2008\07\28@184721 by Apptech

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> You should get a copy of Skeptic magazine Vol.14 No.1 2008
> and read the
> article "The Hydrogen Economy" by Alice Friedemann. The
> article explains in
> very stark terms what is wrong with hydrogen.

Most of the statements made below are a result of a
misundertsanding, genuine or contrived, on the part of the
writer.
Substitute the word "battery" in most cases and the
obviousness of the statements will become true. Perhaps
reword somewhat for the technology in use.

> The author states that
> increasing the average overall fuel economy of vehicles
> would be the best
> place to spend our money.

That involves using up petroleum. Yes, there is quite a lot
left. So what? It is a valuable resource that has many uses
apart from powering vehicles.

A problem with the invisible hand (also seen as an
advantage) is that it is blind to all but the advantage of
the moment. It has no interest in your children's children,
or even or your children, OR even in you if you do not by
your actions influence the profitiability of its actions. If
YOU (and your component of the invisible hand) care about
your children's children or even about other people's
childrens children, then you can influence current actions
of others by making these distant people part of the
equation by your action. This is an entirely valid part of
the actions of "the hand". It has no morals, no eyes and no
brains per se. It is the sum total of "interested action"
and no part of that action is more or less "valid" than any
other - just more or less effective. Those who seek to make
profit from utilising the fading dregs of the earth's oil
reserves (or the bouneous magnificence of its vast remaining
supplies)(choose your perspective) can have no complaint
about bleeding heart greens / magnificent eco-warriors
(choose your perspective) who seek to alter their path. (It
is of course none of their business/their right to care) BUT
the would be users they can seek to elnist the vested self
interest of others / plain common sense to attempt to
influence the path.

So, anyone who says "would be the best place ..." needs to
have their assumption set (and their undestanding of the
technical issues) visible for their opionion to be able to
be judged. It's clear from the short quote that Alice F'
does not have an adequate technical understanding of her
subject.

> Here is part of the conclusion section:
>
> "The laws of physics mean the hydrogen economy will always
> be an energy
> sink.

Of course. Would you expect net energy out of eg a car
battery (lead acid . NimH/LiIon) ?

> Hydrogen's properties require you to spend more energy
> than you can
> earn,

Of course. It's an energy transpirt medium. For Alice to
argue this several times over makes it seem that she is
trying to con stupid people, or mislead ignorant people.

> because in order to get it you must overcome water's
> hydrogen-oxygen
> bond,

It's usually called "charging the battery".
ALL secondary batteries have this propery.
Primary batteries are not of relevance here.

> move heavy cars,

If she really wrote that then she is indeed a con artist.
Why not write 'move heavy trucks", or trains or ocean
liners. Moving whatever is the object of the exercise. Why
is eg petrol better at moving "heavy cars".

>prevent leaks and brittle metals,

Very true. Those are two of the major challenges of Hydrogen
energy transport engineering. That's well known. Listing the
engineering challenges is fine. But itemising them in a
summary along with "'move heavy cars" is less satisfactory.

> and transport  hydrogen to the destination.

And? This is about a portable energy transportation medium.
It has to be got to where people transport it. Hydrogen,
unlike eg petroleum, can have its energy "inserted" at
whatever location makes bests ense. This can be at eg
Boulder dam, where the electricity used travels avery short
distance by wire and a long way by tanker or pipeline, at eg
Tucson where the sublight converter (PV, thermal, algae,
...) delivers Hydrogen to said tanker and pipeline near
source, Baja where wave action ..., OR near LA, NY, Cape
Cod, ... where EHV power lines have carried the energy
hundreds or thousands of miles from source, or a short
distance from a fission plant, or a fusion plant, or a hydro
plant, or a COAl (agh :-) ) plant or ... Unlike petroleum,
which is tankered etc all the way from kuwait, or Texas, or
Venezuela or ... Hydrogen can, if we develop the technology
to suit, be produced at whatever location. It's a new type
of battery. A hydrogen battery. It has issues. It's
imperfect. If there was an obviously better one the hand
would find it (or will). If using up oil is cheaper the hand
will try to do that instead. Whether it's Hydrogen or the
rest of the oil is more a matter of what value we all on
average place on the oil long term than what is technically
"best".

I think that even the choir may have left by now.

> It doesn't matter if all of these problems are
> solved, or how much money is spent. You will use more
> energy to create,
> store, and transport hydrogen than you will ever get out
> of it."

There she goes again / still !!!!
It's a battery. A BATTERY.
It's not meant to be an energy source. It's a way of
providing portable energy. Look at it in those terms and
start again.


       Russell.

2008\07\28@184721 by Apptech

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>> I am assuming we build more nuclear power, as it's the
>> only means I can
>> think of that could replace petroleum use.

I can't imagine why. There are many many potential sources
of "non transportable" energy. Nuclear is one of many. It
needs to have it's true cost assessed to see where /if it
fits in. So far "true cost" is about impossible to assess.
If regulatory issues were reduced to insanely low levels and
the industry was required to stand on its own feet with
respect to eg insurance costs, unsupported by special
legislative  protection, then it MAY be possible to
determine a true cost. Provided you could find even a single
reputable insurer with deep enough pockets who would be
willing to insure them. Historically the distortions offered
by special protection, even without considering any other
factors, make open market cost assessment impossible.

Pebble bed and friends MAY make the system safer in
operation but don't address all the issues. FWIW, world
uranium resources are finite and small(even if Australian
reserves were available). Not enough to build a future on
UNLESS we go to breeder reactors. While true open market
insurance costs for existing reactors are about impossible
to find, the potential 'political' issues which inseparably
accompany breeder reactors are at a far higher level again.
Plutonium tends to polarise debate.


       Russell

2008\07\28@185907 by Matthew Miller

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face
On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 09:46:42AM +1200, Apptech wrote:
>
> Apart from using up all the oil as we become more desperate
> and can justify the cost of doing so, have you got any other
> suggestion for a portable sustainable energy storage medium
> that will work acceptably?

No Russell, I don't. :( I've recently read about the use of algae to produce
hydrocarbon fuel and that seems interesting mostly because it doesn't
necessarily use valuable farm land.

> So far I am not aware of any "sensible"  suggestion that
> replaces petroleum that has performance and cost that people
> are liable to find acceptable for everyday use. Hydrogen is
> the pits. Everything else seems worse. I'd be genuinely
> pleased to hear of alternatives.

As a technological society we have become spoiled by the concentrated energy
layed down millions of years ago by plants and microscopic
photosynthesizers. Over the course of just a few centuries we are quickly
using energy that was collected over a period of millions of years. Sensible
replacements may not be forthcoming.

One thing that would help transportation would be to allocate all petroleum
and coal solely to the use of transportation. Don't use these two
nonrenewable resources to produce electricity, which can be better done
using nuclear, geothermal, and ect.

Second, more efficient internal combustion engines and vehicles.

Third, keep researching more technologies for when the stop gap measures are
up. :)

Matthew

2008\07\28@194713 by piclist

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On Mon, 28 Jul 2008, Matthew Miller wrote:
> One thing that would help transportation would be to allocate all petroleum
> and coal solely to the use of transportation. Don't use these two
> nonrenewable resources to produce electricity, which can be better done
> using nuclear, geothermal, and ect.

In the future the question will be asked of us...

"Why did those idiots BURN all the oil?  Didn't they realise you can make
plastic out of it?"

If we run into a petroleum shortage, our cars not being able to run won't
me much of an issue if there is no plactics industry to make all the bits
needed for them and everything else in our modern life.

I wonder what we could have come up with if we had spent all the
war-for-oil money on actual research and cleaner fuels.  Oh well, that
war spent all our money, and our kids, and probably our grandkids so
at least we don't have to decide what we could do with it anymore.

--
Ian Smith
http://www.ian.org

2008\07\28@211103 by Cedric Chang

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{Quote hidden}

Yeah, I think I mentioned that.
cc

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\07\28@212334 by Matthew Miller

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On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 10:34:06AM +1200, Apptech wrote:
> > You should get a copy of Skeptic magazine Vol.14 No.1 2008
> > and read the
> > article "The Hydrogen Economy" by Alice Friedemann. The
> > article explains in
> > very stark terms what is wrong with hydrogen.
>
> Most of the statements made below are a result of a
> misundertsanding, genuine or contrived, on the part of the
> writer.
> Substitute the word "battery" in most cases and the
> obviousness of the statements will become true. Perhaps
> reword somewhat for the technology in use.

I don't think that it is possible to compare hydrogen to a battery in such a
direct way.

> > The author states that
> > increasing the average overall fuel economy of vehicles
> > would be the best
> > place to spend our money.
>
> That involves using up petroleum. Yes, there is quite a lot
> left. So what? It is a valuable resource that has many uses
> apart from powering vehicles.

Hydrocarbon fuels not derived from petroleum may be available in the
future. Increased fuel economy is still an area that can help us out.

> > Here is part of the conclusion section:
> >
> > "The laws of physics mean the hydrogen economy will always
> > be an energy
> > sink.
>
> Of course. Would you expect net energy out of eg a car
> battery (lead acid . NimH/LiIon) ?

No I wouldn't, but I think the battery would be better in this respect than
hydrogen.

> > Hydrogen's properties require you to spend more energy
> > than you can
> > earn,
>
> Of course. It's an energy transpirt medium. For Alice to
> argue this several times over makes it seem that she is
> trying to con stupid people, or mislead ignorant people.

Don't you think she is trying to make the point clear by repeatedly stating
this?

> > because in order to get it you must overcome water's
> > hydrogen-oxygen
> > bond,
>
> It's usually called "charging the battery".
> ALL secondary batteries have this propery.

Of course, but to what extent?

{Quote hidden}

Even after petroleum has been transported somewhere the net energy available
is still positive, with hydrogen this isn't true and may not be true for
whatever fuel we use in the future. :(

{Quote hidden}

It's a very poor battery, if you want to call hydrogen that. You lose energy
to generate H2 (70% efficiency from electrolysis), Liquefying the gas uses
~35% (65% efficiency) of the available energy. So if using a nuclear power
plant that is 35% efficient to create the hydrogen then you're at a 16%
efficiency. Yes, I think real batteries are better than this, but the energy
needed to produce the battery would need to be factored in. The above
percentages come from Friedemann's article, so if you think they're off then
I would like sources to better figures.

Hydrogen looks even worse when you factor in the efficiency of the internal
combustion engine that moves the vehicle.

Russell, if you can find a copy of the article let me know.

Matthew

2008\07\28@213206 by Tony Smith

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{Quote hidden}

A dream you can touch, hold, buy, and most surprisingly, actually drive.
Must update my dictionary, unless you meant to say the Tesla is dreamy.

The battery pack weighs about 400kg, and being lithium, quite pricey.  How
much that is of the total vehicle cost is unknown.  Anyway, it's expensive,
so what?  DVD players are practically given away, quite a change from being
a grand or two initially.

The Toyota Prius battery pack initially used NiMH, and was ~$AU10k-15k.
Life expectancy was about 10 years.  Tesla claim theirs will last 100,000km,
say 5 years.  Fair enough, don't forget the maintenance cost of the Tesla is
lower, no oil changes, no fuel pump to replace, spark plugs, rings etc to
worry about.

Few people do trips in excess of 350km.  You drive to work, you drive home.
50km?  Odds are it's less, my round trip is under 20km.  (I usually take a
train, but the point still stands.)  Topping up the battery could be done
from a standard ~2000 watt socket overnight.

Getting 3-phase or a high-amp circuit isn't hard, nor expensive.

Otherwise, get a horse.

Tony



2008\07\28@222747 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
> -----Original Message-----
> From: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspamspamspamBeGonemit.edu On Behalf Of Matthew Miller
> Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 5:19 PM
<huge snip>
>
> You should get a copy of Skeptic magazine Vol.14 No.1 2008 and read the
> article "The Hydrogen Economy" by Alice Friedemann.

The article is online here:
http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-03-12.html
You need to scroll down past a few ads to read it.

Paul Hutch

<snip>

2008\07\28@225234 by Matthew Miller

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On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 10:27:11PM -0400, Paul Hutchinson wrote:
> The article is online here:
> http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-03-12.html
> You need to scroll down past a few ads to read it.

Paul, thanks for the link!  Matthew

2008\07\28@233901 by Apptech

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>> Most of the statements made below are a result of a
>> misundertsanding, genuine or contrived, on the part of
>> the
>> writer.
>> Substitute the word "battery" in most cases and the
>> obviousness of the statements will become true. Perhaps
>> reword somewhat for the technology in use.

> I don't think that it is possible to compare hydrogen to a
> battery in such a
> direct way.

You can. They are directly comparable. In both cases and
energy source is used to "charge" a medium or store energy.
In all comparable by energy storage by chemical reaction and
using molecular bond energy. NimH, LiIon, LA, H2, .. .
In the case of H2 you could use eg a fuel cell as the output
device to make the comparison more obvious. You could also
build the charger and fuel cell into one unit (or car) if it
helps. Then it would be electricity in and electricity out,
like the other batteries mentioned.


> Hydrocarbon fuels not derived from petroleum may be
> available in the
> future.

Certainly. And *producing* all such fuels will require
storing energy into them, or using energy which is already
there and which could be utilised in other ways if desired.
eg much organic trash can be converted to hydrocabons
suitable for fuel. But it can also be burnt directly to
release energy, if desired.

>> Of course. Would you expect net energy out of eg a car
>> battery (lead acid . NimH/LiIon) ?

> No I wouldn't, but I think the battery would be better in
> this respect than
> hydrogen.

There is no reason to think this must be so. It MAY be so in
some implementations, but not in all implementations.

{Quote hidden}

Yes. I do. And the point is misleading to the point of being
invalid every time that she makes it. Yes, there are some
sources of energy rich materials which can have there
Hydrogen liberated for net energy gain. But they are largely
in the same area as petroleum - finite resource. When you
get to grown bio resources you are storing energy in them.
If this is by eg using sunlight with eg algae the process
may be low effort andf low pain etc - or may not. But it's
still storing energy in the system from another energy
source.

>> > because in order to get it you must overcome water's
>> > hydrogen-oxygen
>> > bond,

>> It's usually called "charging the battery".
>> ALL secondary batteries have this propery.

> Of course, but to what extent?

100%. In all cases.
Some chemistries may have a primary energy component due to
using "partly charged" chemicals (to coin a concept) in
their use, but after the first cycle it's all energy in >=
energy out.


{Quote hidden}

ANY energy storage medium must by definition have a net
energy deficit. All secondary batteries are prime examples.
Petroleum ONLY works becvause we are not factoring in the
energy used to "charge" it originally when the oil etc was
made.


{Quote hidden}

No reason for electrolysis to be that low.
OTTOMH >90% is doable.

NOBODY is seriously suggesting using liquid Hydrogen for
mobile end use. Great idea though !!! :-).
For mass transport maybe.
BUT even that can be improved if you are keen enough by eg
coolth heat exchanging at the destination. Such an
interesting spinoff is liable Too much for this sort of
discussion ... .

> So if using a nuclear power
> plant that is 35% efficient

I don't think that % efficiency is usually applied to
fission stations. Efficient relative to what? Total
potential energy. Or ... ?

> ... to create the hydrogen then you're at a 16%
> efficiency. Yes, I think real batteries are better than
> this, but the energy
> needed to produce the battery would need to be factored
> in. The above
> percentages come from Friedemann's article, so if you
> think they're off then
> I would like sources to better figures.

If one wanted some initial updates then wikipedia is often a
good first start. Electrolysis would be a good firststarter.

> Hydrogen looks even worse when you factor in the
> efficiency of the internal
> combustion engine that moves the vehicle.

Stirling engine?
Fuel cell?
... ?


       R

2008\07\28@233901 by Apptech

face
flavicon
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>>  ... ~ $US100,000 price tag gives an idea of
>> what it takes to achieve that result at present.

> A dream you can touch, hold, buy, and most surprisingly,
> actually drive.
> Must update my dictionary, unless you meant to say the
> Tesla is dreamy.

I think that "dream" would meet a fair chunk of common
usage.
"Dream car" doesn't mean doesn't exist - just means 'stupid'
that it exists :-) - even if I'd want some of the dream cars
around.

You can also buy a Hydrogen fuelled car. Odds are that for
$100k you could have a car AND your own refulling station.
Not that that makes it practical.



       Russell

2008\07\29@000945 by Matthew Miller

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On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 03:37:30PM +1200, Apptech wrote:
>
> > Hydrogen looks even worse when you factor in the
> > efficiency of the internal
> > combustion engine that moves the vehicle.
>
> Stirling engine?
> Fuel cell?

Russell, I'm going to bed and will respond more fully tomorrow, but with
these two options, your fooling, right?

Matthew

2008\07\29@011906 by Cedric Chang

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face
>
> On Jul 28, 2008, at 10:09 PM, Matthew Miller wrote:
>
> On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 03:37:30PM +1200, Apptech wrote:
>>
>>> Hydrogen looks even worse when you factor in the
>>> efficiency of the internal
>>> combustion engine that moves the vehicle.
>>
>> Stirling engine?
>> Fuel cell?
>
> Russell, I'm going to bed and will respond more fully tomorrow, but  
> with
> these two options, your fooling, right?
>
> Matthew

Russell is not fooling around.  He always makes an effort to be  
informative.  Thus it is tiring to see someone say "you are  
fooling".  I interpret such a comment ( perhaps wrongly ) as an  
attempt to belittle Russell.  He may not be agreeable to your  
tastes.  He is not wasting your time.  In addition to the two options  
he mentions, there are many more.  I am sure Russell is aware of  
this.  I also believe that Russell views the world as a big candy  
box; full of surprises and opportunities.  Maybe hydrogen technology  
will prove to be an also-ran.  Right now, hydrogen has so many  
exciting upsides to it , I expect ingenious investigators may find  
ways around the downsides.  Or maybe I wake up tomorrow with egg on  
my face.

Morning Headline:   Hydrogen Economy collapses overnight ; Cedric  
Chang wakes to find fowl based yellow goo up nostrils.

cc

2008\07\29@025551 by Apptech

face
flavicon
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Matthew Miller wrote:
>>>> Hydrogen looks even worse when you factor in the
>>>> efficiency of the internal
>>>> combustion engine that moves the vehicle.

Russell replied:
>>> Stirling engine?
>>> Fuel cell?

& Matthew
>> Russell, I'm going to bed and will respond more fully
>> tomorrow, but
>> with
>> these two options, your fooling, right?

& CC
> Russell is not fooling around.  He always makes an effort
> to be
> informative.  Thus it is tiring to see someone say "you
> are
> fooling".

'Tis fine. I take that as rhetorical, or close enough to it.
All such questions are grist to the mill. Some grist is
tastier than other ... ;-).
_________

The two 'options' are somewhat independent. Not necessarily
totally so.


Note that anyone who critiques Hydrogen for automotive use
and assumes an electric motor at the end of the chain is
tacitly assuming a Hydrogen to electrical convertor. If this
is an electrochemical device - ie Hydrogen in, electricity
out, no moving parts in the converter proper, then this will
'probably' be a fuel cell or something functionally
equivalent. While conversion efficincy is 'not as good as
we'd like' [tm] the electric motor that follows it ias a far
better proposition than an internal combustion engine.
Further, the characteristics of electric motors make them
suited in some vehicular applications to the use of in hub
or near hub motors with high to very high mechanical
conversion efficincies. Note that the (pipe-)dream Lotus
electric car mentioned the other day used a gerabox and/ was
being plagued with early gearbox failures due to the
massivetorques involved. Providing a 0-60 mph performance of
under 4 seconds encourages such problems. I should be so
lucky :-).

Re Stirling engines. Their day is not yet. Their day will
come. At present they have poor mass power density and
poorer volumetric power density OR very high internal
pressures and/or temperatures. They work best when filled
with very hot very high pressure Hydrogen !!! :-) !!!. .
Reliability is in many cases ' not scintillating' [tm]. BUT
the Stirling Cycle (aka Carnot cycle) which they are based
on has much to commend it (for starters it's the most
efficienct thermodynamic cycle possible). But, probably best
of all, they are EXTERNAL combustion engines and combustion
can not only use a very wide range of fuels (suject to
suitable burner designs) but also are inherently exempt from
some of the evils of burning hydrocarbons in nitrogen rich
air at high temperature and pressure in conditions as close
to this side of detonation as can be managed. Various
nitrous oxides are a direct consequence of such an approach.
A Stirling engine can burn eg Hydrogen and air with minimal
nitrous oxides produced. Needless to say, a Hydrogen powered
Stirling engine also produces no "greenhouse gases" either -
except the overwhelmingly most predominant greenhouse gas of
all. But, as most people don't seem to mind water vapo(u)r,
that doesn't seem to be a problem. Note that the "waste
heat" is of potentially of use in some applications,
although not overly so in most vehicular ones. The most
successful firm of all time by volume sold or contracted to
sell, NZ based Whispertech, has a deal (still?)(these things
change) to sell $300M of Stirling cogeneration units for use
in UK homes. Needless to say, they don't use super hot super
high pressure Hydrogen inside. FWIW here's a performance
analysis when used asa micro-CHP system. Natural gas firing.

   Performance of Whispergen micro CHP in UK homes -
eonfieldtrial260606[1].pdf

       http://www.micropower.co.uk/publications/eonfieldtrial260606.pdf

The reason that THIS Stirling implementation is succeeding
as perhaps the first true mass market application is related
to the energy disparity between the consumer energy cost of
UK 'North Sea gas' and UK electricity. That notwithstanding,
it shows that the stirling engine is standing 'just outside
the door' in more evenly assessed situations and that as
practice is gained, SE prices drop and energy prices rise,
the SE will strat to appear in real worls applications.
[[Note that when run in reverse as a cooler the Stirling
cooler is the device of choise in much of the ondustry
including in NASA's deeps pace ultra long life
applications.]]

Long ago the great and gian Philips Corporation bailed out
of Stirling Engine development during a period of product
rationalisation. Up until then they had spent at least 10's
of millions thereon. Somewhere about then a spokesman stated
that to be successful in the IC engine replacement market
then the SE would probably need $X spent on it. AFAIR $X was
in the low 10's of billions of dollars !!! ($40B? Maybe
$4B)). The spokesman also noted that once success had been
achieved the payback period would be about 4 months :-).




       Russell







2008\07\29@040630 by Apptech

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>> You should get a copy of Skeptic magazine Vol.14 No.1
>> 2008 and read the
>> article "The Hydrogen Economy" by Alice Friedemann.

Paul said:
> The article is online here:
> http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-03-12.html
> You need to scroll down past a few ads to read it.

Warning: Raving ranting opinion ahead. Please return to your
seats and fasten your belts. There is a bag in the pocket in
front of you.

I looked through the article.
Then I gargoyled Alice Friedman and did some looking at what
she says and does.
She doesn't seem totally stupid. Doesn't seem totally
malicious. Does seem to care somewhat.

But, the above article is utterly terrible. It contains much
truth, but it's interlaced with half truth, misuse,
overstatement, understatement exaggeration and more. While
it makes some good points I would not recommend it to anyone
as a balanced view.

If she really is really convinced that Hydrogen is so bad,
and if she understands what she is talking about, then she
should present an objective and balanced assessment, fair
(or even just meaningful) comparisons, and show that she
knows what she is talking about. Otherwise people are liable
to just grimace and move on. She may perhaps get a few fence
sitters, and the choir are probably happy being preached to,
but as a fair analysis of the prose and cons it was
surprisingly and disturbingly lacking.


       Russell




2008\07\29@064305 by Gordon Williams

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> >>  ... ~ $US100,000 price tag gives an idea of
> >> what it takes to achieve that result at present.
>

$100K is not expensive at all.  Think about it as engineers.

How much do you think that it would cost to design and hand build your car
sitting in your driveway in handful quantities each year?  Ya, about $100K.

Gordon Williams

2008\07\29@082557 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Matthew Miller wrote:

> Even after petroleum has been transported somewhere the net energy
> available is still positive, with hydrogen this isn't true and may not
> be true for whatever fuel we use in the future. :(

Russell already responded to that, but just to stress the point: try to
make a /full/ balance of petrol, one that includes all resources, and
please tell me where there is a net energy gain. There are probably few
processes so inefficient as petrol use. The only gain is economic, and it's
only there because we think we can afford to waste so much (energy and
resources) -- and because much of the externalities are not paid for by the
producers and users (at least not directly, that is, factored into the
price).

Vitaly said recently "TANSTAAFL", and I agreed, responded something like
"but there are people eating other people's lunch, thinking it's free" --
was about economics, but applies here also :)

Gerhard

2008\07\29@083517 by Tony Smith

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> the world as a big candy box; full of surprises and
> opportunities.  Maybe hydrogen technology will prove to be an
> also-ran.  Right now, hydrogen has so many exciting upsides
> to it , I expect ingenious investigators may find ways around
> the downsides.  Or maybe I wake up tomorrow with egg on my face.
>
> Morning Headline:   Hydrogen Economy collapses overnight ; Cedric  
> Chang wakes to find fowl based yellow goo up nostrils.


You're safe, there has to be a hydrogen economy before it can collapse...

Tony

2008\07\29@095938 by Jake Anderson

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Apptech wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Using thundersky LiFe cells It becomes a feasible proposition provided
you don't need 2 second 0-100 times.
Pricing is ~$1.40 an amp hour (3.3v nominal cell voltage so 42 cents per
watt hour).

In practise electric conversions of existing vehicles get between 150
and 300 watt hours per KM (power taken to charge / distance driven).
150 is a smallish lightweight car with good aerodynamics.
300 is the American "truck" aka SUV aka overblown ute ;->
An average conversion of a typical "small car (mazda 2 - mazda 3 size)
seems to be around 200.

So for 100KM range (enough for my average daily trip, covering 3 offices)
best case 15KWh = $6300
worst case 30Kwh = $12600

Cost of a fill at 7 cents Kwh (off peak domestic in Sydney Australia)
$1.05 - $2.10

Petrol vehicle comparison
best fuel economy = fiat punto 4.4L (diesel) per 100 km combined city
country (typically this is below what is achieved in real life)
average = Mitsubishi colt 7L /100km - mazda 3 8.8L /100km
Bad = Jeep Grand Cherokee 14 L / 100km

Current diesel price $1.80
Current petrol price = $1.55

Best case for the 100km trip = $7.92 (petrol = 6.82)
average = $13.64
worst = $21

Best case (for fossil fuel)
$1.50 (highish electric) vs best petrol $7.92 = $6.42 better off in an
electric car.
Battery pack size = 20Kwh = $8400
Payoff = 1308 trips = 4.3 years @ 300 trips per year

Average comparison.
$1.50 (highish electric) vs average petrol $13.64 = 12.14
Battery pack size = 20Kwh = $8400
Payoff = 692 trips = 2.3 years @ 300 trips per year

Worst case comparison
$2.10 (high electric) vs average petrol $21 = 18.9
Battery pack size = 36Kwh = $15120
Payoff = 800 trips = 2.6 years @ 300 trips per year

Rated for 1000-3000 cycles depending on depth of discharge
Batteries look pretty good to me eh?
36kwh pack will give you roughly 70Kw-140Kw worth of output power
(depending on temperature and how long you want the cells to last) which
is pretty zippy off the line.
For generating the power in the first place that is a harder case to
close, however a solar concentrator based steam turbine/Stirling that
utilises most of the available roof area is looking like it will come in
at the $10k ball park. So to remove you from hydrocarbon (or nuclear)
energy dependence your looking at between $20k and $40k (probably closer
to the $40k by the time you put in a bigass lead acid bank to charge
during the day) plus labour etc.

With luck my company will start selling lifestyle conversions(house +
car off grid) in the next 1 to 2 years, anybody interested,payback looks
like around 10 years or so at current energy prices ;->?

2008\07\29@104759 by Matthew Miller

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On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 11:18:39PM -0600, Cedric Chang wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Hi Cedric,

My intent wasn't to belittle Russell, instead my sleep deprived brain was
trying to be funny. Russell's posts are always interesting and he starts the
best threads! :)

Stirling engines might work out: use metal hydrides to store hydrogen for
the engine's working gas... not sure about the heat source.

Fuel cells are just too expensive. Their cost is going to have to come way
down in order to be used for transportation. If a long life fuel cell that
uses methane could be produced for ~$30,000USD I could see that being
successful.

Hydrogen has a place in storing energy (I'm thinking mostly about
spacecraft), but it is not a broad, universal solution.

Matthew

2008\07\29@105658 by Matthew Miller

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On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 08:04:56PM +1200, Apptech wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Russell, could you comment on what you see as half-truths or mistakes in the
article? On the issue of hydrogen, I know of only one positive aspect and
that is the potential it has for being carbon neutral. I would willingly
jump the fence when presented with a convincing argument.

You've put a lot of thought into your opinion. Can you provide me with some
references that have informed you?

Matthew

2008\07\29@123859 by Bob Blick

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On Tue, 29 Jul 2008 10:47:16 -0400, "Matthew Miller"
<RemoveMEnamiller2KILLspamspamnaxs.net> said:

> Stirling engines might work out: use metal hydrides to store hydrogen for
> the engine's working gas... not sure about the heat source.

I can't see how Stirling engines can scale up beyond a certain point.
It's a volume vs area thing.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - One of many happy users:
 http://www.fastmail.fm/docs/quotes.html

2008\07\29@141941 by Matthew Miller

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On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 03:37:30PM +1200, Apptech wrote:
>
> > I don't think that it is possible to compare hydrogen to a
> > battery in such a
> > direct way.
>
> You can. They are directly comparable. In both cases and
> energy source is used to "charge" a medium or store energy.
> In all comparable by energy storage by chemical reaction and
> using molecular bond energy. NimH, LiIon, LA, H2, .. .
> In the case of H2 you could use eg a fuel cell as the output
> device to make the comparison more obvious. You could also
> build the charger and fuel cell into one unit (or car) if it
> helps. Then it would be electricity in and electricity out,
> like the other batteries mentioned.

If charging a battery and electrolysis had the same efficiency there is
the energy needed to compress and liquefy the H2. This is why I said that
the comparison is not so good.

{Quote hidden}

If metal hydrid systems improve you're right. The compressing, liquefaction,
transport, and storage of hydrogen which is what would be done currently is
what makes other technologies more promising.

Hyrdogen on demand would only cut out the transport and some of the storage
inefficiencies.

{Quote hidden}

Maybe the author should have stated that this problem is common to every
energy transport system; I don't think that would have been necessary
though. The author's point is that hydrogen is a poor energy transport
medium.

{Quote hidden}

Oh, I wan't clear. Sorry. What's the efficiency of charging a battery
compared to hydrogen electrolysis? Here are links to some of what I found:

www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-12.htm
http://www.powerstream.com/NiMH.htm
www.sandia.gov/pv/docs/PDF/batpapsteve.pdf
http://www.qsinano.com/white_papers/2006_09_15.pdf

It seems that charging and electrolysis efficiency is about the same, around
70-80%. Though the first link claims 99.9% for Li-ion, which seems too
incredible.

{Quote hidden}

Agreed. The energy in oil and coal was deposited millions of years ago, so
it's a bit easier to leave that number off the balance sheet!

{Quote hidden}

I've not seen anyone claim more than 80% for electrolysis efficiency. The US
DOE has set an efficiency challenge at 75%, so a lot of work is still needed.

{Quote hidden}

Good question. I would think it would be the standard n=W/Q_h efficiency.

Matthew

2008\07\29@144839 by Byron Jeff

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On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 03:27:51AM -0400, Vitaliy wrote:
> Byron Jeff wrote:
> >> 2. Developing lighter cars with more efficient IC engines.
> >
> > No. Oil and gas are non renewable, polluting, expensive resources. Retool
> > the infrastructure so that for transporation and heating you don't need
> > it.
>
> First, there's actually lots of oil available, when people talk of "running
> out of oil" they mean the "easily accessible" oil.

I didn't say that we were running out of oil. I said it was non renewable.
Once it's consumed, it's gone and you're never going to get it back.

> When you have cars that
> get 100 mpg, paying $10 or even more per gallon isn't that big a deal -- and
> suddenly oil fields that were cost prohibitive to develop, cease to be so.

Other than the infrastructure that's been built around it, which was done
because it was cheap, there's no good reason to burn oil to travel.

> Second, if oil is not used to make electricity, there's less demand for it,
> resulting in less polution and lower cost per barrel.

Oil is a very small percentage of electrical generation. Much more oil is
used for heat that for electricity.

> Third, diesel engines do not necessarily need mineral oil-based fuel. They
> happily run on vegetable oil or peanut butter. At last year's annual Clean
> Air Conference (CAC) there was a presentation on using inexpensive algae
> farms to produce biofuel.

Now algae is interesting because it has the potential to be a renewable,
non food based biofuel. Plus in its production it consumes CO2. Both have
possibilies.

But you have to remember that the primary factor undergirding oil
fueled ICE engines was the seemingly inexhaustable supply of cheap oil.
Oil is never going to cheap again. Now is the time to move on.

> Fourth, diesel engines have a reputation for being dirty, but there have
> been significant technological breakthroughs in the past two decades that
> make it possible to talk about "clean diesel". A guy did a presentation on
> "Green Diesel" at a local SAE meeting, according to him there are cars on
> the roads in Europe that actually pollute *less* than gasoline powered cars,
> thanks to computer control and solid particle filters. Better refined fuel
> also makes a big difference.

Again I could work with algae based biodiesel. But it's unclear from a cost
standpoint where it fits.

> > Solar power satellites would become viable if we make the effort to lower
> > the cost of lifting stuff into space.
>
> How likely is that?

Did you take a look at Loftstrom Loops?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Launch_loop

Buildable with current technology,
could lift billions of tons of material per year for dollars per kilo as
opposed to the thousands of dollars per kilo as it is now.

But it's yet another "If you build it, they will come" scenario. So it's
unclear outside of governmental fiat if anyone would take the risk to build
one. Maybe someone could convince Branson to build one for putting people
into orbit for Virgin, then leverage it for SPS construction.

> > But the cost of the oil to produce the diesel will keep rising. It's like
> > ther frog sitting in the pot of water that's slowing rising to boiling. By
> > the time you realize that you can't afford to keep doing it that way, it's
> > too late.
>
> As I've said above, it's possible to reduce demand and increase supply, and
> there are alternatives to mineral oil.

But as long as the infrastructure for mineral oil is in place, no one has
an incentive to switch.

> > But there are virtually no EVs on the road. And that will continue
> > until gas and diesel cost too much for people to pay for.
>
> We're starting to see it happen.

I certainly hope so.

> > It's really not a matter of storing energy. It's a matter of not having an
> > infrastrcture in place for fast refueling. The California PATH project did
> > studies on electrified roadways nearly 15 years ago. They had a 15 ton
> > electric bus drive continuously for 8 hours transferring power inductively
> > from the roadway. Put that technology into the nation's interstate highway
> > system and electric cars become practical.
>
> I can't see this system being very efficient,

Tested at 60% effienciency with no substative measures. Considering that
gas and diesel are about 25% efficient and that's highly optimized, I don't
see that as being a problem.

> nor cheap.

Cost are unclear. But you can phase it in. We already have a plug in
electric grid infrastructure for EVs. So you only need to start building
for long range travel. Also since you have batteries it doesn't need to be
continuous. Nor does it need to be every lane. So you start with the
interstates and you embed a charging strip every 25 miles or so over a few
interstates across the country. Then start filling in the rest.


> Why spend the
> trillions that the new infrastructure will require, not to mention the
> pollution that it will create, when the IC infrastructure is already there?

What pollution? Interstates are under continual construction/repaving
anyway. Just phase this in as you repave. And again it doesn't have to be
dropped in wholesale.

But like everything else it's a chicken and egg problem. There won't be a
wholesale switch to EVs without the infrastructure, and the infrastructure
cannot be built unless someone is going to use it. So build part of the
infrastructure and incentivize (sp) its use.

The ICE infrastructure was built when gas cost 17 cents a gallon. Diesel,
hydrogen, or nothing else that needs to be burned will ever cost that
again. It's a mistake to try to leverage the existing infrastructure simply
because it's in place. It's a dead end and it's going to cost more both in
money and hassle to get out of it later than to get out of it now.

I snipped the free market/deregulation part. I'll tackle it later.

BAJ

2008\07\31@051241 by Apptech

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Matthew asked for my reasons for my comments on the
anti-Hydrogen skeptics mag article.
I hope to get back to that but it will take time to address
properly - not able to do so just yet.

"For now" here is an article by people who think that
Hydrogen may be a potentially viable energy transfer media.

   http://www.rsc.org/Education/EiC/issues/2007Nov/FuellingFutureSolidPhaseHydrogenStorage.asp

They point out the difficulties and the storage goal - which
is modest if achieved and may not be achievable. ie 6.5%
Hydrogen storage by mass in "solid phase" storage (hydrides
or nanotubes ??? ...).

As an example of the implications of this, the Louts Elise
Electric has a 54 kWh LiIon battery. Hydrogen notionally
delivers about 25 kWh/kg but lets say 10 delivered to be
conservative. 54 kWh / (10 kWh/kg) = 5.4 kg. Say 5 for now.
At 6.5% that would need 5 / 0.065 = 77 kg !. Not nice. I
don't know what the Elise battery weighs but a figure of 333
Wh/kg should be in the ball park or 54/.3 = 180 kg of
battery? Even less nice than Hydrogen (by a factor of > 2:1
using these figures)

These people are claiming a quantum leap to 720 W/kg (they
asy 720W/kg but I'll assume that's just a typo and not
ignorance)

       http://www.everspring.net/txt/product-battery.htm?gclid=CPT0463h6ZQCFRIuagod1yigQQ

At that rate you'd get about the same mass as Hydrogen at
6.5% mass storage.

Note that LiPo here is only talking about around 200 Wh/kg.
   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-polymer
LiIon with < 200 here
   http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-3.htm



           Russell






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