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Thread: : Al Gore - A Generational Challenge to Repower America
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face BY : Matthew Miller email (remove spam text)



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
<20080729012248.GJ9623@naxs.net> 7bit

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