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Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, entreprenuer
Interests: diesel and gasoline engines, cars, aircraft, railroads, electric drives
Recent Activity
HarveyD, Those are the claims and I would tend to believe them. These units are also "walk away" safe. They do not need power for pumps, etc. for a safe shut down in the case of an emergency.
Low carbon hydrogen seems to be a real oxymoron as long as you are burning fossil fuel to generate electric power. The wind and solar power could more efficiently be used to displace the electricity being generated by fossil fuels. Unfortunately, Japan closed most of their nuclear power facilities after the tsunami and increased their dependence on coal.
I think that NuScale is close to starting construction of the initial commercial installation with 12 50 MW small modular reactors near Idaho Falls
Nick, The number I have seen is 700 years worth of power at current total power usage from the DU only (I think that this number was from a NOVA PBS program). Not only could we close down all the fossil fuel plants, we could also decommission the ugly wind turbines cluttering our landscape :>)/2 (only half in jest).
In the United States, the electric-vehicle conversion is $69,000 for vehicles with an electric range of 50 miles and $89,000 for vehicles with a range of 100 miles. I did not see a price for the Fuel Cell option but I would guess that it is much, much more. Brian: How about Kilo or Mega Joules per kilometer? Then the units would be completely rational.
I am somewhat disappointed to find out that it is front wheel drive only and not all wheel drive. I live in serious snow country and 4WD or AWD drive is a necessity on some days. I would thaink that it would be easy enough to have an AWD drive option with a second rear motor.
This does not seem to be the best idea ever. Take methane, reform it to hydrogen while generating CO2 (the heat value of the carbon is used to drive the reaction), then spend more energy to compress it and then burn it in a diesel engine. It would be easier and more efficient to just run the methane in the diesel engine. As it is stored at a lower pressure and contains more energy per unit volume, it would be easy to run all day on CNG. Someone is sure to tell me that the hydrogen will be generated using electrolysis from surplus wind turbine energy. However, more than 50% of the UK energy comes from fossil fuels (natural gas and coal) and some of the supposed renewable energy comes from burning imported wood pellets. So if you are using wind turbine energy to provide electricity for electrolysis, it is at the coast of increasing the fossil fuel burn elsewhere.
Our local business area (North Salt Lake, Utah) UPS driver drives about 60 miles a day but he told me that most of the home delivery drivers average around 100 miles per day. If a vehicle could reliably drive about 120 to 150 miles on battery, then there is no need for a fuel cell extender. This obviously not going to work in rural areas of the west. But even if you needed a range extender, I would think that it would be more cost effective to use a CNG fueled ICE especially given that most hydrogen comes from NG reforming.
Remember peak oil? It turns out that most commodity prices go down over time as better extraction techniques come on line. Also, the more critical element is cobalt and that is likely to be replaced in batteries as newer technologies come on line. Cobalt and lithium shartages will not cause the end of civilization.
Looks like a good thing but I would have liked some more technical information. Interesting that you can use VW money to buy a modified Ford. I wonder if VW learned anything from this episode.
SJC This was an article about using hydrogen fuel cells. Using LNG with a SOFC might be as efficient as burning it in a power plant but you are still using fossil fuels and I assume (make an ass out of u and me :^) that one of the objects was to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.
Even if the overall lifetime costs of building and operating the Hydrail System are equivalent to that of a conventional overhead electrification system which I doubt, I would go with the conventional electrification. The Hyrail system requires the production of hydrogen, compression of the hydrogen and the conversion of the hydrogen back to electricity. Each step has an energy loss. The direct electric system only has a relatively minor transmission loss so you are looking at a 30% efficient system compared to a 80+% efficient system. Why waste power?
Why is Toyota still building CVTs? Yes, they let the engine run in a more efficient mode but not enough so that a 9 or 10 speed lockup convertor or dual clutch transmission would be just as good. The CVTs are continuously slipping and wearing anytime that they are transmitting power while the other automatic transmission only have slip and wear during the shifts.
Apparently, Fiber Forge went bankrupt several years ago. Anyway, if you put enough energy into it you can probably turn CO2 into diamonds. Anyway, the energy required to turn CO2 back to carbon and oxygen is cosiderably more than the energy that was released going from carbon and oxygen to CO2. About the only energy and cost efficient way to turn CO2 back into carbon is photosynthesis.
Cummins Westport Inc. has received certifications from both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Air Resources Board (ARB) in California for its 2018 L9N and B6.7N natural gas engines. Both engines meet California ARB optional Low NOx standards, as well as 2017 EPA greenhouse gas emission (GHG) requirements, making them some of the cleanest engines available today for truck and bus customers. If you want to read all of the details: When is the CO2 to carbon fiber going to be commercial? How much carbon fiber do we need and much energy does this process take?
OK, there will be no massive deployment of Tesla semi trucks in 2018 and probably not in 2019 either but maybe a few will make it on the road. A better bet is the electric version of the Mercedes/Freightliner Electric Sprinter and the Cummins battery electric semi-tractor. Basically, you do not need fuel cells for in-city delivery where the typical range requirements is about 70 miles. The whole problem with fuel cells is producing, compressing, and storing hydrogen. Depending on whose numbers you use, the overall energy efficiency is about 30 to 40 percent of using a battery electric vehicle if you are using electrolysis. If you are using natural gas reformation, you might as well run a natural gas internal combustion engine. The whole point is to cut pollution not just transfer the source. China certainly does not have a surplus of clean power and continues to burn coal for most of their power.
This research may be a worthwhile endeavor but the claim that magnesium is the lightest metal is not correct. It may be the lightest practical structural metal but there are 4 metals that are lighter at room temp. Lithium 0.534 g/cm3 Potassium 0.862 g/cm3 Sodium 0.968 g/cm3 Rubidium 1.532 g/cm3 Magnesium 1.738 g/cm3 Also Beryllium (1.85 g/cm3) is an interesting metal that has an only slightly higher density than magnesium . However is is much harder and has more than 6 times the stiffness. There are health issues in machining it but it is used extensively in space instrumentation and especially for large mirrors.
It is described as being distinctive but the term ugly comes to my mind as in it is so ugly as to be safe as everyone will avoid it.
eci I read the articles you referenced. I know that some of the new wind turbine energy is being quoted at or below the cost of coal energy. However, there is a problem that somewhat reminds me of the old joke of having a customer complaining that the store owner's bananas are more expensive than the price across the street. When asked why he does not just buy the bananas across the street, it is because the other store is out. The first store owner simply states that if he did not have any bananas to sell, he could also sell them at that price. Not quite the right analogy but unless you have adequate storage, you also need to factor in the cost of having the backup power source. What is adequate probably depends on the location and how critical it is to have no outage or the cost of having an outage. Maybe it is 12 hrs, maybe 3 days, maybe 2 weeks. My personal opinion is that we should build modern nuclear power plants which are safer and more reliable than any of the renewable power sources. If we had enough nuclear power we could start to rip out the ugly wind turbines :^)/2. :^)/2 because I am half serious. Nupower is starting to scale up to build small modular reactors that are walk away safe and they have an initial customer for the first 12 units and approved siting. I am hoping that TerraPower's traveling wave reactor works out. It is designed to burn about anything -- existing reactor waste, depleted uranium, natural uranium. Apparently, we currently have enough stored depleted uranium to supply the entire US power needs for 700 years. See and CE88 I am not sure about the cost of geothermal but there is not much that is being used in the US as the cost of the infrastructure is too high and the available temperature is too low for efficient power generation. There are not that many places in the US where geothermal is practical. Iceland uses geothermal for most of their heating and domestic hot water.
The problem I have with "clean hydrogen" is than it uses electric power that otherwise could be used more efficiently. The round trip efficiency for electrolysis, compression and back to electricity via fuel cell is 25-30% and with battery storage, it is probably around 90%, so the efficiency is about 1/3. California still gets a large amount or it's electricity from coal which is mostly burned in Nevada and Utah so they import electricity and export pollution -- clever. And I live downwind of some of this pollution.
They may have added a reverse capability but they did not do it by adding a reverse GEAR<\i>. Electric motors run either direction just as well. It is just a relatively simple control function.
I think that these batteries are intended to be used in power plant type settings. As such they would be used to come on-line instantly to regulate or support the grid power whenever the wind suddenly died of the sun was blocked by clouds, etc. For longer outages, backup gas turbines or hydro would take over.
I hope that this works as well as they seem to indicate. It makes much more sense than trying to make and store hydrogen which as best is about 40% efficient (and more likely about 25% efficient) round trip. Of course, if you have water and a hill, there is pumped storage but I am not sure how the costs would compare with a Na–NiCl2 battery. Both require a major amount of infrastructure.
It is just a student project which is OK as it provides some real world education but it is highly unlikely to result in a real world product. Anyway, it sounds like a good project. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) sponsors a number of student competitions for the same purpose of providing real world engineering experience. I have been the advisor for students at the local university participating in FormulaSAE where the student build a small formula-type race car. We were using a restricted motorcycle engine limited to 600 cc but for the past 2 years we have entered the electric car version which is limited to 80KW. This is probably one the best experiences engineering students have to gain some real world engineering
Using Ruthenium in place of platinum does not seem to be much of a win as the annual production of Ruthenium is less than 5% of that of platinum From Wikipedia: "Ruthenium is usually found as a minor component of platinum ores; the annual production is about 20 tonnes." Also, the article did not claim to reduce the energy required.