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Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, entreprenuer
Interests: diesel and gasoline engines, cars, aircraft, railroads, electric drives
Recent Activity
I would believe that fuel cells are not needed for this application. In their trials, they only ran 170 km/day (~105 miles/day) These are designed for transit so they probably have a stop every 10-15 km (6-10)miles and probably do not operate on a route longer than 50-80 km (30-50 miles). The max power is 315 kW and it is unlikely that the average power is more than 40% of the max. Anyway, they would run for several hours on a 300 kWhr battery. This would be a lower cost solution in terms of capital equipment, fuel, and maintenance. Plus you would not have to deal with hydrogen which a problem no matter how you look at it. I doubt that these will be in service for even 10 years or, if they are, it will be because they have ripped out the fuel cells and replaced them with larger batteries.
I am not sure what to think about Solena as they seem to have a mixed or maybe poor record and went bankrupt in 2015. I do have an opinion that landfills are a poor option and would prefer high temperature incineration with energy recovery. If Solena can make this work at a reasonable cost, great. There are many commercial uses for hydrogen and most of it is currently made using steam reformation. One question, I would have is how much preprocessing is required for the waste input stream. Are glasses and metals removed and, if so, to what extent. I once told either in a class or lecture at MIT about 50 years ago if you wanted to built a machine to grind up waste, you should test it by throwing a few crow bars into the mix to see just how good your machine was.
The problem with both tidal and wave energy is that the energy is relatively diffuse and a lot of capital equipment is required to capture it. It is much worse than the amount of equipment required for wind turbines which is bad enough. Then add to the problem the equipment and losses associated with making, compressing and storing hydrogen. Tidal energy also has another problem in that the tides happen about twice a day. This will not be an economical solution for making hydrogen and so far has not been a economical solution for electric power with only a few commercial facilities having been built.
"Air Products’ recently announced world-scale coal-to-methanol production facility in Bengalon, East Kalimantan, Indonesia." "Air Products will supply hydrogen and nitrogen for the ammonia production in part from its largest-ever steam methane reformer." Not exactly what I would consider green.
With a 6.7 % efficiency, it not going to become a commercial project, It is a research project which will hopefully add to the base of knowledge and will at least train some more engineering or science students.
Are they controlling the valves or just the fuel injection? With a spark ignition engine, you need to control the valves but maybe with a diesel, you can just control the fuel injection which is much easier.
In the early 1970's, Hughes built the Glomar Explorer that was supposed to recover manganese modules off the ocean floor in a depth of about 16,000. At the time, one of my smart friends told me that this did not make any sense. He had calculated that cost of the energy alone was more than the value of the minerals. Of course, my frend was correct and this was just a somewhat reasonable cover story. The real purpose of the Glomar Explorer was a CIA project to recover a Soviet nuclear missile sub that had sunk to this depth. They succeeded in recovering part of the sub but supposedly most of broke up while it was being lifted and resank. The above article makes me wonder if the economics of nodule mining have changed or if maybe my friend only took account of the value of the manganese and not the cobalt and nickel. Interesting!
Just curious. Why is the proportion of Solar Energy 14.6 times that of hydro power and approximately 7 times that of wind or nuclear? What are they counting? Environmental costs of infrastructure? Did they add in the CO2 added to the environment by wind turbine fires and the resulting wild fires?
Yes you can turn hydrogen sulfide into hydrogen and sulfur just like you can turn water into hydrogen and oxygen. Just add energy -- lots of energy. Just another dumb hydrogen concept. Also, it is relatively easy to turn garbage into methane without adding external energy.
At this point who knows what will happen. However, my best guess is that there will be a number of lawsuits filed and the revised standards will be delayed and hopefully before the new standards come into force we will have a different group running things.
I think that the propellers on the wing tips are designed to take advantage of the vortex shedding that occurs at the ends of the wings. With the smaller and lighter electric motors, it is easier to place the motors and propellers where they are most effective. Note that with the Eviation Alice, , there are also propellers on the wing tips.
cujet, I was mostly referring to the complexity of the turbo-compound engines when it was increasing obvious that the future was turbine engines. Just think of changing 224 spark plugs for a 4-engine plane (2 plugs/cylinder x 28 cylinders x 4 engines). I think that it will difficult to build a battery powered airliner capable of crossing the oceans anytime soon or maybe never. Might get close with lithium air. However, look at We are getting close to flying battery powered regional aircraft. mahonj, The real crime was that all of those "beautiful and mad" steam locomotives were scrapped. Not one was saved for history. Some railroads saved or gave away some of their locomotives to museums, etc. but the Pennsylvania Railroad scrapped just about everything.
Last gasp for the high performance IC engine? Seems like it would be better to just add more electric capacity and add power directly to the wheels. Reminds me of the last of the turbo compound aircraft engines in the early 50's (DC-7) or maybe the Pennsylvania Railroad duplex steam engines in the late 40's (T1, Q1 and Q2).
We are about to cull the herd but unfortunately it will probably not be the mentally weak.
This not make much sense (or cents). Why not just put the "renewable" power onto the grid and run the turbine on natural gas when there is not enough "renewable" power available. This would save the power that goes into the inefficiencies of electrolysis and the compression and storage of the hydrogen plus the associated costs of the equipment. I know someone will pring up the point that this is "excess renewable" power that would otherwise be wasted but I do not think that we will ever reach that point over a reasonable sized area and even if we do, it would make more sense to use pumped storage hydro. Looking on the bright side, at least they are get rid of burning coal.
Well, they shut down their nuclear plants and increased the consumption of coal. As long as they are burning coal and natural gas to generate electricity, it does not make much sense to mass produce hydrogen using electricity. I know, someone will tell me that they will be using surplus power but why not use that surplus energy to lower the consumption of coal. Oh, well.
E-P The Chevrolet Volt had a 18.4 kWhr Battery with an electric range of 53 miles while the Chevrolet Bolt has a 60 kWhr Battery with an electric range of 238 miles so the ratio of PHEV to BEV would be closer to 3:1 and not 9:1. GMs new battery plant has a 30 GWhr capacity (I would rather use tera Joules but whatever) with room to expand so they can make 500,000 Bolts or equivalent per year. The real problem element is Cobalt but they state that there battery chemistry is low Cobalt. I think that GM is correct with their choice to go full BEV as it gets rid of all of the mechanical complexity of the gasoline engine and transmission but it you had only one vehicle and had to regularly make trips over 200 miles, a PHEV might be a better choice at the moment. I have a Bolt and like driving it but I have another vehicle if I have to go more than 200 miles. I do regularly drive 60 or more miles per day. You are correct about 3-D printing not being suited for mass production. It is way too slow.
E-P Don't confuse people with math and facts:) But, yes, there is little reason to use fuel cells for transit buses as there are a number of battery electric buses that will get the job done for less capital, energy, and maintenance cost.
Yoatman, I have a Chevrolet Bolt which I bought in March 2019. So far, I have driven just over 18,000 miles and have averaged 4.1 miles/kWhr. Before the cold weather (I live in Salt Lake City), I was averaging 4.3 miles/kWhr. Anyway, the car has a 60 kWhr battery and an EPA rating of 238 miles which is about 4 miles/kWhr or about 15.6 kWhr/100 km. Believe me, I am not hypermiling as we have either a 70 or 80 mph limits on our highways and I am often driving at 75 or 80 (or more) mph and I am not light on the accelerator and I still am getting better than the advertised EPA mileage. I do not know about the Menlo, but I suspect the Bolt is larger and I have a 150 kW (200 hp) motor. Anyway, their numbers look reasonable. The real problems were with some of the earlier European standards and, of course, the Japanese standards. I wish there was one standard and I would nominate the EPA ratings.
@Davemart OK, but my comment on the most efficient way to make hydrogen still stands and the best way to decarbonise would be more nuclear power. Hopefully, the small modular reactors such as the Nuscale design will start to make a difference.
I would guess that the most efficient clean (no CO2) way to generate hydrogen is to use high temperature electrolysis with nuclear power. Also, note that the hydrogen that they are proposing to generate is not destined to be used for fuel cells. It will be used in a refinery to make lighter fuel components from crude oil.
My first question would be if this is more cost efficient than just growing corn or sugar cane or other bio materials and making alcohol. Also, while cobalt is more abundant than gold or silver, it is certainly not what would be considered abundant.
If you are in Wyoming, you are a long ways from any major cities. Western Wyoming has to turn to Salt lake City and if you are in Eastern Wyoming and can not find what you need in Cheyenne, you need to go to Denver. However, maybe the fact that it is per capita explains why Utah which has a high birth has the relative low value for the miles driven.
This is good news. I hope that this keeps going smoothly as it represents one of the best chances for new reliable base zero emission power.
"... convert waste wood into bio-coal..." Bio-coal? I think that used to be called charcoal. Historically, a lot of forests were cut down to create charcoal for making iron before being replaced with cheaper coke from coal.