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William Stockwell
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I like fuel cells but have my doubts about hydrogen as a fuel- I'm interested in SOFCs, and direct methanol and ethanol fuel cells but I also check in on hydrogen production and storage developments on a monthly basis - of course the faster a battery can be recharged the less range extenders may be needed- exciting times my friends.
Trump is going to get the jump on everyone with a coal powered steam car, it's going to shake things up bigly.
I'm very interested in fuel cells but very skeptical of hydrogen as a fuel- If they find out how to store it at a reasonable pressure and at a higher energy density and in shapes other than a cylinder- plus learn how to make it from water at a higher efficiency and lower cost then I'd like it just fine.
Agreed HarveyD, one thing I think gets too little attention as a way to cut fossil fuels is geothermal exchange heating and cooling - it can eliminate the use of fossil fuels for the heating and cut down the electricity needed for cooling by two thirds- basically all the industry needs is some economies of scale and up front financing- we need a couple more Elon Musk types to get the price from $20000-25000 installed to more like $10000 installed.
Trees - EVs already out perform ICEs on a number of measures- fuel cost, repair and maintenance costs, safety, noise, lower center of gravity, interior space, ability to charge at home, ability to run home off car in emergency - basically when batteries improve from 265WH/Kg to 350Wh/Kg and from $180 per KWh to $100 per KWh the ICE car will be over for all but nostalgia buffs.
I like fuel cells but I'm not convinced on hydrogen- my car of the future would have about a hundred mile battery range and about a 30Kw fuel cell as a range extender but the fuel has to be a liquid (propane, methanol etc etc)to me that's the sweet spot.
I'd prefer we tax Gorr until he has to sell his computer or has his electricity turned off. The ICE only vehicle will be pretty much gone as a new car option by 2030.
SJC, right the Toluene isn't being burned it's just the carrier for the hydrogen- Toluene + hydrogen = Methylcyclohexane, Methylcyclohexane - hydrogen= toluene
Engineer-poet not sure if you were joking but Richard Smalley died in 2005 - so probably no big innovation coming from that direction.
Just image if we can find a material that's much lighter and even more conductive than copper- we usually are just waiting for better batteries but there are other innovations that can advance EVs- I like the advances in power electronics and I'm watching developments in carbon nanotube yarns, covetic alloys, superconducting composite tapes, graphene coatings- I'm interested in the benefits of hub motors but to make them practical we probably need a substantial increase in motor power density so lighter more conductive wire would be a godsend.
Right now I think the best combination might be batteries and methanol fuel cells.
Small Turbines have not been efficient, does it break a law of physics for a small turbine of 60Kw to be 40% efficient? because that is the claim of the maker- I take no stance on the veracity of the claim but if said claim is true it would be very promising.
Global warming could be a blessing for some places- Russia, Canada, Greenland, Antarctica but it's going to suck for most of the world and my guess is we have already put in motion some positive feed-back loops that will start that suckitude a lot earlier than has been predicted- people who think it's a Marxist plot are just living in an alternate reality.
No private insurers will insure Nuclear power plants, they can only exist if the federal government agree to pick up the risk.
I don't know why it has to be one or the other- I think a 30kwh battery pack combined with 30kw of fuel cell is idea- a hundred mile battery range with 30kw fuel cell used as a range extender- 100 miles will get the average driver 90+ percent of his driving needs met and hydrogen fuel cells are a perfect range extender...... well perfect except for the fuel, hydrogen storage as of this moment is still somewhat problematic with fairly low energy density even at 10,000psi if they overcome this then smooth sailing- as for Nissan and the SOFCs, well a better fuel yes but last I looked SOFCs had a power density of .04 W/cm2 as compared to 1.5 W/cm2 for the fuel cells talked about in this press release- of course Nissan's SOFCs may have a better power density but they didn't give that information in their press release.
I've advocated for the use of SOFCs and biofuels for a long time as a range extender for EVs but SOFCs had some serious problems to over come - relatively low power density, high operating temperatures, cost, and potential durability problems in an automotive environment- Nissan doesn't really get into how any of these problems were solved in this press release.
I think the combination of roof top solar and geothermal exchange heat-pumps for heating, cooling and hot water would be even better.
I think the future is a car with about 30KWH of batteries about a 100 mile battery range and about 20KW of solid oxide fuel cells which can use a number of different Bio-fuels (Bio-diesel, Bio-propane, ethanol, etc)- the average person will do 95% of his driving on grid power and for the 4 or 5 times a year he plans on going more than a 100 miles he hits a button and fires up the fuel cells which will produce enough power to handle 70mph on a flat road while the battery handles acceleration.
MIT is doing work on SOFCs that can work with gasoline or other hydrocarbon fuels- of course last I heard was a 2013 report that stated they got the working temp down from 900c to 600c and had increased power density 10 fold and were well on their way to a 350c working temp- I picture a 100mile battery range with a SOFC range extender providing 60-70mpg efficiency after.
Davemart, $50 of cost that sequesters a ton of CO2 that brings no other return is much less motivating than spending $1000 a ton and making a product that can be sold for $10,000 a ton.
They can produce bio-propane and can use it in a SOFC, a 30KWH battery combined with a 30KW fuel cell is a vehicle most could live with - a 100mile battery range and if you have to go father hit a button and start your fuel cell 30 KW will push a midsize at a steady 70mph. Propane is pretty clean and Bio-propane would be carbon neutral, propane is energy dense and doesn't need an exotic high pressure tank or brand new infrastructure. We do need a few advances in SOFCs working temperatures have been lowered from 900C to 600C but still needs to get down to around 350C.
William Stockwell is now following The Typepad Team
Jul 22, 2013