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Interests: computers, audio, test gear
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I wonder how practical the scale up of this process will be. It sounds like it might be a big step forward for RE fuels. Nice!
Are Chinese cars really any cheaper than fully robotized American manufacturing, or is it unionized workers that make Chinese cars cheaper/easier? It seems like transportation cost for distribution across the ocean would cancel some of the cost benefit, if any.
I am not yet a hydrogen believer, but this amplifies the idea that a low power fuel cell can operate at a continuous low power to maintain a battery charge for the variable power needs of the average auto usage. The normal driving routines need extra power for acceleration and hills on occasion and very little for coasting and down hill/braking/regen needs. Interesting dynamics, but hydrogen distribution, refill, and storage still have practical issues to overcome.
I have been told by folks who do the pipeline inspection and repair work that some alarming percent of the NG delivery pipelines in my previous NY city were made of some form of coated/wrapped WOOD that has started to need significant repair or replacement. This does not speak well of the state of our NG infrastructure, and this development doesn't seem to help this particular problem. I was aghast when I heard this and pushed hard to verify the voracity of the claim. I can't believe this is that uncommon in north east cities.
Does the cost of H2 transport from Africa make financial sense compared to local renewables?
@Davemart - This looks like a rather local economy for hydrogen, but it is the first time I heard that 'the performance envelope for range and payload is far better than can be done with batteries'. I gather the weight and volume needed in a truck is similar, but the power capacity is different. Please explain.
So we are not an oil/energy independent nation yet. Are we an oil/energy independent continent yet? We import a lot of oil from Canada!
I often wonder how a battery gigafactory adapts to the advances in chemistry and new uses that we see here. High volume production and QC systems don't easily accommodate changes. Also, the standard small cells for tools aren't efficient storage for e-car or utility storage systems.
Obviously the nuclear generation provides base load and the wind/solar provides peak load, but then there are the dead times that require other peak load fill ins. Seems like we still need other short term storage systems like water/gravity schemes. Pump water uphill with excess, and let it down for peak fill when needed. Then there are the efficiencies involved in electric distribution systems which are aging.
This still has system efficiency and distribution problems. Wind power to grid and localized power to hydrogen seems better, but then scale affects efficiency.
The production of CO2 is not a positive result!
Good news, but no indication of increase in efficiency.
It seems there will always be a que of cars sitting at the red traffic lights until the majority of cars are equipped with this capability. This will foil the system advantages until then. There needs to be a universal installation in different brands and older cars to make this practical. Good idea though. It is difficult to do this manually unless you have synchronized traffic lights on a route you regularly travel.
Most UPS delivery trucks I see look to be in good shape. Does it make sense to retrofit them with some form of electric propulsion? How expensive is the replacement process for recycling the older vehicles? Is it cost effective?
I was amazed at the difference in car longevity when I moved from NY to FLA. My former vehicles graduated from mechanical wear out to skin cancer death via salted roads above 150k miles or so. When I check under our first FLA purchased car I was floored by the difference - it looked like new after 150k miles. Wow! Material science etc. has increased the life of ball and cv joints and seals etc. significantly. Now battery life really is more important.
What efficiency levels are we talking about here? I recall e-motors were upward of 90% efficient to start with. I don't see an efficiency number here.
It seems like most new electric vehicles are expensive luxury models that start above $35k and quickly get up to $60k and way more. Ouch! I often wonder just how much all the sensors and high power computers and networks in today's cars add to the cost of a new car. It doesn't surprise me that new car sales are a bit slow.
Another no win situation? Except for electric drive which switches the problem to the coal etc. electric utilities - oops! Then there is hydrogen which transfers the problem to production and distribution issues - and cost! Ouch $! Now we need more sidewalks and bicycle paths in our infrastructure! $$ I still hope for final approvals of the newest safer nuclear electricity generation technology. $$$ Hmmm . . .
Seems like good news, however our NG infrastructure in the US is in bad condition. I was told by folks that repair the gas leaks that some cities up north still have old wood piping in the underground delivery system. Extra Hydrogen in the gas mix will surely find more leaks in these systems.
I think the choice in Germany to decommission the nuclear plants without newer nuclear replacements is a mistake regardless of all the solar they have. There are newer and much safer nuclear reactor systems now that can actually run on the previous spent fuel, and that are actually even getting approved in the strict USA by the (AEC?). Coal is not a good alternative!
I believe the extra battery weight is offset by the lack of any transmission in their electric drive train since ~2014. The 2 electric motors and clutches do the work until highway speeds when the engine is clutched directly to the wheels. No tranny is lighter than any tranny. Driving reports seem positive too.
I too was in strong opposition to hydrogen as a fuel until recently when I considered that most gas stations could use the water they already have supplied, and solar power w/cheap night electric, to create and store the hydrogen for distribution. Using the existing refueling/distribution infrastructure along highways that pump gas/diesel is the only practical way I have seen to refill the vehicles without a very heavy infrastructure investment. I was skeptical of the requirements of high pressure storage for the station and in the cars too, but more sensible ways of creating and storing H2 are showing up. It isn't quite practical yet, but this site keeps showing advances that chip away at the problems to the point where It just might be practical in the not too distant future. I would buy a PHEV if I were to buy something now, but that could easily change in less than a decade at the rate that advances are showing up. You have to allow for progress and keep the faith.
Back in the days the standard for safety was 42v. Now it appears to be 48v system (relative to ground!) which is more practical. My EE background wonders why we can't use 2 phase (+,-) 48v to yield a 96v operating system where current is not as heavy! Anyone please!
WillyG is now following The Typepad Team
Jul 13, 2019