[oclug] The Sinnister MS Connection Was : Rogers domain oddn
bbarnett at l8r.net
bbarnett at l8r.net
Sun Feb 4 16:25:56 EST 2001
On 04-Feb-2001 Jon Earle wrote:
> At 07:34 AM 02/04/01, you wrote:
>>I didn't mention anything about a battery powered car, just an electric car,
>>nor did I say the car would *run* off of solar panels. I said it would
>>recharge from the solar panels. This is the beauty of hydrogren power. If
>>your car hasn't produced enough hydrogen from sitting in the sun, then go buy
>>some and refuel it that way. Thing is, if you drive your car for 15
>>work every day, and then leave it in the sun for 8 hours, and then drive it
>>home, you won't need to.
> How would it produce H2 just from sitting in the sun? If via electrolysis,
> then are you suggesting that we'll have to install electrolysis equipment
> in our vehicles? Let's see, we'd need to carry:
> - water storage tank
> - electrolysis equipment
> - solar panels
> - wiring
> - H2 storage tank
> - plumbing (pressure and standard)
> - fuel cell
> - electric motor(s)
> How much weight and bulk and systems do you expect to carry? If you're
> building a compact or subcompact car and expect to carry all that junk,
> where do you expect to put the people and payload? You'd need to build an
> SUV to carry all that and still be useful. Nice benefit though is the
> driver could have fresh O2 piped into the cabin.
Not a lot of extra weight is needed at all. First, keep in mind that Ford will
have the Topaz on the market, this fall.. based on Ballard fuel cells. This
entails a hydrogen tank, fuel cell, and electric motor, the heaviest parts of
your list above. Ford has stated repeatedly that it will be functionally
identical to a gas powered Topaz (as in, it will have the same range on a tank
of fuel, it will travel as quickly, it will carry the same load).
Compared to a hydrogen tank, the water tank is actually very light, since it
can simply be made of lightweight plastic. There is obviously no need for
the complex tanks that are used with h2. Since the water tank would only fill
as the h2 tank empties, then I suggest you keep your tank full. Keep in mind
here that we aren't talking about storing the great lakes in your water tank.
The electrolysis equipment isn't large, isn't hefty, and isn't expensive, nor
is a small compressor. The plumbing isn't either. Mostly likely, WITH solar
panels, I'd add ~ 150 lbs to your car with the h2 tank empty, and the water
tank full. With it empty and the h2 tank full, I'd add 80 lbs.
Considering the Topaz Ford is bragging about is supposed to be functionally
identical to a gas powered one (for range of travel on a tank, and speed and
weight it can carry), I really doubt the extra 150 lbs is going to make a
massive difference. I have 150 lbs in the trunk of my Jetta now. It helps keep
the rear end on the road in the winter ;)
> I think this is wholly unpractical compared to a gasoline engine, not even
> considering what could go wrong with a complex system like that.
> And, H2 powered cars are not necessarily electric cars. In my poking
> around for a useful H2 storage tank, I came across an experimental hydrogen
> gas powered truck.
Yes, but Ballard is the way to go. Every major car manufacturer has looked
into it. Buses in Vancouver and Victoria and New York are running on them
>>Hydrogen power has made the electric car *very* viable. Ford Canada will
>>a Topaz out this year based on the Ballard fuel cell. _THIS YEAR_. The
>>PRESIDENT of Ford Canada specifically said that it will travel just as far
>>and fast as the standard Topaz. No differences _at all_. How's that for
>>viable? FYI, Ballard fuel cells produce electricity from hydrogen, and
>>efficent at doing so (only 7% of the energy is lost in heat). This is
>>_incredible_ compared to any other form of conversion.
> I can't find the article on Ford's website. In fact, I can't find a
> reference to a Topaz any longer being a model of car on ford.com. There's
> mention of their concept car, the P2000 program, but that's all. Do you
> have the link?
I do read the business section of the local newspaper, and I have watched the
President of Ford Canada on CPAC with the PM stating all these things, just
before he took a drive around the block with it.
This link :
P2000 Fuel Cell
Did you think it was possible to accelerate
from 0 to 97 kilometres per hour in 12
seconds while producing zero emissions?
Well, it's possible if you are driving the newest
member of Ford's ultra energy-efficient P2000
family zero-emission vehicle.
Ford's P2000 Fuel Cell is an advanced, hydrogen fuel powered sedan;
a midsize family car designed to achieve the performance of today's
Ford Taurus, going from 0 to 97 kmh (0 to 60 mph) in 12 seconds, and
produces 90 horsepower.
Is probably what you found, and it is indeed the car I was refering to. Sorry
I thought it was the Topaz, but obviously its the Taurus. I think that
"designed to achiecve the performace of today's Ford Taurus" explains the
statements I'm making.
>> > H powered vehicles are more likely to make BIG BOOMS.
>>Such statements show your lack of knowledge on the subject. This isn't
>>horrible, and its understandable. Don't let an accident that occured almost
>>100 years ago cloud your judgement.
> The Hindenberg didn't explode, it caught fire and burned. I'm considering
> more recent (more recently than 1990) examples such as liquid hydrogen
> rockets exploding. When they go up, they light up the sky quite
Yup, they do. So does a gasoline truck that explodes, yet we use that today in
vehicles all over the place. Such a flammable liquid, and yet its everywhere.
>>Secondly, there are ways to design fuel tanks for H2 that don't cause
>>if they are literally smashed to pieces. Several issues of Discover (now
>>defunct :/) went on at length about these designs over 15 years ago. One of
>>the favourites was a metal honeycombed design (to give you a good visual
>>of it) that's membranes would slowly release h2 at a controlled rate. The
>>way to begin to make explode (and its _very_ hard to make h2 explode, it
>>disipates so quickly into the air when released) was to rupture _all_ the
>> honeycombed areas at once. Testing showed this to be virtually
> I remember this from years ago. The trouble with it, IIRC, was that it was
> quite heavy and rather bulky - moreso than a propane or nat. gas
> tank. According to fuelcellstore.com, the tank can only store about 1-2%
> of it's weight in H2, and that will decrease over time as impurities in the
> incoming H2 gas are absorbed. Compressing or liquefying H2 is expensive,
> and requires special equipment to chill, deliver and store the H2, robbing
> about 30% of it's efficiency just in the cooling and compressing
> process. Other means of storage are still being researched.
Yes, years ago. I initially read about it 15 years ago. Times have changed,
and prototypes have improved into workable market models, that are used in
buses now, and will be used in cars this fall.
> The current H2 propaganda insists that because of relatively safe
> industrial use (which is highly structured and monitored), that it will be
> safe for the general public (who typically pays little heed to maintenance
> issues like changing one's oil or transmission fluid).
It is relatively safe. Haven't you heard about the tanks that the h2 are going
to be stored in? Why do you keep shoving that aside, and keep saying "Danger,
danger Wil Robertson!".
H2 WILL NOT EXPLODE AND KILL YOU BECAUSE YOU LOOK AT IT FUNNY.
Feel more secure about it? I know you're just arguing a point here, but why
aren't you worried about people who have a natural gas furnace, or stove?
They're obviously too inept and stupid to not kill themselves with them.
Natural gas is actually MORE dangerous than H2, since it disipates more slowly.
> I don't fully buy these pro-widespread-H2-usage arguments... yet. That
> doesn't mean, as you've been suggesting through your post, that I'm a
> blathering, paranoid, oil-loving idiot. It simply means I have my concerns
> based on real-life bad things that have happened. You can go on till the
> cows come home about H2 being perfectly safe, and if handled properly,
> you're quite right. The fact is, it's more combustible per volume than
> gasoline, and that means, more of the product will be consumed. While this
> means it's more efficient than gasoline (good!), it's also got a negative
> side - that being it's quite explosive if something goes wrong (bad!). If
> NASA and the US Air Force and the Chinese (three users who have had recent
> rocket explosions) can't have a perfect operational record - and they're
> _trained_ in the handling of H2 - then what can we consumers expect when
> the number of H2 vehicle applications jumps from a few rockets a year, to
> several million vehicles on the road?
1) Take the same volume of gasoline, and use it to launch a rocket (leave aside
other issues). What would happen if something went wrong with the rocket as
did with the h2o rockets? Correct! It would explode. Its odd how cars aren't
exploding right now, all over the street. After all, a car is just a rocket,
right? Same concerns, same amount of fuel, same technology. BAH!
2) Erm, trying to liken gas and h2 explosive potential through volume is silly.
h2 is way _LESS_ explosive per volume than gas, since to compare volume you
have to compare the volume at the SAME PRESSURE AND TEMPERATURE. Gasoline at
one atmposphere and 20C compared to h2 at the same results in h2 loosing. H2
is in a gaseous state at 20C and one atmposhere, gasoline isn't.
3) How combustable something is doesn't equal the amount of energy you get from
something ONCE its ignited. The combustability of something only dictates how
easy it is to get it ignited.
4) Less hydrogen is consumed then gasoline to create electricity because of the
incredible efficiency of the ballard fuel cell. I suggest you read :
and find out more about this fuel cell. Its not fire as you know it. Its not
going to explode and kill you.
> I don't know, and you don't know, and so I think we need more information
> about the possible risks (we are all well aware of the benefits).
> Aside: Nuclear reactors are perfectly safe (not counting waste
> products)... until they go Chernobyl on us. Never underestimate the power
> of human error (or stupidity) to make a good situation go horribly wrong.
>>In short, in 5 years everyone will be driving them. The beauty of it is that
>>no matter how you see the h2 being manufactured, pollution in the city will
>>drop dramatically. I'm just worried about how humid the summers are going to
> I remember something about fuelcells using gasoline to run it's
> fuelcells... sec... Okay, the cells themselves use pure hydrogen, but, to
> get the hydrogen, you need a source (obviously). You can get hydrogen
> from fossil fuels using a converter. Given that there is a huge abundance
> of gasoline service stations in the world, I would speculate that this is
> how the first vehicles will be produced.
Not at all. My link above points to a site that lists a car that uses h2, and
a SUV that uses the method you stated above. Considering this is round ONE of
a new technology (for mass market), I find it quite impressive. Ten years down
the road h2 power will change dramatically, as even more research and money
goes into it.
> Some final points:
> - According to Ballard's FAQ, only vehicles with pure hydrogen systems
> will have zero emissions. Cars equipped with fossil fuel converters (to
> get at the hydrogen) will have reduced (20-30%) greenhouse gas emissions
> and trace smog-producing elements compared to standard fossil fuel engines.
Which is why pure h2 is the way to go.
> - According to Ford's website (which BTW, contains no reference to a Topaz
> being a model of car), a fuelcell car will achieve about 60mpg. Not bad,
> but not stunningly impressive. Toyota's ugly little Echo gets about that,
> does it not?
No, but it makes reference to the Taraus, a larger, more luxurious and more
powerful car than the Topaz. My mistake. However, it doesn't list anything
about mpg ratings, and since you're giving me mpg I would expect you are
refering to a US site. The American branch of Ford would never undertake
something like this, to much pressure from the oil tycoons, I suspect. Honda,
Germany car companies, and Ford (with a government grant) up here are going to
release models based on Ballard cells.
> - Fuelcell powertrains are heavier, and the only offset in weight comes
> from redesigning the car's body to use more composites and plastics instead
> of metals.
Fuelcell powertrains?! What are you refering to here. Fuelcells don't have
powertains. They provide electricity to electric motors.
> - According to DaimlerChrysler, fuelcells are still far too expensive for
> consumers and take up to 30minutes to get started (requiring a battery pack
> for the interim), which for an inner city commuter vehicle, would prove
> utterly useless.
They are completely and utterly incorrect. Ford has claims to the contrary.
I don't think you really looked to hard around ford's site to find any info on
the above, since this :
Lists a summary (although incomplete, and changed) of the press release done on
Parliment Hill. You can even see a little picture of our good old buddy, the
evil PM, driving around in it ;) Its interesting that they clearly (and I mean
*clearly*) stated that these vehicles would be out for fall 2001, and now it
states 2004. Perhaps the President of Ford Canada meant "some ballard powered
vehicle" instead of the Taurus based on. No matter.
> In short, I reiterate my original statement: Electric cars are, today,
> just a dream.
Electric cars aren't just a dream. The prime minister has driven one around
Parliment Hill. That shows a massive difference from "Just a dream" to
"Designed, developed, planned, and built". This is a VIABLE, USABLE car.
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