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Thu Jan 17, 2019, 11:46 AM

Why Hydrogen Engines Are A Bad Idea


21 replies, 362 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Hydrogen Engines Are A Bad Idea (Original post)
Iron Condor Jan 2019 OP
Iron Condor Jan 2019 #1
Gamle-ged Jan 2019 #2
akaConcernedCanuk Jan 2019 #5
Gamle-ged Jan 2019 #6
Troll2 Jan 2019 #7
oflguy Jan 2019 #11
rahtruelies Jan 2019 #3
Solesurvivor Jan 2019 #4
Aquila Jan 2019 #12
Grumpy Pickle Jan 2019 #20
His Daughter Jan 2019 #8
Aquila Jan 2019 #13
His Daughter Jan 2019 #14
MumblyPeg Jan 2019 #9
His Daughter Jan 2019 #15
MumblyPeg Jan 2019 #16
His Daughter Jan 2019 #18
MumblyPeg Jan 2019 #19
His Daughter Jan 2019 #21
Jack Burton Jan 2019 #10
Gamle-ged Jan 2019 #17

Response to Iron Condor (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 11:50 AM

1. Nothing yet is better than gasoline & diesel

Everything else so far...... sucks in comparison.

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Response to Iron Condor (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 12:03 PM

2. Looks like he's saying that a hydrogen fuel cell engine IS a good idea, as opposed to a hydrogen...

... COMBUSTION engine..

Paging aquila...




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Response to Gamle-ged (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 12:30 PM

5. Umm - there is no such thing as a hydrogen fuel cell engine

A fuel cell is a device that converts chemical potential energy (energy stored in molecular bonds) into electrical energy.

Engines that actually burn hydrogen are rare, and NOT what is p[owing the new "hydrogen" powered vehicles - it's fuel cells, a complete different animal . . . simply providing power for an electrical motor . . .

Engines that run on hydrogen do not use fuel cells - they simply use hydrogen in a pressure tank - like propane . . . .

OH by the way a gas engine IS an engine

An electrical motor is a motor

- engine/motor are not synonymous - we have sorta confused that one for ages . .
_________________________________________________________________________________

Why Don't We Just Run Internal Combustion Engines on Hydrogen?
Hydrogen burns with zero emissions. Couldn't we just use it in place of gasoline? The answer is more complex than you might expect.


BY BOB SOROKANICH
DEC 31, 2018
https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-technology/a25712588/why-dont-we-burn-hydrogen-instead-of-gasoline/

/snip/

There are two major problems with a hydrogen internal combustion engine. First, hydrogen is not as energy-dense as other fuels, meaning that you need a whole lot of it to do a little bit of work. Couple that with the inherent inefficiency of a piston engine (at best, you're only turning about 30 percent of the fuel's energy into forward motion), and you've got a recipe for disappointment.

The second problem? When you combust hydrogen, you get other emissions besides water vapor. Mainly, you get NOx, the toxic emission at the heart of the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal. If you're looking for a clean alternative to gasoline, hydrogen's NOx emissions take it out of the running.

The answer? Use hydrogen in a fuel cell to generate electricity. Fuel cells are far more efficient than internal combustion engines, and a hydrogen fuel cell has cleaner emissions than an internal-combustion hydrogen engine.

https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-technology/a25712588/why-dont-we-burn-hydrogen-instead-of-gasoline/
___________________________________________________________________________________

Even tho I'm a retired ole mekanik now, the memories of our electrical teacher and our engine teachers drilling into our heads are quite vivid . . . .

" ENGINES ARE NOT MOTORS - MOTORS ARE NOT ENGINES! "

They would be tearing their respective hairs out by the roots if they could see the confusion still exists to this day



CC

ps: Aquila's articles are on fuel cells ( using MOTORS) - not related to hydrogen powered ENGINES whatsoever . . . . . .

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Response to akaConcernedCanuk (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 12:56 PM

6. Defining...

An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert one form of energy into mechanical energy. Heat engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines (such as steam engines), burn a fuel to create heat, which then creates a force.

WIKI

As often happens, a term may become redefined over time and common usage. I remember correcting my grade-school teacher back in the late 1940s when she pronounced the "t" in "often." She took it mildly, fortunately for me, and years later, so many people were pronouncing the word incorrectly, BOTH versions, silent "t" and spoken "t" began to appear in dictionaries...



On edit: I just did a quick online check on "often" where the spoken word is available.. ofTen was the recording of someone's choice...

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Response to akaConcernedCanuk (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 01:49 PM

7. NOx wouldn't be a problem for a hydrogen burning steam car.

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Response to akaConcernedCanuk (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 08:04 PM

11. I always get a kick when I'm driving and I see a big sign on a trailer on a used car lot that says

Billy Bob Motors

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Response to Iron Condor (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 12:13 PM

3. either engines or fuel cells require as much energy as they produce to get the H2 to burn.

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Response to Iron Condor (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 12:15 PM

4. I wonder if that poster who shills for the hydrogen companies will respond

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Response to Solesurvivor (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 08:12 PM

12. I don't get paid to post hydrogen articles

but many people get paid to shill for Tesla and their 1,300 pound Li-Ion batteries that can catch fire for no reason at all

http://archive.is/bYAeE



You don't want to be locked into a battery EV if the batteries catch fire



Hydrogen is one of the things that can Make America Great again.

Green Energy self-sufficiency

The end of oil

Why wouldn't I post about it?

You've never advocated for anything? Why is that not surprising. America is in the toilet because of this attitude.

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Response to Aquila (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 18, 2019, 02:20 AM

20. Hydrogen is a good idea.....I think.

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Response to Iron Condor (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 02:20 PM

8. He is basically correct...fuel cells make electricity, gaseous fueled engines are direct drive

I would be interested to see what level of NOx is put out and if it is addressable. Not a common complaint.

He is correct that H2 contains lower energy than fuel than any hydrocarbon. Fewer bonds, lower energy

I differ seriously over the cost. As a now former solar farm operator, many are being forced out by new huge fields and loss of contracts with utilities. However, I can produce H2 for very little money and the equipment can all be written off in the year or purchase. The issue is unattended capture and possible later transportation.

There are people seriously looking at what it would take to have a home fuel cell. That might revolutionize things, at least for off the grid people. Batteries are expensive, of limited life, and are seriously toxic. A smaller amount of batteries, more like a capacitor, would seriously help.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 08:18 PM

13. "There are people seriously looking at what it would take to have a home fuel cell"

A company called Panasonic (perhaps you've heard of them) has been selling home SOFC fuel cell units for years now. They have >150,000 units in the field working as you read this. Panasonic has started selling these units in Europe.





You wrote: "H2 contains lower energy than fuel than any hydrocarbon"

By weight, hydrogen is second only to nuclear for energy density



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

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Response to Aquila (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 08:46 PM

14. You need to look deeper at this

To be clear, I am speaking of using it via a gaseous fuel carburetor in an ICE. H2 at current practical working temps and pressure has less energy than the equivalent amounts of propane or natural gas. Its inherent in the chemistry. H2 powered cars have been around since the late 60s and performance is a classic complaint. It is one of the reasons the NG/PG fueled buses, cars, and trucks use those fuels vice H2. The chart provided says 700 bar, which is over 10K PSI.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells are not purely H2 cells, relying on other components. Good concept, needs some serious cost reduction and refinement. The concept that I am talking about uses PVE to generate H2 which is later used for energy production, in lieu of batteries. It is not as mainstream...at least not yet. The goal of this is energy independence of a remote facility. It is more for the rural south west than NYC and not really suitable for urban locations. Even with it, for critical facilities, grid tie would still be required.

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Response to Iron Condor (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 03:19 PM

9. this is only a very minor issue compared to the main issue with hydrogen as an energy source.

mainly, it's just dumb. one would be better off with an all electric powerplant because it will deliver about 4X the energy output ratio compared to hydrogen once one considers the amount of electricity required to produce and store hydrogen in usable form... only to convert it BACK AGAIN into electricity in the vehicle to use it.
Of course, my math hit it's expiration date 12 years ago according to some lower intellect types in society who think conversion rates change over time or something.
Why would anyone spend a dollar to buy a quarter just so they could say they buy everything with quarters?
Then in the end, the diesel engine clobbers them all on every single front, and people can actually afford to use it... unlike magic fairy energy

hehehe... greenies are funny

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Response to MumblyPeg (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 08:55 PM

15. If you can cost reduce the production and storage costs, it becomes more viable

My interest in this comes from having been a solar farm owner. The small ones like mine are getting clobbered by the big fields and the power companies. I also like to live out in the sticks where power lines are expensive and not well maintained.

The advantage I had with solar was indepence. I actually had two facilities. One was the production field, the other residential grid tie. I made money on first one and intentionally broke even on the other. Right now smaller operators are being run out of business. Some are looking at H2 an alternative, the issue is equipment.

I can create H2 all day long with the solar energy. Once I cover my fixed cost, the rest is pretty much profit. The issue is capturing it safely and unattended. Some interesting working going on that now. Not so much new science but engineering. Basically, if I can create H2 without a lot of time in the process, I have low cost power for cars, homes etc.

Its as much dream as practical right now. Fuel cells are making all the difference. Not sure it is the right answer for urban environments with modern/maintained infrastructure.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 08:59 PM

16. this is true but it still doesn't matter.

It takes 4 units of energy and when you are done with the process you get less than 2 out. You can't change that. It doesnt matter how much you reduce those other costs. Even if they are free, it still doesn't work. it'll be literally 4x the cost of doing it with just electricity.

My analogy stands. It's like buying quarters for a dollar. its just flat dumb.
I mean, I'd love for it to work more than anyone... but it doesn't.

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Response to MumblyPeg (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 18, 2019, 12:24 AM

18. To a point the ratio does not matter, cost does

If it costs me next to nothing to make H2, that it is less efficient than direct conversion may not matter if it is cost competitive with other alternatives. I have to have some sort of energy storage and there will always be waste in the process. It is a case where high efficiency, while always desirable from a engineering perspective, may not be needed. Both PV and solar also have low efficiencies, and that is arguably a good thing. ICE are saddled with the Carnot Cycle.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 18, 2019, 01:30 AM

19. This is a perspective thing so...

think about it this way:

The electricity costs you a bundle in solar gear, storage, inverters, etc. Its very expensive. One could argue that in the South-western areas, its actually viable and will pay for itself during its life cycle. This is true in very few places, but lets use that for our example. So if you used that electricity direct and are in the right geographical area, it works, and is actually cheaper than grid electricity (depending on the infrastructure you invested in).
But now you are wanting to use that electricity to store with hydrogen, and it will cost you far more in electricity that any amount you get converted into hydrogen. So right there, you just lost roughly half of your energy just for the sake of converting it to hydrogen. No amount of mass production or anything else can change that ratio, splitting the hydrogen off takes X energy, and that will never change.
Then, unless you directly burn the hydrogen as a fuel, you have to use it to covert BACK to electricity. It depends on how you use it. But if you stop right there, you would have already been double the output had you just used the raw electricity you stored from the solar sources.
If we start talking about mass distribution, now you have to double-down because that hydrogen has to be compressed to extreme levels, and that is going to cost you another 5-25% depending on how you do it and in what volume, etc.
Hydrogen works, but it's simply a bad choice for a storage medium compared to if you just used the raw electricity as the energy.. you get ALL of it (not counting equip efficiencies).
Especially for mobile use, it'll never be anything mroe than a novelty just becasue of the losses in conversion, and no one would ever pay the price for it as long as electricity or gasoline.diesel are an option.
It just seems like a pretty silly venture to me to convert energy into hydrogen so you can drive 50 miles, when you could have driven 100 miles on the electricity had you just used it as-is.

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Response to MumblyPeg (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 18, 2019, 03:19 AM

21. If I cannot sell my excess capacity why not?

Financially of course its silly were there not the tax incentives and regulations. Basically its same year write off and/or tax credits. Otherwise residential solar, be it PE or water heating would scarcely be viable.

There is also the regulatory environment. In CA, for residential grid tie you get charged a small amount for the connection, KWH for KWH in exchange, and then pittance for excess power you send to the grid. In NV most of your cost is in the connection with KWH being very cheap. It has basically destroyed the grid tie industry.

For the AZ house we will have two loops. One that is grid wired, the other solar, and the the ability to make them all grid tied. It will be up to me to make sure I have enough power to make things work 24/7. It will also include a generator tie in initially. Should there be a major problem, out line will not be the first one fixed.

I will have the planning and infrastructure in place for a larger solar field, but will go there only if the $$$ work, either as small volume supplier. Not clear how friendly the local utility would be to that. If H2 generation can be profitable, might do that too.

It is silly that tax policies are driving the industry. Then again you can get gas at less than half of what you pay in California in some state or on reservations. Its a clue that needs and technology are not driving the train.

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Response to Iron Condor (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 06:59 PM

10. Car of the future.

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Response to Jack Burton (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 17, 2019, 09:24 PM

17. Running costs can be dramatically reduced if you grow your own beans. If you're lucky enough to...

...acquire some MAGIC beans, you might be able to work a deal to have a giant climb down the bean stalk periodically and refart your storage tank(s)!

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