GWB: Hydrogen is the Future

Discussion in 'General' started by Chuck, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    President Bush celebrated Earth Day in West Sacremento, California by touting fuel cell vehicles at the California Fuel Cell Partnership. While I also favor it, even the most zealous FCV folks conceed it's ten years away - we need to do something now. What about getting serious about CAFE standards, diesels, ethanol, and hybrids. Well, they are serious on ethanol. Once again, this reminds me of GM - avoiding action now while promising to do something in the distant future.

    CNN Story
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Chuck:

    ___There are so many impediments ahead of the H2 economy that I have no idea why billions and billions of dollars are being thrown at it? Either I am missing something really big or the guys pushing H2 including GWB have their heads where the sun doesn’t shine. H2 production and storage let alone the outrageously priced and far less robust PEM’s do not come anywhere near the total efficiency calc’s and costs that a simple PHEV or EV can achieve even today without all the headaches? What am I missing that these guys see?

    ___Good Luck

  3. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I agree that hydrogen is not priority one in a serious energy program. So many things can be done now that the Bush Administration is glossing over.
  4. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    hydrogen=bomb; bomb=power:: hydrogen=power

    Basicly they have to use buzzwords like hydrogen power because it's all about the sound bite. Hybrids doesn't realy say anything to the masses.

    I had a co-worker at work that was complaining bush wasn't saying enough about hydrogen.

    Maybe I'm wrong on my points, but here is what I said

    Hydrogen vehicles have limited power and their range isn't that good. Hydrogen has no infrustructure so you are tied to a general location where you can drive them. Since there will be a limited number of people buying them there will be little incentive to invest in infrustructure.

    He was complaining because a lot of money was being spent on battery research for "hybrids"

    I told him that you can hybridize pretty much most vehicles and one thing that will be good to hybridize will be a hydrogen vehicle because it has weak low end torque.

    I don't know how accurate I am but I hope I was close.
  5. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Speaking as someone who has done quite a bit of reserach on the topic, converting everything to run on hydrogen isn't going to solve our problems. Not today, anyway. The reason, as none of you need to be told, is that the transition process is immensely complicated and the root problem - where to get your hydrogen - has not been solved. Ten years might get us a few demonstration vehicles and maybe even a small run of production vehicles, 10 or 20 hydrogen filling stations. But those vehicles will be immensely expensive and run, in essence, on the fossil fuel used to generate the electricity to split water. (There are better ways to do it with our existing power plants but I don't know that the technology will be implemented any time soon.)

    I say keep on doing the research, but don't make the child's mistake of putting all your proverbial eggs in one basket. Biofuels of all kinds are very appealing because they can put a big dent in the problem immediately. Much of the energy required to produce them comes from the sun (growing the plants/algae/whatever) and our current vehicles require little or no modification to run on them. Not to mention that they could make our cars carbon-neutral without resorting fancy NASA technology.

    And that's all I can say before I get into the politics and start getting angry. It's much too early on a Sunday for that, I'm afraid.
  6. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    good answer :)
  7. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Hydrogen is at Least 20 Years Away

    I also hope antimater becomes a practical energy source, but it's even farther out there than hydrogen. It has a similar problem: the cost of accumulating antimatter exceeds it's benefit as a power source.

    I bet each one of us could think of ten pragmatic things that the goverment could do now. I'll give it a try:
    1. Seriously raise the CAFE standards and include the H1 and H2
    2. Narrow the farm vehicle exemption to farmer and businessmen that use it as a workhorse - no billboard Hummers - no exemptons on luxury SUV's
    3. More incentives for windmills, residential and workplace solar energy.
    4. Require desktop computers to have more of the energy-saving features laptops do.
    5. Continue to raise the energy efficiency of home appliances and air conditioners.
    6. Require new vehicles to run on flexible fuels
    7. Surcharge on obvious macho, but gas-guzzling options such as tires oversized for that vehicle, monster trucks jacked up a couple of feet, rhino bars....
    8. Have fleets on the local, state, federal, and non-combat military level to run with alt. fuel/hybrid technology.
    9. Encourage cities to syncronize traffic lights to stay green if cruising at a constant speed.
    10. (Controversial) More nuclear plants
    11. (Also controversial) Implement "clean coal" plants.
    12. Work on reclaiming material and energy from solid waste landfills
    I bet this list could be expanded. :D

    I'm not giving up on hydrogen fuel cell power. Yes, there are a lot of bottlenecks to be overcome. Personally it seems like at least twenty years out before they might become common place. The pluses of fuel cells is the engine is simpler and far more efficient than an ICE. Of course the process of making the hydrogen fuel practicle is the rub, but even in the worst case of using coal to produce hydrogen, it's a lot less problematic to clean a few hundred power plants than several tens of millions of cars.

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