01/10/2008 at 11:11 am
01/10/2008 at 1:02 pm
The Hydrogen Combustion engine was on the BMW Hydrogen 7 series which as far as I know is the only serious attempt at such a ridiculous idea. Hydrogen combustion engines are much less powerful than equivalent gasoline engines and much much less efficient than a fuel cell at extracting hydrogen energy. I'm really encouraged to see someone FINALLY put a solar panel on the roof of a car, you'd think this would have been one of the first innovations to follow hybrid technology. How about we turn parking lots into solar farms instead of disrupting precious natural habitats to do the same thing?
01/10/2008 at 6:32 pm
Thanks - so that's who it was that had that lame hydrogen internal combustion engine. Probably just a PR attempt. Probably costed little to implement.
01/11/2008 at 12:10 pm
And the solar panel produces what? 20 watts? Enough to power the interior lighting for a few seconds before you turn the car on. This thing doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why waste all that green-ness making an SUV do 0-60 in 8 seconds? And I'm still unaware of the clean power source that we are planning to use to make the hydrogen. Maybe all those roof solar panels.
01/11/2008 at 5:34 pm
Chris, I can't find the exact specifications on the solar panel. Of course it's not going to be enough to power the vehilcle alone, but I'm sure it will contribute more than a few seconds of interior lighting. Also the quick acceleration is a result of the inherent ability of electric motors to output maximum torque at ZERO rpm. Since electric motors are much more efficient at translating energy into motion than combustion engines, it matters little what size motor or gearing you use or how fast you go, it takes NEARLY the same amount of energy to move the same amount of mass the same distance.
01/11/2008 at 5:37 pm
Especially when you factor in regenerative breaking, you may as well go as fast as you can since most of that energy can be recovered when it comes time to slow down.
01/11/2008 at 5:39 pm
Oh yeah, and everyone else already knows that the hydrogen economy will be pointless without solar. They're working on it dude, chill out.
01/11/2008 at 5:42 pm
Almost forgot the interior lighting uses LEDs of course. 20 watts could power them for DAYS!
01/13/2008 at 12:53 pm
Until we can develop a new energy source that doesn't rely on fossil fuels to produce that energy commodity, we're stuck with burning dead organic matter. The energy sector won't allow these technologies to advance in today's landscape, those who rule are living the high life on oil revenues. Who's going to give up their power.
01/13/2008 at 2:35 pm
I would like everyone to review what watts, volts, and amps are. 20 watts is not a measurement used to say how long a light can be turned on. If you have a 20 watt panel and a 20 watt light, the light will stay on as long as the panel is producing its full power. No sunlight no power. I do agree that this new technology should not be focussed on SUVs.
01/14/2008 at 11:09 am
Just to comment on the need to go 0-60 fast. GM has made breakthroughs in AC motors, back with the EV-1. That's what Tesla, AC Propulsion and others are building on as well. The thing with AC motors is that larger means more efficient. It's not like the ICE engine where 12 cylinders is more powerful, but also less efficient than 4. So, giving this thing sporty acceleration doesn't cost a thing in efficiency terms. If you're driving 30 mph with a motor that's larger you'll actually get better mileage in an electric than driving 30 mph with a smaller motor. If you want to limit speed to save energy that's better done with an electronic limit.
01/14/2008 at 1:16 pm
Thanks Jeff, You're right, the measurement of actual power/time is in watt hours (more commonly measured in kilowatt hours). So lets say you've got a 20 watt panel charging during a sunny 12 hour day you get 240 watt hours, and let's say 15 1.5 watt LEDs you get about 10 hours of use...
01/14/2008 at 1:18 pm
Also wanted to mention that automotive companies are focusing on large vehicles because that's where the greatest IMPROVEMENT can be had. If you take a tiny car and make it a hybrid, you're not saving as much gas/carbon emission as if you take a huge SUV and give it the fuel economy of a 4 cylinder Camry, as is the case with the recent Tahoe hybrid.
01/14/2008 at 6:44 pm
Yes, oil companies are making huge profits because of the global commodity market. Prices are going up and demand is going up, but it is not going to last. Honda and Toyota are winning big in the hybrid market while US auto makers are playing catch-up, the only way US companies are going to take the lead is to one up Toyota and Honda in Hydrogen. I think the atmosphere is right automakers to put it out there. US Auto doesn't need to put it all out there at once. It doesn't matter if big oil isn't onboard. There is a ground swell starting. People are ready to do something; it will just take leadership to take that first step. I think big oil is in a golden age of rising prices, and high demand, but I don't think it will last. As soon as demand decreases from other technologies, they will either help develop emerging technologies, or buy the work of others to keep relevant in a changing world. They won't have a choice but to adapt or die out.
01/14/2008 at 7:46 pm
It's true that for the time being, we're probably going to have to burn something to produce the electricity that produces the hydrogen. But that means we can burn coal instead of oil, which makes us less dependent on foreign sources, and even if it's oil we burn, it might be more efficient than refining it to gasoline or diesel fuel (though there is the extra step now, oil-electricity-motion instead of oil-motion). Just make sure we have the next electricity source ready before the coal runs out!
01/15/2008 at 11:07 am
Coal gasification technologies use chemical processes to convert synthesis gas (syngas), derived from coal directly to gaseous hydrogen or to other clean fuels that can carry hydrogen to fueling stations and other applications. The coal derived gas can also be converted to electricity even more effectively by stationary fuel cells connected to the power grid. The US has a 250 year reserve of coal. http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/
01/17/2008 at 7:06 pm
Something I would like to make mention of concerning the change from oil to alternative fuel in the not-so-distant future. It is true that the major oil tycoons of our time will need to adapt to the change of demand or die out, but there will be a need for oil as a fuel source for a very long time. If automobiles go from oil to alternative at a rapid rate, there will be a huge impact on fuel prices. Construction/Commercial/Industrial/Farming equipment will still depend on as much horsepower as possible, (That which can only be achieved through the use of organic fuel). It could already spell disaster for world economy if fuel prices shoot much higher than they already are. I think we still have a very long ways to go before alternative fuel sources and technologies can provide enough practical use to completely replace carbon fuels. I hope I live to see alternative fuels/technologies take the field.