It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Ultimate Power Source

page: 1
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 05:32 PM
link   
Fuel cells use technology developed quite some time ago, which reverse the process of electrolysis. Electrolysis consists of water, which doesn't have to be pure either, and a DC current.

Two wires from the power source are inserted into the water, underneath two tubes to collect the hydrogen and the oxygen, which then start to split the water into the elements: hydrogen and oxygen. Bubbles form on the poles, and then travel upward until they break the surface of the water, and are then stored in containers.

When the power is needed, the hydrogen and oxygen are fed via tubes to a fuel cell, which then converts the energy stored in the bubbles back to electricity. The efficiency of this process is an astounding 80%!

The only wast product that a fuel cell releases is water, which can go back to the process of electrolysis to be used again.

Main applications of the fuel cell can be an electric car, which is perfect because conventional lead-acid batteries are much to heavy, thus lowering the efficiency of the car.

The brakes are real nifty, too! They don't generate 5% of the heat that conventional brakes do, because they convert the momentum of the car into electrical energy. Two small DC generators are connected to the wheels, and they charge up some small lead-acid batteries when you depress the brake pedal. It takes about 10 seconds for the bubbles to start forming during electrolysis, and who do you know brakes for 10 seconds (that isn't skidding)? The energy is lost during that 10 second gap, hence braking does nothing to help.

It is much more efficient to have all of the energy stored briefly in the lead-acid batteries, then fed to the motor along with the fuel cell, rather than used for electrolysis.

The fuel cells can be "charged up" when you plug the car into an outlet, but that can lower the efficiency by half! If the power used for electrolysis is generated by a fossil-fuel burning plant, then the efficiency is lost in heat when they are burned to rotate a turbine.

Although, if you live in an area where you have a hydro-electric dam, the efficiency is only affected due to voltage lost during transmission and friction of the turbine.

"Why not use a solar panal to charge the batteries?" Solar panals are efficiency killers! They sit at 14-17%, depending on who you buy from. They're OK if you don't mind the efficiency too much, and if you also don't mind parking your car in the sunlight for days.

In my opinion, hydro-electric is the best we have right now. Hydro-electric power is generated by flowing water, and is nearly 80% efficient. But then look at fossil-fuel plants, they are hardly breaking the 50% barrier!

Why is it taking so many years to fit a system like that into a car? We have had the technology since the 80's, and hardly anyone gives a rip about integrating a system like that into our transportation.

I know that a company or two in Europe (go figure; americans have their heads shoved too far up their TV's to do anything) have done this, but why haven't Ford, Chevy, GMC, Dodge, or any other major car manufacturer done something? That is what I am wondering, why no one cares.

Any comments, mistakes, questions, or whatever is fine if you would like to reply. Also, is there any information about major car manufacturers using this system? I'd like to hear from you.

[edit on 10/19/04 by diehard_democrat]



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 07:12 PM
link   
Everything you say is true. Problem is fuel cells are more expensive
than the alternatives. Precious metals are used as catalysts in the
electrodes of room temperature fuel cell designs, but that by itself
doesn't make them too expensive. Its' the plumbing, the need for
clean fuels, the storage of the fuels. If they were being mass
produced, and people could buy them easily, and the price wasn't a
lot larger per kilowatt compared to a diesel generator (for example),
most people would be using them. And electric cars would be great.
Regenerative braking in electric cars is great design. I have nothing
bad to say about fuel cells... just that they are expensive.

[edit on 14-10-2004 by mockan]



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 07:34 PM
link   
Well I ahve looked into them and the cost per kW is still way to high to be practical, IMHO but we need to get the technology cheaper....



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 08:11 PM
link   
The precious metals used are platinum, and gold. Now don't get the wrong message here, but the components are only plated with the material. Gold is used for electrolysis, which won't deteriorate over time, but a less expensive replacement is carbon. But, as you said, they are not the factor that causes the high prices. Hell, I extracted hydrogen and oxygen using a milk jug, two pencils, an AC adaptor, and two wires with alligator clips. Total cost: 4 bucks for the clips, and the adaptor came from my digital camera.

It shouldn't be hardly expensive at all for the system, because all it consists of is two gas chambers ($200), about 16' of tubes ($45), the fuel cell ($300), a 20 gallon electrolysis chamber ($450), the motors ($2400), and the brakes ($1800). The prices are only my estimates, I didn't really do any research. But when you think about it, the basics of the car should only cost $5295! Forgive me for any math errors, it's late and I'm tired.

I shouldn't think at all that this system would be expensive because of the plumbing, and no, it doesn't need clean fuel, all it needs is 20 gallons of water: which doesn't need to be pure. Then next comes about 8 dollars for electricity costs, which in theory, would allow for 200-300 miles of travel.

Bush will be so upset that we found a way around his high gas price scam


[edit on 14-10-2004 by diehard_democrat]



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 08:19 PM
link   

Originally posted by diehard_democrat
The precious metals used are platinum, and gold. Now don't get the wrong message here, but the components are only plated with the material. Gold is used for electrolysis, which won't deteriorate over time, but a less expensive replacement is carbon. But, as you said, they are not the factor that causes the high prices. Hell, I extracted hydrogen and oxygen using a milk jug, two pencils, an AC adaptor, and two wires with alligator clips. Total cost: 4 bucks for the clips, and the adaptor came from my digital camera.

It shouldn't be hardly expensive at all for the system, because all it consists of is two gas chambers ($200), about 16' of tubes ($45), the fuel cell ($300), a 20 gallon electrolysis chamber ($450), the motors ($2400), and the brakes ($1800). The prices are only my estimates, I didn't really do any research. But when you think about it, the basics of the car should only cost $5295! Forgive me for any math errors, it's late and I'm tired.

I shouldn't think at all that this system would be expensive because of the plumbing, and no, it doesn't need clean fuel, all it needs is 20 gallons of water: which doesn't need to be pure. Then next comes about 8 dollars for electricity costs, which in theory, would allow for 200-300 miles of travel.

Bush will be so upset that we found a way around his high gas price scam


[edit on 14-10-2004 by diehard_democrat]
Making the hydrogen as you say is easy. By plumbing
I mean storing it also. Fuel cell power output is limited
by electrode area, so it isn't like just reversing the
electrolysis set up. The fuel cell uses designed
components that need special sealing of electrodes to
keep the fuels apart until they can be reacted properly,
generating electricity and not just burning. If it is a
hydrogen and oxygen fuel cell the best room
temperature design uses what is called an alkaline
electrolyte.. and it reacts with carbon dioxide in the air
when using air to supply the oxygen. So the air has to
be purified, and the carbon dioxide removed. This
also means more plumbing. The water that is made
when the fuels react has to be removed from the fuel
cell, and that means more plumbing. As surprising as
it seems, it really is mostly a plumbing issue. I agree if
they were mass produced so the cost were less due to
high volume production they would be used. And
some designs use fuels other then hydrogen (like
alcohol) that can simplify the plumbing a bit, and the
fuel is easier to store. A lot of people have tried to
make them competitive with internal combustion
engines, but so far it just hasn't happened.



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 08:56 PM
link   
.
Some people who want to be "green" will buy these products because of their beliefs.

But America is the land of the free market. These products may find niches where they are cost-effective, but they will never succeed on a mass level until they are better than the alternatives. Costs less + does more = better = sales. We aren't there yet.
.



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 09:03 PM
link   
I'm sorry for sounding arrogant, but I would like to point out some things you might have misunderstood:



generating electricity and not just burning.


I didn't mean that the two fuels be burned, if that was what you were thinking.



and it reacts with carbon dioxide in the air
when using air to supply the oxygen


The oxygen comes from the storage chamber I mentioned earlier.



The water that is made
when the fuels react has to be removed from the fuel
cell


Yes, but that can be handled by a small pump ran by the lead acid batteries, which are charged by braking.

Maybe you're right and I'm just missing the target, or maybe we're both wrong and someother guy will come along and make us say "Man that was obvious!" and whack ourselves on the forehead.

Anyway, I just can't wait to see the outcome of this situation. I hope some real kick @$$ scientist will wander over here and finally straighten things out for all of us.

P.S. My popularity jumped when I changed the title to "The Ultimate Power Source!" The other one sounded like it was just another geek trying to get attention (which is true, in a sense....).



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 11:21 PM
link   
diehard_democrat said:

"Maybe you're right and I'm just missing the target, or
maybe we're both wrong and someother guy will come
along and make us say "Man that was obvious!" and
whack ourselves on the forehead."

LOL! Usually it is somewhere in between.. I can't
count the number of times I've had to say "Man
that was obvious!". I don't think you're missing the
target. But sometimes the engineering issues can
really screw up a great concept. On the other
hand there are more fuel cell companies and
more positive forward looking statements from
companies working on them than I have ever seen
before.. so maybe we will see them on the market
soon, and affordable. I notice in your original
post you said we have had the technology since
the 80s. Actually the fuel cell has been around for
over 150 years! But it wasn't until the mid 50s
that it started to be used in applications. So
although someone may come along with a new
design approach, there have been a lot of top
scientists and engineers trying to figure out how
to make it affordable for a long time. Since it has
been awhile since I looked into the subject did
a web search and found this neat site about them.
fuelcells.si.edu...



[edit on 17-10-2004 by mockan]



posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 03:09 PM
link   
Interesting website, thanks for the link. The main components if they were used in a car seem affordable enough, compared to modern-day gas guzzlers.

I read something on one of the ATS's forums that said 198,000 pounds of fossils and animal remains went into ONE gallon of oil. It really makes you think again about buying that HUMMER H2 you've always wanted.



posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 03:38 PM
link   
A fuel cell is not a "power source" like a nuclear reactor or a photovoltaic module is.

A fuel cell is, in reality, a storage battery, nothing more.

It takes more electricity to charge a battery than you get out of it (because some of the charging electricity is lost as heat). The only thing a battery can do is to take some existing electicity now and give (most of) it back to you later or somewhere else.

And it's the same way with a fuel cell. It costs more electricity (or fuel for heating, if you're using the methane extraction method) to get the hydrogen out of the water, compress it, store it, and move it that you will ever get from that hydrogen when you use it in a fuel cell.

So if you buy a fuel cell car, you will probably burn just as much hydrocarbon-derived fuel as you would if you used gasoline, and you'd have to pay a hefty premium for a fuel source that is no more intrinsically "green" or 'clean" than any other internal combustion fuel.

Of course, the hydrocarbons that are burned are burned in a coal- or oil-fired generating plant on the other side of the state, but it's your car -- ultimately -- that's using that polluting fuel.

The only way a hydrogen fuel cell would be worthwhile would be if you had a cheap and relatively non-polluting energy source (like -- gasp! -- nuclear power) to crack they hydrogen from the water (or methane).

But even with relatively cheap H2, you're still going to have to inves a lot of money in an entirely new transmission and storage infrastructure, since you can't send liquified hydrogen over the existing power lines, and today's gas stations aren't able to dispense hydrogen.

A much cheaper and more cost-effective system for fueling cars (at least given todays state of the art) is to use a hybrid car; only instead of mating a gasoline engine to a bank of NiMH batteries, you'd probably want to mate a common-rail diesel engine to it. When you add the common-rail diesel to the mix (including computerized monitoring of conditions, regenerative braking, etc, you should be able to buy a car at about $20,000 in today's prices that will carry four people and give you a combined city/highway mileage of around 80 - 90 miles/gallon.



posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 05:12 PM
link   
Did you read any of the above posts?! It is not an internal combustion engine, and the hydrogen comes from water along with oxygen that react within the fuel cell.

At least check out the link posted somewhere above.

BTW, a fuel cell is a converter that converts hydrogen and oxygen into water, generating electricity in the process. The only storage that is going on is inside the two seperate hydrogen and oxygen chambers, underneath the vehicle (like where a gas tank is). So in a way it is a source.

Hydroelectric is presently the most efficient power source, not nuclear. Nuclear power plants generate so much heat that if the reactor core isn't covered with water at all times, it will cause a meltdown. Read you up on what that is. And "non polluting"?!?! The used up uranium hangs around for 10,000 YEARS before they stop being radioactive, but by the time that comes, everything else will be so contaminated that it won't even matter!

P.S. Hey, putting aside our differences, I think that the gun in that picture is awesome. But heck, I have hardly seen any kind of weapons during my life, so I'm impressed easily when it comes to that stuff.

[edit on 10/19/04 by diehard_democrat]



posted on Oct, 19 2004 @ 03:36 PM
link   
I saw that $5K-ish price for a fuel cell car. I think that the price would be much higher. You also have to consider the resources to mass produce the vehicle, pay the workers, and advertise. I dont have any figures on hand right now, but i'm sure if you compare the cost of making one car today to the price of making one fuel cell car you'll find that it's much more expensive.

This doesnt mean it's impossible though! I think fuel cells are the future, the materials need to become more affordable.

Maybe one day we'll be driving zero point energy engines or black hole based engines. After seeing that movie, Event Horizon, i wouldn't go for the black hole engine.

Hydrogen has become commercially available as a fuel by a joint venture from Shell and GM.



posted on Oct, 19 2004 @ 04:10 PM
link   

I saw that $5K-ish price for a fuel cell car. I think that the price would be much higher. You also have to consider the resources to mass produce the vehicle, pay the workers, and advertise. I dont have any figures on hand right now, but i'm sure if you compare the cost of making one car today to the price of making one fuel cell car you'll find that it's much more expensive.


It's 5 grand for the basics of the car, not the car itself. But my best estimate would be that a fuel cell based car would probably cost the same as normal gas-guzzlers do: $20,000.

I have done research into the black hole powered car, but before all of that, how would we even be able to create a black hole here, or drag one back from somewhere else? The gravity would be so intense that it's unthinkable.

And thanks for the info on Shell and GM, I'll have to look into that.

Hey, you guys like the new animation under my username? I added it yesterday. Plus, I added a black background for a better effect. Sorry if it slows down your computer, 'cause it'll do that on old machines.

[edit on 10/19/04 by diehard_democrat]



posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 02:45 PM
link   
Wow, I replied and it moved to the first one on the first page.


[edit on 10/24/04 by diehard_democrat]



posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 02:51 PM
link   
My father workd for Daimler-Chrysler, and he's said ther same things said here. Fuel Cells are neither economically or energy-wise a smart idea right now, and he doubts they will be any time soon.



posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 02:53 PM
link   

Originally posted by diehard_democrat
Hydroelectric is presently the most efficient power source, not nuclear. Nuclear power plants generate so much heat that if the reactor core isn't covered with water at all times, it will cause a meltdown. Read you up on what that is. And "non polluting"?!?! The used up uranium hangs around for 10,000 YEARS before they stop being radioactive, but by the time that comes, everything else will be so contaminated that it won't even matter!


[edit on 10/19/04 by diehard_democrat]


You can convert 97% of used fuel rods back into fuel. The environmentalists won't let us do that because any time they hear the word 'nuclear' or 'radioactive' they throw a fit



posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 02:54 PM
link   
But, the 3% has to go somewhere, and it has the same radioactivity levels as the whole bunch, just less powerful (make sense?).



posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 02:59 PM
link   

Originally posted by diehard_democrat
But, the 3% has to go somewhere, and it has the same radioactivity levels as the whole bunch, just less powerful (make sense?).


Yes. But it still shouldn't become too large of a problem. I mean, everything is radioactive. Your computer is radioactive. Your house is radioactive. You're radioactive. Uranium just gets a bad wrap because we use it to blow people up


But seriously, if environmentalists are so worried about the environment, they need to educate themselves and realize that nuclear power is a clean and safe alternative to burning up fossil fuels.

Hell, they have even tried to roadblock fusion reactors because they are afraid of a catastrophe if somethign goers wrong. You knwo what happens when a fusion reactor fails? It turns off. No earth-shattering explosion. It just stops reacting.



posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 03:03 PM
link   
Yes, everything is radioactive, just uranium has unexeptionally high levels of radioactivity.

I've read a very interesting book: Meltdown. You should read it. It's about 3-mile island, Chernobyl, and another one I can't remember at the moment. Forgot the author, too.....



posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 03:09 PM
link   

Originally posted by diehard_democrat
Yes, everything is radioactive, just uranium has unexeptionally high levels of radioactivity.

I've read a very interesting book: Meltdown. You should read it. It's about 3-mile island, Chernobyl, and another one I can't remember at the moment. Forgot the author, too.....


Chernobyl was the fault of Soviet ineptness and general lack of care for safety.

Thee Mile Island was a very good learning experience, and we have made strides to correct the mistakes made there.

This is what you can do when we have an accident- learn from it and ensure it doesn't happen again. Or, overreact and stick your head under a rock, waiting for the day we run out of fossil fuels or the day we pollute the planet enough that it doesn't matter if we have energy or not, because we won't be here.

Environmentalists want to have their cake and eat it too. Deny Ignorance, my friend.



new topics

top topics



 
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join