How a Solar-Hydrogen Economy Could Supply the World's Energy Needs

Aug 24, 2009 by Lisa Zyga weblog
exploding cars
On the left is a vehicle with a hydrogen tank, and on the right a vehicle with a standard gasoline tank. Both tanks have been deliberately punctured and ignited. The top panel shows the two vehicles 3 seconds after ignition. We see that, due to the buoyancy of hydrogen, the flame shoots up vertically, whereas gasoline is heavy and spreads beneath the vehicle. The bottom panel shows the two vehicles 60 seconds after ignition. The hydrogen supply has burned off and the flame is diminished, whereas the gasoline fire has accelerated and has totally engulfed the vehicle on the right. Note that hydrogen flames are not intrinsically visible, but salt and particles in the ambient air burn off giving color to the flame as seen above. Image credit: University of Miami.

(PhysOrg.com) -- As the world's oil supply continues to dry out every day, the question of what will replace oil and other fossil fuels is becoming more and more urgent. According to the World Coal Institute, at the present rate of consumption, coal will run out in 130 years, natural gas in 60 years, and oil in 42 years. Around the world, researchers are investigating alternative energy technologies with encouraging progress - but the question still remains: which source(s) will prove to be most efficient and sustainable in 30, 50, or 100 years from now?

For Derek Abbott, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Adelaide in Australia, the answer is clear. In an invited opinion piece to be published in the Proceedings of the IEEE, Abbott argues that a solar-hydrogen economy is more sustainable and provides a vastly higher total power output potential than any other alternative. While he agrees with the current approach of promoting a mix of energy sources in the transition period toward a sustainable energy technology, he shows that solar-hydrogen should be the final goal of current energy policy. Eventually, as he suggests, this single dominant solution might supply 70% of the world's energy while the remaining 30% is supplied by a mix of other sources.

"My starting point is as an academic who always thought nuclear was the answer, but who then looked at the figures and came to an inescapable conclusion that solar-hydrogen is the long-term future," Abbott told PhysOrg.com. "I did not come at this as a green evangelist. I am a reluctant convert. I deliberately don't even mention the word CO2 once in my paper, in order to demonstrate that one can justify solar-hydrogen simply on grounds of economic resource viability without any green agenda."

In his paper, Abbott begins by providing an overview of the major non-renewable and renewable energy sources. To briefly summarize:

Nuclear fission: While nuclear fission may at first seem to have the economic advantage, they have "hidden costs" (the biggest being the $6 billion cost to decommission after a 30- or 40-year lifetime). In addition, nuclear fission isn't sustainable: if fission hypothetically supplied the world's energy needs, there would only be five years' supply of uranium; and thorium, a suggested substitute, has a recoverable supply of only half of the world's uranium reserves.

Nuclear fusion: Abbott argues that nuclear fusion, which usually involves the fusion of deuterium and tritium, is not actually clean or sustainable. In addition to suffering from the same hidden costs as fission, tritium is considered dangerous enough to require weekly cleaning (as in the case of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor). Plus, tritium is bred by reacting neutrons with lithium; Abbott estimates that the world's lithium reserves would last about 100 years if it were to supply the world's energy along with continuing use in industrial applications, such as batteries, glass, ceramics, and lubricants.

Wind: Abbott explains that wind actually comes from the sun (since the sun heats the ground creating massive convection currents, meaning that wind is a diluted form of solar power), although he shows that wind power is economically uncompetitive with solar power in all locations except cold regions with poor sun levels. Further, a typical 1.5-MW wind turbine requires 20 gallons of lubricating oil every 5 years, which would become unsustainable in a few decades.

Credit: Derek Abbott.

On a related note, Abbott emphasizes that we need to preserve at least some of our remaining oil for uses other than energy - such as lubricating the world's engines, as well as for making dyes, plastics, and synthetic rubber. Likewise, natural gas has industrial applications for making ammonia, glass and plastics, and coal for making soap, aspirin, tires, and other materials.

Hydroelectric: Hydroelectricity currently provides 20% of the world's electricity, with room for further growth. However, hydroelectricity could not supply the whole world's power due to the limited availability of waterways. Plus, dams often have negative effects on aquatic ecosystems, as well as tourism, fisheries, and transport. Abbott also notes that, like wind, hydroelectric power is ultimately powered by the sun (via rain), a reminder that tapping the sun directly can offer large amounts of power.

Geothermal: Pumping water below the Earth's crust to create steam that can be used to generate electricity, geothermal power has shown to be cost-effective and sustainable, due to the large amounts of heat contained in the Earth. The downside, Abbott says, is that much of the energy is diffuse and unrecoverable, so that geothermal power could ultimately supply only a fraction of the world's energy needs. In some cases, geothermal is also known to trigger unwanted seismic activity, and can bring toxic chemicals, such as hydrogen sulphide, arsenic, and mercury, to the Earth's surface.

Solar: For Abbott, the unambiguous leader of sources is solar power, especially low-tech solar thermal collectors rather than high-tech silicon solar cells.

Today, the world's energy consumption is currently 15 TeraWatts (TW) (15 x 10^12 watts). The total solar energy that strikes the Earth is 166 Petawatts (PW) (166 x 10^15 watts). Even with 50% of this energy being reflected back into space or absorbed by clouds, the remaining 83 PW is more than 5,000 times our present global energy consumption. In contrast, the above sources of (wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal) can supply less than 1% of solar power potential. The challenge, of course, is how to harness this large source of renewable, sustainable solar energy.

"The fact that there simply is 5,000 times more sun power than our consumption needs makes me very optimistic," Abbott said. "It's a fantastic resource. We have the ingenuity to send man to the moon, so we definitively have the ingenuity to tap the sun's resources."

Despite the improvements in silicon solar cells, Abbott argues that they suffer from low efficiencies and high environmental impact compared with solar thermal collectors. Solar cells require large amounts of water and arsenic; Abbott calculates that manufacturing enough solar cells to power the world would require 6 million tonnes of arsenic, while the world's supply is estimated at about 1 million tonnes. Even the overall solar cell design is fundamentally flawed, he says. Solar cell semiconductor reliability drops as temperature increases, yet large temperature differences are required to increase thermodynamic efficiency. For this reason, semiconductor technology is much better suited to lower powers and temperatures, such as pocket calculators.

On the other hand, solar thermal collectors are specifically designed to operate under hot temperatures. The idea is to use a curved mirror to focus sunlight to boil water and create steam, which is then used to power, for example, a Stirling heat engine to produce electricity. The system has already been demonstrated in California's Mojave Desert, which has been using a solar thermal system to heat oil in a closed-cycle instead of water for the past 20 years.

At the Stirling Energy Systems suncatcher dish farm being developed in California, 38-foot-diameter dishes power track the sun and each power a 25 kW Stirling cycle generator. Image credit: Stirling Energy Systems.

Abbott calculates that, in order to supply the world's energy needs, the footprint of such a system with pessimistic assumptions would be equivalent to a plot of land of about 1250 km by 1250 km - about 8% of the land area of the hot deserts of the world. With less pessimistic assumptions, the land area could be reduced to 500 km by 500 km, corresponding to 1.7 billion solar dishes that are each 10 meters wide. At massive volumes, if these Stirling engine dishes could be produced at a cost of $1,000 each, the total world cost would be $1.7 trillion - "which is less than the going rate of a war these days," Abbott noted. He also believes that further cost savings can be made by considering 30-meter diameter dishes, driving much larger Rankine engines, in order to reduce overhead and maintenance costs.

Ideally, Abbott says, solar farms should be distributed widely throughout the world in order to avoid geopolitical stresses and minimize transportation costs. Solar farms of one or two square km could be built in deserts in many regions: the Americas, Africa, Australasia, Asia, and the Middle East.

Hydrogen: After connecting these solar farms to the local electricity grid, the electricity could then be used to electrolyze water to produce liquid hydrogen to run our vehicles. Abbott suggests that the next step would be to power public transport, such as buses, using liquid hydrogen. Then consumers could buy liquid hydrogen cars and refuel at public transport depots for a transition period until existing gasoline stations begin providing liquid hydrogen refueling.

"Governments should begin by setting up sizable solar farms that supplement existing grid electricity and provide enough hydrogen to power buses," Abbott said. "Enthusiasts will then buy hydrogen cars, retrofit existing cars, and refuel at bus depots. Then things will grow from there. You gotta start somewhere."

According to Abbott, running vehicles on hydrogen rather than electricity is superior in terms of sustainability. The batteries in electric vehicles consume chemicals and finite resources such as lithium, and release high levels of toxic waste. On the other hand, vehicles that burn hydrogen simply emit clean water vapor, and do not require the unsustainable use of chemicals. Other advantages of hydrogen vehicles are that today's gasoline combustion engines can be retrofitted to run on hydrogen, and the car manufacturing industry has infrastructure tailored to combustion technology.

"With solar-hydrogen, questions of safe handling are not the issue," Abbott said. "Industry already uses 50 million tonnes of hydrogen annually, and so storage and handling are well-trodden areas. The BMW company has demonstrated the hydrogen combustion engine in a family-sized car [the BMW Hydrogen 7]. Also, 20% of buses in Berlin use hydrogen combustion."

Unlike many other current hydrogen-powered vehicles, the BMW Hydrogen 7 directly ignites the hydrogen in its internal combustion engine. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons. Work by User: Mattes.

Despite the advantages, hydrogen fuel technology still faces challenges. For instance, the electrodes used in water electrolysis are currently coated with platinum, which is not a sustainable resource, and researchers are currently investigating other materials. Other issues include transporting hydrogen - a recent study has shown that it is more economical to deliver hydrogen by truck to refueling stations rather than perform on-site electrolysis.

Another hurdle is storage - in terms of sustainability, Abbott suggests that the most straightforward approach is to liquefy the hydrogen. Although liquefying hydrogen requires an additional energy cost, Abbott argues that the scenario should not be mistaken for a zero-sum game as is the case with fossil fuels. Since the sun supplies a virtually unlimited amount of energy, the solution is to factor in the non-recurring cost of extra solar collectors to provide the energy for liquefaction. His calculations show that the cost of a solar collector farm used to produce hydrogen is still lower than a nuclear station of equivalent power.

Overall, Abbott's message is that there exists a single technology that can supply the world's energy needs in a clean, sustainable way: solar-hydrogen. The difference in his approach compared to other analyses, he explains, is his long-term perspective. While nuclear power is often cited to be the economically favorable technology in the short-term, Abbott argues that the long-term return on nuclear power is virtually zero due to its limited lifetime, while solar-hydrogen power can theoretically last us the next one billion years.

"The biggest challenge is escaping from the economic effects of vendor lock-in where large investments in nuclear and traditional energy sources keep us 'locked-in' to feeding monsters that will bring us down an economic black hole," Abbott said. "It's rather like the play The Little Shop of Horrors where a man-eating plant is initially fed small amounts, but then its voracious appetite sends it into a downward spiral swallowing up anyone that gets in its way."

Of course, Abbott's analysis is just one approach in the ongoing debate on the advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen. Among several reviews published in a special issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE in October 2006 is an analysis by Ulf Bossel, which shows that a hydrogen economy is uncompetitive due to the energy costs of storage, transportation, etc. Abbott agrees that hydrogen is not an efficient energy storage method, but he also points out that energy from the sun is virtually unlimited, and more solar collectors could make up for the inefficiency of hydrogen technology.

"The Bossel paper did not consider the case of using sun to generate the hydrogen," Abbott said. "So, of course all the inefficiencies added up and hydrogen looked bad compared to . But the point about solar energy is that there is so much of it that you only have to tap 5% of it at an efficiency as tiny as 1% and you already have energy over 5 times the whole world's present consumption.

"This demonstrates that efficiency is not the issue when you go solar. There is so much solar that all you have to do is invest in the non-recurring cost of more dishes to drive a solar-hydrogen economy at whatever efficiency it happens to sit at. I show in my paper that if you do this you come out cheaper than nuclear and you take up less than 8% of the world's desert area. ... So let's begin now, what are we waiting for?"

More information: Derek Abbott. "Keeping the energy debate clean: How do we supply the world's needs?" Proceedings of the IEEE. To be published.


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Velanarris
3.6 / 5 (11) Aug 24, 2009
Finally, someone has attached the pictures from a hydrogen fuel test to an article about hydrogen storage systems.

if fission hypothetically supplied the world's energy needs, there would only be five years' supply of uranium; and thorium, a suggested substitute, has a recoverable supply of only half of the world's uranium reserves.

This is patently false.
LariAnn
2.8 / 5 (11) Aug 24, 2009
Simply declaring something false does not make it so. Please provide credible references to back that allegation up.
Velanarris
4.1 / 5 (10) Aug 24, 2009
Simply declaring something false does not make it so. Please provide credible references to back that allegation up.


Very simple, thorium per ton of earth, (as in earth in your backyard that you grow a lawn on, is in excess of 38 lbs.

1 ton of thorium yields as much energy as 500-1200 barrels of crude oil.

One of the world%u2019s largest known reserves of high quality thorium (thorium oxide) reserves is located in the United States, in an area known as the Lemhi Pass, which is situated along the Idaho/Montana Border. Various studies were performed to determine the economic impact of thorium utilization in the nuclear industry and the estimated amount of thorium oxide reserves contained in the Lemhi Pass region. The reports confirm that the Lemhi Pass region contains sufficient deposits of high-grade thorium reserves to provide the fuel requirements of the nuclear industry in the United States for several centuries.
From http://www.thoriu..._content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=33

Now that is discounting monzanite and carbonatite which are hugely available, as well as the thorium yielded through desalinization of oceanic water.

Thorium is one of the most abundant radioactive metals on the planet.
otto1923
3 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2009
-Pics are nice but I can imagine if the H2 puncture was on the bottom or if the car rolled you'd still have a flaming vehicle and maybe a catastrophic explosion. Hydrogen means cars will still go vroom and harleys will still go putt putt which is important.

I remember an idea about combining liquid hydrogen and electricity distribution by using superconductors in liquid hydrogen pipelines. I would imagine the world would have to be much calmer for that- terrorists and vandals could do much damage. Although compared to LNG storage tanks on staten island -?
KBK
3 / 5 (12) Aug 24, 2009
"As the world's oil supply continues to dry out every day, the question of what will replace oil and other fossil fuels is becoming more and more urgent. "

Since the Russians successfully utilized a clear understanding of the adiabatic oil production process (oil produced by the earth itself through reactions, heating etc) for the past 40 years in their drilling choices..and have categorically and indisputably proven that the US centric 'scarity-high prices - plant matter decaying over time' model is PATENTLY FALSE ..since that point it has been shown that the US corporate scarcity-control model is a lie.

That the oil in Montana area alone is in the trillions of barrels..and that is just ONE of MANY RECENT DISCOVERIES (massive oil finds)...it can then be shown that the scarcity tactic employed in this article is a near-subliminal control feature enacted upon the reader, to induce a 'backdrop' type information that somehow has become fact through repetition of the lie.

I personally do not believe we need to be using oil and want to get rid of it except for industrial purposes and in areas whee it is indispensable. We don't need to be polluting with it.

However, I will not put up with the direct lie about scarcity--utilized as a control device, as a lever on the people.
Soylent
3.4 / 5 (9) Aug 24, 2009
What a lame hackjob.

The average crustal abundance of uranium and thorium corresponds to 150 barrels of oil per tonne when effectively used. Any old junk contains far more energy that can be unlocked with nuclear fission than the most concentrated coal mines, gas or oil wells.

The so-called waste that needs to be stored for more than a few hundred years is trans-uranics, that's another name for _fuel_. Instead of the government strong-arming the nuclear industry to treat it as waste and burrying it, it should be treated as the valuable resource it is and it should be used as starter charges for breeder reactors(I happen to like liquid fluoride thorium reactors a lot more than fast reactors, but this is a minor point in the big scheme of things).

The discrepancy comes from a hidden assumption. This assumption is that uranium yellowcake has to cost at most $140/lb in order to be considered minable(which corresponds $2 - $3 dollars per barrel of oil equivalent in a light water reactor). This is pure idiocy even if you are considering only light water reactors since it corresponds to the highest acceptable cost being a fraction of a cent per kWh.

Nuclear fission is sustainable for the next billion years.

Critics like to rant about the high (government imposed) costs of nuclear power; they nearly never talk about the costs of solar power. Consider the Zwentendorf solar plant Greenpeace is currently raving about; when you adjust for miserable capacity factor of that plant it would cost %u20AC97 billion to equal the average output of a single 1650-MW reactor with 90% capacity factor(typical in the nuclear industry). When you adjust for the fact that you lose half the energy output in storing solar energy as hydrogen(not including the cost of storage itself) you're now talking %u20AC200 billion to equal the output of a single reactor. There's also the fact that a reactor is going to be good for ~60 years, where as the solar PV installation will only be good for 20-25 years and has higher operating costs per kW than the nuclear reactor.
3432682
2.5 / 5 (11) Aug 24, 2009
Solar will be feasible (cost competitive)some day, but it is not now. Even when it is, the energy intensity of gasoline and diesel will outpace electricity for many uses.

The projections for fossil fuels supply are very low. Nuclear fuels have about 30,000 years supply.

Hydrogen remains very hard to store for any length of time because of extreme pressure and cold requirements. Producing hydrogen from electricity is extremely inefficient, about 9 units of power for each unit power of hydrogen available.

The answer is continued technology development, and less time spent on speculation.
DrakeP
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2009
@otto - The test implies they were punctured at similar location, a gasoline tank punctured on top does not bubble out the top, it stays in the tank. It goes on to say the buoyancy of the hydrogen keeps it from igniting at the tank itself, keeping it from superheating the tank and leading to a catastrophic explosion.

My real reason for replying is lubrication. The man they are quoting says a limiting factor of wind turbines is lubricating the turbines, a mere 20 gallons ever 5 years per turbine, but makes no statements regarding the lubrication of Sterling and Rankine engines. This seems like a purposeful omission on his part to give more credibility to his solar power stance since a similar amount of lubrication would be needed to power said engines, leading to his 'lubrication crisis' in a few decades.
Velanarris
4.1 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2009
-Pics are nice but I can imagine if the H2 puncture was on the bottom or if the car rolled you'd still have a flaming vehicle and maybe a catastrophic explosion. Hydrogen means cars will still go vroom and harleys will still go putt putt which is important.







I remember an idea about combining liquid hydrogen and electricity distribution by using superconductors in liquid hydrogen pipelines. I would imagine the world would have to be much calmer for that- terrorists and vandals could do much damage. Although compared to LNG storage tanks on staten island -?


Hydrogen requires more energy to burn than gasoline, (550 degrees C vs 480 for gasoline). Hydrogen weighs 7% of the weight of ambient air meaning it will become too sparse to explode when leaking, hydrogen is non-toxic, and hydrogen didn't cause any deaths on any zepplin, ever.

The Hindenburg, typically thought of as the hydrogen killer, exploded due to the dark iron oxide and aluminum paint employed in it's construction. Both of which are aspects of rocket fuel.

Otto, your hypothetical of applying electricity to blow up a pipeline is erroneous. The pipelines themselves are built, much like the propane tank employed in gas grills, to be electrostatically conductive on the outside and neutral on the inside. The current would pass through the metal of the pipe long before it tried to arc across through the liquid hydrogen.
Soylent
4.3 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2009
1 ton of thorium yields as much energy as 500-1200 barrels of crude oil.


One tonne of thorium yields ~10 million barrels of oil equivalent when fully converted to U-233 and fissioned in a reactor.

Calc: Number of atoms in one tonne of thorium N = 10^6 g / (232 g/mole) * Avogadro = 2.6*10^27.

Energy in Joules E = N * 190*10^6 eV * 1.602*10^-19 J/eV = 79 PJ.

Energy in BoE: 79 PJ /(160 litres * 35 MJ/litre) = 14 million BoE.
teledyn
1.9 / 5 (11) Aug 24, 2009
LariAnn, pro-fission people don't bother with facts. Otherwise how could they face themselves in the morning?
Velanarris
5 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2009
LariAnn, pro-fission people don't bother with facts. Otherwise how could they face themselves in the morning?

Read the above, and stop feeding the coal companies with your inherent fear of technology.
otto1923
1 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
@KBK
induce a 'backdrop' type information that somehow has become fact through repetition of the lie
The greater bulk of people need such lies to make informed decisions about things they cannot understand- it's called politics, marketing. That's why cars have to go vroom. 'Global warming' is like 'Star Wars' defense- it's about developing technologies whose time has come, and getting people to ante up-
Doug_Huffman
2 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2009
The Solar constant is 1350 Watts per square meter, equivalent to about 4 - 6 kiloWatt-hours per square meter per day.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2009
@drakeP
I'm just thinking like a human ... A flipped car, H2 filtering up through a flammable vehicle and cargo, sparks, pressure and heat building... Kapow! 6 o'clock news. I saw that re the Hindenberg- thermite. Nothing flammable, no pockets above it to trap gas. Hey I'm for the tech, I'm just playing tv reporter here.
otto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2009
Also, mr velanarris,
The fear of a superconductor losing it's cooling jacket and regaining all of it's resistance immediately would explode even without the H2. Depending on where this occured it could be very eyecatching. Film at 11.
Soylent
3 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2009
Ack!. Physorg mutilates my euro sign.

Scaling the Zwentendorf solar plant that Greenpeace is currently ranting and raving about to produce as much electricity as a single 1650-MW EPR with a 90% capacity factor would cost 97 billion euros. Adding the cost of ~50%(optimistically) efficient hydrogen storage the cost to equal a single nuclear reactor is now ~200 billion euros ignoring the cost of the hydrogen infrastructure. Additionally the lifetime of the plant is a mere 20-25 years compared to a reactor which can operate for 60 years or until a government beaurocrat/terrorist decides to shut it down and replace it with coal power.

If the cost over-run for a first of a kind reactor is a few billion euros the antis get their panties in a knot. Yet the same 'tards advocate power plants that are at least an order of magnitude more expensive still.
otto1923
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2009
Also- hindenberg was torched and titanic sunk because both threatened the soon-to-come airplane industry, vital for world domination. Obviously.
Soylent
3.9 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2009
The Solar constant is 1350 Watts per square meter...


In space. Here on Earth it is ~800 W/m^2 in Sahara, on a clear day, at noon.

In Europe you get 50-200 W/m^2 of average power depending on lattitude on an optimally inclined slope(that is including bad weather, night and winter, which are real problems outside solartopia).

A typical non-tracking poly-si PV panel is about 10% efficient brand spanking new and clean; now you're down to 5-20 W/m^2.

A typical non-tracking PV-installation optimizes for the worst case(i.e. winter), hurting average power.

Efficiency declines with age over it's 20-25 year lifespan. Efficiency is severely hurt if you don't maintain the panels free of dirt/bugs/leaves/birdpoop or trees casting shadows.
Soylent
5 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2009
Velanarris; yes there are some cranks that think thermite was an important aspect of Hindenburg; they are wrong. There was much too little aluminium and iron oxide in the paint and it was separated, not uniformly mixed.

Thermite has never been a component of explosives or rocket fuel; the military used the stuff in incendiary devices to set fire to stuff and it has been extensively used for welding rail-roads.

Mythbusters tried the same recipe used in hindenburg's cloth and it didn't do dick as an accelerant.
Velanarris
1.7 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2009
Velanarris; yes there are some cranks that think thermite was an important aspect of Hindenburg; they are wrong. There was much too little aluminium and iron oxide in the paint and it was separated, not uniformly mixed.



Thermite has never been a component of explosives or rocket fuel; the military used the stuff in incendiary devices to set fire to stuff and it has been extensively used for welding rail-roads.



Mythbusters tried the same recipe used in hindenburg's cloth and it didn't do dick as an accelerant.


You're going to have to state that to the administration of the Kennedy Space Center, who proved that the fabric, in combination with AlOx and the Nitrate base caused combustion due to Electrostatic discharge.

[As we all know the wide spread belief/myth is that hydrogen is to blame for the 37 dead, but there is new evidence to discredit that theory. A NASA scientist at Cape Caneveral has discovered the real cause. "Neither the hydrogen in the hull nor a bomb was to blame, but a special fabric for the outer skin that, when ignited, burns like dry leaves."

Bain%u2019s suspicions of the Zeppelin%u2019s fabric covering were raised when he learned that a cellulose nitrate (gun powder) dope with powdered aluminum (fuel used) might have been used on the Hindenburg. He was able to obtain a 60 year old piece of the fabric used to test his hypothesis. Furthermore, a hydrogen flame is almost invisible in day light; it burns a light blue. We know from many eye witness accounts as well as actual photographs, that the flames were red and orange. This supports his theory that hydrogen was not the source of the flames.

He was able to prove his theory into fact, and the plaque in the Kennedy Space Center has been changed reading a more accurate portrayal of the history of the Hindenburg. Scientists now agree that the outer covering was ignited by static electricity. It would appear that the Germans agree with them in their claim. German electrical engineer, Otto Beyersdorff, on 28 June 1937 wrote %u201CThe actual cause of the fire was the extreme easy flammability of the covering material brought about by discharges of an electrostatic nature.%u201D Furthermore in California in 1935, a helium (non combustible gas) filled airship went up in flames as well.

http://www.geocit...urg.html
Soylent
5 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2009
Yes, some cranks still believe that and you can find some by scraping geocities. But whenever someone actually tests it (e.g. http://www.sas.or...dex.html ) the flames mysteriously propagate along the cloth ~1000 times slower than Hindenburg.
lengould100
2.3 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2009
The general thrust of the article is absolutely correct. Direct solar energy is the way of the future. The only debate going on is "how far in the future"? How much more will we tear up mountains and spew crap over the land burning the result before we make the switch?

As to those claiming "Solar in economically infeasible", you're flat wrong. Per Sargent & Lundys Engineering study for NREL, right now solar thermal generation in decent areas produces power for $0.10 to $0.13 / kwh, BUT IF the industry could get volume prduction of systems up to where (ONLY) 2.8 GW (eg. 2 large nuclear plants) of it were running by 2020, THEN the cost would come down to $0.062 / kwh.

And BTW, NREL's Sunlab group did their own parallel study using their own experience, and arrived at far moe optomistic numbers. With 8.5 GW installed by 2020, the cost per kwh would drop to $0.035 / kwh.

Assessment of Parabolic Trough and Power Tower Solar Technology - Cost and Performance Forecasts - Sargent & Lundy LLC Engineering Group Chicago, Illinois" http://www.nrel.g...4440.pdf

Also, the DESSERTEC report concludes that solar thermal can be made 83% reliable with only 3x ratio of collectors to generation and large insulated boxes of gravel for thermal storage.

At those prices, nuclear fission (with which I have no serious problem except costs and constant fighting with the uneducated) is already obsolete.

Clean Power from Deserts - The DESERTEC Concept for Energy, Water and Climate Security - Club of Rome http://www.terraw...aper.pdf

You may pick away at the nits, but the overall conclusion is inescapable.
holoman
2.9 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2009
Hydrogen is Earth Friendly and that I care about.
Velanarris
2.8 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2009
As an aside, Mythbuster's record of accuracy is questionable at best as in some cases, they're missing some key pieces of information.
Sanescience
3 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2009
Molecular Hydrogen is unnatural and energy inefficient. It is very corrosive to current infrastructure which would have to be replaced at enormous costs of money and energy/co2 release. Hydrogen technology naturally leaks which rises to the upper atmosphere and depletes the ozone layer and forms water in the high atmosphere which is normally dry. Water is a vastly more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 and may be far worse than the CO2 released by fossil fuels currently used.

Bio diesel is carbon neutral and much less flammable than either gas or hydrogen. Bio diesel can be integrated with current infrastructure without massive investments of money and energy. Clean diesel cars are now available that get 70 mpg without added expense and hazardous waste of hybrids.

Current fission technology was frozen at its early stage of development by political forces that stopped us from replacing dirty inefficient plants that extract less than 1% of the energy contained in uranium with next generation plants that could extract 99.9% of the energy and produce only 1/100th the volume of waste that would only be dangerous for decades instead of 100's of thousands of years.

The best answers will always be lost to political expediency and ideologist fervor.
Velanarris
3.3 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2009
Yes, some cranks still believe that and you can find some by scraping geocities. But whenever someone actually tests it (e.g. http://www.sas.or...dex.html ) the flames mysteriously propagate along the cloth ~1000 times slower than Hindenburg.

I read this gentleman's test and I don't see it as being a direct analogue. I'll conceed that it does raise questions in the theory, however, I think his methodology is off the mark.
Velanarris
4 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
Bio diesel is carbon neutral
If carbon has a 500 year half life in the atmosphere, as is suggested by the AGW hypothesists then you cannot state that biodiesel is carbon neutral as you cannot quantify that ALL carbon released was taken up through respiration, which it was not. There's a lot of misunderstanding in the plant carbon cycle. Plants create hydrocarbons utilizing CO2, water, and energy (sunlight). The plant then burns those hydrocarbons at night and releases CO2. There is no 100% mechanism involved.

and much less flammable than either gas or hydrogen.
If that was the case it would not be usable in diesel engines which use a lower heat than gasoline engines.
otto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2009
however, I think his methodology is off the mark
Either way it was torched. For the Greater Good. Moving armies and supplies worldwide quickly. As well as bombers, fighters, requires cheap planes- more planes and the cost per unit drops. Also another way of burning off all that strategically dangerous petroleum in contentious locations, and spreading western culture as a bonus.
Doug_Huffman
1.3 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2009
"the cost per kwh would drop to $0.035 / kwh."

The cost of electricity, but not the infrastructure investment, here on my remote Island, is $0.06 kWH^-1.
TrinityComplex
5 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2009
A discussion on energy seems as good a place as any to pose this question.

In 1996 the space shuttle Columbia performed a test with a tethered satelite to look into harvesting energy. Unfortunately the tether broke and the experiment was incomplete. At the time I remember hearing that the tether broke because a bolt of the electricity being gathered struck it at the point where it connected to the boom, and also that it had generated huge amounts of electricity (something about enough to run New York City). Unfortunately I'm having trouble finding any data to support this, so if anyone can give me a source I would appreciate it.

What I do know is that in the process of developing ground tethered space stations (someone gave me the term Skyhook, which sounded good to me, guess it's from StarWars or something) they have to deal with this, or a similar effect. Unfortunately when I tried to get answers from several individuals who are working on the project at Washington State University I never got responses back, as though they're busy or something. The questions, after all that, are these: Could that electricity be harnessed? How much would it be?

If it could be harnessed it would seem like it would be quite the renewable energy source.
PhysGeek
5 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
I am all for creating a new energy system and analysis like this provide a great basis for discussion. The one hole I keep seeing in these arguments is there never seems to be an analysis of the effect of all this water vapor being released into the atmosphere. Hydrogen is considered a 'Clean' technology, but I have not seen a credible analysis of what will happen when the water vapor from every vehicle on the planet is being released into the air. Will it increase cloud cover? Will we have global cooling due to the increase in cloud cover? Are there other environmental impacts we should consider? What happens to all this solar power generation when there is less sunlight getting through?

I don't claim to know the answers to these questions, but they are similar to the questions we should have asked before destroying our environment with emissions from numerous other energy sources.

A Solar-Hydrogen energy combo may be the best solution we have, but we really need to stop calling it a perfectly 'Clean' energy solution. Let look at ALL the tradeoffs before over committing ourselves in any one direction.

-Doug
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
nuclear fission (with which I have no serious problem except costs and constant fighting with the uneducated) is already obsolete
Hard to imagine smelting steel with heat from gravel boxes.
If solar is so much more efficient in space it will be interesting to see how the California Satellite pilot project performs. What does RF do to the atmosphere?
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
Yeah I found the thread:
http://www.physor...477.html
-I had figured HAARP was a preliminary test of microwaves thru the atmosphere for this -?
Sanescience
3 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
Bio diesel is carbon neutral
If carbon has a 500 year half life in the atmosphere, as is suggested by the AGW hypothesists then you cannot state that biodiesel is carbon neutral as you cannot quantify that ALL carbon released was taken up through respiration, which it was not. There's a lot of misunderstanding in the plant carbon cycle. Plants create hydrocarbons utilizing CO2, water, and energy (sunlight). The plant then burns those hydrocarbons at night and releases CO2. There is no 100% mechanism involved.

and much less flammable than either gas or hydrogen.
If that was the case it would not be usable in diesel engines which use a lower heat than gasoline engines.


A bio-reactor tank of algae can have it's inputs and outputs precisely measured so there is no guesswork as to where the carbon comes from. New solid catalyst reactors plants are in the works that are designed for up to 50 million gallons of fuel production per year.

The flammability of diesel does not correspond to it's energy content. Diesel actually has greater density of energy than gasoline, but has a low vapor pressure so it does not ignite if you throw a match into a bucket of it.
Sean_W
2 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2009
Bio diesel is carbon neutral
If carbon has a 500 year half life in the atmosphere, as is suggested by the AGW hypothesists then you cannot state that biodiesel is carbon neutral as you cannot quantify that ALL carbon released was taken up through respiration, which it was not. There's a lot of misunderstanding in the plant carbon cycle. Plants create hydrocarbons utilizing CO2, water, and energy (sunlight). The plant then burns those hydrocarbons at night and releases CO2. There is no 100% mechanism involved.




Plants don't use the same amount of carbs at night as they synthesis during daylight. If they did they would not get bigger over time. All the CO2 that biofuels release come from the air. If the land used to grow them was wasteland (e.g. algae) and the energy used to harvest and process them was not from fossil fuels then it's carbon neutral.

One carbon in (net after night time release) minus one carbon out equals neutral.
gideon
not rated yet Aug 24, 2009
A discussion on energy seems as good a place as any to pose this question.



In 1996 the space shuttle Columbia performed a test with a tethered satelite to look into harvesting energy. Unfortunately the tether broke and the experiment was incomplete. At the time I remember hearing that the tether broke because a bolt of the electricity being gathered struck it at the point where it connected to the boom, and also that it had generated huge amounts of electricity (something about enough to run New York City). Unfortunately I'm having trouble finding any data to support this, so if anyone can give me a source I would appreciate it.



What I do know is that in the process of developing ground tethered space stations (someone gave me the term Skyhook, which sounded good to me, guess it's from StarWars or something) they have to deal with this, or a similar effect. Unfortunately when I tried to get answers from several individuals who are working on the project at Washington State University I never got responses back, as though they're busy or something. The questions, after all that, are these: Could that electricity be harnessed? How much would it be?



If it could be harnessed it would seem like it would be quite the renewable energy source.


@TrinityComplex

the reason why it isn't workable is because its the equivalent of a generator - only using the earth instead of a traditional magnet and the coils docked to the ship as the motor coils. To make a generator work you have to add energy and the motion of the ship against the earth's magnetic field is where the power comes from. As electricity is flowing in the coil it creates a counter magnetic force to the earths magnetic field and in effect would slow the ship down (thats why the cable experienced forces that snapped it because they didn't anticipate it dragging against the ship so aggressively). Really the test was an engineering failure that with more study would have been scrapped before launch since you would need to continuously boost the ship to maintain orbit as the coil dragged you back.

I used to wonder what happened to that experiment too.

As for ground tethered i think if it was stationary there would be no net magnet force from the earth since it moves along with the planet's movement.
holoman
3 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2009
Buses in Munich have been running on hydrogen gas
since 1981.

I haven't heard of any explosions ?

And they run on time !
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
The flammability of diesel does not correspond to it's energy content. Diesel actually has greater density of energy than gasoline, but has a low vapor pressure so it does not ignite if you throw a match into a bucket of it.
Neither does gasoline. The match will go out, feel free to try.
ormondotvos
1 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
We love to deflect from real problems, which are defective human instincts for this niche, and too many humans, an emergent effect from the sexual instinct. But we can't even THINK about population reduction, the easiest way to carbon reduction (don't burn the bodies!)
Kato1524
not rated yet Aug 24, 2009
This has all been said before. There is an effort to promote the Hydrogen Economy call the Pheonix Project.



Go to http://www.phoeni...tion.us/ and see what I am talking about.



You can be a genius and have all these fantastic ideas to help the world but if you don't have the power, it does not do any good.



Might makes right. The one that wield the power decide the courses of the world.



I am not one of them and I wield no power. But it does not means I do not acknowledge reality. As one of the law of reality is: Either you acknowledge reality or it will work against you.



And one of the reality is Might makes right.



Although I find this report interesting, it does not tell me anything that the Pheonix Project by Harry Braun did not tell me.
NeilFarbstein
2 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2009
eSolar an american company has built the first new power tower in America since 1984. They are becoming cheaper and cheaper sources of energy. I have invented a way to get greater than double the amount of electricity from solar power towers and other concentrating solar collectors such as sun catchers, and parabolic troughs. I can give you a lot of details on my solar system at protn7@att.net
ArtflDgr
2.8 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2009
they wont let ya drill for oil cause its too dirty but they will let you carpet over a huge landspace wih mirrors...

silly.... its not workable...

i like the way he racks of total world power, when we want and care about effective power. that is what we can use. i did the calculations, takes huge amounts of land space... then when you start adding up the costs of just keeping things clean... its ridiculous.

and the paragraph on fission left out breeders and all kinds of newer designs... oh.. and they are worlds cheaper than anything else to run if you include all costs (like environmental impact).

not to mention, an area the size of a large campus can provide the power that would literally take square miles of that crappy idea above.

it cant stand on its own feet
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2009
he flames mysteriously propagate along the cloth ~1000 times slower than Hindenburg
-So is it the case that none of these tests included trials in the presence of hydrogen? At any rate the thing burned like a bitch and this was used at the time to discredit airships and hydrogen. Along with the Titanic, they gave the public an entirely different perspective of the relative dangers of flying long distance in airplanes, AND gasoline vs hydrogen. I submit that this would have been a very hard sell otherwise. 

As an aside, many of the comments here include thoughts on 'government strong-arming' 'crap-spewing' military-industrial complexes or 'ideologist fervor', which imply conspiracy and thus should leave me free to address them in my own special way. This site ain't NEJM, it's more like Discover mag, as evidenced by the depth, range, and technical complexity of the articles themselves. Stimmt? All post-docs and posturers should lighten up a little, yes? 
engineering failure that with more study would have been scrapped before launch since you would need to continuously boost the ship to maintain orbit as the coil dragged you back
Wouldnt there still be a net gain after allowing for boosting via ion drive or somesuch I wonder?
jerryd
5 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2009

Someone should fire the professor!! No one source of energy will ever be even 50%, much less 70%.

While I really like CSP solar, it's best use is in home size units and it supplies hot water, heat too. And you can store the heat or run it from any fuel too if the sun don't shine and you need the power. Also Solar happen at peak power needs usually so far more valuable than nuke, H2 at far lower costs. Soon even PV will be viable as it already beats H2, most peaking power and in a few yrs, even beat coal as it's price rises and PV drops as all RE is doing.

But the last thing you want to waste electricity, a high order, very eff fuel to create H2, a very low order fuel is not real bright. For the energy to make, store, use H2 to go 1 mile you could go 4 miles in an EV.

Home wind is now under $2k/kw, far below even CSP solar, coal, NG, nuke.

There is enough kinetic hydro using any water moving 2 mph or more and no dams to completely replace coal in the US.

As for how you melt steel with solar, either directly or make electric. Concentrated solar is about the hottest thing on earth!! Most steel is now made in electric arc furnaces.

We will never run out of oil, coal or NG, it will just become too expensive to recover.

Facts are once home CSP, Wind gets in real mass production few will need other sources as it will be so cheap compared to other energy sources except hydro.

There is no shortage of energy, just the inexpensive equipment to catch, make it. There is no technical reason we can't, it a political choice.

The Hindenburg caught fire because the skin as almost solid rocket fuel of nitrates, alum, cotton You can't find a more flamable solid mixture!!

H2 may be a lot of things but an answer to our energy problems is not one of them.
Scotch_Magic
1 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2009
Articles like this are just bad for every one.

50% of 166PW = 83PW, that is true but,

E=mc2 is also ture, so in 1kg of matter we have 90PW of energy.

Lets assume we can use 50% of that. Then that would be equivalent to 2500 times the worlds energy needs and even with the most pessimistic calculations I think I can get 1kg of matter for $0...wow problem solved.....
cosmicham
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 25, 2009
Articles like this are just bad for every one.
50% of 166PW = 83PW, that is true but,
E=mc2 is also ture, so in 1kg of matter we have 90PW of energy.

Lets assume we can use 50% of that. Then that would be equivalent to 2500 times the worlds energy needs and even with the most pessimistic calculations I think I can get 1kg of matter for $0...wow problem solved.....



First off, energy is measured in joules, not watts. So thats about 90PJ of energy from 1 kg of matter.



At 90PW, the 1 kg will be used up in a second.







Second, you will need 1 kg of antimatter to annihilate 1 kg of matter to get this energy(2 x 90PJ) into a usable form(heat or electricity from the gamma rays produced). At the current rate, 1 kg of antimatter will cost 62.5 thousand trillion dollars!!!
Velanarris
1 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2009
Second, you will need 1 kg of antimatter to annihilate 1 kg of matter to get this energy(2 x 90PJ) into a usable form(heat or electricity from the gamma rays produced). At the current rate, 1 kg of antimatter will cost 62.5 thousand trillion dollars!!!

Above and beyond the fact it will cost you more energy to generate the antimatter than you'll be able to use from the annhilation reaction. That's after you spend the 4 billion years at current technology levels to manufacture it, let alone store it...

In short, don't be a loon.
Ant
not rated yet Aug 25, 2009
Hi Trinity complex
The test was well documented but the theory was childish. A single wire dragged through any magnetic field will at best become a static storage device and at worst do nothing. They just forgot the simple electricity generation principles. The tethered wire should have formed a loop with both ends being connected inside the craft the more loops the better the electricity generation. This is basic junior classroom physics. The problem would then have been how to store the electricity. A Lab test of this is very simple. Get a table top generator and disconnect one of its coil ends then spin the rotor. We did this in my science class 52 years ago.
otto1923
not rated yet Aug 25, 2009
They just forgot the simple electricity generation principles
Doubtful for competent scientists and engineers. Were they trying to discredit this form of power generation in favor of more useful technologies that needed developing now? Like more efficient photoelectric materials using nanotech, useful on mobile military machines and planet surfaces. Multi-layer, multi-function membranes for energy capture, storage, habitat construction on the moon and planets, inflatable satellites etc-
Bob_Wallace
3 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2009
"Further, a typical 1.5-MW wind turbine requires 20 gallons of lubricating oil every 5 years, which would become unsustainable in a few decades"

We can catch enough possums to render those 4 gallons a year.

Petroleum is not going away. It's just going to get more expensive and the additional cost well mean that we will automatically reserve it for the most important purposes.

Lubrication, yes.

Cruising Main Street, no.

Plus there's bio-oil. Some plant oils are excellent lubricants.

And if all else fails, Japan still harvests whales for "scientific reasons". I'm sure they'll be willing to squeeze out a few barrels of "blubber-lite".

Bogus issue.

As is the limited supply of lithium.

Lithium, unlike oil, is not consumed as the vehicle is driven. We can recover and reuse lithium, if it's worth the bother. Lithium is the 25th most available substance on Earth. About the same as nickel and lead. And lithium batteries use only a tiny amount.

We're not going to hydrogen for our transportation. It's just too inefficient a storage medium. Batteries are very much more efficient.

And we've already got the distribution infrastructure for electricity. We would have to create a brand new distribuition system for hydrogen.

This guy has some things right. Some things very, very wrong.
Eleusis
4 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2009
The flammability of diesel does not correspond to it's energy content. Diesel actually has greater density of energy than gasoline, but has a low vapor pressure so it does not ignite if you throw a match into a bucket of it.

Neither does gasoline. The match will go out, feel free to try.


Actually you are wrong here.

Yes, you can toss a lit cigarette into a bucket of gasoline or diesel.

But don't try that on high octane racing fuel.

However, the open flame of a match WILL ignite gasoline, in any open environment where the vapors have had a chance to expand and mingle with oxygen. In this case, it will explode before it ever reaches the liquid gasoline.

Velanarris
4 / 5 (1) Aug 26, 2009
Actually you are wrong here.

Yes, you can toss a lit cigarette into a bucket of gasoline or diesel.

But don't try that on high octane racing fuel.

However, the open flame of a match WILL ignite gasoline, in any open environment where the vapors have had a chance to expand and mingle with oxygen. In this case, it will explode before it ever reaches the liquid gasoline.


If you have a bucket that is full to the brim with gasoline will the match cause an explosion. The answer is no. It's been done with Avgas (105 octane) on television and the match goes out.

Now if that bucket has just a sliver of gasoline in it, it will be explosive.
otto1923
not rated yet Aug 26, 2009
Lubrication, yes
Have faith in Progress! We will engineer lube-producing bugs. Beyond that, synthetics based on buckyballs or similar. Frictionless magnetic bearings from high temp superconductors. Low temp catalyzed combustion will allow thinwall polymer composite engines which won't need lube. 
otto1923
not rated yet Aug 26, 2009
Also... Frictionless materials, diamond, nanotech. Machines will be having fewer moving parts.
david_42
4.8 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2009
The analysis of the uranium is about 30 years out of date. The numbers assume 1960's pressurized water reactors that require highly enriched fuel, a 3-4 per cent burn of U-235 and no fuel recycling. Gen IV pebble-bed reactors will require far less refinement and have nearly 100% burn of U-235 plus 60-90% burn of the U-238 via the P-239 path. The PBR will also burn most of the highly radioactive fission byproducts and be self-containing.
DGBEACH
1 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2009
My real reason for replying is lubrication. The man they are quoting says a limiting factor of wind turbines is lubricating the turbines, a mere 20 gallons ever 5 years per turbine, but makes no statements regarding the lubrication of Sterling and Rankine engines. This seems like a purposeful omission on his part to give more credibility to his solar power stance since a similar amount of lubrication would be needed to power said engines, leading to his 'lubrication crisis' in a few decades.

Wouldn't synthetic oils solve this? But you're right about his omission. And can somebody tell me how much CLEAN WATER is required to make a Litre of Hydrogen through electrolysis? Given its scarcity in many places wouldn't it make Hydrogen production unfeasible?
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2009
My real reason for replying is lubrication. The man they are quoting says a limiting factor of wind turbines is lubricating the turbines, a mere 20 gallons ever 5 years per turbine, but makes no statements regarding the lubrication of Sterling and Rankine engines. This seems like a purposeful omission on his part to give more credibility to his solar power stance since a similar amount of lubrication would be needed to power said engines, leading to his 'lubrication crisis' in a few decades.




Wouldn't synthetic oils solve this? But you're right about his omission. And can somebody tell me how much CLEAN WATER is required to make a Litre of Hydrogen through electrolysis? Given its scarcity in many places wouldn't it make Hydrogen production unfeasible?





No clean water is needed. You can electrolyse any water source, including saline or grey/waste water.


Solar requires massive amounts of clean water, as does wind, and that's not including maintenance and cleaning required to prevent premature failure.
DGBEACH
1 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2009
No clean water is needed. You can electrolyse any water source, including saline or grey/waste water.











Solar requires massive amounts of clean water, as does wind, and that's not including maintenance and cleaning required to prevent premature failure.








Quite interesting...so sewage could be electrolysed before purification, then purified, and reused.



Drinkable water will be more of a concern over the next few decades than energy. It would be a shame to waste it...just like it is a shame that we burn our food rather than eating eat!
Velanarris
not rated yet Aug 27, 2009
Quite interesting...so sewage could be electrolysed before purification, then purified, and reused.

Drinkable water will be more of a concern over the next few decades than energy. It would be a shame to waste it...just like it is a shame that we burn our food rather than eating eat!

Much agreed, however, to that point there are systems in development for biofuels where an algae reactor utilizing "grey water" can both clean the water within the reactor while producing biofuel. I wouldn't write off all biofuels, but I would still consider them not preferred.
Gosha
not rated yet Aug 30, 2009
Explain, who can!

Why the new source of electrical energy does not receive press and recognition?

Heatvoltaic converters, at equal cost with photovoltaic have target capacity more than 300 times above.

The "know-how" Heatvoltaic converters and photovoltaic of converters are identical.

Heatvoltaic converters the round day without the accumulator works.
From one meter of the square panel blown by the fan, it is possible to remove(take off) up to 1000 kW constant or variable sine wave alternating current by frequency from 50 up to 5000 Hz.
Heatvoltaic converters cool air, take away in it a thermal energy and make of electrical energy equally so much.

Heatvoltaic converters are efficient at any temperature of above absolute zero and than above temperature, the more target capacity.

Specific cost heatvoltaic of the converter working at 300 degrees Kelvin - no more of 100 US dollars for one kW of capacity (10 cents for W - an eternal feed for a cellular telephone).

The working breadboard model of a fragment of the converter heatvoltaic was demonstrated during the report at the international conference " High technologies 21 centuries ", April 23 2009, Moscow.

vetto@nm.ru
hsvt
4 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2009
Environmental problems with H2 are fore-seeable?

1The amount of H2 emissions will be enormous ; see : http://www.fuelce...46.html) :

2 H2 will deminish the ozonelayer:

I%u2019m not a physicist but think H2 might be able to leave our atmosphere, but %u2026
It has to pass the ozone layer.
Question is ; what will happen there?
It will probably bind with ozone !? :
The next link elucidate on this ; http://www.nas.na...ndN.html

3
local water resources being depleted(for electrolysis ) , water prices skyrocketing and the question of where these billions of kWh will come from, Michael(Webber) makes a sobering statement in his report: %u2026..
see :http://www.ecogee.../1082/1/

4

4
When we would burn H2 in a normal combustion engine the water coming out would be polluted with rests of (burned) lubricating oil.
When the water leaves the fuel cell it will be contaminated with a very little bit of (heavy) metals.(?) However this contaminated water probably has very large effects in the biological sphere?


Harry van Trotsenburg
NewHm
not rated yet Aug 30, 2009
Even though gazeous and liquid hydrogen forms faces great storage problems, what about solid hydrogen?
hsvt
not rated yet Aug 31, 2009
With solid H2 you will mean H2 bond to a metal?

I'm not specialised in this field, but

1 mostly it takes energy to bind / unbind (losses)
2 There are at least two moments of gaseous H2, also with "solid"H2?
2.1 Those are the moments the H2 is very hard to keep on it's place.
4There are the moments of (un) coupling

So even even with solid H2 we will have to deal with problems around losses!
NewHm
not rated yet Aug 31, 2009
I mean pure solid hydrogen. Do anyone know how it looks like? What properties it do have? Is it technically feasible?
Velanarris
not rated yet Aug 31, 2009
Even though gazeous and liquid hydrogen forms faces great storage problems, what about solid hydrogen?

What storage problems? The picture above as well as the statistics of H2 show there are fewer storage problems than liquid gasoline.

As for solid hydrogen, what sort of pressures are you expecting us to put into the fuel cell of a car? Metallic hydrogen is not feasable at room temperature.
Going
not rated yet Aug 31, 2009
Hydrogen, compressed at 700 bar has an energy density 7 times less than gasoline. So great big fuel tanks then. Just go one step further and use the solar energy to manufacture gasoline from the hydrogen, which is just a few chemical tricks further on, and there is no need to refit our entire economy.

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