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I volunteer at an aviation museum in Silicon Valley, instructing kids how to fly a helicopter; one of the people on the team is an inventor who firmly believes in hydrogen power for road vehicles.

He contends that with sufficient solar panels on one's house, one can, using today's technology, make enough hydrogen to run one's personal car.

He says he's making hydrogen right now, in his garage, and storing it in some sort of special cylinder(?!?) and is also in the process of converting his automobile to run on hydrogen(!!!)

[gulp]

I checked to see where he lives; a safe distance from my place, fortunately.

The idea of creating one's own fuel does sound tremendously appealing, though, at least to me. Kind of makes one responsible for creating what one consumes.
 

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Pinto_Girl said:
He contends that with sufficient solar panels on one's house, one can, using today's technology, make enough hydrogen to run one's personal car.
Darreldd runs all of his RAV4 EV annual mileage with solar panels alone.

Running an EV from solar cells means you get about 4 times the miles per same amount of cells compared to using the electricity to make hydrogen (which is just about the most wasteful thing you can do with electricity).
 

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Well, I do see one benefit to using hydrogen as the transport fuel:
Quick recharge. It can take hours to get a battery based EV vehicle refueled, where it would take minutes, comparable to gasoline, to refuel a hydrogen vehicle. You also have greater energy storage capacity with hydrogen, as you do with gasoline.

OK, that was two benefits.
 

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3 points:

1) Global warming - there is absolutely no proof, or way to prove that
it is not normal for the Earth to go through periodic changes. For all
we know, this same cycle may have occurred many times before.
What we can count on is the oil underground is a fixed amount that will
run out very soon from the amount we are using. For this reason, we
need to find alternatives, and soon.
2) Hydrogen - my Physics teacher in High School filled a balloon with
hydrogen gas and then brought an open flame near it. The reaction
was immediate and very violent. It was also over very quickly.
Hydrogen is no where near as BTU generating as gasoline. The best
solution has to be sources that are quickly replaceable and abundant,
such as corn, soybeans, etc.
3) Batteries - The best way to store electricity is in a capacitor. It is also
the fastest vehicle to fill. It must be regulated to control discharge,
which is done by electrical circuits all the time.

Perhaps the best way to solve the problems is to have the roads recharge
capacitors built in to cars while they are driving on main roads, and
provide recharge stations for less traveled areas. Many problems could
be solved in this manner if we stop thinking of making each vehicle
totally responsible for its own propulsion.
 

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I think currently there's an energy density problem with capacitors. Also capacitors vary their voltage linearly with their charge level, where chemical batteries keep their voltage level relatively flat for much of the charge level.

Your teacher filled a ballon with hydrogen gas. Consider instead the energy content of compressed liquid hydrogen per unit volume. One developer found a way to store hydrogen in a solid. Supposedly he gets more density than simple compressed hydrogen.

As for global warming, there is more evidence now from what I understand. I too thought the way you did, but it was pointed out that they measured CO2 content stored in different layers of glaciers, supposedly that each depth of the glacier sample represents way many years in the past. Cycles were found, but not nearly as high as now. However if petroleum did come from decayed plants and animals thousands or millions of years ago, then the carbon or carbon dioxide was in the air or on the surface of the planet back then, eventually getting locked away. My question is though, what were the tar pits composed of that supposedly existed on the surface back then?
 

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ryecatcher said:
Saw this interesting article;

http://www.hydrogenforecast.com/OvonicsH2Prius.php

It's very nice to see so many different developers using the Prius as the platform for even more fuel efficient vehicles. I, for one, would buy an aftermarket plug-in mod for under $5k. Don't think I would get anything hydrogen, though. Not too sure about the future of that tech., but its good to see people working for solutions to oil dependence. . . .
Great link! Thanks for the interesting read.
 
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