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Thread: Cybertruck...or how NOT to build a vehicle

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    Quote Originally Posted by MeJasonT View Post
    Im still gob smacked that no one has thought to retrofit pertrol/derv cars with electric motor and battery packs, wouldn't that get dirty fuel cars off the roads quicker.
    Why have Hydrogen cars been shelved in favour of battery ones, no money to be made from the average Joe perhaps
    There are several reasons. The biggest one is that Hydrogen isn't a green fuel. Hydrogen made from water with electrolysis could be low emissions if the source for electricity was clean enough, but the vast majority of hydrogen today is cracked out of natural gas. Combine that with difficulty in compressing and storing it, much lower energy density per volume than gasoline, and lack of lubricity in the engine and it's not a promising technology. The biggest advantage of it over electric is that you can refill tanks faster than you can charge, and the physics of compressed gasses make that tricky.

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    MeJasonT (12-06-2019)

  3. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    Horrendous tax penalties on any children after the first two would be a good step.
    The second derivative of population growth is already sharply negative and is decreasing further as we put more resources into educating poor rural populations. It's a pretty big problem in the developed world, with many countries already breeding at less than replacement rates.

    There is no need for a tax; the result you want is already happening.

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    Supporting Member MeJasonT's Avatar
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    @Elizabeth Greene

    Hi Elizabeth,
    i have always understood it that building a hydrogen engine was feasible and had in fact been accomplished in the 1980s but was snaffled by the oil companies to prevent such engines being developed. The issue of charging cars with gas is no longer an issue as many cars have been converted to run on gas (butane i think ?) which would be just as volatile as hydrogen one would imagine.
    You appear to speak with a voice of authority on the subject so i'm curious what your credentials are and would very much like to hear your opinion on the retrofit idea i also posed.
    Citizen of the "New democratic" Republic of Britain, apart from Scotland who are still not very happy.

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    Supporting Member bruce.desertrat's Avatar
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    Hydrogen cars have largely been shelved because it's a much bigger infrastructure project to deploy a hydrogen distribution system than to build out an electric recharger system. After all the 'last mile' of electricity is a solved problem; getting chargers in place merely requires the manufacturers to settle on a %!$@#** standard. Hydrogen requires new infrastructure *everywhere*.

    Making plastic from the 'fossil fuel' industry is not really a huge environmental problem, it's the 'fuel' part that's the problem. Building a new Solar energy plant is now vastly cheaper than building a new coal plant and gaining on if not cheaper than natural gas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_o...city_by_source

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Well there is always Brown's gas, which is a slightly unstable separation of the 2 elements of water.
    2 guys used to rent a small out building from me where they were experimenting with a more sustainable way to create the gas.
    I machined many of the parts for their catalytic converter they built. One time they were making the gas and using it in a torch to heat and almost melt steel with.
    Eventually they had a small 4 cylinder car engine running on it by changing out the injectors.
    I was going to build them a hydraulic dynamo so they could do some real world testing of their engine running on the stuff but Tom's grant money ran out and Chris had already sank his life savings in the project.
    Tom had applied for several patents Not sure if he ever received any for his design to extract the gas from the water at much lower electrical requirements than anyone else had been able to do
    He had the energy requirements down low enough that more gas was produced than consumed in making it but not enough to viably run or do much anything else.
    Tom died under less than stellar circumstances one while giving a lecture on his designs a few years later.
    Note I have most of the design sketches that Tom and Chris had made of their converter but none of the actual electronics involved
    the converter is kind of simple just a boat load of thin SS plates perforated with small holes and plastic separating rings all housed in a PVC tube encased in a steel jacket with half the plates being the cathode and half being the anode there are several catalysts which can be used look up making hydrogen and oxygen from water with electricity.
    Then you need a bubbler for the gas to pass through to prevent back flash.
    The clean out refilling and storage is where the big problems come in.
    Last edited by Frank S; 12-06-2019 at 02:55 PM.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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    Looking up Brown's Gas on wii leads to this amusing sentence: "This mixture may also be referred to as Knallgas (Scandinavian and German Knallgas: "bang-gas"),"

    :-)

    I do think this should be an obvious means to manage the 'no solar power at night' problem; use some of the electricity generated by a solar installation to crack water, then burn the O2 and H2 back into water at night. This does run into some issues namely that the places with the best potential for solar power..tend to be the places with the least water.

    Another stray thought...why has no one ever made a diesel-electric truck? It works really well for ships and trains, is there some lower bound of efficiency or power that would make it not useful for small vehicles? Even conventional hybrid cars, afaik, alternately power the vehicle via the gas engine and batteries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MeJasonT View Post
    Im still gob smacked that no one has thought to retrofit pertrol/derv cars with electric motor and battery packs, wouldn't that get dirty fuel cars off the roads quicker.
    Why have Hydrogen cars been shelved in favour of battery ones, no money to be made from the average Joe perhaps
    Hi MeJasomT,
    Some 25 or so years ago, a man in Gosford (a small town north of Sydney Australia) was running a small one man business converting Subaru Foresters from petrol to electricity.
    A very close associate of mine actually went as far as buying a new Forester, expressly to have this man change it over, unfortunately before that could happen, the "black hats" informed the guy doing the retrofit, that if he did not cease and desist with his business, they would see to it that he ceased and desisted with his life.
    He went out of business overnight, and would not speak further about it, leaving my friend with a Subaru that still ran on petrol.

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    just as i thought.
    Citizen of the "New democratic" Republic of Britain, apart from Scotland who are still not very happy.

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    If he were to put the Mr Fusion reactor from Doc's Delorean in it maybe at 88 mph it would turn into something other than a charging station.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    If you're just storing energy (which is what you are doing with Hydrogen, Browns gas, etc.) it's hard to beat the power /weight ratio of Lithium technology.

    Gasoline, Diesel, even Coal are true fuels. Most everything else still requires more power in then out, so just storing.

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