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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Foreign Outlook on Hydrogen Fueled Vehicles... Part 1: Norway

I've had a number of posts dealing with hydrogen as a fuel source and how it can be derived from water in a relatively easy manner. Storage, however, has been the main concern about this source of energy. A number of foreign countries are working out the kinks and setting up some fueling centers along with Toyota hybrid Prius vehicles convereted to run on hydrogen instead of gasoline.

Foundation stone laid for Hydro's first hydrogen station in Norway

On Wednesday, Minister of Transport and Communications Liv Signe Navarsete laid the foundation stone for Hydro's first hydrogen station in Norway, located close to the company's Research Centre at Herøya Industrial Park in Porsgrunn.

"Throughout our entire hundred-year history, Hydro has worked to find new energy solutions. Building the hydrogen station at Herøya is an important milestone for Hydro as an energy company, for society, and not least for the environment," said Hydro’s CEO Eivind Reiten, as the foundation stone was laid.

Hydrogen contains no environmentally hazardous substances, and only water is emitted from hydrogen cars. Nine hydrogen vehicles will be connected to the hydrogen station at Herøya in Porsgrunn, which as a result will have the world’s second largest fleet of hydrogen cars. The cars are Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles, with both electric motors and combustion engines converted to run on hydrogen.

The hydrogen station in Porsgrunn is scheduled to be completed during the spring of 2007. The station will form an important intersection on HyNor’s planned Hydrogen Road between Oslo and Stavanger. The aim is that it will be possible to drive hydrogen vehicles from Stavanger to Oslo by the end of 2009, supported by junctions with local activity in Stavanger, Lyngdal, Porsgrunn, Drammen and Oslo.

Important project

"HyNor is an important project for gathering knowledge and experience regarding the use of hydrogen as fuel. This forms the background for the Government allocating around NOK 22 million in its budget for 2006 to research and development of projects connected to alternative energy and environmentally-friendly fuel, among others the project HyNor," said Minister of Transport and Communications Liv Signe Navarsete, during the ceremony when the foundation stone was laid. HyNor is a joint project with around 30 public and private partners cooperating in order to boost the use of hydrogen for transport purposes in Norway. Reiten therefore used the occasion to thank the many partners who have contributed to realising the project.
"Meeting the climate challenge requires new and more environmentally friendly forms of transport, and in this work industry has a key role – in developing new technology and seeking out new and exciting solutions," Reiten said. "Having said this, the challenge is so large in scope that change will take time, and will demand cooperation between the authorities, voluntary organizations, local communities and industry."

Hydrogen by pipeline from Rafnes

Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be produced from a range of different energy sources. It is a by-product at the petrochemical plants at Rafnes. The hydrogen from Rafnes will be transported by pipeline to Herøya. This means that the hydrogen station at Herøya will be the world’s first publicly accessible hydrogen station connected to a sizeable industrial plant.

"In the future there may be a large market for hydrogen for transport purposes, which will make connecting hydrogen stations to large industrial plants very interesting," commented Ulf Hafseld, head of business development for Hydro’s hydrogen projects.

Hydro has a broad portfolio within renewable energy, participates actively in a number of hydrogen projects in Europe, and supplies hydrogen to hydrogen stations in Berlin, Hamburg and Reykjavik.

"We believe that we will witness a broad combination of energy forms in the future. Wind power, bioenergy, solar power and hydrogen will all be important supplements to oil, gas and coal. A hydrogen society is probably still some way off, but if we are to continue to be best at finding the energy solutions of tomorrow, we must start today," commented Alexandra Bech Gjørv, Executive Vice President for Hydro’s efforts within new forms of energy.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Hydrogen Hoax

I read an article recently about how a Hoax involving Hydrogen being hailed as the greatest thing since sliced bread as an energy source. Personally, I would really like to see Hydrogen becoming the next wave of energy production. It will solve many of the problems in the United States, and we can then say to the world, "take care of your own problems, we aren't your Police force any longer."

Since many countries enjoy taking in Billions of U.S. money because of our dependence upon their oil, they have us by the short and curlies and want all kinds of special treatment by the U.S. Government. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to say "Thanks, but we won't be needing any more of your oil. We're just fine..."

Of course, this would cause other problems as well... These nations would feel abandoned, and would want to have revenge on the Uncle Sam that had been supporting them for soooo many years. But after a while, all of the zealots and nut cases will kill themselves off and leave the rest of the planet for us. All the better.

Anyway, I digress...

I read this article. The guy has some valid points. He doesn't focus on my pet peave with the argument of taking too much energy from the grid to derive hydrogen from water. The only arguemtn he puts forth on the use of wind or solar generated electricity for this use is that it's very hard to store Hydrogen. Valid? yes. But pretty weak.

Read for yourself, here's the article:

The Hydrogen Hoax

Environmentalists have touted hydrogen as the panacea for world energy challenges for decades, and as is common with populist environmentalist causes, their focus on hydrogen has caused more harm than good.

This isn’t the first time thoughtful critics – inside and outside the environmentalist movement – have called visions of the hydrogen future a hoax, but unfortunately the hydrogen zealots still aren’t listening.

First of all, hydrogen isn’t a primary fuel. It has to be produced from something else, either from electricity via electrolysis, or refined from fossil fuel, or distilled from biomass. In all these cases, using the source fuel directly would be far more efficient than converting this energy into hydrogen.

Obviously refining hydrogen from fossil fuel isn’t going to solve any energy shortages. Distilling hydrogen from biomass is equally problematic; it has the same problems all biofuels have – there isn’t enough land or water on earth to yield anywhere near the quantities of energy necessary to replace petroleum (read “Will Biodiesel Replace Crude Oil,” for a chart showing the relationship between land consumption and biofuel production). Moreover, if you are going to refine hydrogen from biofuel crops that truly make economic sense to grow, such as sugar cane, why not just burn the ethanol directly and save the energy losses from the conversion process?

Theoretically, electrolyzing hydrogen from renewable electricity and water is a way for hydrogen to make economic and ecological good sense. But this analysis neglects to consider where the electricity will come from, and more importantly, the significant conversion losses incurred when electricity is electrolysed into hydrogen. The hydrogen resulting from a process of electrolysis will have at best about 65% of the energy that was in the electricity used to make it.

If electrolysed hydrogen is then used to power a fuel cell automobile, the absurdity of its practicality becomes very clear. A fuel cell is necessary to turn the hydrogen back into electricity, and the electrical output of the fuel cell is at best only about 65% of the energy that was in the hydrogen used to make it. The compounding problem here – electricity from the grid made hydrogen via electrolysis at a 65% efficiency (best case), then hydrogen processed through a fuel cell made electricity at a 65% efficiency (best case) – means the electric motor providing traction for your fuel cell car will only be able to use about 40% of the electrical energy drawn from the grid for that purpose. Read “The 100% Electric Car,” for an in-depth explanation of conversion losses using fuel cell cars.

By contrast, a simple onboard battery can be charged and discharged at greater than 90% efficiency – a plug-in hybrid, available today, will use grid electricity twice as efficiently as a fuel cell car. Furthermore, fuel cells cost $4,000 per kilowatt (a kilowatt is about 1.3 horsepower), they use expensive materials, they degrade quickly, they take several minutes to start, they can’t tolerate cold, and vibration makes their membranes rupture. Meanwhile, batteries are cheap and getting cheaper. If you’ve got cheap renewable electricity, there are better ways to exploit that electricity than by producing hydrogen.

Let’s not forget that nobody’s figured out how to store hydrogen. It is the lightest substance in the universe, so storing a meaningful amount of hydrogen requires pressurization up to 10,000 PSI. Even under these densities, the hydrogen equivalent of only a few gallons of gasoline could be carried on an automobile since otherwise the pressure vessel would weigh far too much. A natural gas vehicle, by contrast, requires the gas to be stored at only 300 PSI, a vast difference. The tanks, fittings and hoses to safely store usable amounts of pressurized hydrogen haven’t been invented yet. Maybe someday hydrogen can be stored via cryogenics, or in metal substrates using nanotechnology. Don’t hold your breath.

Will scientists figure out someday how to store hydrogen in practical, economical ways? Will they ever figure out how to build cheap, safe and durable fuel cells? The answer to these questions is yes, but probably not before they figure out how to develop ultra-capacitors or cheap batteries with extremely high energy densities.

The biggest problem with hydrogen is the opportunity cost of spending billions of dollars in research on this technology and lobbying for this technology when so many alternatives exist. Use more efficiently exploited feedstocks for hydrogen to power ultra-efficient clean diesel cars, serial hybrid cars, and battery powered cars. These technologies are here now, and they are being neglected. Hoax is not too strong a word to describe the environmentalist fixation on hydrogen, a technology that will be eclipsed by better solutions long before it ever becomes practical.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Follow up on Stan's Car...

This is a follow-up to the prior posting Car that runs on water...

I did some more poking around and found a video of Stan's Dune Buggy that ran on water.

Here's the video. Decide for yourself...

The more I read up on this subject the more I believe that it's possible.

I'm trying to find out more information on a news broadcast I saw the other night here on Long Island. There's a guy down in Florida who is using Solar power to run Electrolysis equipment to extract Hydrogen from water.

When I first started hearing about Hydrogen Fuel Cells around 6 years ago, I kept hearing the arguement that it takes to much energy to derive hydrogen from other products. The big push then was to derive hydrogen from oil... That makes no sense to me. Water was and is the most logical product to use to derive hydrogen. As for "too much energy" to extract... Solar and wind power are free. You can't beat that kind of cost.

When I find more information on this guy down in Florida, I'll let you all know. I'm on a mission... Somehow the X-Files quote "the Truth is Out There," Seems to fit pretty well here...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

More news on Water for power...

Clearwater Man Puts Technology To Work

Published: Nov 27, 2005

CLEARWATER -- Denny Klein thinks he has found a new commercial use for hydrogen technology.

Working in a small, two-room shop at the Airport Business Center, Klein, 63, said he has developed a gas that speeds welding and fusing times and improves automobile fuel efficiency 30 percent.
Although the technology Klein uses -- electrolysis -- has been around for decades, he said it's the form of gas that comes out of his electrolyzer and the characteristics of the gas that set his hydrogen technology apart.

Klein's gas is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. Sound familiar? Yep, it's water.

Electrolysis is a process that uses an electrical charge in water to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen. But coming out of Klein's gas generator, the H2O 1500 electrolyzer, it's not water, he said. Klein, president of Hydrogen Technology Applications Inc., calls it HHO, or the brand name Aquygen.

"You get a huge energy response," Klein said. "But this gas is very, very safe."
Klein -- who employs eight people, four in Florida, three who handle licensing out of Kentucky and his son, Greg, in Ohio -- is no engineer. The Ohio native attended Ohio State University and Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, for business administration.

His aptitude in hydrogen technology came from self-study. He has worked alongside engineers in whirlpool spa and suntanning businesses, and says he has six employees with doctorates on his advisory board.

Klein said he has a patent pending on the gas he has been working on for 12 years. Various models of his H2O electrolyzers are being used across the country in high school shop classes and undergoing testing to be certified for use in welding shops.

Flipping a switch on his H2O 1500, Klein picks up a hose with a metal tip, creates a spark, and instantly a blue and white glowing stream shoots out of the metal tip.

He holds the tip with his fingers to prove how cool it is to the touch, unlike such a tip when oxy-acetylene is burned for welding. But the instant he sets the flame on a charcoal briquette, it glows bright orange. Then, within seconds, he burns a hole through a brick, cuts steel and melts Tungsten.

The temperature of the flame is 259 degrees Fahrenheit. But it instantaneously rises to the melting temperature of whatever it touches, Klein said. Those temperatures can exceed 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

"You can't do this with any other gas," he said.

Klein also has outfitted a 1994 Ford Escort station wagon with a smaller electrolyzer that injects his HHO into the gasoline in the car's engine. He said he has increased his mileage per gallon by 30 percent.

That also is undergoing testing from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other private motorsports companies, Klein said.

Klein said he has 19 projects in the works.

Ali T-Raissi, director of the hydrogen research and development division of the Florida Solar Energy Center, said he is not familiar with Klein's HHO or electrolyzer. But he said applying hydrogen technology in that way comes at a price.

T-Raissi said mixing the hydrogen with gasoline will require a change in the typical car engine. And creating the gas requires electricity, which comes at a cost.

"You can increase your mileage performance, but you have to ask: Am I still ahead, or am I behind?"

Klein said his formulation of hydrogen doesn't require altering an engine. And his electrolyzer cost about 70 cents an hour to operate, which he considers a bargain.

Klein said his method for introducing hydrogen into a vehicle to increase mileage is superior to hydrogen used in fuel cells.

One of the biggest challenges facing hydrogen fuel cells is storing the gas. To meet today's driving requirements, it would take a lot more hydrogen than can now be stored safely in a vehicle. Klein's HHO is made on-demand and mixed directly with the gasoline in the engine at slightly more pressure than is currently there.

He said he plans to take Hydrogen Technology, which now has private investors, public in the first half of 2006.

Watch the Video!

The clip is from Fox News 26 in Wilmington, North Carolina, and is about a startup company in Clearwater, Florida that has patented a way to extract the hydrogen in water in order to supplement or replace dependence on fossil fuels. The inventor, Denny Klein was working on a way to replace the dangerous fuels used in cutting torches when he stumbled upon this new method, which he calls HHO.

The video actually shows the process in action. What is most unbelievable is that the flame is "only slightly warm to the touch", yet the energy it emits is "hotter than the surface of the sun". Its extreme intensity instantly burns a hole in the center of brick, and in three seconds it turns a brass ball into glowing metal. What is most unbelievable is how Klein uses this energy to power his Ford Escort, which he has converted into a gas/water hybrid. A 100 mile trip took only a few OUNCES of water!

Klein has not only patented his method, but he has now offered it to the U.S. Government. And apparently the military is trying to use his process to develop a HumVee that will run on water.

To view and downlaod this fascinating video Click Here .

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Car that runs on water...

This isn't about one of those old combination car / boats that had been built back in the late 50's early 60's. I ran across a website that talked about a guy named Stan Meyer who was a brilliant inventor. He invented a motor that would run on tap water. This worked on the principle of extracting hydrogen from water and burning the hydrogen to power the car.

Now anyone who had to sit through High School Chemistry has seen electrolysis at work. This is where you have an electric charge passing through water. Hydrogen is released from one electrode while oxygen is released from the other. Since everyone knows that the chemical formula for pure water is H2O, you already know that there is twice as much hydrogen as there is oxygen in this liquid form, so there isn't that great a leap in logic that getting hydrogen from water is pretty simple. If my alcoholic High School Chemistry Teacher could rig up a battery, water filled beakers and some balloons, it can't be that complicated. MacGuyver he was not...

I found this site purely by accident. I have been curious about alternative power options for quiet some time. Even before 9/11. Although this catastrophic event made me even more interested in alternative fuels.

I initially started researching fuel cells which everyone at that time said couldn't be done efficiently. This could still be true, but their logic seemed to be coming from left field. Anything I heard about in relation to deriving hydrogen from different sources had to do with some kind of fossil fuel. I'm not a scientist, but wouldn't you look at the most plentiful of options to derive your fuel source from? 2/3 of water is Hydrogen. Seems pretty obvious to me.

So the arguments I heard making this an inefficient way to get Hydrogen were pretty silly. They were saying that it would take more electricity to produce Hydrogen from water than you would get from the end product. So more fossil fuel would be burned to make hydrogen from water.

I suppose this makes sense if you only knew of fossil fuel methods of making electricity. Solar and wind power weren't considered. Neither was Nuclear power for that matter. What's wrong with this picture?

The Sun is Free... The Wind is Free... And the water is pretty much free except for the purification process... Why is this so hard to figure out?

Well this site gives you some ideas and makes you wonder how the world is really run.

I may post more information out here about similar information. Whether or not someone can get their car to run on pure water, I'm not sure. I haven't dedicated any significant time into proving or disproving it. But there are some fundamental Hydrogen extraction methods that have to be less complicated than those who are money hungry in this world. I'll keep searching and let you know what I find out...

Here are a number of articles detailing Stanley Meyer's work. Click on the images below for video of Stanley Meyer.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Poking Fun...

A friend of mine sent me a link to a site that is really quite funny. The Guys name is Steve Bridges. This link takes you to a video page that has him impersonating several presidents.

So far, this is my favorite:

I'm impressed that President Bush makes fun of himself so well. This is quite entertaining... Enjoy!