Solar panels make hydrogen

Discussion in 'Science' started by FivepointFive, Mar 4, 2019.

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  1. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    This will anger some. I approve Hydrogen as a fuel. I have long approved it as a fuel. I still say that in 1957 as a student studying engineering in college, my prediction then was the hydrogen fuel cell will power cars. I am pleased with the use on homes.
     
  2. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Again, I don't see any advantage in eliminating the grid.

    Also, the growth in population since the existence of power throughout cities far swamps out the areas that were retrofitted. Plus, the addition of power to existing buildings isn't that big of a deal if you don't count the lighting and receptacles that every solution already requires.
     
  3. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    those local power companies will need to adapt or go out of business...that's the way we've always operated adapt to new technology or die...oil giants are already investing in new green energy systems, one in my region has gone into the solar business...

    I know the hate my fellow city dwellers share for our energy suppliers we'll have no mercy switching if a better option arrives to meet our needs, if our local suppliers don't like it they'll need to provide a better option or disappear, a number of them have already purchased solar and wind farms...

    as a former Saudi oil minister said about his prediction for the future of oil/energy "The stone age never ended because there was a shortage of stone"...
     
  4. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    Toyota is still certain hydrogen fuel cell is the future, I'm not sure they can overcome the massive push behind electric by all the other auto makers...
     
  5. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    What does that even mean?

    There's nothing wrong with hydrogen. The issues have to do with availability of various technologies and characteristics of the full solutions that might be engineered to include them.
     
  6. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Well, they are correct that it isn't the present!

    I'm all in favor of these various options - as soon as someone finds solutions to the various problems and produces an actual product.

    I think there are reasons that such are not available at present.
     
  7. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    But Hydrogen has to be at fairly high pressure (4000 PSI or so) in order to have enough to fuel a car to go a reasonable distance. High pressure gas (flammable or not) is a danger.
     
  8. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    The Hindenberg's hydrogen wasn't at 4000 PSI.
     
  9. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    That I agree with. My medium term plan is to renovate my house with energy saving features--more insulation, more efficient HVAC, natural gas heat (replacing a heat pump for heat), and probably PV solar.
     
  10. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    Germany's electricity costs about 4 times per kwh than ours. Also, those days in Germany are on weekends on nice sunny warmish (but not hot) days, hardly typical days with typical usage.
     
  11. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    you can downplay the results but what other western country achieves Germany's level of green energy??? how's your country doing in comparison?

    and you can dwell on the cost but there is an ultimate cost to the environment and civilization for not going green, what price do put on that?... What's price do you attach to losing coastal cities to sea level rise?... what cost do you attach to oceans dying? ...what price do you attach to mass species extinction?...what price do you attach to the coming mass migrations due to climate change?...I'd suggest that the price we pay for going green is small change compared to what it's going to ultimately cost us not to...the cost to prevent climate change now is going to be much much less than paying for the damage climate change will bring in the future...
     
  12. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    It's not worth 4 times the cost. I can't afford an $800 electricity bill. It would ruin my household budget and most households I know. It would put us back in the dark ages.

    That and the renewable sources are only for electricity. Most of Germany's energy use is not electricity, so it's a misleading statement to say 85% of Germany's energy needs are met by renewables, more correctly it's 85% of Germany's electricity needs. Anybody that misleads like you did is not to be trusted. You play loose with facts because the facts are obviously not on your side.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  13. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    Also, the U.S. is leading the world in greenhouse gas reductions.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapie...es-in-reducing-carbon-emissions/#3985fc1a3535
     
  14. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    but germans pay those rates and they're not in the dark ages...3.8% unemployment, forth largest GDP...
    anyone who lives an a denial bubble of their own making is not to be trusted...discussion over seeya...
     
  15. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Good point. As a battery, hydrogen can store a lot of energy for long periods of time.

    But, solutions have to account for the full picture - the production, compression, regulation, usage, etc. For cars, that would include the facilities for refueling, by whatever means (swapping some fuel cells built to a universal standard?).

    I don't know why we don't have hydrogen fuel cells for cars, but my bet is that it has less to do with hydrogen and more to do with providing a cost effective and safe end to end solution. And, I would be surprised if hydrogen fuel cells would allow for the average individual to refill their car - as is possible with other forms of battery.
     
  16. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    People that use misleading statements are living in their own denial bubble.
     
  17. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    We have to be careful about comparisons of fuel costs between countries.

    In the US, home solar electricity is price competitive with what public utilities are delivering today.

    Steven Novella of Skeptic's Guide to the Universe fame has stated in his podcasts that he contracted with a company to install solar electric at his Connecticut home. He says he paid zero dollars, with the company getting a share of the price benefit.

    I mention that case, as that state isn't known for being warm or without weather.

    Also, in a previous post I mentioned a name of a company that is in business to do this.

    Obviously, this option wouldn't exist if solar installations can't beat the price of electricity from local utilities.

    Solar has become far more efficient over the last few years due to significant advances in technology.
     
  18. squidward

    squidward Well-Known Member

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    Enjoying your little house?
     
  19. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I THINK you said that electricity in Germany is 4X as expensive as here.

    But, you don't say how that is affected by Germany being part of the Western European grid, whether that includes various taxes, how much is attributable to the cost of solar electricity itself as measured in a way that distributes the cost of installation over the lifetime of the facility, etc.

    It's still the case that producing electricity by photovoltaic solar is cost effective in the US.
     
  20. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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    Hydrogen is much lighter than air so it rises. It doesn't pool. If a hydrogen tank fails, it has a discharge valve to safely vent the pressure. Even if ignited it is still just a torch pointing up. If a gasoline tank fails, you can have pooling gasoline that ignites all around you, and or an explosion.

    I don't see that gasoline is any safer than hydrogen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  21. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Plus, a ruptured hydrogen tank would not be solved by a pressure discharge valve.

    I have seen descriptions of methods of storing hydrogen that do appear safe. For example, it seems there are minerals that have low enough density (or whatever) such that hydrogen may permeate the structure at a molecular level. The result seems to be nearly the same hydrogen capacity, but in a structure that could take serious impact without rupture and wouldn't off gas instantaneously even if it were to be penetrated.

    However - I still don't see anyone producing a commercial application. And, there must be reasons for that.
     
  22. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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    No, but a tank in a fire or a tank that is hit should discharge safely. If it just ruptures spontaneously or is crushed, that would be bad. But high pressure tanks are used safely throughout industry. I don't know the failure rate but it must be very low. In 30 years of work in industry, I don't think I've ever heard of a tank failing spontaneously.

    Yes, people have been playing with ideas like this for a long time now. I haven't seen anything on the market yet. It smells a bit like pie in the sky.
     
  23. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    OK, massive correction here.

    On actually searching what's going on, there ARE hydrogen fuel cell cars for sale in the US!

    In CA, there are about 35 places where you could refuel your hydrogen cell Toyota Miara.

    I'm still not convinced concerning this technology for automobiles, though.

    Recharging electric cars is becoming a lot faster as battery technology improves, electric cars with more than 200 mile range (Tesla, for one example) are available and these can be charged at home. With businesses installing charging stations for employees and patrons, it just seems to me that building out hydrogen service stations has a difficult future.
     
  24. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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  25. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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    At what price per KwH of storage? Fuel cells are ridiculously expensive - typically 10-100 x the cost of alternatives. .
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019

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