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December 21, 2005

Comments

Likasi

Fuel cell do not provide current surge for acceleration. Battery do that. Battery plus fuel cell very heavy for car. Pluggable hybrid with battery range 50 mile work good.

Fritz

What do you propose we use to feed the fuel cells?

Jim from The Energy Blog

Fuel cells, presumably, can be developed to provide the acceleration necessary for cars. They can, and are in some buses, be aided by a supercapacitor to provide more rapid response. We are not trying to build race cars.

I am not normally in the stance of defending fuel cell technology, because they need a lot of development before they are widely deployed and they are not near term solutions to our increasingly expensive liquid fuels. However, fuel cells have three advantages that are hard to argue against: 1) they can be very efficient, about twice that of ICE engines or other forms of combustion. 2) they can use almost any type of fuel; gasoline, diesel, methanol, biogas, natural gas, very finely powdered coal, and of course hydrogen. 3) emissions are primarily water vapor.

Because the efficiency is higher then that of an ICE, simply replacing the ICE with a fuel cell would be a considerable saving of fossil fuels. Hydrogen, which is really not a fuel but an energy carrier, because of the many steps involved in its production and distribution is not necessarily more efficient in energy use. If it is produced by an electrical process it can change the source of energy from a liquid fossil fuel to coal, renewable energy or nuclear power. These sources of power are not, or could not be in the case of coal, sources of carbon dioxide and thus, according to most experts, reduce global warming.

Batteries are also an excellent choice for powering transportation vehicles. They also depend on electricity for charging, so have no advantage in that respect. They are even more efficient than fuel cells, so if and when they are developed to the point where they can be used as the the primary power source of vehicles they would be the first choice where they could be used.

In the U.S. and a few other countries we are very dependent on gas guzzling cars and it is going to be very hard to change that habit. The recent surge in gasoline prices has had little, if any effect on our driving habits. It may have had a little effect on the choices we make when buying a vehicle as the sales of large SUV's has slowed. We are still paying a low price for gasoline compared to most of the world and until that changes, either due to market conditons or taxes, our driving habits and choice of vehicles are not likely to change.


Rev. Blogger

Fuel Cells are not a source of energy, they are basically storage devices. To power the fuel cell you still need another power source, ie oil, nuclear power, hydro-electric, biofuels, etc.

Likasi

Fuel cell are generator, not storage device. Fuel cell need constant supply fuel.
Fuel cell not able to provide current surge for accelerate. Supercapacitor okay. Battery okay. Not fuel cell. Not good solution for vehicle. Fuel cell good for stationary power source.

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Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles