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    Jim


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December 01, 2008

Comments

David B. Benson

More can be found by following

http://www.icis.com/blogs/biofuels/

kim

On your suggestion, I clicked through to Ballard, the maker of hydrogen fuel cells. It seems they are selling fuel cell generators like gangbusters in India and Europe. The company is doing well, unlike the rest of us.
What was that you guys said about "forget hydrogen fuel cells"?
Thanks for the suggestion, but my question remains -- is there any other general energy news site like this one?

Clee

Who said "forget hydrogen fuel cell generators"? I see "hydrogen fuel cell vehicles". Are they selling hydrogen fuel cell vehicles like gangbusters in India and Europe?

Personally, I think using waste hydrogen (as from the manufacture of other chemicals) for use in HFC fleet-vehicles works. I'm not convinced it will ever become standard for the masses.

Kit P

@Kim

In the context of general transportation you can "forget hydrogen fuel cells" because the safety issues will always make them too expensive compared to other alternatives.

HFC are a good application for fork lifts in enclosed warehouse and very reliable power supplies for Internet servers.

Will

Ethanol of Hydrogen ?
Ethanol is use as low as 10% in the fuel, while we can inject 30% Hydrogen in the engine in order to lower fuel consumption.
Drivers shouldn't wait for the fuel industry to provide them with solutions. Solutions (like on http://www.hydromake.com) are already available.
It's a matter of taking awareness and taking the first step to a greener planet oneself!

kim

kit -- What safety issues do hydrogen cars have that fork lifts in enclosed warehouses and internet servers don't have?
hydrogen is significantly less explosive than gasoline, but it's more dangerous enclosed than in the open. do you mean that it needs to be pressurized?

Kit P

@Kim

Various codes and standards including process safety must be considered. Each hazard is considered independently. Both hydrogen and gasoline must be made safe to a standard since an explosion of either could potentially result in death.

Hydrogen is very dangerous and and handling requires very strict preventive measures. In an industrial setting, it is easier maintain the safety measures. However, there is not free lunch. Charging batteries for fork lifts also produces hydrogen and batteries blow up. Propane fueled fork lifts produce carbon monoxide.

It is sad to say but every time there is a power outage, there is a epidemic CO poisoning. Smart people with lots of money buy a portable generator. While they know not to run their car in the garage with the door closed, the do not make the connection between the ICE under the hood and the one in plain site.

Beek

I hope you are feeling better.

We feel for you and wish you the best.

Beek

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Elaina

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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kim

Kit P -- You said, again, that hydrogen is very dangerous. Could you be more specific about what is dangerous about it? They didn't say anything about it being dangerous when we visited the California Fuel Cell Partnership in Sacramento, so I am counting on you to enlighten me.

Kit P


Hydrogen detonates over a large range of mixtures and generates high pressure shock waves that can be very destructive. A few years ago a worker was killed and 5 sent to the hospital when hydrogen was being delivered to a coal plant in Ohio for a non-fuel use.

Other transportation fuels such as gasoline and natural gas are much easier to mitigate the danger (i.e., make it safe for consumer use). Diesel is very difficult to explode. When you see cars blow up in movies it is because of special effects.

While I can make HFCV safe for the consumer, it remains to be seen if it can be done at a low enough cost that there will ever be any consumers.


Kit P


Draft Hydrogen Technologies Code for public comment:

http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/CodesStandards/NFPA2Draft.pdf

kim

I read about 25 pages of those proposed regulations, and they seemed pretty standard stuff to me.
If people make their own hydrogen in their garage, they will have to have an inspection service come in annually to inspect all of the equipment. I'm supposed to do that for my fire extinguisher now.

Hydrogen is lighter than air, and when it's released, it disperses. That makes it not particularly flammable -- certain not compared to gasoline, which is heavier than air and the vapors not only puddle and burn, but they climb up hill!

Kit P

“Hydrogen is lighter than air, and when it's released, it disperses.”

Or it can could collect in a high point and detonate as it has when professionals did not properly evaluate the hazard. The welder needed new eyebrows and the roof did not land on anyone. A near miss can be humorous but a work place fatality is not. What the HFCV gang does is convincing demonstrations of a car fire in an open field.

Kim does not seem to appreciate difference between burning and detonating. A gasoline leak presents a noticeable odor. A friend and I were repairing my car. A gasoline leak resulted in a fire. I got the fire extinguisher from the kitchen and put out the fire.

Yes, gasoline should be handled carefully. The day I was born my dad set him and the house on fire using gasoline as a solvent. Since my mom car pooled to the hospital with the human torch, she decided not to waste the trip.

By the time I was responsible for fire safety in the navy my father had been in the hospital 4 times with serious gasoline burns. Two plane crashes during WWII, the day I was born, and pulling 4 kids out of a burning car. I asked him about setting the house on fire; he understood all the principles of handling gasoline but made a near fatal mistake.

Close to the time my dad was retiring OSHA came to his business and threatened him about the yellow lines not painted on the floor. Government weenies should understand that old WWII vets can be dangerous.

“If people make their own hydrogen in their garage, they will have to have an inspection service come in annually to inspect all of the equipment.”

Times have changed Kim. Before the inspectors come, someone like me has to perform a hazard analysis per OSHA requirements so the inspector knows what to look for. All of this costs big bucks.

So Kim, if you were paying me to evaluate making hydrogen in your garage, the first thing I would ask you is why?

kim

Well, there were remedies in those pages you had me read for hydrogen collecting at the roof.
But that's just an argument for not using hydrogen indoors. You originally said it was better to use indoors than in a car, which is usually outdoors when used or fueled. I asked why? You never answered that.

Clee

Personally, I don't like the smell of the exhaust emitted by a hydrocarbon-fueled vehicle, especially when it concentrates indoors. But the real safety issue would be the carbon monoxide in that exhaust. Which is worse, the CO at ground level or the H2 at ceiling level?

Kit P

“Which is worse?”

H2 at ceiling level is worse but dead is dead. Both hazards must be mitigated.

So Clee how do you feel about instantaneous death by blunt force trauma?

Clee, asking which is better is a better way to die not a question I have ever asked during a hazard analysis.

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Kit P

“You originally said it was better to use indoors than in a car, which is usually outdoors when used or fueled. I asked why? You never answered that.”

I made a statement about good applications of HFC to explain Ballards market. I have also explained the hazards of using hydrogen. Safety standards are an absolute that must be met.

However, get the concept of better out of your head.

Folks like to debate if Coke is better than Pepsi, if a Ford is better than a Chevy.

Safety standards are an absolute that must be met. If you would like to have a debate about marketing HFCV we can change the topic. Do you want to discuss the cost of meeting safety standards?

alisha

Hello
Great Blog I will definitely bookmark your blog. I am also having a blog related to Energy news ( http://energymarketnews.blogspot.com/ ) which gives latest analysis and trends in Energy industry in the present recession period. I would appreciate if you could kindly bookmark my blog too.

Clee

Duh, I wasn't asking which was the better way to die. I was asking which was the greater risk, which has something to do with how quickly each gas would accumulate given same amount of usage of H2 vehicles vs hydrocarbon fueled vehicles, how quickly the gasses might dissipate on their own, how quickly the gases might reach dangerous levels, how likely a spark might reach the H2 near ceiling level, and how easy it is to mitigate the risks for each. That is not a hazard analysis I am qualified to do. Maybe you are and can share your insight. I expect the building and usage is a factor, but maybe it's a small enough factor that you can say if the CO2 or the H2 is typically the greater hazard.

cherzheng

try to use solar energy in your every day life .
i suggest amorphous silicon solar panel .
www.solarglobal.blogspot.com

Kit P

Clee, on a gut level I am more afraid of H2.

Simplifying the hazard analysis process to get a number you would identify the hazard, estimate frequency of occurrence, and estimate how often mitigation might fail.

Carbon monoxide from a running car in an enclosed garage is a potentially fatal hazard.

Looking at the numbers, if you park a car in an enclosed garage 365 days a year; how many times would you fail to open the garage door before starting your car? Let us say once a year (+0). Now how many times would you sit in your car with obnoxious fumes until the levels of CO in your blood stream become fatal? I would suggest that it is not creditable to sit in enclosed garage with a running car producing noxious fumes unless it is suicide.

For a H2 fuel car, the potentially fatal hazard would be a leak followed by a detonation.

Based on my experience a H2 leak might occur once a year (+0). With proper ventilation, the hazard is mitigated. The next question is how often might ventilation fail? Again, failure might occur once a year (+0). In the similar case my team was analyzing, operators were trained to leave the building if ventilation was lost except the emergency response team (ERT). We estimated that one out of 100 times, operators would fail to leave (-2).

The goal of the hazard analysis is to add up all the numbers until the risk is insignificant (-6 or one in a million). Typically we can reduce work place hazards much lower. Three out of 5 members of my team had a near miss related to H2. Judging from the damage to the concrete, I missed death or serious injury by too steps. In this case, actual experience of several near misses supported the estimate of a fatality every hundred years.

“how quickly the gases might reach dangerous levels”

This is when our team called in a H2 specialist to answer just this question. The answer was really fast. As a result, the chemical process line we were evaluating was determined to be a serious accident waiting to happen. The line was shut down, H2 sensors added (-2) . Blow out panels added were also added so that the force of the detonation would be directed to an unoccupied space rather that the area where the ERT was donning breathing gear (-2). With added mitigation, the risk became insignificant (-6 or one in a million)

The chemical process line had several hazards that were considered much more dangerous than H2. It had operated safely for 30 years under very strict regulations. New process safety regulations were the most difficult to meet for only H2 hazards.

This process line has a compelling reason to use H2 since there was no substitute and US, Japan, and EU competition all have similar regulatory burdens.

At this point, HFCV safety is a mute point because there is not yet a compelling reason to market them to the public. Making HFCV safer than the poisons stored under the kitchen sink is not a technical challenge. Meeting standards becomes an economic issue.

On a personal level, when the building usage includes my children; my standard is a all electric house. Gasoline for lawn mowers is stored in a detached shed. Propane for the grill is stored on an open deck.

kim

...he chemical process line we were evaluating was determined to be a serious accident waiting to happen.

Was this "chemical process line" in an automobile? I'm having trouble following exactly what you are talking about.

As to ventilation in a garage -- I live in California -- most of the garages around here you can see daylight between the boards. :-)

OZ Battery

Solar energy is the best. it is renewable, clean, environment friendly. Food price will not be go up because of it is used extensively.


OZ Battery
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Paige Green

With regards to the oil dependency issue, while its important, it takes away focus from the main problem...even if we just stick with the current oil supply we have, we have enough oil to burn up the planet 35 times over BEFORE we run out of oil!

Oil dependency is a problem and we need to curb our habit, but isn't melting ice caps and rising temperatures enough of a reason?

Going green is a universal requirement.

energychina

mmh. Renewable fuels. All the countries in the world pay more attention now.

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Mats Maatson

Great blog! Im writing blog myself. About solar power. Visit it here if you got the time.

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oilfield equipment

this is so good to see. hope for the future.

Construction

I think this is quite a good step taken by US EPA. Indeed renewable fuels should be put more into use than it is done in the present days.

xexxonmobil

The Chad/Cameroon Pipeline (CCP) is a safety and environmental timebomb
which will make the Exxonvaldeez look like a lawn mower oil leak in
comparision.
The CCP has been operating in a legal void for nearly 7 years and has
not been provisioned with minimum safeguards as required by Law.The
irregularities and anomalies with the CCP are too voluminous to print
here but include the following:
1. No Oil Spill Plans approved and in place.
2.Emergency Shutdown Valves (ESDV) not installed on BOTH sides of the
major rivers as reported by the Project Authorities and the World Bank.
3.Single Hull rust bucket and asbestos riddled Tanker used as Offshore
Floating Storage Tanker(OFST)
4.Fabricated risk assessments and worst case scenarios used for oil
spills.
5.Fabricated Public Liability Insurance Certificates used on the CCP.
6.No environmental management plan(EMP) in place.
7.No security,transparency and accountability for oil revenues which
has resulted in US federal funds being used to purchase arms.
8.USAID surpressing information and misleading the US Congress prior
to Federal Loans.
9. World Bank and CCP oversight authorities disseminating false and
misleading information to US Congress and the public domain.
10.US &UK Government Ministers coveringup serious crimes on the CCP.
11. No capacity managemet plan in place.

These irregularities are compounded by the fact the World Bank has
failed its duty of care to protect US Federal funds and have now washed
their hands on the CCP and simply walked away from the CCP.

It is only a mater of time before the CCP goes BANG and the end net
result is a catstrophe of the size no man has yet seen.


Former Exxonmobil Project Consultant

xexxonmobil

The Chad/Cameroon Pipeline (CCP) is a safety and environmental timebomb
which will make the Exxonvaldeez look like a lawn mower oil leak in
comparision.
The CCP has been operating in a legal void for nearly 7 years and has
not been provisioned with minimum safeguards as required by Law.The
irregularities and anomalies with the CCP are too voluminous to print
here but include the following:
1. No Oil Spill Plans approved and in place.
2.Emergency Shutdown Valves (ESDV) not installed on BOTH sides of the
major rivers as reported by the Project Authorities and the World Bank.
3.Single Hull rust bucket and asbestos riddled Tanker used as Offshore
Floating Storage Tanker(OFST)
4.Fabricated risk assessments and worst case scenarios used for oil
spills.
5.Fabricated Public Liability Insurance Certificates used on the CCP.
6.No environmental management plan(EMP) in place.
7.No security,transparency and accountability for oil revenues which
has resulted in US federal funds being used to purchase arms.
8.USAID surpressing information and misleading the US Congress prior
to Federal Loans.
9. World Bank and CCP oversight authorities disseminating false and
misleading information to US Congress and the public domain.
10.US &UK Government Ministers coveringup serious crimes on the CCP.
11. No capacity managemet plan in place.

These irregularities are compounded by the fact the World Bank has
failed its duty of care to protect US Federal funds and have now washed
their hands on the CCP and simply walked away from the CCP.

It is only a mater of time before the CCP goes BANG and the end net
result is a catstrophe of the size no man has yet seen.


Former Exxonmobil Project Consultant

xexxonmobil

The Chad/Cameroon Pipeline (CCP) is a safety and environmental
timebomb
which will make the Exxonvaldeez look like a lawn mower oil leak in
comparision.
The CCP has been operating in a legal void for nearly 7 years and has
not been provisioned with minimum safeguards as required by Law.The
irregularities and anomalies with the CCP are too voluminous to print
here but include the following:
1. No Oil Spill Plans approved and in place.
2.Emergency Shutdown Valves (ESDV) not installed on BOTH sides of
the
major rivers as reported by the Project Authorities and the World
Bank.
3.Single Hull rust bucket and asbestos riddled Tanker used as
Offshore
Floating Storage Tanker(OFST)
4.Fabricated risk assessments and worst case scenarios used for oil
spills.
5.Fabricated Public Liability Insurance Certificates used on the CCP.
6.No environmental management plan(EMP) in place.
7.No security,transparency and accountability for oil revenues which
has resulted in US federal funds being used to purchase arms.
8.USAID surpressing information and misleading the US Congress prior
to Federal Loans.
9. World Bank and CCP oversight authorities disseminating false and
misleading information to US Congress and the public domain.
10.US &UK Government Ministers coveringup serious crimes on the CCP.
11. No capacity managemet plan in place.

These irregularities are compounded by the fact the World Bank has
failed its duty of care to protect US Federal&UK/EU funds and have now
washed
their hands on the CCP and simply walked away from the CCP.

It is only a mater of time before the CCP goes BANG and the end net
result is a catstrophe of the size no man has yet seen.


Former Exxonmobil Project Consultant

bSaves

Wow, this was very informative. I had no previous knowledge on this subject. thanks

kim

Does anyone know what happened to Jim, the owner of this site? I'm concerned about him.

Kg

Great info. A lot of information being shared.

Alternative Energy

Let's keep this blog going! We need to spread the word and get more involved to find solutions for our energy crisis,

Eric Melin

hi,

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Super Science Fair Projects

Students who are interested in finding a viable science fair topic should look towards sustainable energy sources. This is a big field of study that needs all the help that it can get.

kim

What would happen if someone developed a way to make electricity from solar that was really efficient, so that you could run a whole house on a PV that was about 2 feet by 2 feet? What if the whole apparatus cost about $800?

Kit P

Kim, you express yourself very for 8-year old. The problem with solar PV is not cost or efficiency.

Four square feet of collection area can only the amount of energy that comes from the sun. Fortunately this is not very much. Think about it. What would happen if you got a sun burn in 10 minutes in the sun?

At nigh it is a different story.

PV output = 0 watts/sq ft x 4 sq ft = 0 watts

The problem with solar is it does not work very much of the time and when it does it depends on a defuse source of energy.

WhichBurner

anything that helps the planet and stops us from relying on middle east is good, think people!

solar-energy

this blog is good for energy.

:) i will visit it more and more. keep posting :)

thanks for your articles.

kim

kit p -- Ha ha ha. You must be dark skinned: I do get sunburned in ten minutes in the sun! It's the redhead's complexion.

You aren't using your imagination -- what if a motor/generator was so efficient that it only needed a very small input of energy to produce an amount of energy that would be the equivalent of a big gas generator? How would the world change?

Heartland Energy Colorado

Heartland Energy Colorado is a site that is dedicated to bringing about more information on sustainable energy resources and development that go right in line with the content of this post. You might find more useful information on top of the information provided here.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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