01-07-2015 12:48 PM
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  1. palandri's Avatar
    I heard about Toyota possible using fuel cells about a year ago. I figured big oil told Toyota to drop the idea. Well, they haven't dropped the idea and the Toyota Mirai is now a reality. It runs on hydrogen, which can easily be made from water. I separated hydrogen and oxygen when I was in grammar school for a science experiment. Can this be the end for big oil? I can't imagine them going away quietly.

    Toyota Mirai – The Turning Point
    12-23-2014 04:29 PM
  2. A895's Avatar
    Looks good and has a better price than a Tesla. I can see myself buying a car like that.
    Attached Thumbnails Toyota Mirai-uploadfromtaptalk1419374351323.png   Toyota Mirai-uploadfromtaptalk1419374372251.png  
    palandri likes this.
    12-23-2014 04:39 PM
  3. palandri's Avatar
    Looks good and has a better price than a Tesla. I can see myself buying a car like that.
    It's so easy to make hydrogen. In grammar school we took two carbon rods out of a couple old batteries. We stuck them in two test tubes filled with water inside a cup of water and then applied 3 volts from two D batteries to the carbon rods. Both carbon rods start to bubble. One test tube filled with hydrogen and the other filled with oxygen.
    12-23-2014 05:00 PM
  4. anon8126715's Avatar
    It makes you wonder how far big oil will go to protect their industry. What I find most loathsome about big corporate America (in this case the gas/oil industry) is that in order to protect their own interests, they will often buy politicians to get them to enact legislation that protects their industry while stifling progress. Innovation then takes a back seat to protecting the status quo.

    I hope Toyota succeeds, although I do wish this was an American innovation. I can't imagine it being a smooth ride, and I wouldn't put anything past big oil trying to derail Toyota's innovation. I wonder what the "catch" will be with this technology. Maybe the chemical process used to make hydrogen will mean expensive maintenance or maybe there will be another danger. Although, it would be nice if it comes with no strings.
    palandri likes this.
    12-23-2014 06:02 PM
  5. A895's Avatar
    It makes you wonder how far big oil will go to protect their industry. What I find most loathsome about big corporate America (in this case the gas/oil industry) is that in order to protect their own interests, they will often buy politicians to get them to enact legislation that protects their industry while stifling progress. Innovation then takes a back seat to protecting the status quo.

    I hope Toyota succeeds, although I do wish this was an American innovation. I can't imagine it being a smooth ride, and I wouldn't put anything past big oil trying to derail Toyota's innovation. I wonder what the "catch" will be with this technology. Maybe the chemical process used to make hydrogen will mean expensive maintenance or maybe there will be another danger. Although, it would be nice if it comes with no strings.
    If anything, I bet it costs a bit to fix if anything mechanical fails, as you probably have to go bring it to the dealer everytime.
    palandri likes this.
    12-23-2014 06:13 PM
  6. Scott7217's Avatar
    I heard about Toyota possible using fuel cells about a year ago. I figured big oil told Toyota to drop the idea. Well, they haven't dropped the idea and the Toyota Mirai is now a reality.
    I wouldn't be surprised if the US military had more pull over big oil.

    The M1 Abrams tank and similar vehicles guzzle fuel, and their ability to fight is limited by their supply lines. If you're out of gas, you have to wait until the tanker trucks catch up. This slows down an advancing force.

    If there are fuel cells in passenger cars, it won't be long before the military uses them. If terrorist groups like Al Qaeda or ISIS disrupt the world's petroleum supply, we can still take the fight to them.
    palandri likes this.
    12-23-2014 09:58 PM
  7. NoYankees44's Avatar
    Every manufacturer is working on hydrogen fuel cells to some extent. Then German companies have been forever it seems like, but the Japanese companies are beating them to market.

    Hydrogen production is not yet viable on a large scale. Using the traditional method of electricity and water only grants you 70-80%yield of the energy you use in production. Other methods have better yields, but use fossil fuels to create the raw hydrogen. Either of these options begs the question of: "why don't we just run our cars on electricity or fossil fuels instead?"

    Other problems have to do with storage and transportation of large quantities of liquid hydrogen. It is incredibly expensive to do safely,and if something ever does go wrong, you can kiss everything in the surrounding area goodbye.

    Hydrogen is definitely a potential long term solution, but not yet viable. The best solution right now is to continue to optimize IC engines and sprinkle some electric cars in to kick the can until we develop a viable alternative.

    Sent from my XT1096
    palandri and Scott7217 like this.
    12-23-2014 10:45 PM
  8. palandri's Avatar
    Every manufacturer is working on hydrogen fuel cells to some extent. Then German companies have been forever it seems like, but the Japanese companies are beating them to market.

    Hydrogen production is not yet viable on a large scale. Using the traditional method of electricity and water only grants you 70-80%yield of the energy you use in production. Other methods have better yields, but use fossil fuels to create the raw hydrogen. Either of these options begs the question of: "why don't we just run our cars on electricity or fossil fuels instead?"

    Other problems have to do with storage and transportation of large quantities of liquid hydrogen. It is incredibly expensive to do safely,and if something ever does go wrong, you can kiss everything in the surrounding area goodbye.

    Hydrogen is definitely a potential long term solution, but not yet viable. The best solution right now is to continue to optimize IC engines and sprinkle some electric cars in to kick the can until we develop a viable alternative.

    Sent from my XT1096
    Thanks for your input on this. I know you've been in the automotive industry, so I am sure you're up to date on it.

    A couple of questions:

    Why not use solar power to produce the hydrogen?

    If transporting liquid hydrogen is that dangerous, can't they just transport the gas? like they do with propane?

    If this become viable, what is big oil going to do?

    Any other input you have on this would be appreciated.
    12-24-2014 12:32 AM
  9. NoYankees44's Avatar
    Thanks for your input on this. I know you've been in the automotive industry, so I am sure you're up to date on it.

    A couple of questions:

    Why not use solar power to produce the hydrogen?

    If transporting liquid hydrogen is that dangerous, can't they just transport the gas? like they do with propane?

    If this become viable, what is big oil going to do?

    Any other input you have on this would be appreciated.
    Using solar, wind, etc, to produce hydrogen would be a the best way for overall cleanliness. However the majority of our normal electricity is not produced by such sources yet, so pricing a lot more from to produce hydrogen may not be the best course of action for the near future.

    The liquid form is much denser, so you can transport much more. Also, I speculate that it is generally more stable, if not potentially more dangerous. Fuel cells for cars usually use the gas I believe, but it is easy to take liquid and turn it into gas. The whole thing is a balance between storage capacity and cost. The amount of energy it takes to every step of the way is the problem right now. It takes much more energy to produce, store, and pump hydrogen that gasoline,and that cuts deeply into your overall energy yields.

    Oil companies will quietly fight the push in the background until it becomes viable, then they will do something drastic like lower the cost per barrel to unreasonable levels such as they are now, to fight the push to electric and hybrid vehicles and fight natural gas. If the situation becomes too bad for them, they will do whatever it takes. Nothing would surprise me. You will see all the areas of the world that have become rich on oil foam at the mouth.

    Fossil fuels are much too good at what they do. We will have to develop technologies to beyond anything we have ever seen before to replace them.

    Sent from my XT1096
    palandri and A895 like this.
    12-24-2014 09:55 AM
  10. Mooncatt's Avatar
    NoYankees44, I don't know much about the small auto market and these cells, but I've heard interesting tests on the large diesel truck side of things. Basically none of the companies trying hydrogen have succeeded. Granted, they are trying to use hydrogen injection where they convert water right on the truck and inject it into the cylinder with the diesel too, and not actual fuel cells. In the tests I've heard of, they have done nothing. On one test, the alternator couldn't keep up, which meant installing a bigger alt to generate enough electricity, which caused an additional parasitic drag on the engine. Factor in all the additional weight, and more power was being used to move the equipment alone. In some tests, overall mileage went down while costs went way up. There's been numerous private companies trying to make a reliable hydrogen system on trucks for years.

    I don't remember the actual numbers, but one guy figured the BTU amounts and determined hydrogen had less BTUs than diesel (which we already know is more fuel efficient than gasoline). That meant even if you didn't take in to account the added weight of the equipment, and just stuck a hydrogen tank on the truck, your mileage would go down overall.

    Have you heard anything like this on the passenger car side of things?
    palandri likes this.
    12-24-2014 01:51 PM
  11. NoYankees44's Avatar
    NoYankees44, I don't know much about the small auto market and these cells, but I've heard interesting tests on the large diesel truck side of things. Basically none of the companies trying hydrogen have succeeded. Granted, they are trying to use hydrogen injection where they convert water right on the truck and inject it into the cylinder with the diesel too, and not actual fuel cells. In the tests I've heard of, they have done nothing. On one test, the alternator couldn't keep up, which meant installing a bigger alt to generate enough electricity, which caused an additional parasitic drag on the engine. Factor in all the additional weight, and more power was being used to move the equipment alone. In some tests, overall mileage went down while costs went way up. There's been numerous private companies trying to make a reliable hydrogen system on trucks for years.

    I don't remember the actual numbers, but one guy figured the BTU amounts and determined hydrogen had less BTUs than diesel (which we already know is more fuel efficient than gasoline). That meant even if you didn't take in to account the added weight of the equipment, and just stuck a hydrogen tank on the truck, your mileage would go down overall.

    Have you heard anything like this on the passenger car side of things?
    I know that many have experimented with synthesizing the hydrogen on the car from methane or water, but I believe that all the production cars coming down the pike use refillable fuel cells.

    Hydrogen fill stations are actually pretty common, but they are for industrial uses only outside of a few exceptions and are extremely expensive. It would take billions if not trillions of dollars to outfit a majority of the the current gas stations with hydrogen equipment.

    Sent from my XT1096
    A895 and palandri like this.
    12-24-2014 04:26 PM
  12. palandri's Avatar
    I'll have to look and see if I can find the article again, but I remember reading about a Scandinavian country that was installing fuel cell generators that would power 4 housing units. I am pretty sure they said they used water to power the generators.
    12-24-2014 05:05 PM
  13. palandri's Avatar
    LOL! check this out. A fuel cell for charging your phone: The fuel cell charger that generates electricity on the go – myFC PowerTrekk
    NoYankees44 likes this.
    12-24-2014 05:14 PM
  14. NoYankees44's Avatar
    LOL! check this out. A fuel cell for charging your phone: The fuel cell charger that generates electricity on the go – myFC PowerTrekk
    That is really cool...

    Sent from my XT1096
    palandri likes this.
    12-24-2014 05:39 PM
  15. Scott7217's Avatar
    Hydrogen is definitely a potential long term solution, but not yet viable. The best solution right now is to continue to optimize IC engines and sprinkle some electric cars in to kick the can until we develop a viable alternative.
    I think it's a good idea to introduce new advancements gradually.

    For example, hybrid gasoline/electric vehicles have been on the market for a long time now. If we increase the adoption of hybrids, we could cut our consumption of petroleum significantly. That would be a good first step.
    A895 likes this.
    12-25-2014 12:01 AM
  16. Mooncatt's Avatar
    I think it's a good idea to introduce new advancements gradually.
    Agreed. When government steps in with arbitrary mandates and accelerated schedules, the products are much more expensive to bring to market and more prone to problems.
    Scott7217 likes this.
    12-25-2014 10:40 AM
  17. Timelessblur's Avatar
    I heard about Toyota possible using fuel cells about a year ago. I figured big oil told Toyota to drop the idea. Well, they haven't dropped the idea and the Toyota Mirai is now a reality. It runs on hydrogen, which can easily be made from water. I separated hydrogen and oxygen when I was in grammar school for a science experiment. Can this be the end for big oil? I can't imagine them going away quietly.

    Toyota Mirai – The Turning Point
    People keep screaming about hydrogen but one keep problem with hydrogen that everyone forgets. It is getting hydrogen.

    We have 2 sources we can get it from. One is fossil fuels. That one right off the bat is a waste as you give up a lot of energy from the fuel right there and does nothing to reduce our dependency on it. If anything it makes it worse.

    Other source is water. Water has 2 problems. One we already have a water shortage problem in the US. There just is not enough water for our needs and this puts a huge additional strain on it. The other problem with water is breaking the bonds with oxygen takes a lot of energy. A heck of a lot more than you ever could get back in return.

    The other problem with hydrogen is storage. It likes to get out of any tank you put it in really easily in gas form plus the volume it takes up and in liquid form well you have to keep is REALLY REALLY cold. Both are fundamental issues that can not be avoid.

    Now hydrogen has some advantages like it can be quickly filled but really getting quick charging batteries would more than likely be easier and faster. Plus batteries do not waste as much energy charging as it does to create hydrogen. I expect lithium air batteries to be the next big thing.
    12-30-2014 11:31 AM
  18. A895's Avatar
    People keep screaming about hydrogen but one keep problem with hydrogen that everyone forgets. It is getting hydrogen.

    We have 2 sources we can get it from. One is fossil fuels. That one right off the bat is a waste as you give up a lot of energy from the fuel right there and does nothing to reduce our dependency on it. If anything it makes it worse.

    Other source is water. Water has 2 problems. One we already have a water shortage problem in the US. There just is not enough water for our needs and this puts a huge additional strain on it. The other problem with water is breaking the bonds with oxygen takes a lot of energy. A heck of a lot more than you ever could get back in return.

    The other problem with hydrogen is storage. It likes to get out of any tank you put it in really easily in gas form plus the volume it takes up and in liquid form well you have to keep is REALLY REALLY cold. Both are fundamental issues that can not be avoid.

    Now hydrogen has some advantages like it can be quickly filled but really getting quick charging batteries would more than likely be easier and faster. Plus batteries do not waste as much energy charging as it does to create hydrogen. I expect lithium air batteries to be the next big thing.
    Makes me wonder why solar powered cars still aren't a reality.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-30-2014 05:26 PM
  19. Mooncatt's Avatar
    Makes me wonder why solar powered cars still aren't a reality.App
    Look at the solar powered cars that exist today. Even the racing ones are not that high performance, not to mention not even practical. You need large flat areas to mount the panels, but even with all the space on existing "cars" (more like experimental vehicles), they still have to be made super light and aren't very fast. They sit one person, barely. You can forget luggage space.

    Want batteries for cloudy days? You've now increased the weight a lot, meaning stronger motors to move it, meaning more panels for powering it without using the batteries.

    Want headlights for night driving and inclement weather? That's even more battery power needed. Radio? Even more power needed and weight added.

    Car shapes of today don't lend themselves to solar panel mounting. There are truckers starting to experiment with mounting them to the top of their trailers, but even those are only expecting enough to power basic equipment during down time (A.C, computer, microwave, etc) plus tend the battery bank.

    Solar power just isn't there and probably never will be as a practical stand alone power source for cars. Perhaps as a supplemental, like regenerative braking on hybrids, but that would be the extent of it in my opinion.
    12-30-2014 08:46 PM
  20. A895's Avatar
    Look at the solar powered cars that exist today. Even the racing ones are not that high performance, not to mention not even practical. You need large flat areas to mount the panels, but even with all the space on existing "cars" (more like experimental vehicles), they still have to be made super light and aren't very fast. They sit one person, barely. You can forget luggage space.

    Want batteries for cloudy days? You've now increased the weight a lot, meaning stronger motors to move it, meaning more panels for powering it without using the batteries.

    Want headlights for night driving and inclement weather? That's even more battery power needed. Radio? Even more power needed and weight added.

    Car shapes of today don't lend themselves to solar panel mounting. There are truckers starting to experiment with mounting them to the top of their trailers, but even those are only expecting enough to power basic equipment during down time (A.C, computer, microwave, etc) plus tend the battery bank.

    Solar power just isn't there and probably never will be as a practical stand alone power source for cars. Perhaps as a supplemental, like regenerative braking on hybrids, but that would be the extent of it in my opinion.
    Wind power? Kinetic Power? Salt Water? I am out of ideas.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-30-2014 09:43 PM
  21. NoYankees44's Avatar
    Makes me wonder why solar powered cars still aren't a reality.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    Solar panels cannot produce enough electrical current to power sizeable electric motors. You could put them in as an option for charging, but that would add a lot of cost, weight, and potential damage for little gain to the overall vehicle.

    The problem with electric vehicles in general is the battery tech. They cannot get anywhere near the energy density of fossil fuels, so they must take up more size and weight in the vehicle. EV will maybe be viable for small passenger cars in the near future, but they will not be able to fulfill the role of shipping and duty vehicles until we find new materials to make batteries out of that have better properties.


    We really do not have a viable alternative to fossil fuels right now. Not at all. Even if large scale EVs were more viable, our electric grid cannot handle anywhere near the load. We would have to do all kinds of upgrades and modifications to even think about supporting a significant percentage of cars on the grid.

    I still maintain that the path forward is to continue increasing the efficiency of fossil fuel powered vehicles while also investigating other alternatives until a truly viable alternative is developed.

    The internal combustion engine is far from tapped out. Technologies such as camless systems are now very viable and can increase efficiency by large margins when combined with heavy ECU tuning. The only reason automakers have not jumped on them is for fear of getting the reputation of "unreliable" which takes years and years to fix. Auto makers only want guaranteed success. Recalls, lawsuits, and brand damage are very high penalties for screwing up. There has really not been any "new" technology outside of computers in the automotive industry in more than 30 years. All the development has been improving technology instead of creating technology.

    Sent from my XT1096
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    12-30-2014 11:04 PM
  22. palandri's Avatar
    @NoYankees44 in regards to fossil fuels

    I remember back in like 1998/1999, I was watching the news one night and they covered a yearly MPG contest. It was a bunch of vocational schools and small colleges across the U.S. that took part in the competition. As I recall, some school won the competition with a one man vehicle that got like 160MPG.

    Do you know if they still have this yearly MPG competition? and if they do, what is the highest MPG someone has obtained?

    Thanks.
    12-30-2014 11:41 PM
  23. NoYankees44's Avatar
    @NoYankees44 in regards to fossil fuels

    I remember back in like 1998/1999, I was watching the news one night and they covered a yearly MPG contest. It was a bunch of vocational schools and small colleges across the U.S. that took part in the competition. As I recall, some school won the competition with a one man vehicle that got like 160MPG.

    Do you know if they still have this yearly MPG competition? and if they do, what is the highest MPG someone has obtained?

    Thanks.
    I never participated in the competition, but I definitely heard about it. My college did the alternative fuel competition instead. I personally did Baja SAE.

    The highest milage I can easily find is 3169 mpg by Laval University(who does well in all the competitions). The course is a little different every year, so your milage may vary(see what I did there).


    The largest constraints holding our road cause back is weight and emissions. They both have an inverse relation efficiency. Emissions is a mixed bag, but weight and crash test standards are directly related to the cost of the vehicle as well. We all know that price is a constant problem in the auto industry.

    Sent from my XT1096
    A895 and palandri like this.
    12-31-2014 09:27 AM
  24. palandri's Avatar
    ....The highest milage I can easily find is 3169 mpg by Laval University(who does well in all the competitions). The course is a little different every year, so your milage may vary(see what I did there)....
    Wow! That's pretty impressive!

    One other question, what's the deal with nitrogen in tires? I know a lot of new cars are coming out with green valve stems with nitrogen filled tires and charging extra for it? Is it really helpful or is it snake oil?
    NoYankees44 likes this.
    12-31-2014 09:38 AM
  25. NoYankees44's Avatar
    Wow! That's pretty impressive!

    One other question, what's the deal with nitrogen in tires? I know a lot of new cars are coming out with green valve stems with nitrogen filled tires and charging extra for it? Is it really helpful or is it snake oil?
    There is some benefit, but mostly snake oil. Having pure nitrogen makes your tire pressure less sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and more consistent as the tires heat up and cool down. There is nothing physically different about the tires or caps, so fill them up with whatever you want.

    Sent from my XT1096
    palandri likes this.
    12-31-2014 09:51 AM
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