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hydrogen power system

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by philba, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. philba

    philba New Member

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    So, i read this article - http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060828/ap_on_sc/hydrogen_project

    In it they say they use solar power and "green" electricty to generate the hydrogen. when the sun isn't shining enough (or at all), they basically use power from the grid. so, why is this such a huge step forward? my guess is that it probably doesn't even break even. they refuse to put a kw hr cost on it in the article.

    It seems to me that the use of hydrogen as an energy storage medium is a positive thing but the article just seems a bit breathless over a small step.
     
  2. Pommie

    Pommie Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    The whole hydrogen argument is very similar to the ethanol argument of the past. People state that hydrogen and ethanol production uses more energy than they ultimately produce and are therefore a waste of time and effort. This is certainly true for hydrogen and possibly true for ethanol. This is an obvious red hearing, if you think of both as a new form of (liquid) battery for a car, then the whole thing makes economic and environmental sense.

    I personally think hydrogen will not be the fuel of the future due to the inherent safety problems mainly due to the very high pressures involved (see this article). I think it more likely that the petrochemical industry will come up with a liquid hydrocarbon battery (AKA petrol/gas - a better version of this process). Wind, solar, nuclear etc producing electricity and a chemical plant producing liquid fuel from the electricity.

    One thing that is striking about the above article is that it seems like a lot of work and expense to generate 1 KW of electricity.

    Mike.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2006

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