salt, water, solar = hydrogen! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 45 Old 03-13-2012 Thread Starter
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salt, water, solar = hydrogen!

eh.. been doing some reading on it. Seems at least as viable as using propane or cng both stored in High pressure tanks
there seems to be allot of tinker types adding Hydrogen to car engines to make them a sort of "hybrid"


Solar powered hydrogen filling station opens in Germany

and for the scientists;
Salt Water System Could Generate Hydrogen

and for Diesel
[IMG][/IMG]



fun to read about at least!

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post #2 of 45 Old 03-14-2012
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Re: salt, water, solar = hydrogen!

Unfortunately, cracking water is terribly inefficient. Yes, one can do it. But the energy one gets in return is a fairly small fraction of the energy put into the system.

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post #3 of 45 Old 03-14-2012
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Re: salt, water, solar = hydrogen!

The energy balance for such a system borders on the preposterous, as does much of 'solar' installations - wishful thinking when you estimate/calculate the fundamental numbers.

A typical average diesel boat engine consumes ~.75 gallons per hour of diesel oil.
#2 Diesel oil = 130000 BTU/gallon = 130000 BTU/gal X .75gph = 98000 BTU/hr.
98000 BTU X .3watt-hr/btu = 30000 watt/hr.

Average photon impact on earth / sq. meter = 1000w/sq. meter
Average 'best' solar panel 'collection' = 300w/sq. meter (but for only ~5-6 hrs./day and with no 'cloudy days' permitted)

30000/300 = 100 sq. meters of solar collector required to equate to .75 gallons per hour diesel oil burning engine ..... for only 5-6 hours per day (and NO 'storage')

100 sq. meters translates to a solar panel that is 32 ft. X 32 ft. and must be always at 90 degrees perpendicular to the sun. Imagine the cost of a solar panel that's 32ft. x 32ft. ... and you could only use it 5-6 hours per day.

Dissociation of water to separate into H2 & O2 is very 'energy inefficient'. Hydrogen is a very 'difficult' gas to contain, requiring very expensive and very precise containment and compression equipment ... and its quite 'explosive'. So a SWAG estimate would require a solar panel of 300 x 300 ft. due to 'conversion losses', require a system cost of approx. $150,000.
In contrast, Diesel average price is $4.25/gallon and is so overpriced due to the collapse in the value of the deepening 'worthlessness' of the $US on the international currency exchange.

------------
Its the same when you attempt to replace 'big oil' with solar panels for the entire lower 48 US states ---- would require covering almost 60% of the entire landmass of the 'lower 48' to run the country ONLY with 'solar panels'. Even with 'perfect' panels, youd still have to cover ~40% of the landmass ..... and still have to outlaw 'clouds'.

The endpoint conclusion therefore must be MOST of 'green energy' is mostly --- political BS and ultimate hyperbole .... until the lawmakers repeal the 'laws of physics' or require yet one more penultimately ridiculous 'mandate'.
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post #4 of 45 Old 03-14-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: salt, water, solar = hydrogen!

So..what's your take on the solar powered hydrogen station?

The roof of the station is equipped with photovoltaic panels that generate all the electricity that the station requires to produce hydrogen. The station features a 30 bare electrolyzer and a mechanical compressor that compresses the generated hydrogen to a pressure of 700 bar. The generated hydrogen is stored at different pressure levels and feature different pumps for dispensing hydrogen. The creators state that the pump can be used to refill cars, buses and bikes that run on fuel cells.

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post #5 of 45 Old 03-14-2012
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Re: salt, water, solar = hydrogen!

my take ... someone is getting a lot of 'grant' money to develop perpetual motion ... with a power-take-off.

A compression ratio of 700:1 either takes a lot of power or a LOT of time ... dont forget to include heat and friction losses.

It will work .... have a lot of land space for the panels; and, if you dont 'use it' often and have a lot of dwell time - wait endless 'sun exposure time' for a 'recharge'.

Imagine the 'carbon footprint' to build one.
Imagine the weight added to a boat in H2 tube cylinders enough to power 'for a few hours'.
Imagine the permits and the thick sized book of 'regulations' to run one.
Imagine the dwell time tied up in 'routine inspections' for running an explosive gas plant.

And you thought bottled freon was bad, wait till you see the 'shysterism' that accompanies compressing HYDROGEN.
If this were 'viable', there'd already be television adds by shysters setting up for future contingency fees.

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Re: salt, water, solar = hydrogen!

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Nonsense. The energy you get from burning hydrogen is exactly what you put in to crack the water. ...
Is everyone on SN ignorant of the Laws of Thermodynamics?

(SBS shakes his head; wonders whatever became of his old P-chem book; and goes back to the "Honey-do list" the Admiral handed him the first day of Spring Break.)

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Re: salt, water, solar = hydrogen!

Calm down SBS, the engineering and science schools in the USA have all been mostly vacant of 'americans' for the past 30+ years.
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Re: salt, water, solar = hydrogen!

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Don't be to hard on them:
They have been busy designing and racing hybrid-diesel-electric-hydrogen-fuel-cell-driven vehicles.
You can't expect that AND command of laws and units of physics.
That isn't the issue. I simply pointed out that cracking water for hydrogen isn't very efficient. the overall efficiency of such a system is usually calculated at about 30%, at best. The one advantage such systems do have is that one can store the hydrogen fairly easily once it's produced. However, for a small system, like that on a boat, it makes more sense to just store the electricity in a battery.

BTW, the explosive limits of hydrogen in air and about 20 to about 60 percent. It does "go boom" more easily in that respect than propane. However, it is much light than propane, and so dissipates very readily and won't accumulate in a boat's bilge. As such, I would feel much better about having hydrogen on a boat than I would propane.

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Re: salt, water, solar = hydrogen!

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Nonsense. The energy you get from burning hydrogen is exactly what you put in to crack the water.
Yeah, except for that pesky 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which says that you always lose energy in the process of converting it from one form to another and then trying to use it again. So, no, you don't actually get back exactly what you put into it. In the real world, you get back considerably less.
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Re: salt, water, solar = hydrogen!

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Yeah, except for that pesky 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which says that you always lose energy in the process of converting it from one form to another and then trying to use it again. So, no, you don't actually get back exactly what you put into it. In the real world, you get back considerably less.
Gee. I wish I had said something like that.

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