No, turboprops and big planes are not my thing. I wouldn’t mind an SF260
Nuclear fusion would be great for making hydrogen…
I fully agree. I think we must not abandon fusion research just because wind, solar and hydropower can provide us with most electricity as needed, especially with a Europe-wide smart grid. Fusion is ultimately a key technology to lots of further progress.
What goes around comes around, and timing is everything. If I remember my aviation history correctly, Santos Dumont, the first real aviator, even before the Wright brothers, if the Brazilians are correct, used to travel in his flying machine, kept aloft by hydrogen from his home to the centre of Paris and either used to tie it up to the Eiffel Tower or to the railings of his favourite restaurant where he would dine with the likes of Cartier (of watch fame). He supposedly built a factory in Monaco to make the hydrogen using some process which turned the rust on old metal into the hydrogen. I believe the Prince at the time decided it had to close because it was turning the Med a dirty red although it was proved not to be toxic just coloured water as a bi product of the process.
More up to date I read somewhere that a group of researchers have found a way to store hydrogen as a solid. Maybe that will solve some of the storage and transportation problems.
The Toyota Mirai has been available since 2014. 100% hydrogen, fuel cell. It can go for 5-600 km on one tank. The tank fills up with 5 kg of hydrogen at 700 bar in a few minutes. The kWh/L of the tank with hydrogen is 3x that of current batteries. The kWh/kg is what 50x ? that of current batteries. It fills up in a few minutes. It’s more complex than a battery car (more expensive), cannot piggyback on any existing infrastructure, and hydrogen is considerable more expensive than electricity (although cheaper than gasoline/diesel). This makes it more of a curiosity. In all other respects, the solution is better than a standard battery car, and with a much larger potential for improvements considering no revolution in battery technology is foreseen.
Taking the CO2 threat for real, then all fossil fuels are problems, not part of the solution. Anything that merely dilute the use of fossil fuel, like all current wind/solar systems do, is not a solution, just an extension of the problem. Only hydrogen offers a real solution, there is nothing else out there except nuclear power. Nuclear power does not work well for transportation however, except for trains. Maybe some revolution in battery technology will come, but then we might just as well hope for revolutions in any other technology.
Hyundai also has a H2 powered SUV now….here’s a (not very comprehensive) review with snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Taking the CO2 threat for real, then all fossil fuels are problems, not part of the solution.
Anything that merely dilute the use of fossil fuel, like all current wind/solar systems do, is not a solution, just an extension of the problem. Only hydrogen offers a real solution, there is nothing else out there except nuclear power. Nuclear power does not work well for transportation however, except for trains. Maybe some revolution in battery technology will come, but then we might just as well hope for revolutions in any other technology.
I don’t follow. Aren’t you confusing power generation with power distribution now? Wind/solar systems are power sources. Hydrogen is not a power source, it is a way to distribute power.
It’s nonsense to think that only complete elimination of fossil fuels is of value. There’s a lot to be said for ‘diluting’ the problem. If carbon emissions are ‘diluted’ sufficiently then that will be enough.
There will be all sorts of applications where the benefits of fossil fuels will continue to outweigh their drawbacks. For example every hospital has a backup diesel generator that will start automatically and power the hospital until external power is restored. As these are not used 99.9% of the time their carbon emissions are negligible but the costs of converting to hydrogen fuel cells or batteries would be immense.
Wind/solar systems are power sources
No, they are not. They are energy harvesting devices exclusively. They are quite incapable of producing power (in the grid sense), or even storing the harvested energy. In fact power producing devices (traditional power/energy sources, and in particular hydropower/pump-turbines) are needed to balance the random power produced by them and to store the random energy. That’s why we have several GWs of DC cables from Norway (hydropower) to Denmark/Germany. Purely to balance wind power there. We make lots of money of it though The last 10 years I have been developing new control systems for Norway’s largest power plant, to be able to do this as fast and efficient and safe as possible.
Think of a traditional hydro power plant. You have a dam, you have some conduits, you have turbines, generators and the grid. The purpose of the dam is to collect water from the rain and smaller creeks and drain off in a larger area. It collects the water and stores it. The dam is an energy storage which the turbines can convert to exact amounts of power when needed. It can regulate GWs of power, exactly and in demand in a matter of seconds. A wind turbine in this scheme, is not even like the dam, its like the rain. It produces power only when it blows. It cannot store the power, it cannot produce on demand. It’s like the rain. Combining wind power and hydro works well. The effect of wind turbines are exactly like more random rain, and the hydro turbines, due to the dam, can handle this just fine. This is basically how it works.
I’m not saying you’re wrong LeSving, but wind and solar distributed over a large area (say the
EU+EFTA) can produce power quite reliably if managed with a smart grid. The sun will always shine and the wind always blow somewhere over such a large area.
Of course the role of dams and hydropower as energy storage for wind/solar works just as you described.
No, they are not. They are energy harvesting devices exclusively. They are quite incapable of producing power (in the grid sense), or even storing the harvested energy.
Now you are mincing words. We both know that energy = power*time. In this context it doesn’t matter what words we use.