Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years.

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Chuck, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    13% better fuel economy with virtually zero emissions

    [xfloat=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2007_Ford_E-Series_Commercial_Van.jpg[/xfloat] AP – July 10, 2007

    DEARBORN, Mich. - The relatively quick-and-easy answer to foreign oil dependence and automotive greenhouse gas emissions is circling the grounds every day at Orlando International Airport in Florida, according to a top Ford Motor Co. official.

    It's a utilitarian 12-passenger parking lot shuttle bus powered by a 6.8-liter internal combustion hydrogen engine, which Ford officials said is their hydrogen technology that's closest to mass production.

    "We really believe this technology is ready to be evaluated at the consumer level," John Lapetz, the company's program manager for the buses, told reporters on Tuesday at an event staged to tout Ford's future vehicles.

    About 30 E-450 Hydrogen shuttle buses are working across the U.S. and Canada, and Ford engineers are monitoring them electronically in real time, Lapetz said. The vehicles, powered by a modified gasoline engine, have near zero emissions and get up to 13 percent better fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts, he said.
    [rm]http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19700154/[/rm]
     
  2. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    Just keep in mind this is a hybrogen ICE - not fuel cell vehicles.

    I can see this for fleet vehicles such as airports and local governments - it would be a great testbed for passenger vehicles. It would be sort of like LGVs. I wonder if the engines would be simpler since catayltic converters would not be needed. The rub is fueling hydrogen - no infrastructure.
     
  3. noflash

    noflash Senior Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    Only $250,000 each?!? Where do I sign up?
     
  4. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    Obviously the price has to come way down if their prediction is meaningful.
     
  5. johnf514

    johnf514 Zoom? Try Glide!

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    Hey! I've seen those! :D They just need to adjust the MSRP . . . a bit. ;)
     
  6. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    I have no idea why anyone thinks it takes a 6.8L engine just to ferry a few people and their luggage to and from a parking lot. :confused:

    Additionally, even though this setup is an ICE rather than a fuel cell, the same basic problems with hydrogen still apply:

    - Lack of availability
    - High cost
    - High amount of energy required for electrolysis
    - Highly unstable, requiring gobs of additional shielding (more weight)
     
  7. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Banned

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    ... and we'll be getting the Hydrogen to power the fleet from where? And the other 4 miracles needed to make Hydrogen something other than Warp Drive?
     
  8. Himmitch

    Himmitch Well-Known Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    There would be a filling station at the airport. It's not perfect but it is a giant leap in the right direction for Ford. I am happy to hear of it.
     
  9. gflippin

    gflippin Active Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    Wow, you can go from 15 MPG to 16.95 MPG for a mere $250K. What will they think of next?

    Greg
     
  10. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    As most people here already know, hydrogen isn't a source of energy, just a storage mechanism. The only reasons we're talking about hydrogen are (a) fuel cells can directly turn it into electricity for use by electric motors to drive the wheels, and (b) it has far greater energy density than any current battery technology. Otherwise there is no point to hydrogen.

    Rather than burning fossil fuel to electrolyze hydrogen, we'd be better off just burning it directly in the engine. Wait a minute ... D'oh! We already do that!
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2007
  11. GrendelKhan

    GrendelKhan Well-Known Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    When the SHTF, they will use hydrogen production as a great reason to build nuclear power plants. Power the grid by day, electrolyze hydrogen at night.

    I'm not saying it's right. I'm just saying that's what they will be saying.

    -Gren
     
  12. Shark29er

    Shark29er New Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    That is exactly right!!! As soon as we can get the US working on Nuclear power we can have virtually unlimited hydrogen!!! The environment will immensely cleaner, we won't have people killed in coal mines, the threat of radical islamofacists to our freedom will be a distant bad dream. The ONLY solution to our energy needs is nuclear power.
     
  13. GrendelKhan

    GrendelKhan Well-Known Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    I'd prefer that we START with building solar, wind, and geothermal plants/farms everywhere first, and learn some real conservation. The threat of meltdown is real, and the waste is a nasty problem. Also, from what I've read, nuclear is not sustainable - there's only so much uranium. And it's freaking expensive.

    Honestly, I think the deserts of the southwest should have been covered with solar fields yesterday. Well, that's extreme - but I wish there were some huge solar/wind projects....

    -Gren
     
  14. Subversive

    Subversive Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    I could be wrong, but I think he may have been being sarcastic.
     
  15. GrendelKhan

    GrendelKhan Well-Known Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    Ah, sorry. New here.

    -Gren
     
  16. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    Beautiful thing about hydrogen production: you can generate power and hydrogen at the same time!!!! That waste heat can be used to drive thermochemical processes (as opposed to electrolysis) essentially getting you usable fuel for an energy cost of nearly zero. Still gotta compress the gas, though :( .

    Hydrogen is tricky. I built a hydrogen ICE on a $600 reserach budget using donated parts from Ford as a useless undergrad, and I can tell you with tremendous certainty that the engine is not the issue. Easy as throwing off-the-shelf parts on a stock block with some smart engine management software. It's getting the stuff and storing more than 100mi worth that gives the engineers a migraine.
     
  17. laserred02

    laserred02 Active Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    Actually most of what you said is completely false so I will attempt to debunk it.

    The waste is not a problem, if GNEP occurs reprocessing the waste and reburning the fuel from that process will cause the amount of spent waste to decrease by around 90+%. Along with the fact that the waste can then be put into a burner reactor of which the sole purpose is to generate electricity while converting the high level nuclear transuranics into fission fragments. This means that high level long lived radioactive waste will be turned into waste that has half-lives less than 50-100 years. This is compared to transuranics which have half-lifes on the order of 10s of thousands of years. This will essentially solve the waste problem.

    As for a "meltdown" scenario, that is highly highly highly improbable. Not the least of which is the fact that as the fuel temperature increases beyond a certain point it's reaction cross section decrease, thereby decreasing the reaction rate and cooling the reactor. This is known as a passive safety feature, one that requires no human interaction whatsoever. Couple this with the massive amount of secondary and primary safety systems and you have a very safe way of generating power. Then look at the safety record of the U.S. nuclear industry over the last 20-30 years (post 3 mile Island) and you will see it is far safer than any other electric utility.

    Third problem with your statement is the cost of Uranium is high, that is so completely uninformed that it should be deleted from this board. The cost of Uranium could quadruple and it would have virtually no effect on the price of electricity coming from a reactor. The major cost to a reactor is the capital cost to build, the overhead (i.e. insane bureaucracy to promote safety), and maintenance. Fuel is actually a very nominal cost, and considering we have enough uranium at current price and capacity to last several hundred years I do not think it is a problem. Couple that with the fact that we have breeder technology which allows us to turn unfissionable uranium or thorium into a fissionable fuel which would mean we have essentially limitless fuel quantities.

    Solar, wind, and geothermal resources are expensive and regionally selective, the best places have been developed already. Without serious advance in solar cell technology that is not a feasible solution to our energy needs, however nuclear is. It already contributes 20% of our power, while doing it completely greenhouse gas free. A realistic and somewhat idealistic future would be one without coal, but have a large contribution of nuclear and renewables.

    Sorry for the long post, but as a PhD candidate in nuclear engineering it perturbs me when people try to talk about nuclear that have little actual knowledge of the subject.

    Rant complete.
     
  18. Himmitch

    Himmitch Well-Known Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    And I was just about to say that! ;)
     
  19. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    You took the words right out of my mouth.
     
  20. laserred02

    laserred02 Active Member

    Re: Ford: Hydrogen ICE's in Five Years

    you should read my post above, because quite frankly everything said about nuclear in that post is false, absolutely false.

    as for the stuff about renewables, of course I support that, but it isn't as easy as people think to just install solar, wind, or geothermal. there are only select spots where it is even feasible, and most of the best places have been used, growth in those markets would have to be astronomical in order to even make a dent in current U.S. energy needs. Currently solar, wind, and geothermal combined contribute less than 1% of current us total energy use.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/trends/table1.html

    Most renewable energy comes from hydro and biomass, and most hydro resources have been developed. If you want to make a serious dent in U.S. or even world energy needs, without producing greenhouse gases, then nuclear is the only feasible and realistic alternative. Using nuclear power you can produce electricity greenhouse gas free, as well as produce hydrogen within the same loop if a hydrogen car economy is the wave of the future.
     

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