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tailpipe
May 20th, 2005, 20:54
Does anyone know what Volkswagen and Audi are doing in this area? Toyota, Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have all demonstrated cars with Hydrogen fuel cell technology. I figure that Audi, as the technology leader, should be doing something interesting in this area. If they aren't then they had better get to it, because all of the others have shown some impressive stuff. If Audi is on the case, then we need to see something which whets our appetites and reminds us that Vorsprung durch technik is a promise and not just marketing psychobabble.

In case you are unfamiliar with fuel cell technology, here's a primer:

The idea is that you burn hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity which is then used to drive an electric motor. Instead of having a single motor that delivers power via a drive shaft, electrically powered motors can be made small enough so that you have one per wheel. The handling benefits are obvious. In other words, petrol engines may die, but quattro lives on. The only waste emission is water.

Most of the fuel cell solutions presented to date have a central electricity generator unit and battery. Hydrogen and oxygen are burned together as gasses not liquids, (safer and easier to store than liquid hydrogen), to create electricity which drives the car via rechargable batteries. All of these things sit within the wheelbase of the car resulting in very equal weight distribution. In fact, the powertrain components of a car will take up much less space, allowing more practical designs.

Fuel cells are definitely the way to go versus other hydrogen power options. One alternative is an internal combustion engines which burns liquid hydrogen. BMW demonstrated a 7-Series in 2000 fitted with an engine converted to run on liquid hydrogen. It was fine except that it needed a specially insulated fuel tank able to store hydrogen in liquid form at -253 degrees. While this prototype was very cool, (quite literally), the fuel tank, developed by NASA cost 20 times more than the rest of the car. Oh, and one other thing, it was extremely dangerous.

Even more advanced solutions reduce the danger of hydrogen stored as a liquid or a gas by storing fuel in a powdered form. When the powder is ignited the resulting chemical reaction releases both hydrogen and oxygen which together generate electricity for the fuel cell.

The only real barrier that remains before this technology is truly marketable and that is battery capacity. Lithium iron for cars will soon be a reality.

What's this discussion doing on RS6.com? It is less than two model cycles from our driveways. Which is why Audi needs to tell us what its hydrogen fuel cell powered model plans are.

5000S old skool
May 24th, 2005, 00:22
It will prbably be something with the A2. A hybrid A2 or something....

clam
May 24th, 2005, 10:55
Originally posted by tailpipe

The only real barrier that remains before this technology is truly marketable and that is battery capacity. Lithium iron for cars will soon be a reality.


There's another one. Hydrogen cells require platinum, b/c other materials oxidice too fast (milliseconds). And even the platimun is gone in 200hours, or about 12.000 miles. That's one of the reasones why fuel cells are so expensive.

Hydrongen is not a viable source of enegry, and we will never see it in mass production.

Benman
May 24th, 2005, 17:21
Originally posted by clam

Hydrongen is not a viable source of enegry, and we will never see it in mass production.
I'm going to have to agree with clam on this one. I think we are LEAD to believe that there is an approaching oil shortage when in fact there's plenty.

With VW diesels getting 50+ mpg and gas/electric hybrids (Honda and Toyota) getting the same, why do we need Hydrogen? Why spend all the $$$ for the reaserch? And platinum is currently close to $900.00 US an ounce, not a ceap material if you ask me. Heck, Ferdinand Piech proved how far the gas engine can go (albiet in near non useable format), so again, why the hype over Hydrogen.

If Honda and Toyota (which all the enthusiasts seem to dis) can produce a near ZERO emission vehicle that has enough pep that NEVER needs charging AND can use ANY regular old gas station, than why the heck waste time with an entirely new system. Do people even realize the kind of $$$ involved to change over EVERY gas station in the WORLD?!?!? Government really seems to like to spend OUR money!:deal:

Ben:addict:

tailpipe
May 24th, 2005, 20:17
Quote: "BMW is working on a new type of hybrid car, according to technology chief Raymond Freymann. In an interview published on US consumer website Edmunds.com, he said that he agreed with GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler that hydrogen is the fuel of the future: "There is no doubt in my mind about this. We are running out of fossil fuels. Hydrogen is the perfect alternative. It is clean-burning - so no pollution - and abundant. The world is full of hydrogen."

Platinum is the least important element here. There are a multitude of ways of burning hydrogen to create electricity. The important thing about hydrogen is that it is a fundamental chemical element and therefore easy to synthesise through other chemical compounds. Hydrogen powered cars can be every bit as powerful as petrol or diesel-engined vehicles.

No one is saying that petrol is going to run out anytime soon. The two factors that will most speed up the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the cost of petrol and the pollution it causes. Very soon the cost of mining new deposits of oil will be greater than the cost of bringing existing fuel cell technology to market.

Pollution is a big issue and while a growing number of environmentalists are concerned that the damage caused by current fuel emissions could soon be irreversible, scientific discovery that harnesses the power of an abundant resource without causing damage represents genuine progress that's worth getting excited about.

Benman
May 24th, 2005, 21:15
Originally posted by tailpipe

Pollution is a big issue and while a growing number of environmentalists are concerned that the damage caused by current fuel emissions could soon be irreversible, scientific discovery that harnesses the power of an abundant resource without causing damage represents genuine progress that's worth getting excited about.
Meh...

Benman
May 24th, 2005, 21:50
Actually, before I get flamed, let me explain my "bah humbug" attitude.

Back in the 80s, GM launch a very agressive program to explore an alternative to gas powered cars (because as they said at the time, "fuel is running out!". By 1987 they had developed the GM Sunraycer, designed and built by team of GM, Hughes Aircraft and AeroVironment, Inc., wins the 1,950-mile inaugural World Solar Challenge Race across Australia, finishing 2-1/2 days ahead of runner-up.

A few years later they "promised" to revolutionize the car industry with the first "production" electric car. All the tree huggers were estatic.

By 1996 they released the EV1. Catch was, there was no infastructure, therefor, you couldn't buy one. Only certain people could lease it. So after all the countless billions spent by GM on this marvelous break through, where is the EV1 today?

In junk yards waiting to become ketchup bottles!!!

Benman
May 24th, 2005, 22:08
I guess that is my point (sorry for the double post but I can only post one pic at a time :( ).

Why waste time when there is still so much to explore with regular fuel. Again, not to beat Mr. Ed while he's lying there, but look at Honda and Toyota. What is wrong with the Hybrids they are producing? They have ALREADY spent the BILLIONS in research it takes and have come up with an "alternative" fuel. The brilliance is that it's not even alternative. You don't need no stinking new infastructure becuase it's ALREADY THERE! The new Honda Accord V6 Hybrid gets 25% BETTER fuel economy than the regular V6, is FASTER, and has LOWER emmisions!!! And it's only a $2800.00 premium over the regular V6 so all the tree huggers don't have to go broke!:D Oh, and guess what? The technology is already WELL ADVANCED and is available to ALL car manufactures! Sounds like a winner to me!

If BMW is involved in an alternative fuel "project" with GM, I say RUN LIKE GEHENA! Toyota was out BILLIONS with their willingness to go along with the "EV1" project. Now, after nearly TWENTY YEARS, how many electric cars does Toyota sell to the public?:harass: ZERO.

A good example of how much oil there is, Pop was reading in the paper this morning that $60 MILLION worth of the stuff was "lost" (smuggled) out of the middle east! Now how does someone smuggle $60 Million dollars worth of oil? It's not like a couple of diamonds you hide in your back pocket! People, they're (USA) hording this stuff away to drive up prices! The prices are not going up because of "scarcity".

Another photo of those that need a reminder of the EV1 (cause after TWENTY years, I'm STILL waiting for my dang Electric Car!:harass:

Ben:addict:

clam
May 25th, 2005, 12:35
The chemical production of hydrogen is also not viable. B/c guess where the chemicals come from ... that's right, petrol.
And for the elecrical production of hydrogen you need an energy source, next to the platinum off course.

Hybrids suck. The engines are not pactical, and I get better fuel consumption on my 10 y/o TDI stationwagon (I'm not even kidding). It's a marketing gimmick to make people feel better about their decadent fuel consumption. (I'm at peace with mine)

Petrol fuel is running out. Normally that's not a problem. If we are conservative with our fuel consumption, then bio-fuels could easily replace petrol fuels.

BUT, the global economy prevents this. The economy has been build by the same people who profit from it. They created a system where they could make million by sitting on their ass all day. These people drain the economy of resources, and to balance it out you need constant growth. That also means ever increasing energy consumption. And bio-fuels require a conservative, stable consumption. The leaders of the economy will not allow a stable consumption, b/c they can't profit from that.

The only solution to the energy problem is to scale back the size of society, scale back individual energy consumption, and create an economy that is stable.

Benman
May 25th, 2005, 16:54
Originally posted by clam
Hybrids suck.

I'd have to disagree with you on that one. I am well aware that TDIs are capable of similar fuel consumption. As I said thought, there's alot of tree huggers out this way, and they DON'T like diesel (I like em fine). I would agree about the marketing gimmick, but then what is a Premium car but a marketing "gimmick".



Originally posted by clam
Petrol fuel is running out.

We are lead to believe that there is less than there really is. Yes there are less reserves than 50 years ago, but still plenty.



Originally posted by clam
BUT, the global economy prevents this. The economy has been build by the same people who profit from it. They created a system where they could make million by sitting on their ass all day. These people drain the economy of resources, and to balance it out you need constant growth. That also means ever increasing energy consumption. And bio-fuels require a conservative, stable consumption. The leaders of the economy will not allow a stable consumption, b/c they can't profit from that.

Amen, preach on.


Originally posted by clam
The only solution to the energy problem is to scale back the size of society, scale back individual energy consumption, and create an economy that is stable.

I would love to see that happen but as the British like to say: "Not Bloody Likely!" A truely free market would solve that problem as well, but again, not likely.

Ben :addict:

Erik
May 25th, 2005, 16:59
Porsche is to make a hybrid-Cayenne due to the high petrol prices.

They promised not to make a diesel, so this is their way out :)

clam
May 28th, 2005, 11:26
Petrol will run out in about 20 years. Don't forget that the energy consumption keeps growing, and new markets are also adopting the western consumption economy.

And the petrol doesn't have to be totally gone for it to become a problem. Once the supply drops 10-15% below the demand, the economy will collapse within a month.
This is why the US is desperate to control the worlds' oil supply.

And oil is not the only thing we're running out of. It's just about every natural resource, including fresh water.

This is something that has happened hundreds of times during the course of human civilisation. People organise themselves into a gaint behive, for the benefit of a few, drain the resources of the land like parasites, and then the system collapses. And this time will be no different.
Off course, when you tell people this, they think you're a nutcase.

I look forward to having the roads all to myself. :0:

JavierNuvolari
May 28th, 2005, 18:59
And oil is not the only thing we're running out of. It's just about every natural resource, including fresh water.



Sad but true...:cry:

bilbozilla
May 28th, 2005, 22:01
The only petroleum we are running out of is $20.00 oil. Why? Most of the oil produced each day in the United States comes from stripper production, wells that produce less than 10 barrels per day. 80% of the world's oil supplies come from producing fields that were found and developed in the 1940s. In short, nobody's really looking for new reserves.

As for bio-fuels, they cost more to develop (read farming, fertilizer, etc.) than oil.

The earth is most likely producing petroleum as quickly as we take it out of the ground.

Natural events (volcanoes) have put more CO2 into the atmosphere than man has since the beginning of the industrial age. There is a lot of spurious science out there that is persuasive, but it is wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I'm concerned about the environment, but our driving cars that consume 12 MPG isn't the problem.

As for hydrogen cars, go right ahead and drive them. You have to get the hydrogen from natural gas processing plants anyway which, unlike the hybrid cars they will ultimately power, produce much more than just water to reach their end result.

clam
May 29th, 2005, 11:20
That stuff about regenerating oil, the socalled abiotic oil, is false. It's what the oil companies say to keep their stock up, and politicians say to keep the antfarm working.

Apart from all the evidence that oil is biotic, if there was really a process of continious oil production in the earths' mantel, we'd be swimming in the stuff right now. Not running out of it, and having to fight wars over it.
Also, this proces would've been producing so much CO2 over billions of years, that life on earth would not have been possible.

Volcanoes a.o. have indeed caused harm to the enviornment,... and it killed the dinosaures. Life on the planet has been all-but whiped out several times over. And it will happen again. The effect of the CO2 is softened by air pollution, which forms clouds, and keeps the heat out (also causes drought in certain areas). When 9/11 happened, they kept airplanes out of the air for one day, and in that one day the total temperature in the US rose 1. That's a big deal. Without the dimming effect of air pollution, the polar ice would've already melted.

The most stupid part of it all is the reason: money. Like I said earlier, the system only benefits the few. The rest of us do not benefit from the system. On the contrairy. I know I'm getting screwed, and the little Asian girl that made my ADDIDAS (TM) shoes, even more.
So when our grandchildren ask us why we F-ed up the planet, we can tell them: "so the middel class and upward could buy a lot of useless crap".

The people in charge will not act, for they are the ones who benefit, so the only thing you can do is speed to process up. Trying to fix it will only prolong the process. That's why I'm a Bush supporter. I love SUVs. I love it when people buy tons of useless crap. I love it when people in the 3rd world breed like rabbits, and drain their countries' resources. The sooner it's over, the better.

... so anyway ... back to hydrogen and Audi ... :alig:

bilbozilla
May 30th, 2005, 02:17
Originally posted by clam
That stuff about regenerating oil, the socalled abiotic oil, is false. It's what the oil companies say to keep their stock up, and politicians say to keep the antfarm working.

Apart from all the evidence that oil is biotic, if there was really a process of continious oil production in the earths' mantel, we'd be swimming in the stuff right now. Not running out of it, and having to fight wars over it.
Also, this proces would've been producing so much CO2 over billions of years, that life on earth would not have been possible.


When a biotic organism breaks down (atrophy), it breaks down into its simplest components, of which carbon is one of them. Petroleum is a complex carbon chain that has to be processed to break it down. Apart from the evidence that oil is actually abiotic, do you think the oil companies have been lucky in finding huge spots in the earth where 500+ feet of dinosaur and algae remains have broken down into their simplest structures to form complex carbon chains? Think about that for just a moment please.

There is actually much more convincing evidence to the abiotic school of thought, i.e. oil temperatures and pressures, chemical signatures, and the like from producing oil and gas wells that lead petroleum geologists to this idea, an idea backed by research and raw data that enable them to form a more valid argument than your geology 101 background indicates. Please don't take this as a slam, as it's not. There is much misinformation out there (read my spurious science note above) and unless you are in the middle of the indiustry, you're not going to know how to have acess to this data which must be provided by law in wells in America and filed as public information.


My orignal comment was that we were running out of $20 oil, inferring that $30, $40, $50, $60, etc. oil is plentiful.

Klint
June 8th, 2005, 17:19
J (a.ka Bilbozilla)

Knows his stuff, I wouldn't really argue with him in regards to crude and the production processes. :hihi:

tailpipe
June 9th, 2005, 19:30
Originally posted by bilbozilla
My orignal comment was that we were running out of $20 oil, inferring that $30, $40, $50, $60, etc. oil is plentiful.

And that is my point too. When the cost of extracting oil from the ground reaches a certain level, it becomes viable if not desirable to search for alternative sources of energy.

Interestingly, while there's been a lot of talk about hydrogen, I understand that steam could even make a resurgence. Imagine an Audi Quattro powered by a steam turbine fuelled by burning wood!!!! Very advanced.

Whatever new fuel technologies are developed, I am sure that cars as we know them will continue to exist. If not we'll all have to horde petrol so that after it does completely run out, we'll still be able to enkoy one or too final blasts on empty, empty roads!!! (That's heaven.)

N