Renewable Energy Transportation

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Success_Machine, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. Success_Machine Impossible? I can do that Registered Senior Member

    Why haven't we achieved that renewable Hydrogen Economy? Many of the component technologies exist, but no one has yet put them together in quite the right way. So what I present here takes a little imagination, but not much. Renewable energy can usually be generated in relatively smaller amounts and higher cost per kilowatt-hour using solar & wind compared to fossil fuels. As such our current energy-intensive means of transportation is non-renewable and inevitably doomed. But that does not mean that we will go back to riding horses. There are many, many technologies that will survive and be used as long as mankind lives on the earth.

    A car that uses renewable energy would have to use miniscule amounts of fuel, such as hydrogen, to carry the rider over long distances. It would have to use minimal fuel because the solar modules or wind turbines used to electrolyze water into hydrogen would be prohibitively expensive if cars consumed as much energy as they do today. Smaller, lighter, slower vehicles get far superior fuel economy. As proof I offer the following gasoline-powered vehicle as an example of super efficiency...

    Hybrid Recumbant Vehicle:

    Fuel economy = 200+ mpg
    Range = 250 miles
    Cargo capacity = 150 kg maximum
    Empty weight = 40 kg
    Propulsion = hybrid pedal- and gas engine-power
    Top speed = 30 miles/hr
    Options: 2-seater version available

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    The idea would be to get a natural gas, or hydrogen engine conversion and compressed gas fuel tank. Then add some aesthetic perks!

    <img src=>

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    Call it the "New Hotness"... All it's missing is a lightweight fully-enveloping plastic enclosure to protect from rain, snow or spray from the road. But it's too slow, you say? Well my place of work is a lot less than 30 miles from where I live in downtown Toronto, and yet it takes a full hour to get there by subway/bus. So 30 mph might not be so bad. You can cover a lot of distance at that speed.

    Next, outfit your garage with a hydrogen refueling system for your recumbant vehicle - made by Fuelmaker Corporation, right here in Toronto!

    Hook up your solar modules, and voila! You've got renewable-energy transportation! So the big question is, where in my city can I get a recumbant retrofitted with an engine?
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  3. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    Success_Machine ...

    Hey, you're welcome to crash with me anytime, preferably January
    or February, you make it over this way on one of the 'fair weather'
    toys that are pictured.

    Take care

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

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  5. Success_Machine Impossible? I can do that Registered Senior Member

    Fair weather toys

    What do you think the driver of an 18-wheeler thinks of the average sedan? But these recumbant "toys", would be quality vehicles too, and quite pricey in their own right....

    Recumbant trike = $2,500 U.S.
    Natural gas/hydrogen engine = $1,000 U.S.
    All-weather canopy = $500
    Home hydrogen or natural gas refueling appliance = $3000 U.S.
    Solar modules = $10,000 U.S.
    Total = $17,000 U.S.

    Sure, you could buy a hybrid SUV, but you'll never be renewable. If there is an oil shortage, you will be equally inconvenienced by line-ups at the pump as the guy in a gas-guzzling cube van! On the other hand, I'll go sailing past that gas station in my clean, quiet, fully self-sufficient recumbant motor vehicle paying absolutely no heed to whatever OPEC-spawned petroleum crisis is happening there.
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  7. Gifted World Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    One of the biggest obstacles to be overcome is transportation. How do you get the gas to the gas station? Then storage becomes a problem.

    The world is riddled with pipes carrying natural gas. Here is your distribution system. To help with the transfer, hydrogen can eb made from methane, which is a faster cheaper process thatn electrolisis. The appliances that run on NG can be easily adjusted to work with hydrogen. The gas suppliers then pump H2 through the pipe system to your house and the gas station. there are already ways to safely store H2 at higher densities than a high pressure bottle can handle.
  8. Success_Machine Impossible? I can do that Registered Senior Member

    Not bad

    The car could run on methane. Most urban homes have a gas line supplying natural gas for heat. To fill the fuel cylinder on the car each household would need a refueling system consisting of a compressor, storage tanks, and a fast-fill hose. If you burn compressed natural gas then you could use solar power to run the compressor. You could also use solar power to generate hydrogen from water to mix with the natural gas in a blend called "Hythane".

    Natural gas could be a transition fuel, used by some people who use more fuel than renewability would normally allow. A recumbant car however, would consume so little fuel that it is plausible to use renewable energy alone, solar or wind, to produce hydrogen for transportation.

    Such a small, lightweight, and slower vehicle can achieve this.
  9. Gifted World Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    We also have ships weighing in the hundreds of thousands of tons. What renewable energy source will power those?
  10. Success_Machine Impossible? I can do that Registered Senior Member

    Large Vehicles

    The market will determine what cargo carriers use as fuel. When it comes time to buy new equipment they will choose the lowest cost option. But cars & SUVs don't make money. They are chosen based purely on how much disposable income the driver has.

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