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I have been approached by an automotive company to be part of the testing of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. I can't mention the company (only if I want to be part of the test), but I had a couple questions. BTW, it IS NOT one of those really cool BMW Hydrogen-7 cars. :(

1. Has anyone gone so far as to get an in-home hydrogen generator? The automotive company in question has offered to install one in my home. During the day, it uses a solar panel for electricity and at night, it uses the house electricity. The generator uses electricity to crack hydrogen from water supplied by the tap.

2. Has anyone got a hydrogen car? Either fuel cell or combustion hydrogen? Just wondering what you think of it. If you in the same boat as I am, and can't mention the manufacturer, just give me an idea of how you like it from a performance and fuel range perspective.

3. What are your out of pocket expenses for driving? Fuel costs? Any added maintenance over a standard car?

4. Any other thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help
 

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Waiting for some smart ass to say, "No hydrogen, just methane."

That out of the way, always wondered about the hardware needed to pressurize and dispense the hydrogen. It's sneaky stuff, gets past all kinds of seals. And I seem to remember one of the hangups a few years ago being the lack of ability to store it dense enough to make the fuel reservoir a reasonable size? May be you can comment on the state of the art today in production and storage.
 

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eljeffe said:
I have been approached by an automotive company to be part of the testing of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. I can't mention the company (only if I want to be part of the test), but I had a couple questions. BTW, it IS NOT one of those really cool BMW Hydrogen-7 cars. :(

1. Has anyone gone so far as to get an in-home hydrogen generator? The automotive company in question has offered to install one in my home. During the day, it uses a solar panel for electricity and at night, it uses the house electricity. The generator uses electricity to crack hydrogen from water supplied by the tap.

2. Has anyone got a hydrogen car? Either fuel cell or combustion hydrogen? Just wondering what you think of it. If you in the same boat as I am, and can't mention the manufacturer, just give me an idea of how you like it from a performance and fuel range perspective.

3. What are your out of pocket expenses for driving? Fuel costs? Any added maintenance over a standard car?

4. Any other thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help
Cracking water with electricity has been around for decades, used mostly for welding etc. where the non corrosive flame of oxy/hydrogen is an advantage. Many people have tried over the years to apply this to automobiles, with little success. However, the cost of gasoline has a lot better people involved now, so maybe they have come up with something.

If the system uses solar cells to do a majority of the work, then this could be advantageous. The problem with using home electricty from the grid is that it takes more energy to crack water than you can get from re-combining the two (burning). If the electricity from the grid is appreciably lower cost than the amount of gasoline you would burn to produce the same power, then it could be economical.

If you get into it, it will be interesting to see what results.
 

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I think it was on the Science Channel that a short time ago I watched a piece on self contained hydrogen fueling stations. I believe the program was filmed in Norway (?). The company, can't remember the name, demonstrated a stand alone, solar powered, H2 generating and dispensing station. They claimed that all they needed was a source of clean water. The article went on to say that they were going to install stations along something like a 200 mile stretch of heavily used highway and roll out a number of cars to test and qualify the equipment. Haven't heard anymore about it but if that was true and it works with reasonable economics it would give H2 a huge leg up in solving the infrastructure issues that are involved with dispensing it as a common use fuel.
 

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Sounds like a very cool offer and a chance to be "part of the solution".

The only comment I have is that having lived with highly pressured propane on a daily basis for the past 26 years I would NOT want an experimental hydrogen generator anywhere near my house. I don't care how safe they claim it might be. There have been MANY accidents involving leaking DOT and FAA Certified tanks stored in enclosed garages. All it takes is a spark from dropping a tool on cement, an arc from a car's starter motor or static from a nylon windbreaker to cause catastrophe and death.

One the "genie is in the bottle" in the vehicle in a properly constructed and heavily armored tank it is probably as safe as anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
RonKMiller said:
Sounds like a very cool offer and a chance to be "part of the solution".

The only comment I have is that having lived with highly pressured propane on a daily basis for the past 26 years I would NOT want an experimental hydrogen generator anywhere near my house. I don't care how safe they claim it might be. There have been MANY accidents involving leaking DOT and FAA Certified tanks stored in enclosed garages. All it takes is a spark from dropping a tool on cement, an arc from a car's starter motor or static from a nylon windbreaker to cause catastrophe and death.

One the "genie is in the bottle" in the vehicle in a properly constructed and heavily armored tank it is probably as safe as anything.
Unlike propane, hydrogen dissipates very quickly, there is very little chance of an explosion or fire.

All those visions of the Hindenburg people keep bringing to me are a misnomer. Intensity and duration of the fire was because of the aluminum paint (also known as ROCKET FUEL) that was painted on the skin of the Zeppelin. Not the hydrogen.
 

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I have a methane generator, but my wife of 34 years hates it when I refer to her as such. But she has been a steady producer for the entire time we have been together. Only problem is it is not very cost effective, requires massive amounts of grocery's and I haven't figured out a safe collection method. :histerica
 

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Interesting.
General Motors has invested significant R&D dollars in H2 powered vehicles, to the point that some industry analysts I have read think GM put too many eggs in one basket.
Fuel cell technology will be the storage method, not pressurized tanks.
Existing LP gas pipelines are not easily converted because H2 is much "leakier" than is LP.
So, local generation makes sense. Electricity is very transportable, so using locally and remotely generated electrical power to generate H2 locally makes sense even given the ineffieciencies.
The Hindenburg Society, a group that advocates for use of H2 as a fuel has been around for years. H2 is apparently safer than good old gasoline according to tests and studies done by the Hindeburg Society. Safety doesn't seem to be the issue, economics and logistics are.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007APS..OSS.B1003J


The techology to make an internal combustion engine that runs on H2 exists today, that isn't the problem.
H2 generation, storage, and transport are the technical and economic challanges as I understand it.

I'd be up for setting up an experimental H2 generator, sounds like a neat idea.
I have what was once a mill pond for a water powered sawmill on my property. I'd love to set up a little hydroplant, but the environmentalists would make rebuilding the dam next to impossible. A small scale hydro-electric plant generating H2, that'd be neat.

I'm interested in how this develops.
 

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When I was in the Navy, we had an Oxygen Generator on the submarine. Exact same piece of equipment as a Hydrogen Generator. Takes pure water and, using electricity, splits it into Oxygen and Hydrogen. We used the Oxygen to breath and vented the Hydrogen overboard.

We lovingly referred to the unit as "The Bomb" but it was relatively easy to operate. These units have been used on submarines for a very long time. I have never heard of any accidents with them, let alone fires or explosions. I would have no problem having a home Hydrogen Generator for fuel purposes.

Now, what was the name of that auto company? I'd like to give that testing a shot!
 

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I was going to try looking in it to so I could run my truck on mix of hydrogen and gasoline. Adding hydrogen will allow the truck to run at a much leaner burn safely than dino juice alone. My only problem is time and money.

If it was me I would go for it.

Good luck and please keep us informed.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I'm pissed. I guess I wasn't high profile enough to be worthy of the test. ;)

They chose not to select me for the test. I'm sure some local celeb will get one.

In hopes that they might change their mind, I'll definitely keep in touch with them.
 
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