View Poll Results: What would be the fuel of the future?

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  • Oil

    2 6.67%
  • Coal

    0 0%
  • Biomass

    0 0%
  • Nuclear

    4 13.33%
  • Cold Fusion

    0 0%
  • Solar

    9 30.00%
  • Wind

    0 0%
  • Hydrogen

    5 16.67%
  • It's not invented yet

    4 13.33%
  • Other

    6 20.00%
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Thread: The fuel of the future

  1. #41
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    Re: The fuel of the future

    There is no single fuel for the future. Energy needs are not "one size fit all".
    Transportation fuels need to be portable, therefore high density. If you can't carry enough on board to get a repectable distance, you won't want it.
    Home energy fuels are not easily (or safely) stored on site. They are delivered to your house, and the supply can be interrupted. Whether home heating oil, natural gas, propane, or electricity, once the delivery is interrupted, you freeze in the dark.
    Coal fired electric generation plants usually only have a few weeks supply of coal on site, if that. Trains come with coal, leave with ash, pretty much constantly. NG plants depend on a pipeline and if the demand from that pipeline exceeds supply, the pressure drops, and NG plants shut down. It happened in Texas this last winter.
    Nuclear needs less refueling than any other, and spare fuel can be easily and safely stored on site.
    Solar is highly interruptible, every night.
    There are very few energy storage methods available.

    What is left out of the issue so far is efficiencies/conservation. When fuel supplies are low, we will adjust. We may even learn to live on half the energy we do now, meaning we will live like Europeans.
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  2. #42
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    Re: The fuel of the future

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    My best guess would be solar, it's an unlimited resource, and has no real bad side affects that I can think off.
    Right now, solar's largest hurdle is man's ignorance.
    The Hopi natives of the southwest in "America" used solar to their advantage far better than we(most of us) do right now.
    For their comfort levels, the sun sufficed, but for us, the sun remains supplemental at best, the heat srorage is expensive, even as this cost is slowly dropping.

  3. #43
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    Re: The fuel of the future

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    It's a hard thing to do when it's not part of the culture or the economic structure. I mean, even if people do get electric cars, how easy are they to use? Can I plug it in while I'm visiting a relative? Are there stations built everywhere that I can recharge the batteries? (Specifics aside, I hope you get my point.)

    It's compounded by the fact that we have well-entrenched, corporate oligarchies that are stifling our capacity to distribute innovation to the general populace. Their bottom line is served better (in a quarterly way) by keeping the system as static as possible. This is where we need major reform, both in education and attitude.

    Before humans make major strides in our energy economy, this economic paradigm must necessarily change. Capitalism is an inefficient means to disseminate new technology. The deadlocks and monopolies must be dealt with. In Europe they are seeing more of an expansion of green tech because the regulatory forces are more aware of what needs to be done; but North America is held in the grips of non-government actors.
    150 years ago, we had zero infrastructure for gasoline, well, there was a little...
    So we must think positive and believe it can be done again...out infrastructure needs a ton of work anyway.
    And, as always, its "black tech" that matters, not green.
    black - another word for economics.

  4. #44
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    Re: The fuel of the future

    Quote Originally Posted by earthworm View Post
    Right now, solar's largest hurdle is man's ignorance.
    The Hopi natives of the southwest in "America" used solar to their advantage far better than we(most of us) do right now.
    For their comfort levels, the sun sufficed, but for us, the sun remains supplemental at best, the heat srorage is expensive, even as this cost is slowly dropping.
    We would have to change our expectations of "comfort" quite a bit. Even to the point of putting on a sweater instead of increasing the temperture of an entire house. sarcasm on...govt control, govt control !!!! warning, danger....sarcasm off..
    Oracle of Utah
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  5. #45
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    Re: The fuel of the future

    Neighbor is a retired ECON professor, he has some good jokes about it.

    His favorite....
    The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters

    Long story short, it takes engineers to find new and better ways to improve our energy situation, not politicians and economists....
    Last edited by UtahBill; 05-01-11 at 12:36 PM.
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  6. #46
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    Re: The fuel of the future

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Hydrogen is not a great fuel. You can't get the cooling for liquid hyrogen in cars, so you are stuck with heavy and bulky metal hydride tanks. On top of that you need a heavy and expensive fuel cell to convert the hydrogen into electricity. You also would need to develop entirely new infrastructure for transporting the fuel. Hydrogen vehicles can barely match electric vehciles today and don't have anywhere near the development potential.
    No, hydrogen technology has been worked on since the 1970s, but funding was haulted by oil and gas companies. You can make hydrogen in your own house, and NASA even uses it.

    I have a friend who graduated from Georgia Tech in the 80s and he worked on engineering hydrogen fuel cell technology and he said they even made perfectly working engines even back then.

  7. #47
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    Re: The fuel of the future

    Quote Originally Posted by celticwar17 View Post
    No, hydrogen technology has been worked on since the 1970s, but funding was haulted by oil and gas companies. You can make hydrogen in your own house, and NASA even uses it.

    I have a friend who graduated from Georgia Tech in the 80s and he worked on engineering hydrogen fuel cell technology and he said they even made perfectly working engines even back then.
    Oil and gas companies don't have the power to stop federal funding.....despite what the tin foil hat crowd says.
    Fact is, it takes more BTUs to make hydrogen than you can get back out of it....it is a net LOSS, and only NASA has the funds to do something at a loss.
    Not to mention that it is highly flammable....
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  8. #48
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    Re: The fuel of the future

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    Oil and gas companies don't have the power to stop federal funding.....despite what the tin foil hat crowd says.
    Fact is, it takes more BTUs to make hydrogen than you can get back out of it....it is a net LOSS, and only NASA has the funds to do something at a loss.
    Not to mention that it is highly flammable....
    Thats a myth if you think its flammability actually affects the safety of the car... it doesnt... gasoline is actually more dangerous

    Takes more BTU's???? The electricity used to making hydrogen in our own homes can come from solar energy.

    And i didnt say federal funding either -_-.

  9. #49
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    Re: The fuel of the future

    I believe only in nuclear power sources, everything else is more expensive or dangerously for the nature, solar, hydrogen and wind are OK, but they can not supply all power because the technology is still not ripe.The Oil reserves will be empty already in thirty years, biomass fuel makes millions of people hungry.
    Last edited by Alfons; 05-01-11 at 03:37 PM.
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    Re: The fuel of the future

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfons View Post
    I believe only in nuclear power sources
    So, you've never heard of Chernobyl and Fukushima, huh?

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