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Comments 5
  1. — Phil Feinstein    Jan 08, 2007 12:28 PM    #

    The Ford vehicle features Hydrogen stored at 350 Bar. Keep in mind that 1 bar is atmospheric pressure (14.7 psi). A full tank would be 5145 psi!! My 80 cubic foot tank for my mig is full at 2200 psi and I need a hydrotest every 5 years.

  2. — Caroll    Jan 13, 2007 11:49 AM    #

    The hydrogen based car is just a ruse to get the publics mind away from pure EV’s. The technology for the electric car is here today and Hydrogen-Electric power is decades away. Don’t fall for it. If a car or oil company said the sun was going to rise in the East I would need wait and see.

  3. — Mark Jeffers    Jan 13, 2007 20:52 PM    #

    I believe the reason the sterling heat engine has never been a success is because the hydrogen it uses as a working fluid can leak through solid steel and make the steel brittle in the process.

    Such high pressures are necessary because hydrogen can not be liquefied unless you cool it to near absolute zero and then subject it to extremely serious pressure.

    It’s strange that nobody talks about these problem with using hydrogen.

  4. jerry Halstead    Jan 14, 2007 12:53 PM    #

    Hi Carroll,

    Yes, most likely. Although, I think that aspect is getting some press as well. There’s just a lot of pre-conceived notions about EVs that the automakers, other industries, and, frankly, some early EVs have instilled in the general public over the years which are hard to counteract. You can try to out-shout them or prove by example.

    Hi Mark,

    According to this you aren’t just limited to hydrogen as a working medium: helium or air have also been used.

    My understanding from what reading I’ve done on the subject is that sterling engines are typically bulky (if you want sufficient power out of them from small temperature differentials) and it is a slow, steady power source.

    But you are right regarding hydrogen storage, that is one (among many) of the challenges faced in making a successful mass-market hydrogen car. That and the fact that there’s no ready/natural source of hydrogen in general: you have to use energy to create it. At best hydrogen just another type of battery (a fickle one at that).

  5. — Nick Smith    Jan 14, 2007 16:03 PM    #

    If you are interested in a real world application of the Stirling engine take a look at this http://www.whispergen.co.nz/main/stirlingcycle/

    This New Zealand company is selling on-grid co-generation units running on natural gas into England. Makes something like 1kW/240V of Electricity and 7kW + of hot water for central heating. Their patented ‘Wobble Yoke” is pretty cool too (links to animations on the website).