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Anyone altering their driving habits due to outrageous gas prices?

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Old 05-22-2007, 12:45 PM   #136
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I work in the electrical industry.We have a 4KW solar system mounted on our headquarters. So far it has displaced about 2000 lb's of emissions that would have been put into the atmosphere. It's wired into the grid (our grid) and haven't had any problems with it once it was up and running. Washington state has implemented a new renewable energy law and there are windfarms popping up over in eastern WA. Oregon will be installing a trial wave powered farm on the Central coast. Bio fuels are becoming more prominent out here. Personally, my wife and I are waiting for the next generation hybrid before we get another car. I'm tired of the oil companies screwing this country. Oh, I've been to a symposium on hydrogen cells and not sure if they will be ready in less than 10 years.
I agree with everything except the last statement, the Hydrogen Fuel Cell have been used in small numbers of Honda cars now for 8 years in California.

They have worked so well that Honda is introducing a new mass produced 4 door model within 4 years (maybe 3) and it will come with everything you will need to drive and fuel it up for the time being at your house, it will get 350 miles per fuel up.

It is more of a case of education and marketing then an actual lack of ability to make this a reality.
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Old 05-22-2007, 01:37 PM   #137
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Actually, it's an infrastructure issue. Not many hydrogen refueling sites outside of LA.
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Old 05-22-2007, 02:38 PM   #138
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Yes, I know that but, if they start to sell many Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars I think the market will respond to put Hydrogen refueling pumps at existing gas stations, the desire to reap the potential profits will easily influence the installation of these.

That is what a free market economy is all about, see a need and fullfill it. Until then the early adopters could just fillup at home and rent if they need to drive long distance (probably not more then a year or two).

We will adopt to the changes needed, just like we did when we went from horses to automobiles (like gas stations and highways), many naysayers said the same things about automobiles as are being said about Hydrogen fuel Cell vehicles.
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Old 05-22-2007, 03:21 PM   #139
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I'm tired of the oil companies screwing this country.
I think your outrage may be misplaced, unless you are considering the oil producers as the oil companies. Big oil makes about 8 cents per gallon on gasoline. Taxes amount to about 50 cents per gallon, depending on locale. The real screwers are the producers and commodity traders that drive the cost of oil and gasoline up.
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Old 05-23-2007, 06:49 AM   #140
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Hydrogen Fuel Cells . . . .

Let me ask the knowledgable posters here a question:

How do you seperate the Hydrogen from water?

It is my understanding that electricity is used - and lots of it. Are we once again moving a problem from the left pocket to the right pocket?

So in the future, cars will be powered by Hydrogen - and the electric plants will have a huge demand like they have never seen before, to make available the electricity to convert the water to Hydrogen - so once again - what powers the electric plants?

And yes, this thread has been very enjoyable and I too have learned a great deal about alternative energy sources.
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:06 AM   #141
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Hydrogen Fuel Cells . . . .

Let me ask the knowledgable posters here a question:

How do you seperate the Hydrogen from water?

It is my understanding that electricity is used - and lots of it. Are we once again moving a problem from the left pocket to the right pocket?

So in the future, cars will be powered by Hydrogen - and the electric plants will have a huge demand like they have never seen before, to make available the electricity to convert the water to Hydrogen - so once again - what powers the electric plants?

And yes, this thread has been very enjoyable and I too have learned a great deal about alternative energy sources.
Yes, as pointed out earlier in the posts, the ultimate solution would be to build more modern new technology nuclear plants, we have 110 so add 280 nationwide and we would have all the electric power we would possibly need for the entire country. Until that happened we would have to keep using the present power grid (besides this won't happen over night)

You can also for the time being use natural gas and convert it to Hydrogen fuel, we could do this until the infrastructure is in place to split the water molecule using electricity nationwide.
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Old 05-23-2007, 07:51 PM   #142
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Yes, as pointed out earlier in the posts, the ultimate solution would be to build more modern new technology nuclear plants, we have 110 so add 280 nationwide and we would have all the electric power we would possibly need for the entire country. Until that happened we would have to keep using the present power grid (besides this won't happen over night)

You can also for the time being use natural gas and convert it to Hydrogen fuel, we could do this until the infrastructure is in place to split the water molecule using electricity nationwide.
Damn, a new high as regular fuel is now $3.53 a gallon with premium costing $3.75 to $3.79 at the stations I pass by. I'm gonna make sure everyone coming with me to DC chips in for gas

I don't think the gas companies are playing fair at this time, but they are more or less doing what any company would be doing. A common misconception is that they are making gobs of cash because they are making huge margins which isn't true. They as an industry have smaller margins on the products they sell compared to other industries. They do make a lot of money because the demand for petrol and diesel is so huge. Even if the cost of crude oil per barrel would fall overnight, that would likely not do much for the price of our fuel as they simply have no more refining capacity at this time. It is generally a question of how supply and demand interact with each other, and they can't supply anymore and shift their supply curve if they are already at maximum refining capacity.

The problem here is that they are also going to behave like any profit maximizing firm will in that they will try to set their output at where marginal revenue equals marginal cost. They currently have no incentive to build more refineries when environazis are always trying to put a stop to it, and the location is critical as many people don't want one near them. Why are they going to raise their costs of operation by building more refineries anyway when it would likely increase their marginal costs, yet lower their marginal revenue and their profit margins since a higher quantity supplied is likely going to drive down the price they can sell it for. I heard politicians talking today about a price cap, and that's the dumbest thing i've ever heard of. You older folks remember what that did as it created a severe shortage back in the 70's. At a price lower than the social eqiulibrium, it will increase demand, yet the firms will be willing to supply less at that price.
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:35 AM   #143
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I saw Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the Tonight show last night.

He talked about the Hydrogen highway they are building in California, Hydrogen fuel stations extending from basically Mexico to Alaska. Now the time is right now for the rest of the country to realize that this is both smart and feasible.

I realize we have been use to using fossil fuels for all our lives but, we need to start working on the change to renewable non-polluting fuel/energy sources.

We can do this within the easily forseeable future!
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Old 05-24-2007, 12:38 PM   #144
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How to get Hydrogen fairly cheaply WITHOUT building frigging nuke plants all over-

Dams like Bonnevile and Hoover dam (hell, ANY dam) can use the excess capacity generated at night to extract the Hydrogen. Can and will be done. No huge impact on the environment....

Another byproduct of the Home fuel cell market is that when the Hydrogen is extracted from natural gas or propane, it generates heat (lots of heat). The main use for Hydrogen based home units in Europe is heating. BTW, US is 3rd, behind Germany and Japan in implementing Solar power. Germany for god's sake!
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Old 05-24-2007, 01:30 PM   #145
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A lot has been posted here, but the idea that I like the best so far is the "plug-in-hybrid" concept that Chevy came up with call the Volt. Here is how it works:
- The car plugs into the garage outlet and charges in 6 hours (the engine is electric).
- That gets you 40 miles for about 80 cents worth of electricity, which covers most local daily driving.
- If the battery drops below a specified level, a small engine kicks in to power the car and re-charge the batteries. Because the engine only has to run a generator (not pull the car like Toyota's hybrid), it gets the equivalent of 150 MPG and can be powered by ANY fuel. Hydrogen fuel cells would work great here.

Since most cars would charge overnight, the power would come at low demand time and hopefully not require the construction of a lot of new power plants. Zero pollution from the vehicle or the generator (if using hydrogen fuel cells).

Toyota is supposedly looking at a variation on this for the next generation of hybrid. You could plug in the car overnight rather than exclusively charging the batteries with the gas motor when driving.
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Old 05-24-2007, 02:47 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by unotis View Post
I saw Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the Tonight show last night.

He talked about the Hydrogen highway they are building in California, Hydrogen fuel stations extending from basically Mexico to Alaska. Now the time is right now for the rest of the country to realize that this is both smart and feasible.

I realize we have been use to using fossil fuels for all our lives but, we need to start working on the change to renewable non-polluting fuel/energy sources.

We can do this within the easily forseeable future!
Unfortunately . . and I mean it, the rest of the country/world is going to take a wait and see attitude of what CA is doing. First comes the "gas stations" then come the cars. It would be very encouraging if the government offered large incentive rebate for any buying an H2 powered car - $3000 to $5000 would do it.

Because we will always have a lsrge population of vehicles that won't see H2 power for decades - the military.

So equipping the H2 Highway will take years to accomplish (2 at least). Once again we are in the same boat - with once again . . . a single paddle . . . going in circles.

Last edited by Lee Stewart; 05-24-2007 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:06 PM   #147
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Want to go one better? Photo-voltaic panels built into the roof of the "plug-in" car for recharging while operating,while stuck in rush hour or just sitting in the parking lot for 6 or 7 hours at work AND it's free, after the cost of the panels are figured in.


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Originally Posted by SLedford View Post
A lot has been posted here, but the idea that I like the best so far is the "plug-in-hybrid" concept that Chevy came up with call the Volt. Here is how it works:
- The car plugs into the garage outlet and charges in 6 hours (the engine is electric).
- That gets you 40 miles for about 80 cents worth of electricity, which covers most local daily driving.
- If the battery drops below a specified level, a small engine kicks in to power the car and re-charge the batteries. Because the engine only has to run a generator (not pull the car like Toyota's hybrid), it gets the equivalent of 150 MPG and can be powered by ANY fuel. Hydrogen fuel cells would work great here.

Since most cars would charge overnight, the power would come at low demand time and hopefully not require the construction of a lot of new power plants. Zero pollution from the vehicle or the generator (if using hydrogen fuel cells).

Toyota is supposedly looking at a variation on this for the next generation of hybrid. You could plug in the car overnight rather than exclusively charging the batteries with the gas motor when driving.
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:09 PM   #148
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Lee, The military is developing (has developed?)a hydrogen powered Humvee used for surveillance and reconnaissance, no emissions or heat signatures. Pretty stealth. The military is actually funding a lot of the Hydrogen development.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post
Unfortunately . . and I mean it, the rest of the country/world is going to take a wait and see attitude of what CA is doing. First comes the "gas stations" then come the cars. It would be very encouraging if the government offered large incentive rebate for any buying an H2 powered car - $3000 to $5000 would do it.

Because we will always have a lsrge population of vehicles that won't see H2 power for decades - the military.

So equipping the H2 Highway will take years to accomplish (2 at least). Once again we are in the same boat - with once again . . . a single paddle . . . going in circles.
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:26 PM   #149
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Ya know, like this-

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005...-powered_t.php



http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006...es_solar_t.php
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:24 PM   #150
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Nobody talks about the non-renewable energy it takes to make, transoprt and install these "green" devices. I wish they would provide net green numbers. Maybe they are still negative.
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