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YankeePorker

Original Poster:

4,024 posts

129 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
There I was still thinking that the hydrogen cycle and fuel cells might be the ultimate solution to humanity's transportable energy problems, then I read this article and learnt that a new approach using the expansion of nitrogen as it flashes from liquid to gas is cheaper and more efficient!

http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/10/nit...

They don't mention the risks inherent in dealing with cryogenic fluids at -165 degrees, but then it does have the benefit of not being flammable. I wonder if they can make a nitrogen engine sound good.....scratchchin

Disco You

3,302 posts

68 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
It all depends on how you plan on cooling the nitrogen.

YankeePorker

Original Poster:

4,024 posts

129 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
Disco You said:
It all depends on how you plan on cooling the nitrogen.
They mention it being a cheap by-product of liquid oxygen production. Obviously if you start running lots of cars on it there won't be enough by-product and it'll have to be produced as a primary product.

V8LM

2,851 posts

97 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
Also depends on whether one considers the condensation of liquid oxygen on the cold metal surfaces safe or not.

Ozzie Osmond

16,468 posts

134 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
"Weight for weight, liquid nitrogen packs much the same energy as the lithium-ion batteries used in ... electric cars. In terms of performance and range, then, a nitrogen vehicle is similar to an electric vehicle rather than a conventional one."

Great, another way to build overweight cars with very little range.

Forget it.

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CDP

5,078 posts

142 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
Ozzie Osmond said:
"Weight for weight, liquid nitrogen packs much the same energy as the lithium-ion batteries used in ... electric cars. In terms of performance and range, then, a nitrogen vehicle is similar to an electric vehicle rather than a conventional one."

Great, another way to build overweight cars with very little range.

Forget it.
Think of it as a battery without the nasty chemicals that can be fully recharged in a minute or so and never loses capacity with age.



YankeePorker

Original Poster:

4,024 posts

129 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
Ozzie Osmond said:
"Weight for weight, liquid nitrogen packs much the same energy as the lithium-ion batteries used in ... electric cars. In terms of performance and range, then, a nitrogen vehicle is similar to an electric vehicle rather than a conventional one."

Great, another way to build overweight cars with very little range.

Forget it.
Maybe, but the engine using the nitrogen is much cheaper! I was pleased to see that the scientist who came up with the means of vaporising the nitrogen directly in the engine cylinder is a Brit.

Major Fallout

4,615 posts

119 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
I have seen the xmas lectures on TV, I can just see it now.

"Please help me people of PH!
I have a fuel leak and now its snowing in my garage"

Or "I had a fuel leak and hit a pot hole, and my tyres smashed"

DanB7290

5,305 posts

78 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
Great, my Terminator 2 fantasy is one step closer to reality.

Greengecko

526 posts

35 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
Now all we have to do is wait for an oil company to buy an major related patent and to file it away for 'safe keeping'..

Talksteer

2,628 posts

121 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
CDP said:
Ozzie Osmond said:
"Weight for weight, liquid nitrogen packs much the same energy as the lithium-ion batteries used in ... electric cars. In terms of performance and range, then, a nitrogen vehicle is similar to an electric vehicle rather than a conventional one."

Great, another way to build overweight cars with very little range.

Forget it.
Think of it as a battery without the nasty chemicals that can be fully recharged in a minute or so and never loses capacity with age.
Wells to wheels energy for liquid nitrogen is pretty terrible, given that you start with grid electricity and then rather inefficiently compress and expand air to cool it down. You are then going to rather inefficiently use this air in a heat engine. It would be much more eficent to put the grid electricity in a battery.

Also a fair portion of any nitrogen you fuel your vehicle with will have to be vented as the car heats up. Plus if you leave your car in an enclosed space it will fill with nitrogen which can kill you pretty much instantenously.

Add to this the need for a completely new infrastructure and you have something which is even more mental than hydrogen and that is saying something!

CDP

5,078 posts

142 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
Talksteer said:
CDP said:
Ozzie Osmond said:
"Weight for weight, liquid nitrogen packs much the same energy as the lithium-ion batteries used in ... electric cars. In terms of performance and range, then, a nitrogen vehicle is similar to an electric vehicle rather than a conventional one."

Great, another way to build overweight cars with very little range.

Forget it.
Think of it as a battery without the nasty chemicals that can be fully recharged in a minute or so and never loses capacity with age.
Wells to wheels energy for liquid nitrogen is pretty terrible, given that you start with grid electricity and then rather inefficiently compress and expand air to cool it down. You are then going to rather inefficiently use this air in a heat engine. It would be much more eficent to put the grid electricity in a battery.

Also a fair portion of any nitrogen you fuel your vehicle with will have to be vented as the car heats up. Plus if you leave your car in an enclosed space it will fill with nitrogen which can kill you pretty much instantenously.

Add to this the need for a completely new infrastructure and you have something which is even more mental than hydrogen and that is saying something!
On Radio 4 they were discussing this system used for storing excess energy from renewable sources and putting it back into the grid, they were talking of about 75% efficiency. Almost sounds too good to be true but if it's anything near this it's at least as good as the best batteries.

Flibble

1,752 posts

69 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
Talksteer said:
Also a fair portion of any nitrogen you fuel your vehicle with will have to be vented as the car heats up. Plus if you leave your car in an enclosed space it will fill with nitrogen which can kill you pretty much instantenously.
Don't think breathing nitrogen will kill you instantly, you'd be dead right now if so. If you fill an enclosed space with it you will suffocate due to lack of oxygen though, but that's not instant.

Also I wouldn't worry so much about a fuel leak freezing my tyres so much as explosive decompression of the nitrogen tank (assuming it's stored under pressure).

CDP

5,078 posts

142 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
Flibble said:
Talksteer said:
Also a fair portion of any nitrogen you fuel your vehicle with will have to be vented as the car heats up. Plus if you leave your car in an enclosed space it will fill with nitrogen which can kill you pretty much instantenously.
Don't think breathing nitrogen will kill you instantly, you'd be dead right now if so. If you fill an enclosed space with it you will suffocate due to lack of oxygen though, but that's not instant.

Also I wouldn't worry so much about a fuel leak freezing my tyres so much as explosive decompression of the nitrogen tank (assuming it's stored under pressure).
I don't think the pressure is that much of a problem as they can just take the lid off a nitrogen to lower samples into. Very weird but it doesn't suddenly boil off.

YankeePorker

Original Poster:

4,024 posts

129 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
CDP said:
I don't think the pressure is that much of a problem as they can just take the lid off a nitrogen to lower samples into. Very weird but it doesn't suddenly boil off.
Exactly - storage is at atmospheric but container has to be heavily insulated.

Good point about the boil off gas filling the garage. Effectively all parking places would need good forced ventilation to avoid dangerously low oxygen levels.

Note from the article that each car will have to carry water and methanol too. Problem will be stopping the Norwegians from trying to drink the methanol.....

8vFTW

415 posts

41 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
It's between this and electric batteries. Neither are totally environmentally friendly, neither are as good as a petrol powered car. At least in this country, I'd rather electric, just to avoid the inevitable and huge tax that will be slapped on the nitrogen fuel at the pumps.

Zad

9,818 posts

124 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
Long term, the solution is to take the CO2 condensed from power stations etc (and currently planned to be pumped under the sea for storage) and apply a cheap energy source, such as equatorial solar power. With the assistance of water and some cunning chemistry, you can synthesise high energy density organic molecules. e.g. Diesel. Which is then easily tankered back to the rest of the world.

Money for the despotic African dictators developing world, money for the oil companies which would run the system anyway, and an easy+fast fuel delivery system for vehicles with an already well developed technology.

thinfourth2

30,870 posts

92 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
How you store energy in something exceedingly cold is somewhat puzzling to me.

I'd love to hear how this stores the energy



Also it looses the big plus side of electric cars

You can't recharge at home

Edited by thinfourth2 on Thursday 18th October 07:04

AnotherClarkey

2,412 posts

77 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
thinfourth2 said:
How you store energy in something exceedingly cold is somewhat puzzling to me.

I'd love to hear how this stores the energy



Also it looses the big plus side of electric cars

You can't recharge at home

Edited by thinfourth2 on Thursday 18th October 07:04
It seems to me that the energy to run the car comes from the relatively warmer ambient conditions. By supplying liquid nitrogen you have just created an opportunity to exploit that. Doesn't mean that it is particularly efficient or necessarily a good idea.

xRIEx

3,923 posts

36 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
Flibble said:
If you fill an enclosed space with it you will suffocate due to lack of oxygen though, but that's not instant.
Maybe 15s to unconsciousness in 100% nitrogen, then 5ish minutes to death.
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