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Clean Trains in Japan & Wind Powered Cars

  1. Sep 18, 2007 #1

    baywax

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    I believe this has just been tested (again) yesterday (Sept 17th/07)

    From: http://www.scenta.co.uk/scenta/news...ets.content_view_1&search_text1=&startrow1=16



    The electric car just got a boost from the power generated by its own wind....!

    Article from JCNNetwork.[/quote]

    http://www.japancorp.net/Article.Asp?Art_ID=15355
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2007 #2

    mgb_phys

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    A fuel cell powered train sounds rather pointless. A hydrogen fuel cell is just a battery - you make the hydrogen by splitting water using electricity you then get electricity back when you mix the water and oxygen again.
    I can't see how this improves over an overhead wire!

    As for a fan mounted on the fornt of a car being used as a windmill to power a car - I assume that this was written by Mitsubishi's advertising agency not their engineers.
     
  4. Sep 18, 2007 #3

    baywax

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    I wouldn't really know but does this help

    from the above quote:

    Certainly there is energy involved in spliting hydrogen from water... or from any chemical... but, there are enormous amounts of energy involved in getting oil out of the ground... and the toxicity of oil demands more energy in clean-up, refinements, production, transportation and hosptial bills for people affected by the resultant fumes..... so, whats your beef again?
     
  5. Sep 18, 2007 #4

    mgb_phys

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    Because you use exactly the same type of electricity to turn the water into hydrogen as you would just send over wires to the train.
    the only difference is that while the wires are highly efficent and mean you don't have to carry any fuel around the fuel cell is very inefficent and means you have to carry tons of hydrogen/oxygen and pressure cylinders around with you.

    Fuel cells almost make sense in cars as a high power battery - but for something with an exisitng power distribution infrastrure they don't.
     
  6. Sep 18, 2007 #5

    baywax

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    Ahh, I see what you mean. I'd like to know if they've done a cost efficiency analysis on both methods. There's maintainence on the wire system and there's a blow to the efficiency of the fuel cell power source because of carrying its weight. Centralized power is efficient because the techs can be concentrated in one station whereas techs would have to be dispatched to take care of trouble shooting each fuel cell on each train as well.

    However, the system employs the old diesel engines along with the trolley type power supply and I think they're making a statement regarding "greenness" over actually being efficient.

    If we look at the evolution of locomotion we will find that the initial stages of any type of power driven "cart" were over produced and fairly inefficient to begin with. Have you seen the electric car Henry Ford's wife used to drive.... its the size of a small locomotive... I think Jay Leno owns it now.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2007 #6

    baywax

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  8. Sep 18, 2007 #7
    At this rate, gas stations are going to have outlets outside.
     
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