Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hydroelectric Cars: Are They the Answer?

                  This past week I researched into new, and innovative ideas on vehicles and ways of traveling.  During my search through the internet, I came across the idea of hydroelectric cars.  First, i was thinking that this idea seems to farfetched to work, but i decided reading the article would be the only logical way to see if the idea was truly world-changing, and it was.  Oil is a concept of internal-combustion that was first discovered in the latter half of the 1800's, but for some reason we have yet to progress to a new way of cleaner combustion, maybe because the idea of "if it is not broke, do not fix it" pops into most of our heads.  This is very true, for oil is a very efficient method of using and conserving energy for which you get out of it.  At the same time, the correlation function of the short term goals of cheap and efficient, does not correlate positively with the increase of CO2 and carbon monoxide emissions we breathe in especially in crowded cities like NYC, Philadephia, Los Angeles, and Boston.  The flow of traffic is so emmense in these areas that i'm sure the effects of the green-house gases are worse there than lets say Topeka, Kansas.  Don't you think that a clean, more efficient use of energy would be something that everyone is interested in.  Hydroelectric technology uses the same concept as oil, but with a different original principle.  This past weekend i went to the Philadelphia Car Show and speloke to every car company there in regards to new combustion technology.  For the most part, i knew more about hydroelectric vehicles than most of the representatives there.  A representative for Mercedes, for example, said that i did not now what the Hell i was talking about because the only technology he said i should be concerned with was Bio-Diesel, but the problem is their still using oil in these engines just not entirely oil.  He told me they use 20% less diesel in these vehicles that the cars n the road today, and in my opinion if its not 100% efficient than i do not want it.  Every other car company was very respectful an answered my questions to the best of their abilities and i received positive feedback from all of them.  Toyota though, is the innovator of the group, and told me that they will have a hydroelectric car on the market in three short years.  So enough with the jibber jabber, What is a hydroelectric car, and how does it work?

                  Just like an ordinary oil based combustion system works, you have the following elements: anodes, cathodes, electrolyte, and a catalyst.  The fuel cell would be made from hydrogen and oxygen which its end product would be water because 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom give you H20 or water.  This hydrogen fuel cell would replace the model we use now.  To create any type of usable energy system you must first have a negative and positive charge.  The anode would be the negative pillar of the cell as the cathode pillar would be the positive part of the cell.  The electrolyte would be made of polymer, as the catylst would be made of platinum just as your ordinary car has a converter would converts store energy into usable energy.(potential/kinectic energy)  The first step is when you pump hydrogen into the anode part of the cell, then oxygen is taken from the air through the positive cathode.  The catalyst takes the negative anode and splits the hydrogen cell and leaves the cell with just electrons which are then put back into the postive cathode which is oxygen. The electrons are passed into a separate external circuit to form electric current, which propels the car forward.  The emission that is released through the exhaust is H20 and a little bit of heat.  So basically you split the hydrogen atom and gain energy, then the convert the wasted cell back with oxygen to form water which is then released.  The model seems to work quite well, but Toyota will only give you general priniciples to go by and not the entire concept because it is fairly new in relation to vehicles. 

            So what are the positive impact of using hydrogen fuel sell cars, and when can we see them in the United States?  First of all, the emissions as previously stated are simply heated H20 which is found naturally obviously in our clouds as well as the rivers, oceans, and lakes all throughout the world.  Secondly, this will eleviate an issue with cold weather because the system will work in any temperature, but what about excessively cold areas.  This is an idea that the car companies and manufacturers will have to take into consideration when designing the optimum car.  In addition, we will not have to rely on the ever shrinking fossil fuels that we've been relying on for so long, and all the world problems and domestic problems that come with it.  In regards to loud noise from cars, also known as noise pollution will be decreasingly less because the vehicles are much more quite than the average gasoline powered engine.  The air won't smell like gasoline as soon as you leave the building or establishment you are in.  According to many of the individuals i spoke to at the car show California is implementing fuel cell stations which is the beginning of a new type of infrastructure, and will lead to more job growth for both blue and white collar workers in American and across the globe for that matter.  Even though the idea is stil being developed, a more enviromentally friendly and people friendly vehicle could be the way of the future if we the people allow it to happen.

This is Hondo hydrogen fuel cell car video, check it out!

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