Re: ~e; GM u-turns on hybrid-electrics

From bc <>
Date Fri, 27 Dec 2002 22:18:04 -0600
In-reply-to <r01050300-1015-1AD8147119C211D7A2860003934F66A0@[]>

  thanks Howard for writing more about General Motor's
  hybrids, and their fuel cell developments. I had no idea
  they had a residential fuel-cell in the works, but have
  heard about interfacing the natural-gas infrastructure
  with fuel cell cars, prior to a hydrogen system being in
  place. there are a few questions that I wonder about...

  - I was on a list for decentralized electrical production,
  and approached it with little technical knowledge, and
  was not able to comprehend what seemed to be an
  ongoing argument about using smaller-scaled generation
  systems (local fuel-cell powerplants, for instance) because
  of their special needs, and also needing to deal with issues
  of electrical power conversion, I am not sure exactly what,
  but I thought it had to do with AC/DC or something like this
  which also is relevant with home solar and wind power.

  - agreed, whole-heartedly, about GM's efforts both in the
  fuel-cell realm and hybrids, and it is hoped that both can
  be beneficial, and in their different markets (in transition).

  - I once knew of- and have since forgotten- the response to
  a supposed-aversion to 'hydrogen' fuel-cells & the Hindenburg
  effect (I think the CEO of Ballard Power Systems may have
  brought this up as an example in a television interview, even)
  about hydrogen fuel cells exploding when in car crashes. It
  may be that it is pressurized and when released from tanks
  is gone into the atmosphere quicker than an explosion can
  occur, but if you've heard this argument, it would be interesting
  to know more about it, and how it is addressed.

  - my one big curiosity with fuel cells (and, if it is true of all 
  is their emission of water as the only by-product in creating
  power without traditional combustion and gasoline side-effects
  of carbon-dioxide and pollution. from exploring science, techno-
  logy, and society a bit, it has me skeptical as to what the negative
  effects of most technologies are, and, what it might be for fuel-
  cells, so they might be acknowledged and optimally designed.
  for electrical vehicles, for instance, there are issues with both
  powering the vehicles (by powerplants that are fossil-burning)
  and also battery-replacement and disposal, at this point. for
  fuel-cells, my only guess is that- with all the crazy weather
  patterns going on- if a major transformation happened and
  more water (via millions of fuel-cell cars) were put  into various
  environments, how might this effect humidity levels, snow,
  weather patterns in general. this might not even be a negative,
  at times. it just has me stuck here, as a question, wondering.

  thanks for sharing your thoughts. brian

On Friday, December 27, 2002, at 11:39  AM, Howard Coffman wrote:

> Don't discount GM's effort. I know the past, but for the
> future they might have their heads on straight. Yes, I know
> this is hard to believe.

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