Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Safety Blimp

safe transport of hydrogen gas
  [vote for,

Transport hydrogen gas across water in a safety blimp.

The bag(s) are on a long tether, with a small boat on the other end. The boat, in turn, drags a tether hanging a water pickup. Water tanks, pumps, fuel cell..

For downwind travel, dump ballast until the boat lifts off and you're just dragging your tail in the water.

Upwind, suck up ballast until the boat is floating comfortably and use power from hydrogen fuel cell.

afinehowdoyoudo, Jan 03 2010


       Surely the only economical way to transport hydrogen is in liquid form? Or am I wrong?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2010

       Economy of transport is determined by the mode of transport. Road, airplane, and rail transport are limited by bulk, so hydrogen is only worthwhile in compressed form for those modes.   

       Gas-filled bags at sea are not limited by bulk. But, upwind travel would be probably be uneconomic.   

       H2 holds about 25 MJ of energy per cubic meter. Thats about $0.25 worth of natural gas (at ten bucks a gig) or $70 of electricity (at 10 cents a kW/hr). Hydrogen is intermediate in value between natural gas and electricity.. a buck a cube is a nice round number. A sphere 10 meters diameter of H2 would be worth about $700. A 30m sphere: $18,000. I think it would fly.   

       EDIT: 25 MJ of electricity is worth 70 cents, not seventy bucks.. so a buck a cube for H2 is a bit pricey. Maybe more like 50 cents.   

       The exchange rate between fuel gas and electricity is roughly the efficiency of an "X"- fueled power plant. Natural gas is burned and passed through a thermodynamic cycle, so the rule of Carnot applies. In a hydrogen fuel cell, there's no such restriction. The efficiency could be as high as 50cents/70cents
afinehowdoyoudo, Jan 04 2010

       Bunned. I came up with this idea myself, but didn't post it on Halfbakery. Given that the sphere (or whatever shape you make the bag) would fly, you could also transport other goods along with the hydrogen. Have a small tractor blimp towing a bag of Hydrogen, with cargo hanging from it, then when you reach your target, deflate the bag and unclip the cargo, before rolling the bag up and stowing it in the blimp.
Selky, Jan 04 2010


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