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hydrogen powered boat

using solar/hydro natural sources
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I would love to get $3-5K together to build this boat, but in the mean time it is just an idea. Use solar panals on the deck to generate the electricity, use the electicity via hydrolysis to separate the hydrogen out of the sea water similar to a salt water pool. The idea came from our salt water chlorinator which uses only about 12volts and not too much milliampage to generate by electrodes in the water quite a significant amount of hydrogen along with the chlorine of course from the salt. Now if the hyrogen generated could be stored in stogage/compression tanks under the boats hull with the weight of the boat to give enough gas compression. At the top of the tanks you would lead fuel (hydrogen) pipes to the purpose built lean burn hyrogen powered engines. Speed would be regulated by adjusting the hyrogen flow valves. The boat would need no commercial/fossil fuels to run at all, just the sun's rays and the hydrogen derived from the surrounding sea water. What do you think!!!
budderoo, May 25 2001

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       You want to use solar power to generate electricity which will then run a fuel cell to produce hydrogen which you then burn in an internal combustion engine? Instead of using solar power to charge a battery which runs an electric motor?
angel, May 25 2001
  

       Yeah, what [angel] said.   

       It would take a lot more than $5K to build this boat. Unless you're talking about a solar powered rowboat or something.
egnor, May 25 2001
  

       You could also use the solar panel array as a landing/takeoff strip for jet aircraft!
beauxeault, May 25 2001
  

       Maybe it would be better to build a boathouse with the solar cells on the roof and the hydrogen-seperation and collection equipment inside, and then simply fuel up your boat at the dock. That way your boat has to carry no more equipment than a standard motorcraft. Of course this limits your trip length to the size of your onboard fuel tank. For long cruises you're better off, as Angel suggests, just running an electric motor.
Dog Ed, May 25 2001
  

       It sounds like a good idea . You should equip the boat with a windmill electric generator as well for those stormy days.
novaspell1, Feb 10 2002
  

       Waste of energy. You get more energy by directly using an electric motor with solar cells. Also you get only very little energy from the sun, only in FL you may be able to run a very small electric outboard.
LaoTse, Apr 30 2002
  

       OVBIOUSLY THEY DON'T GET IT...IT MAY SOUND IMPOSSIBLE BUT I THINK IT IS NOT.THEY SAYD THAT TO FLY WAS NOT POSSIBLE AND YOU SEE NOW.I THINK IS A GRATE IDEA AND I THOUGHT ABOUT THE SAME SOME TIME AGO. WHY NOT RUNNING AN ELECTRIC MOTOR INSTADE ALL THIS ...SIMPLE...IT COULD BE A MUCH BETTER WAY TO STORAGE ENERGY THEN A BUNCH OF BATTERYS THAT YOU'LL HAVE TO REPLACE EVERY 3 YEARS AT LEAST.AND WITCH IS CONTAMINATING TOO.
GUI, May 27 2002
  

       gui, please don't shout. How about editing the anno so we aren't all deafened.   

       oh, and said, great, instead, batteries, which.   

       No wrong apostrophes though.
yamahito, May 27 2002
  

       Not a bad idea but I think you would be looking at closer to $20-30 K!!!
ferret, May 27 2002
  

       Boats like your talking about cost about 2.5K/ft. Where would you sit in your two foot boat? Also it takes way more energy to produce hydrogen than you get when you burn it so your efficiency would be way down. Then the compressor and storage, you're talking about a seagoing factory.
KindlyRat, May 27 2002
  

       I like the idea of electrolisis to get hydrogen out of sea water, but instead of solar cells, you could use some alge and a microbial fuel cell (new kind, with graphite) to get the stored energy (sugars, proteins) from sea water, that is then cracked open to get 0, H2 and possible CLx but you can filter the clorine out.   

       Have you thought of that idea?
Nice coder, Jan 27 2004
  

       The OP is not that bad. Expensive, sure, but not unfeasible, especially for a boat that spends most of its time sitting in one spot, like say a sports fishing boat.   

       It's just another application of H2 storage and fuel cells rather than batteries. Which right now is still several powers of ten more expensive than an motor and a tank of diesel.   

       Sails are pretty darn energy efficient...   

       [shonagon] your anno is a little garbled: By "satellite" I assume you mean the high-flying UAVs that NASA and others are researching. Moonlight is less than 4% of sunlight (full moon, cloudless night). Wind and wave power seem practical ways of capturing energy which would otherwise be "wasted" when the ship is at anchor.   

       But I fail to see how any "very lightweight" materials will allow you store liquid H2. I think your tri would very rapidly sink to the bottom of the ocean, from the mass of the tanks and their cargo.   

       Unless they were made of ice.... Say a lightweight H2 proof bladder surrounded by several feet of ice. The cold hydrogen at the center should keep it pretty well solid, add a mesh of steel cables for reinforcement. And a run around the gunwhales with a hot knife once a day should keep a nice streamlined profile..   

       Ok I admit I'm just thinking out loud now.   

       *Is* liquid H2 less dense than water?   

       [GUI] I refuse to read your anno on principle.
BunsenHoneydew, Feb 28 2004
  

       yes liquid H2 is less dense than water, the thing is you need to keep it at insane pressure or temperatures to keep it that way. There are better ways to store hydrogen using adsorption to a metal lattice material IRRC. But it is still a cumbersome and inefficient way to store energy. It is much cheaper to store it in ordinary lead acid batteries and run an electric motor from them. several craft have been build that use solar power for propulsion. The latest I read about was australian, and was a pontoonboat like catamaran, that had solar cellc in the canopy. They all are hindered by the inefficiency of the solar cells, so you need more collection surface than the boat is big.   

       As suggested before: sailing is much more efficient and is solar powered too.
nietsch, Mar 21 2004
  

       There are test houses set up in the United States that use solar engery to run a pump to seperate water into hydrogen and oxygen. It stores the hydrogen for use by a fuel cell that not only powers the house but produces enough electricity to sell some back to the grid. Your idea is sound but instead of burning the hydrogen use fuel cells to generate electricity for an electric motor. Much more power than what batteries can provide and lasts as long as the hydrogen supply, not just until the batteries run down. Useful at night.
Nitehawk, Mar 23 2004
  

       Attach a large sail to the boat, woven with flexible solarcells. Use electricty from the solar cells to make hydrogen from the sea water for bouyancy in your observation blimp.   

       Avantages: The sail will propel you way faster than any solar cells, and you get a blimp. Admit it...blimps are cool.
gabe, May 22 2004
  
      
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