Originally Posted by codprawn
Yes already available - hydrogen - why ditch 100yrs of ic engine design mucking around with fuel cells etc?
The current generation of IC engines are only about 25% efficient - that is to say they only convert about 1/4 of the stored energy in the fuel into useable power - the rest is lost mainly as heat. Now that's OK when you've got an energy rich fuel source such as petroleum, but any other form of fuel has much less energy, hence the poor efficiency becomes more of an an issue.
Originally Posted by Andy Stevens
Also they have developed cars that run on water yet the oil companies spend millions on buying the patents to keep oil in demand!
Fuel Cell vehicles (which run on hydrogen, not water – water is the by-product of the process) are at least 10 years away from a production-feasible vehicle. Those that are running today are still very much research-oriented, as there remain many technical issues to solve to ensure they will be reliable for your average consumer on a mass-production basis to make them reasonably priced. GM is rumoured to have spent $1billion to get their current fleet of (I think four) fuel cell vehicles on the road.
And that is to say nothing of the huge investment in infrastructure that will be necessary to put a hydrogen filling station on every corner - that is if people will accept this once the scaremongerers amongst us start ranting about the prospect of a 'H'-Bomb type explosion in a residential neighbourhood!! Hydrogen is very hard to contain (being a very small molecule) and, unlike petrol vapour or LPG/CNG, it is lighter than air and disperses very quickly. Yes - it is possible to generate an explosive mix but very difficult to maintain this for any significant length of time (especially on a boat!).