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The next generation of engines
From Sci-Mate WikiCurrent Affairs > Energy
Type: General Knowledge
Intention: For Publication
Read/Write Permissions: Open Access
16.04.2009 - Albert James
 The Next Generation of Engines
There are some smart people out there, at least it is hoped. The debate has moved on from if there is a carbon problem; to how do we fix it? There will be no more fossil fuels by 2025, even if we needed them for other materials like plastics for instance.
The sustainable tech of future engines is not hard to extrapolate really, there are some good ones already around. There are many, but the ones that interest the consumer who buy them will be by and large be the voters, the gauntlet of need has been thrown down. There is a challenge and its one of convenience, cost effectiveness, and non-polluting technologies; not just one hurdle to jump.
The innovation required is one of combining hydrogen, solar and electric in concert. This is possible now, the mentioned three part hybrid. Why this combination you perhaps ask? Well, there are many reasons for using electrical, notwithstanding the efficiencies and proven to work well, but the range and time to recharge is an issue, so cannot be used exclusively; the other is hydrogen, which is easily produced from water, thereby has the potential to be stored and used on demand increasing the range and accessibility to discerning public expectations without a harmful exhaust; the third item that solar panels is an obvious appendage, increasing range. The provisor to using hydrogen as a fuel is safe storage, and that could be solved by electrolysis on demand, a concept that needs to be impoved to work, but achievable. The author postulates a multi-electrode system that is wrapped around the engine in an extra jacket thereby reducing energy needs by heat, with reserve gases kept in a water tank (two things about this: a needed a reserve for start up and if emmersed in water (situated like a traditional fuel tank) it is a extra safety measure.
There is are articles in New Scientist (check their website for details) about this that is illuminating if more information is required.
Watch this space for more later...