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Thread: Don't See This Every Day

  1. #1
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    Don't See This Every Day

    Saw this at a Shell gas station in Santa Monica today. It's a first for me.

    Note the pump on the left in the island in the distance. See the mechanical equipment on the roof of the canopy?



    That equipment is producing a different kind of "gas" for vehicles...



    And a closer look...



    According to my buddy Google, California has 23 active hydrogen fuel stations across the state, which are fueling 158 fleet vehicles. (Undated source.) This is the first one I've seen. Have any of you seen one in your area?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails SM Shell 1 - 800.jpg   SM Shell 2 - 800.jpg   SM Shell 3 - 800.jpg  
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  2. #2
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    Really interesting Vaughn
    We don't have any up here that I know of. I really can't imagine any big company spending the millions and millions of dollars in equipment and construction to service only 158 vehicles
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
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    Had no idea. Really can't believe we are going that route, looks to me like natural gas would be better as it is our own product and available.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

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  4. #4
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    Hydrogen is easy to produce. You can produce it in your back yard (wouldnt do it in the basement.... blow your house up )
    So the only thing these gas stations have to do is put in the equipment to remove hydrogen from the atmosphere and the rest is all gravy. they dont need to transport it, or pump it out of the ground, if it spills after the big explosion it just bonds with the oxygen in the air and turns into water.

    Have you seen any regulations put forth by California making it illegal to produce your own hydrogen Vaughn? If not it is surely coming down the pike.
    The revenue they will lose from exise tax and state/local taxes is huge once enough hydrogen fueled vehicles are in use.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    Had no idea. Really can't believe we are going that route, looks to me like natural gas would be better as it is our own product and available.
    Jon, I haven't studied it much, but hydrogen is also our own product. It's produced with the equipment on the roof of the gas station, as I understand it. From some quick reading I just did, it looks like it's currently produced primarily from methane (natural gas) or water. There is are some question about whether it takes more electricity to produce it than the power we can get out of it, but I believe a lot of that has to do with the method used to extract it. I'm not sure that hydrogen is the answer by any means. We also had (free) electric car charging stations around town for a few years to support the General Motors EV1, but the ones I knew about have been removed by now after the EV1 fizzled out. (The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf look interesting, though. And of course there's the Tesla. I've seen a few Tesla Roadsters around town.)

    Natural gas does have some advantages cost-wise, but it's also a somewhat finite resource like oil (although we can produce methane from other sources).

    All I can say is the next 20 to 30 years should be interesting times for driving.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    I don't think they can fit a zeppelin under that canopy....

    Where are the "NO SMOKING" signs? Oh the humanity......
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Stafford View Post
    I don't think they can fit a zeppelin under that canopy....

    Where are the "NO SMOKING" signs? Oh the humanity......

  8. #8
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    Mike, apparently they're more worried about cell phones than cigarettes.

    Detail from the middle photo...

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails SM Shell 4.jpg  
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
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    Hydrogen

    Did you know hydrogen is used as a coolant inside the coils of large (Megawatt size) generators. And with every safety system know to man installed on them they still blow up once in a while.

    High pressure hydrogen being handled by the general public is not a good mix.

    Bet it will not be long before some very quick recombining happens at one of those filling stations.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Simmons View Post
    High pressure hydrogen being handled by the general public is not a good mix.
    This is exactly what they said about gasoline! And it seems its one of the reasons why I've never been able to pump my own gas in New Jersey...

    Vaughn, I haven't seen one of those around these parts, but as Ken Kesey said, the east coast is always about five years behind the west coast. It gives us something to look forward to...

    Thanks,

    Bill

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