Hydrogen engine vehicle - is it efficient enough?

Today when people are talking more and more about alternative energy sources especially for the cars we have many different products coming out. Hybrid cars that run on gasoline and electricity, pure electric cars etc. Hydrogen vehicles are using hydrogen as the energy carrier not the energy source so people would need some large scale hydrogen plants or home hydrogen stations to power their cars.

Hydrogen can be produced by many thermo-chemical methods using coal (coal gasification), natural gas, biomass, liquefied petroleum gas, biohydrogen. Hydrogen can also be produced from water by electrolysis. However, this process takes a lot of energy and it should be renewable energy sources to call it ecologically clean fuel. It would take humanity a few decades to create a low cost hydrogen production as all these methods are very expensive. However, the only emission you have is water and that is a very good deal.

There are two ways of using hydrogen to run the vehicle:

* Internal combustion works similar to ordinary gasoline engine but runs on hydrogen.
* Fuel-cell conversion produces electricity via hydrogen + oxygen reaction to power electrical engine.

However in both of these ways of powering the car hydrogen is not that efficient because it has low volumetric energy. This means that it can store less energy than some substances we use today. For example: even if we keep hydrogen in liquid form its volumetric energy density will be only megajoules per liter, which is much smaller than that of gasoline.

Using hydrogen as the electricity carrier is even less efficient than using Li-Ion batteries in the cars. As you can see on this chart you lose 7% of energy you get from the plant for charging the batteries and 7% of the remaining amount is lost in the battery itself.

However if you want to use hydrogen to store that energy this is what you get: 30% of energy from the windmill for example is lost during the process called electrolysis, the other bad thing is that you need to compress the gas in order to use it and this is where you lose another 10%, finally fuels cells are not that efficient and you lose up to 60% of remaining energy there. See for yourself which method is more efficient.

Taking in consideration all these hydrogen fuel is one of the most expensive to produce and one of the least efficient energy carriers out there. Maybe we will be able to produce hydrogen fuel but we surely need to lower the cost of its production dramatically.


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Nokia N96 Expected To Ship In July

We can expect the Nokia N96 to start shipping soon in July. It will be available for $800 while Play.com has it on the list for about $1200. We have already seen the specs of this phone already that it will has Wi-Fi, GPS, DVB-H mobile tv—all built in, and 5 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and auto-focus.

Are you ready to spend your $800 for it?

The Nokia N96, which was announced earlier this year at the 2008 Mobile World Congress, is the latest flagship Nseries, sporting a 5 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and autofocus. This big black beast also includes quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) and WCDMA (2100MHz), WiFi, a built-in GPS receiver, and support for DVB-H mobile television.

The best part of the N96, in my opinion, however, is the innovative kickstand that’s located around the camera lens on the back of the hands. You can flick this little stand out to prop the handset up and watch video no matter where you are. Completely brilliant. The handset also dual-slides like the N95 but adds 2 gaming buttons to the media keys.

Play.com has the handset listed at 599.99 GBP ( $1,200USD) for preorder, saying they expect the handset to be released on the 31st of July. I realize this is a pre-release price, and thus is inflated, but seriously? What else can $1,200 buy you, currently? Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is the 1,111 Double Cheeseburgers at McDonald’s, for starters.

What else could you buy with $1,200, other than an Nokia N96?

(For the record, Nokia’s estimated retail price for the N96 is 404 GBP ($800USD), so don’t get too depressed just yet.)


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ASUS M70 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 1GB video memory

ASUS launched a monster called stiffly M70. ASUS M70 was born for fulfilling the dreams of those who want a very powerfull notebook.

The only negative part is its weight of 3,78Kg but if we take in account its dimensions (41×29.8×3.84 - 3.94 cm) we can say that it is normal.

Lets start with the endowments. For example the model called Asus M70SA-7U032G has an Intel Core2 Duo T9300 (2500MHz with FSB 800MHz and cache L2 de 6144kb) processor. 4 GB of RAM memory are sufficient to run Vista without problems. And if we started to talk about Vista, we need to mention that the video plaque is an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 with 1 GB memory.

The 17 inch screen has a Full HD resolution i.e. 1920 x 1200.

Asus M70SA-7U032G has 1 hard disk of 500 GB but exists a model in M70 series with 2 hard disks of 500 GB each. These are installed in RAID 0 for offering 1 TB of space for stocking. Just try to count yourself what you can place on 1 TB.

And for such space on a hard disk Blu-ray optic unit is the thing you need. Because of the high cost of Blu-ray units this endowment is optional. A standard variant includes a DVD Writer Super Multi.

M70SA, being a multimedia system, respects this high standard and has a sound plaque with a support for Dolby Home Theater. Its 4 speakers and a subwoofer are made by Altec Lansing and are not noname as usually notebooks have.

All high-end class ASUS notebooks have a web cam so M70SA is not the exception to the rule with its 1,3 mega pixels.

With the autonomy of the monster is dealing a battery of 8 cells on 5200 mAh.

If you want an extremally performant multimedia notebook, M70 is one of the best options on the market. The prize is OK for its super endowments.

But because of its heavy weight we can not recommend it for those who need high mobility.


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KumoTek KT-X Humanoid Robot Kit

Texas based KumoTek announces the KumoTek KT-X (KumoTek-X) bipedal humanoid robot developed in cooperation with Japanese Vstone.

KumoTek targets the educational market with its KT-X robot kit. KumoTek has built an entire education system around their robots called Robot P.E.T.S. (Robots Promoting Education Through Science).
The idea behind Robot P.E.T.S. isn't to build a machine that will do your chores, bring you drinks, or beat up bullies. Instead it is cool curriculum designed to pull kids away from video games and launch them into the world of robotics science and mechanical engineering.

There are three versions of the KumoTek KT-X robot kit available starting at $990.

Available versions:
KT-X Lite: 13 motors -- $990 USD
KT-X: 17 motors -- $1,290 USD
KT-X Gladiator: (w/ rotating hips and torso): 20 motors -- $1,490 USD

The 13 inches tall KT-X robot can be controlled with a wireless PS2 controller.
The KumoTek robots are selling on the Robporium site. See also the KumoTek site.

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Spy Backpack Porta2030

A while ago, we reported on some Spy Camera Glasses, a device which could take some cool pictures on the go, despite its obvious lens. In keeping with this tradition of semi-concealed cameras, we would like to present the Porta2030, a spy backpack.

At first I thought the purpose of the Porta2030 was to take pictures, then download them later like any normal camera. However, the Porta2030 is actually capable of so much more as it can stream images to a website.

In other words, if the bad guys catch you taking pictures of their secret base, they can’t eliminate the evidence by simply killing the camera. By the time they can get their mitts on the secret camera, the pictures are already out on the net, hopefully receiving many hits.

A mobile data-sensing storage system makes this feature possible, and the Porta2030 also features an open source system, a 1GB flash card, a webcam, as well as an LCD mini-terminal.

I’m not surprised that something like this has been made, because I could have really used it during CES last January. Walking around with my backpack on a shoulder and a camera in the other hand wasn’t exactly fun, and it would have been nice to have a device that could have done both. Coolest Gadgets could have had some great realtime coverage then.

I have not heard whether the Porta2030 is some lone inventor’s concept device, or an actual device ready to be marketed. If you ask me, they can’t market this soon enough.


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