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Old 06-19-2013, 01:50 PM   #32
Join Date: Jun 2012
Default Re: "100 Years Ago Today" - Car Wars News

Originally Posted by Nikas_Zekeval View Post
Or define the 'electric' engine as a fuel cell engine. This would require to change the 'charging' to 'hyrdrogen refueling'. Or the system completely captures the used fuel and you hook into a 'recharge station' to crack your spent fuel back into hydrogen, less losses. The later however only works if it cost more to manufacture new hyrdogen or hyrdocarbon fuel supplies than to save the used remains for recycling. I've seen compressed natural gas as one source, easier to store than pure H2.
Nearly anything is easier to store than H2. I have no problem with the "batteries" being closed-cell fuel cells, or supercapacitors, or whatever; in some senses, the inside of the black box charge storage system only matters at a finer detail level than Car Wars uses.

One fascinating variant discussed recently is that the "consumable" for an electric car can be a plate of aluminum, which is "recharged" by tossing the end product back into an arc refinery. It's certainly the most inert storable fuel concept of the current crop; and some distant places already export electrical power indirectly by importing ore, refining it with plentiful local power (geothermal, hydro, etc.), and exporting the aluminum.

An interesting open-cell variant, originally proposed for use on Mars, is cracking carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide + oxygen (2x CO2 -> 2x CO + O2). You can recombine them in a fuel cell for direct electrical power, burn them in a turbine for thermal kinetic power, or burn them in a nozzle for rocket booster (or welding torch) power... but none of them really quite as well as other things. It's advantage is you just need one infrastructure for doing a bunch of related things, and your inputs are an air intake and some kind of power.
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