From: PolicySpy on
On Apr 13, 8:10 pm, PolicySpy <pint...(a)> wrote:
> There is a fuel-cell car currently being leased to consumers in
> southern California. It's the Honda Clarity but also MB was said to
> have a fuel-cell car for the U.S. market in 2010.
> Now the fuel-cell car fuels with hydrogen, takes oxygen out of the
> air, produces electricity, runs an electric motor, and sends water out
> the tailpipe. And the advantage of the fuel-cell vehicle over the plug-
> in electric-vehicle is that the fuel-cell car has easier fueling,
> lighter vehicle weight, a lower cost of battery replacement, and a
> longer travel range.
> There are a couple of things to know about the fuel-cell car. The
> first is that there are a limited number of hydrogen fueling stations.
> I see them, among other places, in southern California, in NYC, and in
> Orlando. The second thing to know is that the fuel-cell car has a 5000
> psi tank for the compressed hydrogen. And so the hydrogen tank has to
> be very strong and is probably made out of carbon fiber with an outer
> protective steel shell.
> But the strength of the hydrogen tank leads to a structural idea. Use
> two hydrogen tanks, one in the front and one in the back. Then have
> the tanks as lateral stressed members of the vehicle frame to produce
> vehicle strength without added weight.
> Of course physicists are working on balls of carbon that store
> hydrogen without it being compressed so the day might come when very
> strong hydrogen tanks are not needed.
> Now I included this post to a civil engineering newsgroup because
> civil engineers sometimes work in aircraft structure positions and
> certainly can work with bridge structures.

The hydrogen tank to store compressed hydrogen is strong enough to
hold 5000 psi. It's probably made out of carbon fiber with a steel
outer shell but the shape of a tank is relatively simple likely
allowing an automated manufacturing process to be used with the carbon

But it would be better to have one hydrogen tank that is slender and
long. Then the tank can be a center and longitudinal backbone frame
for the vehicle. In fact the Delorean car has a backbone frame of
traditional construction.