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Invisible Mercedes brings James Bond technology to life
Yahoo via Motoramic ^ | 7 Mar 2012 | Justin Hyde

Posted on 03/08/2012 10:11:12 AM PST by shove_it

In a promotion for its first production fuel-cell vehicle in Germany, Mercedes-Benz turned a B-Class hatchback invisible -- at least, from a distance, using the same idea behind the invisible car in the James Bond film "Die Another Day." See if you can see it before it sees you.

The invisibility cloak had its tryout this week on the streets of Stuttgart, Germany. To make Q's idea of an invisible car real, Mercedes employed dozens of technicians and some $263,000 worth of flexible LED mats covering one side of the car. Using a camera mounted on the opposite side of the vehicle, the LEDs were programmed to reproduce the image from the camera at the right scale, blending the vehicle into the background from a few feet away. Doing so required power sources, computers and other gear totaling 1,100 lbs. of equipment inside the B-Class.

Mercedes' point was to show how the F-Cell hydrogen fuel cell powered car would be invisible to the environment, producing only water vapor and heat for emissions. For an invisible car, it's getting a lot of stares.

[...]

(Excerpt) Read more at autos.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: energy; germany
click link for a semi cool vid.
1 posted on 03/08/2012 10:11:16 AM PST by shove_it
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To: shove_it

I saw this yesterday on www.wimp.com

It was a cool video, in principle.


2 posted on 03/08/2012 10:15:59 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: shove_it

The invisibility is the marketing hook. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology is the interesting part. Without a revolution in battery storage technology the whole idea behind the battery powered hybrids and 100% electric vehicles has never been a real answer. I’ll keep an open mind about this till there’s more informational available about the state of the technology and the cost.


3 posted on 03/08/2012 10:27:29 AM PST by katana (Just my opinions)
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To: katana

I believe there’s a real problem in distribution and storage of hydrogen.


4 posted on 03/08/2012 10:31:47 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: shove_it

/clickingnoise “It’s in the trees...”


5 posted on 03/08/2012 10:35:31 AM PST by opticks
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To: shove_it

Check out this reply:

“If Mercedes has a car with a cloaking device imagine what we are not seeing in the sky everyday....”

Think about it people. Mercedes is just a car company.


6 posted on 03/08/2012 10:36:56 AM PST by Hammerhead
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To: shove_it
Doesn't our treaty with the Romulans prohibit this?
7 posted on 03/08/2012 10:41:10 AM PST by Alistair Stratford IV (Keep calm and carry on)
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To: shove_it

I want the machine guns, i live in CA were there are too many a-hole drivers on the road.


8 posted on 03/08/2012 10:42:31 AM PST by longfellow (Bill Maher, the 21st hijacker.)
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To: D-fendr
believe there’s a real problem in distribution and storage of hydrogen.

My experience (we use lots of hydrogen in refineries) is the cost of producing H2 is the real problem.

The least cost method is steam reforming natural gas. Of course natural gas is falling in price and will likely stay low. But if you use the natural gas to make hydrogen at an added cost an loss of some of the energy, why not just use the natural gas as fuel in the first place. Natural Gas can be used to in both a combustion engine as well as a fuel cell.

9 posted on 03/08/2012 10:55:17 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: shove_it

Neat but where’s my George Jetson flying car?


10 posted on 03/08/2012 11:21:23 AM PST by DManA
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To: shove_it
Cool, that's what I want to do... Go driving down the freeway in an invisible car.

Actually, I can see there would certainly be some applications for this technology in a fully developed, mature, ready-for-prime-time form.

For instance, 1)You're in a desperate life-or-death situation and the police or mafia hit men are chasing you and you don't give a darn about all the other innocent people on the road, and 2)You're a cop looking to bag some speeders and there isn't a billboard handy.

Other than that, please don't throw that invisibility switch on your car's dashboard anywhere else but in your own garage!

Guess I just don't have a very good imagination. I'm more interested in this technology for spies and for its potential military applications.

11 posted on 03/08/2012 11:27:41 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: D-fendr
I think the MOST real problem is the incredible initial expense of the technology, both in the car itself, and, the distribution system.

A Tesla, for example, is a very practical, usable, fast, fully electric car--with long lasting lithium cell batteries.

For people with an extra $120,000 or so to spend on a car....


12 posted on 03/08/2012 11:55:15 AM PST by AnalogReigns (because REALITY is never digital...)
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To: shove_it

I have several invisible Mercedes!
See?!


13 posted on 03/08/2012 11:55:29 AM PST by Carl LaFong (Experts say experts should be ignored.)
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To: LibWhacker

Couple points:

LED’s with cameras used to render invisibility (actually, LOW visibility) is technology developed by our military, for tanks and other very large vehicles. It only works one dimensionally (at present) like the side of a van like vehicle (evidently like this Mercedes), not front to back...., or even apparently on both sides (as it require a camera on the opposite side of the viewer).

This is just a marketing gimmick on this car...but, I think a very compelling gimmick too. Esp. since this really isn’t proposed technology for cars (rather only tanks!).

If the fuel cell technology is practical...and low cost....it will be as revolutionary as the gimmick...


14 posted on 03/08/2012 12:02:32 PM PST by AnalogReigns (because REALITY is never digital...)
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To: AnalogReigns

As long as you don’t forget to charge it for too long...

http://jalopnik.com/5887265/tesla-motors-devastating-design-problem


15 posted on 03/08/2012 12:08:25 PM PST by ltc8k6
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To: shove_it

“Honest officer I did look twice and nothing was coming down the road.”


16 posted on 03/08/2012 12:19:32 PM PST by 728b (Never cry over something that can not cry over you.)
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To: 728b

or rather the police will be using it for speed enforcement traps to gather more revenue


17 posted on 03/08/2012 12:33:51 PM PST by ScottinSacto
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To: AnalogReigns
A Tesla, for example, is a very practical, usable, fast, fully electric car--with long lasting lithium cell batteries.

For people with an extra $120,000 or so to spend on a car....

And if you ever run the battery pack completely dead chances are it is incapable of holding a charge and needs to be replaced at a cost of $40,000+. Yes indeed, very practical!

Regards,
GtG

18 posted on 03/08/2012 1:02:25 PM PST by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: thackney

I’m guessing the appeal of hydrogen is its abundance, but as you point out, you still have to process to get it.

What I’ve heard about hydrogen is that it’s quite a different proposition to push it through pipelines; I believe it had to do with corrosion or leaks or maybe something else.


19 posted on 03/08/2012 1:07:04 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: shove_it

Thanks to the new invisible cars Mercedes hopes to increase sales by 1,000% as drivers constantly crash into the invisible Mercedes and will need to purchase new cars. They’ve engineered them such that most will survive to buy yet another invisible car.

When the CEO of Mercedes was asked “Why do you think a person involved in a serious collision, due to your invisible design, will be willing to purchase another one?”

He paused for a minute and then said “The same reason people will vote for Obama twice ...”


20 posted on 03/08/2012 1:11:06 PM PST by Scythian
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To: D-fendr
I’m guessing the appeal of hydrogen is its abundance, but as you point out, you still have to process to get it.

The appeal of hydrogen is the lack of understanding what it takes make hydrogen fuel.

You have to use way more energy contained in another source to make the hydrogen, then significantly more energy to compress it down to a usable volume. Because of the low specific gravity, it creates more waste heat (additional lost energy) than compression of something like natural gas. What I’ve heard about hydrogen is that it’s quite a different proposition to push it through pipelines

We have hydrogen pipelines in places like Houston. It is used in hydrocracker and other some other refining units. The compression related to moving it in a pipeline.

I believe it had to do with corrosion or leaks or maybe something else.

Many talk about embrittlement in steel piping and other equipment. But we have learned to deal with hydrogen safely over many decades of use in pipes and other equipment. We don't make them out of simple carbon steel but more sophisticated alloys.

Hydrogen is also more difficult to prevent leaking because the molecule is so small. I often specify explosion-proof rated equipment. If it is to be rated for hydrogen as well as say natural gas, the mating surfaces of a "lid" and "box" have to have a very fine finish.

Hydrogen introduces additional expenses, but we are well past technical issues of knowing how to transport and store it. At least in the refining industry, it is no big deal, just added expense.

21 posted on 03/08/2012 1:19:34 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

Thanks much for your reply, you covered what I couldn’t remember. It does sound like natural gas fuel cell is making more sense.

I’ve never seen a price comparision, and don’t know if one is possible; but, before we got too far down the line it would make sense to at least estimate the price/mile.


22 posted on 03/08/2012 1:23:51 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: D-fendr
I’ve never seen a price comparision, and don’t know if one is possible;

Are you talking about fuel cells using either hydrogen or natural gas? If so, the technology is too new and limited in use for a meaningful price comparison. Both have been built many times but not in significant commercial production.

About a decade ago I tried to get into a pilot program for using a natural gas fuel cell as a stationary generator for reducing electric demand. One of the waste products of the fuel cell is heat. I had a swimming pool and was proposing a system to heat the pool. It never went anywhere and I wasn't willing to spend any significant money on my own.

23 posted on 03/08/2012 1:42:12 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney
Are you talking about fuel cells using either hydrogen or natural gas?

Yes. For the reasons you mention, I don't know how one would estimate it, but obviously if by the time you got it into a car it was the equivalent of $20/gal gas...

24 posted on 03/08/2012 1:51:30 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: D-fendr; thackney
I’ve never seen a price comparision, and don’t know if one is possible; but, before we got too far down the line it would make sense to at least estimate the price/mile.

I'll try to do one using Mercedes' price projections and fuel consumption numbers. Mercedes estimates that they can get a fuel cell B-Class compact MPV into showrooms for about 35,000 euros after taxes within the next 3 years or so. That's about 9.000 euros more than the gasoline base model (which is 26.000 Euros) , but in line with a hypothetical diesel hybrid or a top-of-the line AMG sports variant.



Gasoline is about 1$ or 75 eurocents per liter in the US, or around 2$ / 1.50€ in central Europe (again, after taxes). The standard gas variant needs about 6 liters (~1.6 gallons) for 100 kilometers (or 62 miles), whereas the fuel cell vehicle needs only 1 kg of hydrogen per 100 km (because it's vastly more efficient). At an estimated ~ 4€ or 5.3$ per kilo of hydrogen, the costs would be the following:

4€ / 5.3$ per 100km or 6.4€ / 8.5$ per 100 miles for the hydrogen fuel cell car.
4.5€ / 6$ per 100km or 7.2€ / 9.6$ per 100 miles for the standard gasoline model in the US.
9€ / 12$ per 100km or 14.4€ / 19.2$ per 100 miles for the gas variant in Europe.

25 posted on 03/08/2012 3:16:20 PM PST by wolf78 (Inflation is a form of taxation, too. Cranky Libertarian - equal opportunity offender.)
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To: wolf78

Thanks for the info.

We were trying to compare a hydrogen fuel cell versus a natural gas fuel cell.


26 posted on 03/09/2012 3:59:42 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: wolf78

Do you know what source was used for the hydrogen fuel and was the government subsidized?


27 posted on 03/09/2012 4:01:25 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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