Hydrogen?

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tstowe
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Hydrogen?

Postby tstowe » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:45 am

We have done five launches, all with helium.

What do we have to do differently if we want to use hydrogen?
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Re: Hydrogen?

Postby W6WLW » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:33 pm

spend lees money. Hydrogen is lees than half the price and you get more lift.
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Re: Hydrogen?

Postby SpaceCowboy » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:31 am

I'm assuming you're referring to hydrogen's flammability. Well wikipedia seems to have it together as far as hydrogen safety. You can look it up there or just read the highlights I'm gonna post here.

Summary

Although hydrogen has many useful properties, some have serious safety implications:
Colourless and odourless (Who do they think they are, JRR Tolkien?)
Extremely reactive with oxygen and other oxidizers
Low ignition energy
High flame temperature
Invisible flame in daylight conditions
Negative Joule-Thomson coefficient; leaking gas warms and may spontaneously ignite
Small molecular size promotes leaks and diffusion
Very wide flammability limits in air mixtures
Can diffuse into or react with certain metals, embrittling them
The cryogenic liquid at 20K is even colder than frozen nitrogen, oxygen or argon
Does not support life (can asphyxiate)
On the other hand, hydrogen's considerable buoyancy and lack of toxicity other than as an asphyxiant work in its favor.

So on the one hand it's easy as heck to light it up in concentrations when mixed with oxygen, but so long as you're outdoors it isn't much of a problem as it'll travel at like 45 mph straight up and out of the atmosphere. I'd suggest forgoing the celebratory smoke until the balloon and hydrogen tank is far away from you though.

Also, good question. I learned like 20 new things finding the answer to that. :geek:
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Re: Hydrogen?

Postby KI9L » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:46 am

While technically true that spontaneous ignition may occur. I have worked with the gas and tested it's volatility with one of my chemistry professors before trying to fill a 1200g ballon with it. In an open space with basic static discharge countermeasures it really is difficult to ignite. I really need to organise and post up my findings...

SpaceCowboy wrote:I'm assuming you're referring to hydrogen's flammability. Well wikipedia seems to have it together as far as hydrogen safety. You can look it up there or just read the highlights I'm gonna post here.

Summary

Although hydrogen has many useful properties, some have serious safety implications:
Colourless and odourless (Who do they think they are, JRR Tolkien?)
Extremely reactive with oxygen and other oxidizers
Low ignition energy
High flame temperature
Invisible flame in daylight conditions
Negative Joule-Thomson coefficient; leaking gas warms and may spontaneously ignite
Small molecular size promotes leaks and diffusion
Very wide flammability limits in air mixtures
Can diffuse into or react with certain metals, embrittling them
The cryogenic liquid at 20K is even colder than frozen nitrogen, oxygen or argon
Does not support life (can asphyxiate)
On the other hand, hydrogen's considerable buoyancy and lack of toxicity other than as an asphyxiant work in its favor.

So on the one hand it's easy as heck to light it up in concentrations when mixed with oxygen, but so long as you're outdoors it isn't much of a problem as it'll travel at like 45 mph straight up and out of the atmosphere. I'd suggest forgoing the celebratory smoke until the balloon and hydrogen tank is far away from you though.

Also, good question. I learned like 20 new things finding the answer to that. :geek:
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Re: Hydrogen?

Postby M0UPU » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:11 am

We only launch with H2 these days. It has some bad press due to a certain incident in 1937 however ignoring the very obvious cost benefits it has many advantages over Helium
for balloon use. As long as you take common sense precautions you will be fine. Don't vent H2 off to clear the lines, be very careful checking for leaks before launch.

There is a guide here : http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:hydrogen

And on the front page of http://arhab.org/ are a number of links to Hydrogen safety.
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