Last year we heard a little birdy say that hydrogen refueling could be something you can do in your garage with UK-based ITM Power’s home hydrogen refuling station. Well, a prototype for the home-based station has been unveiled.
The station can be used for fueling a hydrogen-powered car, as well as cooking, running the fridge, and heating, and could make hydrogen slightly more efficient since it won’t need to be transported to filling stations like Shell.
ITM's station uses an electrolyser to produce gas from water and electricity, which an internal combustion generator converts to electricity. The unit can only make enough gas overnight to get you 25 miles down the road, so you may have to save up a bit if you have a bit of a commute during the day. And you have to be fairly well off in the first place, since the cost for a unit is expected to be around $4,000, plus installation costs, if the units are mass produced. Taking this into account along with the relatively lower efficiency rate of creating the hydrogen, it seems like it would take quite a long time to recoup the cost.
The company expects units to be available for sale around the end of the year, with buyers likely being large companies with a vehicle fleet. ITM is hoping the home-owner-as-customer potential comes in with Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s push to have all new cars sold in Britain to by hybrid or electric by 2020 – apparently because fuel cell cars are then an option for buyers. I have a feeling people would rather get an EV or Prius than an expensive and inefficient hydrogen-powered car and expensive home refueling station. Just my guess…
But the idea of using this as a way to power you home is intriguing. Not as much as solar windows and the like, but intriguing all the same.
written by stevee0506, July 18, 2008
written by Lloyd Olson, September 02, 2012
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