The Solar-Powered Home Hydrogen Fueling Station
We alluded earlier to the home hydrogen fueling station being developed in Australia. We at TreeHugger have never been fond of the hydrogen economy, with its problems of sourcing the hydrogen (really a form of gaseous battery storing energy) and transport. However, this addresses both of these formerly intractable problems. According to Todd Woody of Business 2.0 who met with CSIRO fuel cell scientist Dr. Sukhvinder Badwal, "You don't need a hydrogen infrastructure to introduce the hydrogen economy." the home fueling station uses solar and wind energy to make electricity which then makes hydrogen, and stores it in a corner of your garage. It produces enough in a day to run your car about 100 miles. Voila: no piping infrastructure, no transmission losses, no nuclear plants or fossil fuels to make the stuff. "The heart of the fuel station is an electrolyzer - essentially a fuel cell run in reverse. An electric current from solar panels (a home wind turbine would also do the job) separates water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is compressed and stored, ready for use in a fuel-cell car or an electric/hydrogen hybrid with an engine converted to run on the gas."
"Real-world tests of the home fueling system were to begin early this year at RMIT University in Melbourne, with commercial trials two years off. Obstacles remain, including the cost of hydrogen cars, but the technology could go a long way to making the family wagon carbon-neutral."