The Hydrogen Battery by Progress Energy

We've hinted at the idea of the hydrogen battery in earlier stories. Progress Energy has collaborated with the State of Florida to get a complete hydrogen battery system functioning as part of a public education program. It includes a solar panel, a hydrogen electrolyzer by Hydrogenic's / Stewart Energy subsidiary, hydrogen storage capablity, and a fuel cell, pictured here next to the wildlife pavilion at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. The Progress Energy web site linked here mentions a forthcoming streaming video of operating performance metrics. But don't wait. We recommend you take the time to view the technology overview video already there. Nice Progress!From various press release and news coverage:

"DEP and Progress Energy jointly funded the project, and Toronto- based Hydrogenics Corp. provided the hydrogen generation system. The fully integrated fuel cell and 5-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) solar system are supplementing a portion of the electricity used at the park's Wildlife Encounter Pavilion..."

"PV cells -- frequently called solar cells -- convert sunlight into electricity. At Homosassa Springs, these PV cells power an electrolyzer that splits water into its two gaseous components, hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen gas is stored for later conversion into electricity by the fuel cell [at night obviously]".

"This project uses existing, proven technologies to provide simple, cost- effective environmental benefits to one of the most pristine areas of natural Florida," said DEP Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs and Energy Allan Bedwell. "Visitors to Homosassa Springs will now experience more than the Real Florida -- they will glimpse our nation's energy future."

We know there are engineers and economists reading this and we know you're wondering about the cost benefit of this technology bundle. You'll have to hold that question for a few years. It's not mass produced; and should be seen as analogous to Henry Fords first prototype "Model-A". Proceeding with that anaology, its been roughly a century since Henry's "A" hit the streets and became the car for everyman.