As the world turns more towards renewable energy, the concept of balancing supply and demand becomes more and more difficult. A universal energy carrier is therefore needed to decouple supply from demand and allow us to balance the grid.
We at H2-NRG believe that hydrogen is this universal energy carrier.
Core to the H2-NRG philosophy is that a hydrogen-based renewable energy solution required three distinct aspects.
Hydrogen is easily produced using an electrical current, which can be sourced from many different types of energy. Our patent-pending technology can efficiently split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. The hydrogen will be stored for application and the oxygen released into the atmosphere to be withdrawn again at the point of application, or saved for water treatment or oxygen needs. The initial energy source can take many forms, including:
- Local Stream
- Recycled Heat from Power Stations or Industrial processes
- Off Peak Electrical Energy
A multi-source approach is best to maximize production throughout the day and night, and the electrolyser technology is able to handle multiple feeds simultaneously.
A key point to remember is that you will NEVER get more energy out than you put in. There is always a cost in energy. The cost usually occurs when you convert it from one form to another. i.e. Electrical –> Chemical –> Electrical. The advantage of hydrogen is that there is no cost in the storage of hydrogen. 1 Litre of hydrogen now has the same energy value as it will have in a year or even a decade. This is especially important when storing large amounts of energy to power a house or off-grid installation or when considering seasonal energy storage.
Hydrogen can be stored in tanks, both solid and flexible. allowing for the easy storage of large amounts of energy which is traditionally a very difficult process. These can be designed to fit any shape or size allowing vast amounts of hydrogen gas to be stored safely and with little impact on the surroundings. Pressurized gas obviously takes up less space but is costly, both in energy to compress and in finance. It also has more safety concerns.
The energy stored in hydrogen can be easily recouped by burning hydrogen in oxygen, by recombining the hydrogen with oxygen using a hydrogen fuel cell or using the hydrogen in an internal combustion engine in vehicles. All of these processes are non-polluting and carbon neutral as water is the only product. Hydrogen fuel cells are currently expensive but soon to be dropping significantly in price. Burning hydrogen in a gas boiler or a hydrogen burner to get hot water is probably the most cost-effective method of useful energy recovery from hydrogen.