Distributed Low Cost Renewable Hydrogen Production

Hydrogen in water has an amazing energy storage density. We estimate that only 10 liters of water is required to store enough solar energy in renewable hydrogen to power a typical American home consuming 10kWh/day of electricity. When hydrogen is used in a fuel cell for electricity production, water is produced and can be easily recycled for reuse. Therefore, the actual consumption of water for renewable hydrogen production is quite low.

One of the most significant challenges in using hydrogen is transporting it to the point of use. Long haul transportation of hydrogen by trucks or pipeline remains technically and economically challenging. However, by enabling the low cost production of renewable hydrogen wherever there is water and sunlight, we can facilitate a distributed hydrogen production model without long haul transportation and delivery.

24x7 Renewable Electricity

With sunlight and water readily available in most parts of the world, the HyperSolar H2Generator™ can be connected to a conventional fuel cell to create a self-contained 24x7 renewable electricity generator. During the day, solar energy is constantly stored as hydrogen. At any time during the day or night, the stored hydrogen can be converted to electricity through the fuel cell. This 24x7 availability of solar electricity has eluded the photovoltaic industry, but not with solar based renewable hydrogen. Depending on the electricity demands of the user, which could be a house, an apartment, an office building, or a small community, the number of reactor vessels and storage tanks can be adjusted accordingly.

24x7 Renewable Power Plants

Conventional solar and wind electricity are intermittent. When the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing, solar panels and wind turbines from renewable power plants are not producing electricity. As a result, these renewable power plants are not reliable enough to be a standalone utility scale power plant. While conventional electrolysis technology can technically be used to store solar or wind electricity as hydrogen, it is very cost prohibitive because of the inherent system-level energy losses. Otherwise, electrolysis would be the current standard storage technology for solar and wind power. By implementing the HyperSolar H2Generator on a utility scale, large farms of low cost reactor vessels can be employed to convert large areas of solar energy into hydrogen for concentrated storage. Then, 100% renewable hydrogen powered electricity can be produced through utility scale fuel cells - 24x7.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

As of 2009, motor vehicles used most of the petroleum consumed in the U.S. and produced over 60% of carbon monoxide emissions and 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Emission and petroleum related geopolitical problems are only growing for the U.S. and the world as the demand for personal and mass transit grows with an increasing population. Electric power vehicles do not have any tailpipe emissions and have been praised as the solution to the world's transportation needs. However, current battery based electric vehicles suffer from two big problems: (1) long charging time, and (2) plugin electricity is from a fossil fuel power plant that burns coal or natural gas. With a renewable hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicle, charging time could be as fast as a regular gasoline fill-up, and the only byproduct of hydrogen fuel usage is water. It is only with renewable hydrogen that the electric vehicle visions can be realized at a large scale. A growing list of automakers such as Audi, BWM, Toyota and Honda are all developing hydrogen fuel cell cars.

Self-Contained Hydrogen Fueling Stations

One of the biggest problems with the hydrogen car vision is the lack of hydrogen fueling stations, and the cost to build such an infrastructure is enormous. However, by using the HyperSolar H2Generator, standalone fueling stations can build and operated one by one along any highway where there is water and sunlight. During the day, solar energy can be stored as hydrogen in the HyperSolar H2Generator, which is connected to individual fueling stations. The reactor vessels and storage tanks can be sized appropriately to accommodate the local traffic volume. In this manner, a large distributed renewable hydrogen production infrastructure can be built with minimal capital risk.

Renewable Natural Gas

The renewable hydrogen produced by the HyperSolar H2Generator can be easily reacted with carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce a carbon neutral and renewable methane (CH4) under a well-known reaction called the Sabatier reaction.

CO2 + 4H2 -> CH4 + 2H2O

This renewable methane is essentially pipeline ready natural gas and can be used as a direct replacement for traditional natural gas to power the world, without fracking, drilling or CO2 emissions.