In November of 2018, HyperSolar announced its intention to build a demonstration pilot plant, and that has been the focus of intensive effort in the laboratory as well as working with contract manufacturers and engineering firms for assembly and plant construction. While its patented nanoparticle (Gen 2) technology is still in development, the Company’s management believes it can utilize its proprietary stability coatings and catalysts with readily available commercial solar cells encapsulated in panels with water (“hydrogen generation panels”) to demonstrate a completely renewable hydrogen generation system at production pilot plant scale. The pilot plant itself will be a full plug and play facility the Gen 1 technology. As the Company’s more advanced and efficient Gen 2 units come available, previous technology can easily be replaced without changing the plant infrastructure.
The Company has outlined the process to plant completion as follows:
1. Device operation validation
a. Fine tune catalyst and protective coating development to increase device stability
b. Refine exterior hardware design and development for device packaging and hydrogen collection
c. Optimize integrated membrane configuration onto a standard solar cell
d. Test operation under outdoor environment for variances in temperature, sunlight, water feedstocks etc.
a. Align manufacturers for solar cell, catalyst, protective coating, hardware and assembly
b. Manufacture the hydrogen generation panels
PILOT PLANT CONSTRUCTION
1. Construction plans
a. Establish relationship with industry partner as an advisor on practical applications and potential site location partner/customers
b. Contract with engineering firm to create feasibility plans
a. Identify customer/partner
b. Secure pilot plant location
c. Finalize engineering plans
3. Build plant and begin operations
a. Develop operations procedures including process control, hydrogen collection and storage, and plant management
b. Contract with construction company and execute
The Company’s management is in discussions with contract manufacturers, engineering firms and industry partners that will provide critical input and service in the drive to completion of the pilot plant.
Ideally, the production pilot plant will be located at or near a fulfillment or distribution center where hydrogen fuel cell forklifts and materials handling equipment is being utilized. The key difference will be that HyperSolar’s renewable hydrogen will replace a portion of the hydrogen produced using methane-steam-reforming. Steam-reforming accounts for over 95% of the hydrogen production today and while the emission of the hydrogen is pure water, the manufacturing process still uses a fossil fuel in natural gas and releases tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. HyperSolar’s process will be truly clean, using no hydrocarbons—only water and the power of the sun.