Home-Based Hydrogen Refueling Station

July 17, 2008 at 5:33 pm Leave a comment

The ‘Hydrogen Fridge’: A Home-Based Hydrogen Refueling Station
by Matthew McDermott, Science & Technology


Hydrogen home concept drawing by ITM Power.

We reported on an Australian version of the home hydrogen refueling concept over a year ago. This time, a British company is pushing the same sort of idea forward: Enter the Hydrogen Fridge.

Hydrogen in Your Garage
The BBC is reporting that ITM Power of Sheffield, England has unveiled a hydrogen home refueling station which has been installed in showcase “hydrogen home”. The device works via and electrolyzer to produce hydrogen from water and electricity—so, still, if you’re using non-green energy your hydrogen really isn’t a clean source of energy.

Based on the fact that the device only makes enough hydrogen in a night to power a vehicle for 25 miles, the hydrogen fridge concept is still in a work in progress for practical use.

And as a version which could offer up enough hydrogen to go 100 miles on would cost £20,000, economies of scale afforded by mass manufacturing will have to be realized before the devices begin appearing in anyone’s home. ITM chief executive Jim Heathcote believes that if the units were mass produced they could be sold for as little as £2000.

Even at that price and even if integrated into ITM’s hydrogen home concept—why use solar energy for electricity to generate hydrogen, when the electricity could be used directly?— I’m not really sure that having a home hydrogen station is a better option than adapting the traditional petrol station to support hydrogen fueling.

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