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Storing the Sun's Energy - Solar Power

I stumbled on this article about a spin-off from MIT using solar power to create hydrogen. I think it's a great idea, one that I'd like to have working in my house, but it's not as simple as having a storage tank and a solar panel.

To me this requires some fundamental changes in how we power devices. Whether it's a car, a generator, or my house, I need an easy way to not only produce the power and store it, in this case using hydrogen, but then easily consume it as well.

In a house that means that I need some power generator that can automatically take me off the grid, or reduce my usage, and use this power in my house. In a car, this means a way to get from this storage mechanism into my car.

I'm all for this idea, and I'd really like to get something like this working. I could envision this as a way to power our barn, or heat water, but automatically burning off the hydrogen to produce power or heat (or both) and then using that in standard appliances.

I envision some 2 tank system, one that is getting filled, and one that's being used. Some type of small controller that determines which is which, manages the load, etc. This could work, but I think it means a re-engineering of how we consume power in a residential situation.

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Robert Pearl on 29 September 2009

Hey, isn't hydrogren that did in the Hindenburg derigible (blimp), before they went to helium?  Explosive stuff! :O

It may be clean, like nuclear energy, but if something goes awry - B-O-O-M!

Posted by Steve Jones on 29 September 2009

Be careful of public perception. I think there were other issues with the Hinderberg. Don't forget you drive with gas, which if fairly explosive as well.


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