Printed 2017/04/25 09:00PM

Storing the Sun's Energy - Solar Power

By Steve Jones, 2009/09/28

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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