The International Herald Tribune has a very interesting article about a solar-hydrogen house in New Jersey that generates all its energy needs using a combination of solar power and solar derived hydrogen. Mike Strizki, the director of residential and commercial systems for Advanced Solar Products, added the solar/hydrogen system to his current home, a 15 year old colonial.
The system, which he put together from systems available for industry, consists of a 10 kilowatt array of solar panels, and electrolyzer, and 10 large propane tanks filled with hydrogen. The solar panels generate electricity, and for about 7 months out of the year, create more electricity than the house needs – the remainder is used by the electrolyzer to create hydrogen, using electrolysis. The hydrogen is stored and then used during the winter months when the solar cells only produce about 60% of the household’s needs. The hydrogen is used in fuel cell to create the rest of the needed juice. He can sell any excess electricity back to the local power company. The house also has geothermal component to complete the system.
There’s lots more interesting details in the IHT article, so go check out Mr. Strizki’s solar-hydrogen house here.