I have had this dream of an all-in-one desalinization/hydrogen generation/storage/electrical generator that I have working out for years. The idea came to me back when I was a IT system engineer, and had a customer named DCH in Middleton, WI in the US which had Hydrogen products. One of their products was a device the size of a Porta Potty that powered remote houses in remote Alaska for about 6 months, then needed to be recharged for another six months.
I got to thinking, what if there was a way we didnt have to recharge the Fuel Cell pod every six months with compressed hydrogen, but rather could generate the hydrogen on demand using green energy like wind and solar.
I new many people have made on demand hydrogen production systems, the problem was always storage, and it took carbon energy and fresh water to make the hydrogen. If I solved the making the hydrogen with green energy and a way to get fresh water without using existing fresh water, that leaves storing it. With a fresh water shortage issue for certain places on this planet, and rising sea levels, what if we could convert sea water to fresh water, and use that in the electrolysis process. See FastCompany website article
So in my head I could see the Porta Potty sized device with a tank next to it. A wind turbine above and solar panels above the tank and fuel cell. This setup is setting on a sandy beach about 150 yards from the ocean, and a small pipe running into the ocean where there is a gated inlet to protect sea life. All along this beach are homes, and business. Each with their own setup. The Setup, I call it Genesis, also has an outlet filling up inland ponds with fresh water from desalinized ocean water.
The concept seems like it should work, just thousands of issues to work through. A way to reduce carbon, increase fresh water, provide green electricity, drinking water, help convert some parts of some deserts back to vegetation rich crop producing habitable land.
The goal is the Genesis would generate about 1.2 KW per hour enough to run most homes. The desalination would produce about 3,500 liters an hour; small about used for hydrogen creation, the rest would go into either drinking water reservoirs, if the reservoir is full, the left over goes to a retention pond that would be used for irrigation.
The Genisis would be an electrolyzer with a low compression hydrogen storage tank using metal hydride storage. An electronic transfer switch and brain operating that switch would control switch between on demand wind, or solar or hydrogen. The switch would monitor the outputs making the best decision based on the abundance of resources. Windy days, we may be sending
Using carbon nanotubes, physisorbed hydrogen, using heat to release the hydrogen, and cold to store the hydrogen. This will get you thinking all starwars like. Imagine being in your transport, and that ship is running hot, which is good, you can control and use the hydrogen, but you need to make sure the tank itself stays cool or the whole ship blows. you only warm up the outlet to extract and burn the hydrogen in your engines. When you land on the planet and need to fuel up, you need to wait for the inlet to cool so it absorbs the hydrogen from the filler.
People right now use traditional batteries to store solar. You could also use it to store hydrogen power. Meaning clean the water, perform electrolysis using the hydrogen right away storing the electricity and the pure water bi-product. Article focuses on Utilities using Battery Storage, One of our goals is to remove the entire need for a grid, but some of the specs on battery usage is helpful.
Required: to be -253C,
Tanks must be insulated.
Currently used with: Space travel
Cold- and cryo-compressed hydrogen
- Requirements: cooled -253C plus compression
- Tanks: insulated and very strong/heavy
- Currently in Use: for moving hydrogen
- Downsides: takes 9%-12% of final energy to store it
Materials Based H2 Storage
- Types: Hydride storage, liquid hydrogen, surface storage
- Tanks: Vary depending on type used
- Currently in User: experimental only
- Downsides: complex and expensive
Living off the Grid in 2006 – Shows even though the energy is free, the equipment costs more than utility power, and when there is no wind, and no sun, and no backup, a generator has a larger carbon foot print than grid power. At least if you dont have a hydrogen storage tank as your backup.
Another very interesting out of box idea is to still use ocean water, and natural resources to store energy, but instead of hydrogen, use gravity. The idea is the wind turbine pumps ocean water up the shore to a large storage tank. The storage thank would be connected to a generator. At any point the valve could open when wind and or solar is done for the day. hydro electric would happen at that point. The Wind and Solar would also run desalination on that pumped up water.
Another out of box idea, hold on, is to use bricks like the red bricks that. you find on a house or fireplace to store energy. This is a very interesting read.
Another idea that has happened is the using gym equipment converting that motion into energy. Check out his video, then think of what a large Gym could produce.
So let me know what you think. Do you see a green future where we no longer have a grid? can efficiency one day be better with no Grid? or do you think it will just never happen and that Henry Fords assembly line principal will make living on a grid the only way we will ever operate on this planet.