This is not science fiction, but a new source of power invented by the Japanese and starting on its test run in random homes in Japan. Hydrogen fuels cells are often talked about for cars as they produce electricity with the only by-products being carbon dioxide, which plants use as their form of air. This is very convenient; however, the use of these types of technologies has not been perfected and is still only marginally usable. The Japanese have figured out a great way to use hydrogen fuel cells to not only produce electricity, but to produce heat that will heat your potable water supply. This kind of system could replace up to 70% of the energy used by an average family of 4 people.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Hydrogen fuel cells create energy by splitting the molecules which creates heat and electricity. Usually this heat is dissipated by an exhaust system, normally in vehicles. This has been the common problem with hydrogen cells. Even though they create electricity, a large number or size of storage tanks is needed to contain the energy used to power atypical home.
CHP (Combines Heat and Power)
CHP systems replace, or modify traditional boiler systems to heat the water used for HVAC sources through out a building. As the electricity is produced, the heat given off from the molecules splitting is driven into the boiler system or water storage tank. The tank or boiler water is heated to approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit at maximum capacity. This water is distributed by conventional water pumps on the boiler supply lines. Meanwhile, the electricity produced in DC (direct current) form is transferred to the AC (alternating current) converter to be used for electrical purposes throughout the house at a rate of up to 5.5 Kw per day. This equates to about 75 %to 85% of heating and electrical needs and costs for the year.
Cost and Implementation
The cost for a system such as this is around $10,000 but with install costs closer to $12,000. This is similar to buying a new HVAC system for your house. These systems are rated by Energy Star and do qualify for the $1,000 rebate and the 30% energy tax credit available making the payback on a system like this less than 3 years at a modest 20% monthly savings. This equipment may also qualify for energy buy back from utility companies because of it’s carbon emissions cutting functionality along with it’s energy saving abilities.
This system is not experimental. It is out there in limited quantity and ready for inquiries. Hydrogen has been largely ignored by the Department Of Energy, but the benefits out weigh it’s wind and solar counterparts for the immediate future with systems such as these. The only true way to change the world, is implementation of energy and carbon reducing systems. This happens to do both.