Hydrogen Homes - Residential H2-Powered
Houses, Cabins & Chalets
Hydrogen homes - who would have thunk it? The great hydrogen
economy will not only be based upon travel using H2 as fuel. At
some point, we will be seeing hydrogen in the homes as well. And
The same hydrogen fuel cells that will be one day propelling
land vehicles, aircraft and watercraft will also be used to power
homes and businesses as well. How can this be? Well, some home
are already powered by propane, natural gas or solar energy. Hydrogen
will be just another source for powering a home.
The evolution to powering a home by H2 will be up-in-the-air,
so to speak as to how it will all iron out. For instance, one
way to power a home is to use compressed hydrogen and run this
through a fuel cell along with oxygen (O2) from the air to produce
electricity. In essence, homes will run off of electricity by
this method. Or homes could run off a combination of natural gas
and electricity just as they do now will hydrogen supplying the
oomph to start the electrical ball rolling.
Another way for homes to run off of hydrogen is for the homes
to receive an electrical current from another source, generate
hydrogen through electrolysis and then use this hydrogen to fuel
your car and once again generate electricity. Now why would one
want to use electricity to produce hydrogen to produce electricity?
That's a great question.
By drawing electricity from the grid and using it for electrolysis
to produce hydrogen, you can fuel your H2 cars as previously stated
but you can also store the hydrogen for emergency uses when the
power grid fails. Most likely, though, many home-owners will start
using a combination of solar panels and rooftop wind turbines
to produce electricity for their homes directly and hydrogen for
vehicles and for times when the skies are calm and the sun is
According to the U.
S. Fuel Cell Council, the early adopters for residential fuel
cell technology will most likely be those in remote areas who
are a distance away from high-power electrical lines or natural
gas mains. Right now, these residents primarily use propane for
a power source. Propane, oddly enough, can also be the carrier
for hydrogen and power the H2 fuel cells.
As new battery storage technology develops, storing electricity
generated by the hydrogen fuel cells will also work hand-in-hand
with other systems. This will be especially valuable since fuel
cells run constantly, even when the residential loads don't demand
it, so storage will be essential.
has an excellent and in-depth document for the technically-minded
that outlines how fuel cells in home will one day become a reality.
Renewable Energy Laboratory also has a lengthy and in-depth
paper outlining hydrogen use for homes.
As costs for fuel cells continue to come down and beta-testers
and the early adopters help to work out the kinks in the different
systems, hydrogen homes will one day become a reality. And that
day isn't too far off, really.