02 Dec Hydrogen Fuel Cells to Power Homes
Hydrogen is a next-generation energy source that provides a greener alternative to existing fossil fuels. Hydrogen fuel cells have developed to become a resilient and sustainable option, where the technology has developed to a high electrical efficiency whilst minimizing the impact on our environment. Considering the dire energy crisis and the continued outages across the country, clean, sustainable energy is a growing need across both commercial businesses and private residences.
Our efforts to become more sustainable in the future will depend heavily on hydrogen. This energy source is a plentiful substance that is becoming a growing priority in the transition to green energy. This includes a $8 billion program to develop regional clean hydrogen hubs across America as part of the Department of Energy’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. With the developed infrastructure and sustainable production of hydrogen, hydrogen fuel cells can become a vital solution to the country’s overburdened and outdated electrical grid.
Why Hydrogen Fuel Cells Are The Answer
One solution to our reliance on fossil fuels to power our homes is hydrogen. Sustainable energy is our future. Renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar are becoming more and more popular as more and more homeowners and businesses have a growing interest in green and sustainable energy. While hydrogen fuel cells have been widely utilized for larger sized applications with critical loads above 200kWh (grocery stores, large data centers, commercial buildings, etc.), there is a gap in the market as the technology has not yet been refined to power smaller critical loads under 10kWh such as homes and small businesses.
While hydrogen is not currently widely distributed, fuel cells are capable of generating power through a variety of sources, most commonly being natural gas. This takes away a dependency on the traditional electric grid, where the burden on the electrical grid during peak hours can also be decreased by using stored electricity. For times when energy is scarcer, it can store energy that is abundant during certain seasons.
In the event of extreme weather or other occurrences that affect the grid, fuel cells can act as a backup power generator that provides power security. As noted above, while most fuel cell uses have been in industries and corporations, more businesses are entering the consumer market and providing fuel cells for houses. American households face approximately $150 billion in power outage-related expenses each year, as noted in a report by Kohler Generators.
How It Works
There is an almost unlimited supply of hydrogen. It may be moved elsewhere or used where it is created. The industry-leading Micro CHP (Combined Heat and Power) unit is modular, scalable, and is compatible with a variety of fuels, ranging from grey to green hydrogen. It was developed for a wide range of applications with extensive deployment and more than 70 million operational hours in the EU.
There are several different levels of ‘clean’ hydrogen and this is defined as to how hydrogen is produced. Currently, “grey” hydrogen is the most common form of hydrogen production. Grey hydrogen is created from natural gas, or methane, using steam methane reformation but without capturing the greenhouse gases made in the process. In this case, the fuel cells are fed with natural gas and create hydrogen and electricity within the fuel cell unit. The next step is “blue” hydrogen, which is produced from natural gas and subsequently captures the carbon dioxide emissions so that they are kept out of the atmosphere.
The goal at the end is “green” hydrogen. Green hydrogen is the clear pathway towards net zero emissions and it is produced by a method known as electrolysis. Essentially, this is a process where hydrogen is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity. There is unprecedented momentum globally to fulfill the clean energy transition and hydrogen’s longstanding potential as a clean energy solution, and fuel cells are well poised to capture the benefits of this movement.
Additionally, industry leading fuel cells have an electrical efficiency that is almost double that of the electrical grid (60% vs. 33%). Less hydrogen is required to produce an equal amount of electricity as hydrogen has a higher energy density per unit weight than fossil fuels (almost three times). Hydrogen fuel cells can help provide homes with a resilient source of back-up power and remove its dependency from the electrical grid, all while significantly reducing its carbon footprint.
To know more about sustainable and resilient energy options for our future, visit www.aris-re.com.