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Monday, 12 September 2011

ZEEP24, a new energy supply system using sunlight, water, and hydrogen

Sept 12, 2011

FC-R&D has released ZEEP24, a totally self-sufficient power supply system. ZEEP24 uses natural energy, in the form of sunlight, water, and hydrogen. With this system, electricity is generated during the day using solar panels, and some of it is used to produce hydrogen, by electrolyzing water. The hydrogen is stored, and used to generate electricity in fuel cells.

"In Japanese homes during the day, usually, not much electricity is used, as both parents are working and the children are at school. So with solar power, there's often excess capacity during the day. With this system, the excess capacity isn't sold; instead, it's used to produce stored hydrogen, another energy source, through electrolysis. Hydrogen is used because it has high energy density, so it takes up a tenth of the space of an ordinary storage battery."

ZEEP 24 utilizes a hydrogen storage alloy, developed to absorb hydrogen. Consequently, even while the system isn't being used, it doesn't discharge naturally, so it doesn't consume unnecessary power. Also, there's no carbon in the system, so there's no carbon-induced deterioration as with an ordinary battery.

"With 500 cc of water, you can produce 500 liters of hydrogen. With 500 liters of hydrogen, you can theoretically generate 1,500 Wh of electricity. So you could produce 100 W for 15 hours, say. ZEEP24 can store 1,500 liters of hydrogen, so it can generate about 5,000 Wh, which is enough to meet the night-time requirements of one household."

"Basically, this system is intended for use in areas that don't have an electricity supply yet, or places where the supply has been knocked out by a disaster. It can also serve as an emergency power supply, if electricity becomes needed for 2 or 3 days. In that sense, this is a power supply for communities or emergencies. And because it's also far more compact than ordinary power supplies, we think there'll be a variety of customers for it."

FC-R&D is also working on applications, such as attaching the hydrogen storage container directly to a hydrogen-powered car.



SolarFarmer said...

Does anyone know how much this system costs? Or even where one can purchase it?

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