Japan’s FC-R&D has recently released a home energy system called ZEEP24 that uses naturally-sourced energy in a form of hydrogen, water and sunlight. With this system, electricity is generated during the day using solar panels and then used to produce hydrogen by electrolyzing water.
“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,” said Hiroshi Nakijima, FC-R&D president.
The new system was conceived in order to help communities during disasters where the supply has been knocked out or areas that don’t have an electricity supply yet.
Even when the ZEEP24 isn’t being used, it doesn’t discharge, so it doesn’t consume unnecessary power. According to Nakijima, with 2 cups (500 cc) of water the ZEEP24 can produce 500 liters of hydrogen that can generate 1,5 kWh of electricity.
The ZEEP24 can can store 1,500 liters of hydrogen, so it can generate about 5kWh, which is enough to meet the night time requirements of one household. Nakajima’s main goal is to develop a larger version to light up a real house.
One of the company’s greater plans for the future is to attach the hydrogen storage containers directly to hydrogen-powered cars, thus extending the capabilities of such a system.