The story of hydrogen with solar power

MIT, climate change, electricity, renewables, hydropower, solar

The new oxygen catalyst in action in Dan Nocera’s laboratory at MIT

When Zénobe Gramme invented the Gramme machine in 1869 electrolysis of water became a cheap method for the production of hydrogen. In the 2001 Bloombox Energy jumped up in the market utilizing hydrogen fuel cells using natural gas and I was naturally intrigued. But at that time, their business model was not attractive.

Than Ron was getting out of the Navy. His job there was working in the electrical sector of submarines. He had become intrigued with the thought that if you ever witnessed a submarine in the water you see bubbles coming off it. Ron quickly understood that this was due to electrolysis.

Electricity splitting the water molecule into 2 part hydrogen 1 part oxygen.


Ron had solar panels all over his yard he had picked up on Craigslist and this bucket of water with a contraption in it.

  • He grabbed one of the solar panels and hooked two wires (that went down into this bucket of water) with a hose coming out of it.
  • On the end of the hose there was a cutting torch.
  • When he lit it with a lighter, it seemed nothing happend until he putted it close to a one inch thick piece of metal (a true sign that it is hydrogen burning).
  • It promptly burned a hole completely through the metal.

Pinto on hydro

Ron had tested demand production of hydrogen from water first on his weed eater and it ran like a champ. He had an old Pinto in his yard and he then ran the hydrogen into the injection of it for several months. When he took the engine apart it looked brand new as all the carbon had been burned out.

What made Ron’ hydrogen generator unique was it was the first one that did not require a scrubber to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen which can be expensive and requires high maintenance.

He built a very professional looking prototype of it and wanted to take it to market. But at that time it was too early in the market of hydrogen.

3 things happened in the hydrogen industry

  1. First is that Siemens has taken the process of generating hydrogen from wind energy seriously.Siemens, together with the public utilities of Mainz, Linde and the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, has laid the foundation stone for a new type of energy storage system. From spring 2015, the system, equipped with an electrolyzer, will convert surplus electricity from wind farms to hydrogen. The hydrogen will then be stored locally in tankers or fed directly into the natural gas grid for subsequent power or heat generation.In this way, it will be possible to store electricity from renewable sources over longer periods of time. The tankers will also be able to supply the growing network of hydrogen filling stations for emission-free fuel-cell vehicles.The system will have a peak rating of up to 6 megawatts and thus be the largest of its kind in the world.
  2. Second is the car industries aggressive entrance into the hydrogen car market.
    Several of the car manufacturers have really made a large investment and entrance recently.
  3. Third; Toshiba Corp. has developed an energy supply system that may be the ultimate in eco-friendliness because it uses only sunlight and water, with no carbon dioxide emissions, to produce hydrogen.
    climate change, electricity, renewables, hydropower, solar, Toshiba,

    Toshiba runs the first car with hydro energy from solar power

    The system has a portable component that allows it to be transported to disaster-hit areas where normal utilities may not be operating.
    The hydrogen can be stored in tanks and used in fuel cells to generate electricity and heat water during emergencies.
    Toshiba plans to begin selling the system in 2015.

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