anyone here using a hydrogen generator?

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notsobright
notsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
I am considering learning how to make a hydrogen gas generator to take advantage of the PV when my batteries are full.

from what I understand about it so far you lose about 20% of the energy when converting electricity to hydrogen gas but you can store it long term.

I only use my system occasionally so I think this might be a good way to help offset what Ive invested here. what do y'all think about it? is anyone here doing this?

thanks

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  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,479 admin
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?

    Just a warning about storing Hydrogen--It is a very small molecule and can, under pressure, cause hydrogen embrittlement of many standard materials used for piping and pressure vessels.

    Typically, for pressure storage, various types of Stainless Steel are used to prevent failures/explosions.

    I know very little about a home hydrogen system--other than to be really careful when handling hydrogen.

    What is it that you want to do with the hydrogen (cooking/heating, or running a fuel cell for electricity)?

    Storing hydrogen is typically a big issue too...

    I don't really think any of it is really practical--but I am open to seeing anyone that has done it (relatively safely).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • notsobright
    notsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?

    I was thinking of storing it in a fuel cell.

    my main attraction is that I could continue to harvest after my batteries are full but I have to admit the risk/danger and geek factors are appealing to me also.

    and automotive wise mabey saving a few gallons of petro while gaining a few ponies at the same time.

    it seems like a good next step in conservation after solar power.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,479 admin
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?

    I think, that electrolysis / fuel cell conversion is around 45-50% efficient... Ignoring any energy used for high pressure storage.

    How are you thinking of solving the storage problem... Short of high pressure (over 6,000 PSI or so), or cryogenic storage, there are materials that may hold fair amounts of hydrogen in their molecular structures under "reasonable pressures":

    Hydrogen storage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • russ
    russ Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?

    Do some research and learn the volumes you could make with the power available. I believe it ain't gonna be much.

    Probably you will find it will cost a dollar to save a nickel.

    The gas generated from batteries is hydrogen - right?
  • solorone
    solorone Solar Expert Posts: 257 ✭✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?

    Never heard of anything like this, could be interesting, maybe a reality in the future, but, and a BIG but, if that stuff blows up, it has a heck of a bang, even on a small scale.

    In 27 years I have have had two hydrogen explosion, both without injury, but I have never heard anything so loud.
  • nsaspook
    nsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?
    I am considering learning how to make a hydrogen gas generator to take advantage of the PV when my batteries are full.

    from what I understand about it so far you lose about 20% of the energy when converting electricity to hydrogen gas but you can store it long term.

    I only use my system occasionally so I think this might be a good way to help offset what Ive invested here. what do y'all think about it? is anyone here doing this?

    thanks

    I am thing about using excess power for a 12vdc aux heater for hot water. A small 200w element in the cold water feed line to the tank. Something like this.

    My quick calc shows I should get about 1.8F increase for 30 gallons of water per hour.

    http://www.reuk.co.uk/200W-12V-Immersion-Heater.htm
    http://www.survivalunlimited.com/diversionloads.htm
  • notsobright
    notsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?
    nsaspook wrote: »
    I am thing about using excess power for a 12vdc aux heater for hot water. A small 200w element in the cold water feed line to the tank. Something like this.

    My quick calc shows I should get about 1.8F increase for 30 gallons of water per hour.

    http://www.reuk.co.uk/200W-12V-Immersion-Heater.htm
    http://www.survivalunlimited.com/diversionloads.htm

    now theres an idea!

    much less expensive and could probably be up and running in a weekend.

    what type of control would you use to turn it on and off?

    thinking more about this, say you have full sun and your controller metering shows 20a available but only 5a being used to charge/float the batteries then how would you split this up between charging and other load?

    this might be extreamly difficult if its not a function biult into a charge controller. I have watched my meter go all over the place with cloud cover or when various loads are introduced to the battery in the system.

    is anyone aware of any charge controllers that can directly divert all unused PV input after charging demands to an alternative load in a way that very little to nothing is lost in the process?
  • audredger
    audredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?

    I have been thinking about this for several years. There was a project done in New Jersey that went from PV to H2 directly. Hydrogen was stored in a whole yard full of old propane tanks. He has since gone to metal hydride storage. The project required lots of grants and donated equipment. He had a hydrogen car, and fuel cell to heat and power the house.

    From all the research I've done, metal hydride is the only reasonable storage method available. The cost is huge though!
  • AntronX
    AntronX Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?
    ...what type of control would you use to turn it on and off?...this might be extreamly difficult if its not a function biult into a charge controller...is anyone aware of any charge controllers that can directly divert all unused PV input after charging demands to an alternative load?

    Outback FM-60 charge controller can PWM auxilary solid state relay to divert excess PV power to resistive heater element. This has been discussed here in the past. I found the feature kind of buggy and prone to weird oscillation. So I tried making my own independent PWM controller for diverting excess solar power into resistive load. So far it's working very good with only about $30 worth of parts. I may post this circuit here later when I perfect it some more. There is also Xantrex C40 PWM charge controller that can be used as stand alone diversion load controller. I never tried it, but in it's user manual it says it will work.
  • nsaspook
    nsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?
    now theres an idea!

    much less expensive and could probably be up and running in a weekend.

    what type of control would you use to turn it on and off?

    thinking more about this, say you have full sun and your controller metering shows 20a available but only 5a being used to charge/float the batteries then how would you split this up between charging and other load?

    this might be extreamly difficult if its not a function biult into a charge controller. I have watched my meter go all over the place with cloud cover or when various loads are introduced to the battery in the system.

    is anyone aware of any charge controllers that can directly divert all unused PV input after charging demands to an alternative load in a way that very little to nothing is lost in the process?

    I'm designing a divert mode into my DIY controller to monitor the SOC of the batteries and inverter power draw. I plan to just use a relay to parallel the heater load to the PV input when demand is low then disconnect due to demand or charging. With proper high/low set-points and timers it should be easy to keep the switching stable.
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?

    United Nuclear has been working on this for some time.

    http://www.unitednuclear.com/
    http://www.switch2hydrogen.com/

    " Due to the recession and sharp drop in sales from our funding source (our scientific supply division) it has left us with insufficient cash to proceed with our expansion and make the full move into semi - automated manufacturing.

    Until we are able to move the entire company into one facility and start full manufacturing, we will be concentrating on building & selling the Hydrogen Generator portion of the kit. We have quite a few pending requests from dozens of companies and a large number of individuals to purchase the Hydrogen Generator portion of the kit. We have the ability to produce the generator in limited quantities in our current situation. Funds from the generator sales will allow us to make the full conversion into manufacturing in a short time."



    And it's not a scam! These are the same people who brought you the Death Ray! You know they're serious!

    http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=27_82
  • notsobright
    notsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?
    nsaspook wrote: »
    I'm designing a divert mode into my DIY controller to monitor the SOC of the batteries and inverter power draw. I plan to just use a relay to parallel the heater load to the PV input when demand is low then disconnect due to demand or charging. With proper high/low set-points and timers it should be easy to keep the switching stable.


    Im reading all your posts on the DIY controller. Im just a DIY kinda guy.. please continue to keep us posted.



    hey dwh, youve been know to be more helpful but yeah OK
  • nsaspook
    nsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
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    Re: anyone here using a hydrogen generator?
    Im reading all your posts on the DIY controller. Im just a DIY kinda guy.. please continue to keep us posted.



    hey dwh, youve been know to be more helpful but yeah OK

    Well, there's the possible and the star-trek possible. Some where in that line of possibilities is low cost H2 power.

    On my project most of the easy part is done. Now comes the hard part of building an "expert system" to use the generated data to optimize who gets energy when things get lean, and it's hard to build a "expert system" when your not, but I'm reading a lot of research papers on space based solar powered communication satellite system methods.

    It's time to enjoy the summer for now and read books in the sun.