How great would it be if homes and offices were turned the heating on without burning fossil fuels? how great would it be if there was a solar panel that would convert sunlight into clean-burning zero-emissions hydrogen to keep us all toasty warm at home and at work?
According to CleanTechnica news, scientists at KU Leuven, located in Flanders, Belgium, say they have created a solar panel that uses sunlight to make hydrogen from the moisture in the air. It can produce up to 250 liters of hydrogen gas a day. Professor Johan Martens and his team have been working on this for a decade. At first, the amount of hydrogen produced was minuscule but in a recent demonstration on a cloudy day, observers could see large quantities of hydrogen bubbles appear almost as soon as the demonstration panel was rolled into the sunlight.
The panels are still a long way from commercial production, but a new prototype will soon be installed at the nearby home of Leen Peeters, an engineer who has turned her home into a living lab where she tests and evaluates energy conservation technologies. Her well-insulated house has solar panels that power a solar water heater and a heat pump. It is not connected to the local natural gas supply. Only in the winter months does she use electricity from the grid.
No one knows exactly how much a complete system of panels, storage tanks, and a furnace that runs on hydrogen might cost, but since heat is one of the largest expenses in any utility budget, especially in cold climates, it could easily be an attractive proposition for many.
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Location: KU Leuven
Date: Mar 04, 2019 @ 10:10
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