There are multiple issues waiting to be addressed if the hydrogen economy is ever to come about. So many, in fact, that many don't believe that it will EVER come about. Like I said in my editorial the other day, I am not writing anything off, and I think that it is safe to say that with all the research and development and money being spent on hydrogen, something will come of it. If that includes powering our cars by it, one such stumbling block is where to get the hydrogen from. How about your garage?
A company in Australia, CSIRO, has created a cabinet-sized hydrogen refueling station that is designed to fit in a corner of your garage. It would include solar panels to power the unit, and would not produce any emissions at all. The technology behind it, using electricity to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water, is not new. As a matter of fact, Honda uses such a system in their hydrogen fuel stations in California. But I am not aware of any commercial units currently available for sale. I imagine an enterprising person could do it himself, but there are less and less enterprising types around these days. A question that is sure to be on the minds of many readers here is this: Why not use the solar panels on the roof to charge an electric car? Options people, options. The company suggests that wind-power is also being considered.
The unit is undergoing testing in Australia as we speak, and commercial tests are to start in two years. Will that coincide at all with the availability of more cars to use it with, or will the only choice be from BMW?
[Source: Green Wombat via Treehugger]