Eco Homes: FSU’s futuristic house makes grid connection obsolete
Eco Factor: Solar-powered house stores energy in the form of hydrogen for nighttime power.
You might have installed the world’s largest solar array on your roof, but like other solar-powered gadgets, the array won’t do any good on an overcast day and after dark, making you suck power from the grid which isn’t always green. Researchers at Florida State University think that they’ve nailed the problem with a system that generates solar energy during the day to power your home and also uses it to generate hydrogen from water which can be used to power everything from kitchen appliances to lights after dark.
Built at a cost of about $575,000, the house is placed in the middle of FSU’s campus. It is equipped with an array of solar panels that generate solar electricity to power the home during daytime and generate hydrogen from water using electrolysis, which is then stored in a tank for use when the sun isn’t shining.
Besides using the generated hydrogen to power a fuel cell, it is also used as a fuel in stoves that have been retrofitted to burn hydrogen instead of natural gas and propane.