Scientists at the Catholic University of Leuven aimed to create a solar panel that uses photons to produce hydrogen, the use of which for household needs does not harm nature at all.
Engineers reported the creation of a system that uses solar energy and atmospheric humidity to synthesize hydrogen. The installation produces up to 250 liters of environmentally friendly gas per day, which can be used to heat a home or office.
It took 10 years to work on this project. At the first stage, the volumes of hydrogen production were minimal, but now, even in cloudy weather, a large number of gas bubbles are formed in the installation as soon as it is put into operation.
“This is a unique combination of physics and chemistry”, the creators of the innovative panel say. “At the first stage, the count was to hydrogen molecules, and now the system works very efficiently: for a whole year it produces 250 liters of gas per day, and twenty such panels are enough to heat and light the whole house if it is well insulated.”
Researchers predict an affordable price of panels in mass production, the actual price is not known yet.
A new demo hydrogen generator will soon be installed adjacent to the home of engineer Lin Peters, who has turned her home into a habitable laboratory where various environmental technologies are used and evaluated.
She gets hot water through solar panels on the roof of the house, and heat in the house through the geothermal pump. Lin Peters house is not connected to the local gas distribution network, and electricity from the local gas distribution network she use only in the winter months.
If the demo hydrogen solar panel at the Lin place shows the same performance as in the laboratory, then several dozen more systems will be installed in the village. If in the collective use of installations, neighbors produce an excess of hydrogen, it will be preserved for use in winter.