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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Power Generation Via Hydrogen Is Not Taking Off

It is amazing how people will see something new, then run with it to the extreme saying this will change the world. This is true for virtually all non-fossil energy producing systems, but all of them have drawbacks and none have revolutionized the power sector. The two major problems have been high cost and non constant energy production during the 24 hour period.

Scientists have worked on hydrogen systems for decades and success seems very distant. It is not being accepted for widespread use. Actually, hydrogen is a "byproduct" of energy production. When electricity is generated by any method the excess not used at a point in time is passed through water. It splits into oxygen and hydrogen via electrolysis with the fuel stored to be used in the future. When hydrogen is recombined with oxygen, electricity is generate. Heat from the process can also be used directly for heating purposes.

As with other environmentally friendly electricity producing methods time will tell if hydrogen is accepted for general use. Perhaps hydrogen can be made in significant quantities from solar and wind generation. It could potentially make for a hybrid system producing electricity 24 hours a day. Until now, governments have been the main source of funding for hydrogen experiments. Apparently, the private sector sees little future in it. For non-fossil energy systems to flourish it is necessary for the community to work together. Unfortunately, individualism is the norm. Perhaps this is why there is very little progress.

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