A few weeks back I talked about the ITM Power retrofitted Ford Focus completing the 2009 Eco Rally in the UK. A year ago I talked about the unveiling of the prototype ITM Power home hydrogen fueling station.
Now, besides powering cars with zero emission hydrogen gas created from renewable resources such as wind and solar, ITM Power wants to fuel your home as well. Earlier this month, ITM Power released its prototype zero carbon Home Energy Pack.
Power from the wind and / or sun will be used to power the ITM electrolyzer (or off-peak electricity from the grid can be used as well). The electrolyzer will create hydrogen which will be stored in a high pressure tank.
The pressurized hydrogen can go in two different directions. First, it can be run through a fuel cell to create electricity for the home. Second, the hydrogen gas can in fact be used as a gas in place of natural gas powered appliances and heating systems.
According to ITM Power this hydrogen-based combined heat and power system will cost about the same as an Aga Cooker ($6,000 – $10,000 range), which by the way is one of the least green high end ovens on the market as it is at least 10 times less efficient than the normal gas range.
Anyway, to put its system to the test, ITM Power has agreed to build a demonstration housing development of two or more houses in South Shields, UK. When the houses are fitted with the ITM Power Home Energy Pack they will not only be carbon neutral but they will go one step further and be carbon negative.
This means the homes will generate more zero emissions energy than needed to power the homes appliances, heating, lighting, washing and cooking, etc. and have some zero emissions power left over. They could put this back on the grid or perhaps even give it to other homes in their own housing development.
“Hello, neighbor, I’ve come over to borrow a cup of your carbon negative energy” may be a phrase one will hear one day – or not. Nonetheless, this opens up possibilities not only for carbon negative housing via hydrogen power, but load spreading among neighbors, communities or simply selling clean power back to the electric companies.