In order for the hydrogen economy to become a reality, including a hydrogen car for every garage in this country, we will need new and novel approaches for the creation of hydrogen. Creating hydrogen through renewable resources is preferred for minimal environmental impact.
Yesterday, I had blogged about a company called Windhunters who will be building ships with wind turbines that chase strong ocean winds and produce hydrogen from seawater. Today, I would like to talk about a new hydroelectric technology being developed by Sarfraz Ahmad Khan of Pakistan.
The new hydroelectric plant being developed by Mr. Khan requires no reservoir or dam to be built as is the standard for traditional hydroelectric plants. Instead, the water turbines (which stand on their sides) will use fast running water from mountain streams to crank out electricity with very little environmental impact.
These turbines may also be stacked into rows for maximum output. Mr. Khan has done some 3D modeling to show the configurations of the hydroelectric turbines. The one downside to this type of configuration is that it is seasonal as the volume of water from mountain streams usually peaks in the Spring. But, since this system is low-cost and low maintenance with little environmental impact, this won’t be a problem.
Currently, in the U. S., water energy is the largest renewable resource from both geothermal and hydroelectric sources. For the future, water energy will continue to be a vital renewable resource and hopefully grow in scope so that less environmentally friendly energy production methods may be weaned from the grid.
The new hydroelectric plant proposed by Sarfraz Ahmad Khan could, in addition to creating electricity, also electrolyze some of the mountain water into hydrogen as well for commercial applications. It is this kind of outside-the-box thinking that will be necessary for a future filled with hydrogen to come about. And, you know what they say about thinking outside-the-box? People may puzzle over it for a while, but eventually the light will come on and they will flip their lids and feel fortunate that they did.