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Biofuels

Published on October 13th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

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UK Hydrogen House Connected to Grid

October 13th, 2008 by  



hydrogen house

Hydrogen power is usually associated with vehicles, but a house in the UK is showing that there are a multitude of uses for fuel cells. The grid-connected West Midlands home is powered by hydrogen as part of a £2 million University of Birmingham and Black County Housing Group (BCHG) project.

The grid-connected house generates all its energy from a fuel-cell unit in a shed behind the house, which converts bog-standard natural gas into hydrogen. A 600 liter tank placed next to the fuel cell unit stores hot water, and excess electricity from the unit is sent to the grid.

The house’s fridge-sized fuel cell unit can generate 1.5kW of electricity and 3kW of heat—including hot water and space heating.

Apparently, the team behind the house believes that everyone will have hydrogen fuel cell units in their homes at some point in the future. But much more research needs to be done before fuel cells are energy and cost-efficient enough to be worth a switchover from natural gas.

Photo Credit: SmartPlanet 
 





 

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



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