Belgian scientists have developed a new solar panel that not only generates electricity, but also extracts hydrogen from atmospheric moisture. On average, the device produces about 250 liters of H2 per day..
Heating buildings with natural gas is quite expensive, especially in cold climates.
In addition, a lot of CO2 is released into the atmosphere as a result of burning carbon fuels. However, scientists at the Catholic University of Leuven recently unveiled a prototype panel that uses sunlight to produce hydrogen gas that can heat homes and businesses..
According to the development team, the device works effectively even in cloudy weather, and throughout the year it produces an average of 250 liters of H2 per day, which is a world record. Twenty of these panels generate enough heat and electricity to survive the winter in a well-insulated house, and still have electricity..
So far, the panels are far from commercial production, but a new prototype will soon be installed in the home of one of the engineers, which will actually become the site for testing and evaluating the autonomous energy-saving technology being developed. Excess hydrogen can be stored for use the next winter or to supply neighbors. Researchers estimate that a typical 4m3 tank will suffice for a typical home. At the same time, the risks of storing hydrogen in gaseous form are not higher than for natural gas..
New Solar Panel Invention directly creates Hydrogen
At the moment, even the approximate cost of a new system consisting of solar panels, tanks and furnaces powered by hydrogen is unknown. However, engineers are developing affordable equipment from cheap materials and components that will be versatile in use and completely autonomous..
Recall that with the help of lenses, Swiss scientists have almost doubled efficiency of solar panels for roofs.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: KU Leuven