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View Diary: For electric power generation, the end of fossil fuel is in sight (215 comments)

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  •  Study overlooked hydrogen fuel cells (1+ / 0-)
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    The study UNDER estimated the ability of variable power sources because it omitted any reference to the use of huge utility-scale fuel cells.  They are doing this in Europe already.

    When the wind turbines and solar cells are generating surplus, the surplus current is used on-site to hydroyse water: running an electrical current through ordinary water separates the hydrogen from the water molecule (with oxygen as a by-product.

    The hydrogen is stored in on-site tanks until the wind dies down or the sun sets, and then is used to power the giant fuel cells, which put electricity into the grid.

    This technology allows us to use hydrogen to store excess energy form wind or sun, and than calls on that stored energy whenever demand exceeds the power being generated by the wind/solar facility at that point in time.

    If you add hydrogen into the mix, this lowers even further the requirement to generate excess power across a giant regional grid.

    •  I like hydrogen power in theory, but..... (1+ / 0-)
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      only if the excess energy is used to produce hydrogen from the water source, store it, and then put that water back into the original water table.

      But then the question becomes...why use fuel cells at all in that case? Why not just use excess energy to pump water into a huge above ground aquafer and then let it out to turn turbines during peak load like the 2100 MW pumped storage facility we have 40 miles North of here

      Seems a bit simpler and more elegant. And it removes the potential for water diversions. The only real benefit to fuel cells in that case is that it makes the energy a lot more portable...which brings me to my fundamental standoffishness on fuel cells.

      Where I'd be against it is if the hydrogen was taken from a local water source and then moved to a different location - for example for use in cars.  Water diversions are something I've got opinions on.

    •  Storage systems are vital (0+ / 0-)

      as we pas 20% from renewables.

      Excellent point.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:58:49 AM PST

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