Hydrogen battery can beat Tesla’s Li-ion battery power pack in terms of energy storage capacity
When you are interested & desperate in going off the grid for your domestic power requirement, the currently available and widespread option is getting an integrated solar power generation & storage system. The most popular storage option is using a lithium battery system like the one offered by Tesla’s – Powerwall 2. But Australian company Lavo has a different energy storage plan to offer.
The company’s solution is a hydrogen battery in the form of a cabinet that can sit on the side of your house and store energy as Hydrogen.
The Lavo Green Energy Storage System measures 1,680 x 1,240 x 400 mm (66 x 49 x 15.7 inches) and weighs 324 kg.
The system is connected to a hybrid solar inverter and the mains water (through a purification unit). It uses the excess energy to electrolyze the water, releasing oxygen and storing the hydrogen in a patented metal hydride “sponge” at a pressure of 30 bar, or 435 psi.
A phone app feature with Wi-Fi connectivity offers monitoring and control. Businesses with higher power needs can run several of these units in parallel to form an “intelligent virtual power plant.”
Energy Storage Capacity
It stores 40 kilowatt-hours of energy which is almost three times as much as Tesla’s current Powerwall 2 and sufficient to power an average home for two days. When the energy is needed by the house, a fuel cell delivers this energy into the house, adding a small 5-kWh lithium buffer battery for instantaneous response.
Advantages Over Conventional Battery Storage
- According to the company, the key components should last much longer (up to 30 years) compared to a lithium battery set up that might last for 15 years.
- The technology is eco friendly as there are no toxic materials to dispose of later, and
- In terms of compactness, a single Lavo system outperforms equivalent battery storage.
Disadvantages Over Conventional Battery Storage
- Losses associated with battery storage are minimal. For every kilowatt-hour of energy stored, it delivers more than 90 percent of it. But generating hydrogen by electrolysis through a proton exchange membrane is close to only an 80 percent efficiency mark.
- The system’s maximum continuous power output is 5 kW which can be an issue especially for air-con units that draw more than 7kW of power.
To Wrap Up
Hydrogen is one of the cleanest energy sources that can be an answer to many problems such as climate change, clean cooking, clean power, etc. All these problems need reliable storage methods till the time an on-demand hydrogen generation technique matures that does not depend on other resources like sun, wind, or electricity for its generation. The company’s hydrogen-based energy storage could be a first step to building a reliable and robust storage system for homes and industries based on hydrogen.
Building robust and sustainable business models around hydrogen-based energy storage is strongly dependent on technological advancement in the sector.
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