Lavo system - Hydrogen Home Storage

  • Have any of you heard of this company?

    Charges hydrogen in metal without pressure and without cooling.

    (info 6 min and 6 sec)

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  • The hydrogen storage tech is way more interesting than the whole system in my opinion. If this system is to reach its claimed maximum storage capacity of 40kWh there are some serious conversion efficiency problems to overcome.

    The first problem is the efficiency of the electrolyser used to make the hydrogen from solar electricity. Most small electrolysers run at no better than 50% Faradic efficiency- so to generate 40kWh of hydrogen energy you needs 80kWh of solar input. The rest ends up as heat- so you will need a cooling system so as not to boil the cell contents. You will also need a good water de-ioniser and micro-filtration system to avoid messing up the very expensive proton membranes in the electrolyser.

    To generate this amount of power you would need (assuming around 10 hours of light bright enough to be useful) around 90-100kWh input from your solar panels, assuming only modest inverter losses. So you need a solar array which generates at least 9-10kW in full daylight.

    When the cell is fully loaded with hydrogen you will want to convert it into electricity, preferably using a fuel cell. Once again you have an efficiency level of around 50%, so your 40kWh of hydrogen energy produces 20kWh of electricity and another 20kWh thermal.

    On the other hand a battery system powered by the same solar array would give you around 80kWh of electricity (4x as much) and only a few kWh lost as heat - which is mostly unwanted in Australia.

    I think this device is too complex and would probably be too expensive and inefficient to be really a good competitor to batteries for domestic use, And I am speaking as somebody who is making a big bet on hydrogen as a future fuel.