Humans need of power to grow and develop itself is ever growing and everlasting. The search for renewable source of power has always been a priority for developers. One of the alternative found was solar energy. But as ingenious and environmentally friendly as solar energy solutions are, they’re not as efficient as we wish them to be and of course, they only generate electricity when the Sun is out.
There are two ways we get energy from the Sun. One is photo voltaic cells (the panels you see on rooftops) and the other is solar thermal power plants, which concentrate the Sun’s rays and uses it to generate heat to warm up water and drive turbines using the steam that’s produced. The other method is to capture more of the Sun’s solar spectrum, but it is less efficient than a standard solar panel, and can only work in direct sunlight. Which is why we only see them in parts of the world that get plenty of sunlight.
As solar energy is not every efficient and can’t be generated in places with no sun it was every important to come up with some other sort of energy. To overcome this problem and to give this world a renewable and clean source of power a team of scientists has come up with a new type of energy system called ‘Hydricity‘.
An international team of scientists has come up with a new type of energy system they’re calling ‘hydricity’, which combines the power of sunlight with hydrogen fuel to produce a cleaner and renewable source of power.
“By combining both solar thermal power plants with hydrogen fuel production facilities efficiency in both types of power could be improved. An integrated system would produce both steam for generating electricity immediately, and hydrogen for storing it for later use which is a crucial consideration as the world become more dependent on renewable energy”.
How it works?:
Lets not try to make you understand by writing technical stuff up but lets try and explain using a image:
The scientists have so far only produced simulated models of the process. The next step is real-world experiments. The team, from Purdue University and Switzerland’s Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, says that it can produce hydrogen at an efficiency of 50 percent and electricity at an efficiency of 46 percent which is way greater than any solar plant producing. It was all possible because of the way the high-pressure turbines can be used to run in succession of the lower-pressure ones. Over the course of an average 24-hour trail, it’s claimed that hydricity could reach a Sun-to-electricity efficiency of 35 percent, which is as good as the best multi junction photo voltaic cells combined with battery power.
One of the researcher Rakesh Agrawal from Purdue said:
“The concept provides an exciting opportunity to envision and create a sustainable economy to meet all the human needs including food, chemicals, transportation, heating and electricity. Traditionally, electricity production and hydrogen production have been studied in isolation, and what we have done is synergistically integrate these processes while also improving them”
The hydrogen fuel produced alongside the electricity is also important as not only could it find uses in transportation, but also in chemical production and other industries. It doesn’t discharge when stored or degrade with repeated use. When the Sun goes down, the stored hydrogen power could kick in, and that means turbines don’t need to be stopped or restarted saving alot of time and generating a alot more electricity.
We at engineering pal hope for the best there is for the researcher working hard to find an alternative power source.