The solar energy It is a great option to use during the day, while the light falls on our panels and we can extract its full potential. However, if we want to be able to take advantage of it when it is night or cloudy we must resort to battery installation what store this electricity when it is being produced, being lithium the most advanced so far.
There are no more options? Well the Australian company Lavo think so and for this they have created the Lavo Green Energy Storage System, an electrical energy storage system based on the fuel cells and more specifically in those of hydrogen, which they intend to bring into homes instead of the classic lithium batteries.
The first commercial model that they have released is in the form of a wardrobe measuring 1,680 x 1,240 x 400 mm and weighing 196 kilos and for its operation we must have the solar panels already installed at home, to whose output inverter Lavo is connected next to a running water outlet.
The excess electrical energy captured by the solar panels is sent to Lavo’s equipment where this energy is used to carry out the water hydrolysis process, releasing the oxygen and storing the hydrogen in a sponge-shaped storage system at a pressure of 30 bars.
This hydrogen under pressure is then channeled to the fuel cell, where oxygen from the ambient air is added to generate electricity when necessary, obtaining water as a waste product. According to those responsible, the system is capable of storing the equivalent of a 40 KWh equipment, more than enough to feed a “typical Australian” household for two days.
In addition, a 5KWh classic lithium battery that serves as temporary storage acting as buffer to be able to provide instantaneous power without having to wait for the whole process mentioned above to occur.
Of course we have WiFi and a mobile app from which to control the equipment and if we need more power we can resort to installing several of these systems in parallel.
Advantages and disadvantages
According to the company responsible for the equipment, one of its main advantages is that the system has an average useful life of 30 years, which is double that of the most advanced lithium batteries on the market right now. In addition, there are no toxic or chemical products and the only waste it produces is pure water.
However, not everything is positive, since its main problem is the efficiency that does not really allow reaching those 40 KWh of stored energy, but rather is around 50% of it. Why? Well, because the process of storing hydrogen through hydrolysis loses around 20% of the energy and then to recover the electricity starting from that stored hydrogen, another amount of the originally stored energy is lost. With this, the system in real use conditions would be the equivalent of a lithium battery capable of offering slightly more than 20 KWh, which is not bad either.
Price and availability
The idea of bringing fuel cells closer to homes is promising, but we are faced with the usual problem when a new technology comes onto the market, its very high price, and Lavo is no exception, since this first model available at the moment only in Australia it costs about 21,000 to change, although they expect to produce units for about 17,000 euros that they will begin to distribute worldwide by the end of 2022.
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Source: Xataka Smart Home by feeds.weblogssl.com.
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