HyperSolar Demonstrates Low Cost Renewable Hydrogen Technology for Electricity Generation

July 25, 2012

Company creates end-to-end laboratory scale demonstration using renewable hydrogen produced from sunlight and water to generate electricity through a conventional fuel cell

HyperSolar, Inc. a developer of renewable hydrogen technology using sunlight and water, today announced that it has completed an end-to-end laboratory scale demonstration using renewable hydrogen produced from sunlight and water to generate electricity in a fuel cell.

For over a century, splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen using electrolysis has been well known. Theoretically, this technology can be used to produce massive amounts of clean and renewable hydrogen fuel to power a carbon-free world provided renewable electricity and highly purified water to prevent fouling of system components is freely available. HyperSolar’s technology overcomes these barriers to lower the cost of renewable hydrogen production.

Using conventional solar panel systems to power electrolysis is inefficient and expensive. HyperSolar’s technology is based on combining small components of solar cell material in nano-size self-contained photoelectrochemical particles and integrating them into tiny electrolysis particles coated with HyperSolar’s novel encapsulation materials. These particles can be submerged directly into water and will automatically produce hydrogen in the presence of sunlight.

In May 2012, the company completed a proof-of-concept prototype particle, which uses a proprietary low-cost polymer coating that protects the particle in corrosive environments, such as waste and acidic water. This allows for the production of renewable hydrogen from virtually any source of water, without pre-treatment. Recently, the company created an end-to-end laboratory scale demonstration that illustrates the low-cost nature of using HyperSolar’s innovative technology.

In this demonstration, the HyperSolar particles were submerged in a low-cost plastic bag reactor filled with wastewater obtained from the Salton Sea in California. During the day, water molecules were split into hydrogen and oxygen gas, which filled up the plastic bag. Then the hydrogen gas was easily extracted from the bag, stored and used in a conventional fuel cell that converted the hydrogen into electricity on demand. Unlike conventional solar panel systems that only produce electricity when the sun is shining, a renewable hydrogen solar power system creates and stores hydrogen during the day and produces electricity day or night on an as needed basis.

Tim Young, CEO of HyperSolar, commented, “The simplicity of this laboratory demonstration exemplifies the elegant and easy use of our low cost, self-contained renewable hydrogen production particles. We are in conversations with potential partners about building larger demonstration systems that will produce renewable hydrogen for electricity generation, as well as hydrogen car fueling stations. With our technology, we intend to enable a world of distributed hydrogen production without massive networks of potentially dangerous hydrogen pipelines. We envision a future where standalone hydrogen car fueling stations can be independently built along major freeways throughout California and the country.”

Here is a video of this demonstration. http://www.hypersolar.com. The particles in this demonstration contain centimeter size photoelectrochemically active heterostructure units fabricated from solar cell materials with HyperSolar’s electrocatalysts and encapsulation materials. The company’s fully developed commercial particle technology will contain nano-size photoelectrochemically active heterostructure (PAH) elements.

Source: Business Wire

Photo: HyperSolar