Grant Awarded for Solar Hydrogen Generation

The BOC Foundation awarded funding to Hydrogen Solar Ltd. to develop and demonstrate a scalable system that will produce carbon-free, sustainable hydrogen directly from sunlight and water using the Hydrogen Solar Tandem Cell array. The project is due to be up and running in the UK next summer, with the contract lasting to October 2007.

The Tandem Cell is a self-contained single unit that directly splits water molecules into high-purity hydrogen and oxygen using the energy from sunlight. No external electricity is required. The process is renewable, produces no carbon dioxide or other emissions. By using a modular design, the array can be built to an infinite variety of sizes, making it suitable for a wide range of industrial and energy applications. In the first phase, Hydrogen Solar will design, build and install a 100-m2 array of Tandem Cells to generate high-purity hydrogen. “This project will validate the Tandem Cell as a viable, low cost and environmentally friendly method of generating hydrogen for both today’s industrial markets and for the future hydrogen-energy economy,” said David Auty, Hydrogen Solar Ltd., Chief Executive. The BOC Group will provide engineering safety expertise, compression units and engineering support during the installation. “Economic production of hydrogen from renewables is key in turning the hydrogen energy vision into reality. Projects such as the Tandem Cell are vital stepping stones to the commercial deployment of hydrogen energy,” said John Carolin, BOC Group, Global Director, Sustainable Energy. The second phase will demonstrate the Tandem Cell array over a six-month period at the Beacon Energy Ltd. site at West Beacon Farm, Leicestershire. The system will provide hydrogen for fuel cell applications, to provide electricity for recharging electric vehicles, and for heat and power for various buildings. “The prospect of a panel on the roof of a house to produce emission-free motoring is a fantastic vision towards a zero carbon society, and the BOC Foundation’s foresight is a catalyst for this vision,” said Prof Tony Marmont, Beacon Energy Ltd., Director.
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