dalje says in the future solar power may be primarily used to produce hydrogen rather than electricity. Changing solar energy into hydrogen fuel and storing it for later can allow devices to run when the Sun is not shining, US. researchers say at the University of North Carolina.  Currently, solar energy can only be captured on days the Sun is shining and is then converted into electricity. However, if solar energy is ever going to major role in powering the planet, a way must be found to store it for nighttime use. The university is working on creating a system to generate hydrogen fuel by using the Sun’s energy to split water into its component parts — hydrogen and oxygen — then storing the hydrogen while the oxygen is released back into the air. The system would need almost no external power to operate and release no greenhouse gases, the researchers said.

“When you talk about powering a planet with energy stored in batteries, it’s just not practical,” chemistry Professor Tom Meyer said. “It turns out that the most energy dense way to store energy is in the chemical bonds of molecules. And that’s what we did — we found an answer through chemistry.”

Fuel cells at two facilities in the US state of Connecticut are producing approximately 20 megawatts of electricity, enough power for approximately 20,000 homes. PennEnergy tells us Dominion Bridgeport Fuel Cell, is producing 14.9 MW using an electro-chemical process that efficiently converts natural gas into electricity. At the same time, Dominion Somers Solar Center uses 23,150 Kyocera solar panels to generate roughly 5 megawatts of renewable electricity. The output from both facilities is sold to Connecticut Light & Power under long-term purchase agreements.

gnomes introduces us to a hydrogen fuel-cell charger for smartphones and other electronic devices. The pocket-sized hydrogen fuel-cell device by UK.-based company Intelligent Energy is expected to go on sale in the US. later this year. Just like the fuel cells used in cars and other vehicles, it blends air and hydrogen to produce electricity. The only waste it gives off is water vapor. The charger is able to power smartphones, feature phones, eReaders, tablets, portable gaming consoles, and digital cameras.

Intelligent Energy, a British hydrogen fuel cell developer and manufacturer, has signed an $82 million contract, its biggest so far, to provide its technology for mobile phone masts in India. Reuters says the 5-year agreement with India’s Ascend Telecom Infrastructure covers 4,000 towers serving some 10 million mobile phone users. The hydrogen fuel cell systems provide back-up power when electricity from the grid fails, which can happen for up to 12 hours each day. See also recombu, Electric car tech used to keep mobile phones in India connected.



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