like pennies from heaven



... a very interesting story on NPR Science Friday, reported
on an MIT professor's great invention, a method for
solar hydrogen gas production, from water splitting

... it is somewhat like a solar electric cell, but instead
of the silicon reacting with sunlight to make electricity,
the cell bubbles off hydrogen and oxygen

... what a great invention and the report further said they were
looking for a way to collect and store the gases

... an old survivalist trick, and also used by early hydrogen
experimenters, is to let the H2 collect in giant truck tire inner tubes

... then when they are filled up, under relatively low pressure, the Schraeder
valves are closed up, and the rubber tanks are pressurized by putting boards across
them and laying on bricks or sandbags :-)

... the H2 is then piped to a gas kitchen burner, which has been packed with
loads of stainless steel scrubbing pads, or stainless steel wool

... the purpose of the steel wool is to absorb and break the H2 into small
explosive molecular quantities, so that their continuous micro-explosions simulate
a smooth natural gas burn

... well the future? ... conceivably everyone could make their own fuel
right on their home's roof

... but this little H2 technology trick comes with some downsides

... first and foremost, the leaking H2 from widespread use of the millions of
units required to make a dent in our human energy usage, is suppossedly as ozone
depleting as it gets.... it's very light and floats right up to the highest
ionosphere, and there reacts with ozone

... more study is needed on H2 and ozone depletion

... otherwise, the H2 storage issue becomes very important


... maybe instead of designing any unit, to produce H2 for burning,
and the associated leakage, they should be designed to work with H2-powered fuel cells
... burning fuel in air, is so indicative of 20th century thinking ;-)


... so you would have a panel on the roof, which feeds an H2 storage
tank in a fuel cell in the shed, and the fuel cell delivers electric power-on-demand

... these could be paired with solar-electric panels, to provide energy
storage for the not so sunny days


... oh Pandora, those little trickets of technology in your box, what power, what pain

... the Holy Grail of a self-sustaining reaction still eludes us, like maybe with
the addition of some odd catalyst, these solar H2 cells could produce enough
energy to power an artificial light, maybe an H2 arc lamp, which would make
more H2, and on ad infinitum
... sorry, that's just a pipedream :-)





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2011 by zentara