Is it just me, or does it bug anyone else when the words \"power\" and \"energy\" are used as if they were interchangeable?
When you use phrases like \"it is possible to generate power from still water\" and \"Surplus energy would go to the electrolyzer, enabling it to produce more energy from water.\" you make it sound as though we are getting energy out of water, which of course we are not. We are putting energy into the water and later we get some, but not all, of it back. In other words we are storing energy.
Singer Scientist
It is NOT \"possible to generate power from still water\". It is possible to split water into its components (hydrogen and oxygen) in order to STORE energy in a chemical form, which can be used to generate electricity later.
The development appears to have the potential to improve the efficiency of storing energy this way, although I don\'t quite understand how you can produce oxygen without hydrogen, or vice-versa....
\"it is possible to generate power from still water\" ...depending on how you interpret that it\'s either misleading or just false. The electrolyzer uses power from another source (solar, wind, grid, etc) to split the water and store the energy fed to it in the form of hydrogen. The energy can later be recovered in the fuel cell by using up the hydrogen. Power is not generated by still water, it\'s generated by hydrogen and oxygen combining to produce water. The water isn\'t an energy source in this case, as that sentence implies, it\'s just part of an energy storage technology. It\'s still neat tech, I just didn\'t want people to get the wrong idea!
Lawrence Weisdorn
It is incremental breakthroughs in technologies such as this that will finally break our addiction to fossil fuels.
I hope, we need...
Cool. Would any salt or mineral or some other continuity enhancing compound need to be added to the water for best electrolysis results? Would ocean water work well?
Ian, yes it bothers me also and I wish people who report on this kind of thing would learn the difference between power and energy. GeoMoon5, adding salt or using ocean water are both bad ideas unless you don\'t mind producing chorine and lye (sodium hydroxide) this information is available on the net or in your junior year of high school chemistry. As far as other added materials for increased electrolysis results that is a good question. Most water is conductive but will vary depending on your source such as hard water vs rain water.
Once again an article about new tech to improve renewable energy this case storage. But no info about the economics of it, the key to bench marking its value. Only mention that some company would like to use this tech in a product in a couple of years. Please train your writers to ask probing questions, not just reword PR releases.
Robert Cox
The economics will come from both the reduction in the power the system requires for production, as well as the cost of the materials in the system. Until HOGEN or someone else commercializes the process, it will be difficult to assess the economics.
If this process produces anywhere near 200 times the current efficiency, everything will be much cheaper and will be one of the greatest advances in energy we have known.