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The ways that electricity is generated and distributed in power grids is evolving, with more emphasis now placed on power conservation and solutions that reduce the strain on existing grid infrastructure during peak demand hours.

In real-world terms, this translates into distributed systems that shave peak demand near points of high consumption, and more renewable sources to power the grid — often wind or solar. But when relying on wind turbines or solar panels to supply the grid, it's difficult to predict just how much power they are likely to generate since output fluctuates during intermittent wind conditions or on cloudy days.

To ease strain on grid infrastructure, large rechargeable batteries may be introduced to bank excess power when demand is low, then release it back when extra power is needed to supplement output deficiencies from renewable sources.

These systems typically use lithium-ion cells to pack a lot of muscle; but they lack stamina and can quickly exhaust their energy stores. And because their chemistry progressively degrades with full charge-discharge cycling, their storage capacity also declines; so they need to be replaced more frequently when actively used — reducing their economic where they're needed most.

Hybridogen explores eco-friendly ways to manage power on electric grids. Instead of using lithium-ion chemistry to store electric charge, we sequester power in the form of hydrogen gas.

When electricity demands are low, excess grid power is used to harvest and store relatively small quantities of hydrogen gas near points of habitually volatile consumption; these stores are then tapped to supply power back to the grid when a temporary boost is needed to meet spikes in consumer demand — converting hydrogen directly into electricity inside fuel cells by reacting it with oxygen in the air to form just one byproduct: pure water.

And with low maintenance requirements, these systems are well-suited for small-scale grids operating independently or in conjunction with the main power infrastructure.


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Updated September 13, 2017.  All Rights Reserved.