ITM Power plc, a U.K. company, has introduced a hydrogen home refueling electrolyser that promises to produce enough hydrogen overnight to take a duel fuel Ford Focus 25 miles. Eight years in development, the electrolyser uses a polymer membrane (also known as PEM which stands for both Polymer Electrolyte Membrane or Photon Exchange Membrane) intsead the more expensive platinum-plated membrane. Electrolysers and fuel cells traditionaly employ a platinum-plated membranes which are considered a cost impediment to wide adoption of hydrogen powered vehicles.
Company CEO Jim Healthcote said that the system has moved out "research and feasibility" so the company can begin talking with manufacturers. The company is also using the hydrogen for heating, cooking and refrigeration at a "hydrogen apartment" in its Sheffield facility. As well, the hydrogen powers a generator to provide electricity.
For all hydrogen’s doubters who I hear from regularly, the momentum behind hydrogen is really hitting the gas (pun intended). I can imagine the doubters also believed in 1979 that there could never be a personal computer or in 1993, something like the Internet. What ITC appears to have done is create a technology that can be refined over time to produce more hydrogen over time at a lower cost. I have pinged them to get specific cost and production figures.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.