Modern energy and royal visit

Lolland is very involved in researching modern forms of energy  – something I have been interested in for very many years.

One of the many initiatives is a ‘hydrogen village’ only a few km from  where I live. Queen Margaret came to open the village (at present represented by a few houses) this week, which generated a good deal of excitement. I was a little sceptical about the project being fully functional and was touched to hear a neighbour say that of course it wasn’t –  the queen had to cut the ribbon first, then it would work!

It is a very exciting project, utilising the clean energy generated by windturbines (we have perfect conditions for these). This is combined with water in an electrolysis arrangement which splits the hydrogen from the oxygen in the water. The hydrogen is piped to the houses where fuel cells convert it to energy. I had a look at the wikipedia to try and understand the concept and was please to find a simple explanation – part is reproduced here for those who are interested.

Fuel cells cannot store energy like a battery, but in some applications, such as stand-alone power plants based on discontinuous sources such as solar or wind power, they are combined with electrolyzers and storage systems to form an energy storage system. The overall efficiency (electricity to hydrogen and back to electricity) of such plants (known as round-trip efficiency) is between 30 and 50%, depending on conditions. (…) the electrolyzer/fuel cell system can store indefinite quantities of hydrogen, and is therefore better suited for long-term storage.