Thursday, July 30, 2015

No. 878: Transforming a house into a hydrogen plant (July 30, 2015)

Focusing on the next stage of photovoltaic cells, Panasonic will develop a technology to generate hydrogen at home using the photocatalyst technology. The existing photocatalyst technology works only under ultraviolet light, and sunlight contains only a small amount of ultraviolet light. The company developed photocatalyst of the niobium system, and it has already confirmed that the self-developed photocatalyst can generate hydrogen responding to the visible light that has the largest amount of energy among sunlight.

Panasonic’s panel equipment to generate hydrogen
direcdty form natural energy 
Panasonic will conduct research to increase the generation efficiency of hydrogen in alliance with New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Kyoto University. Niobium is abundant and relatively free from price fluctuation as compared with silicone, and its supply is more stable than silicone. Besides, the mechanism to generate hydrogen is simple, opening the way to generate hydrogen at low cost. The company plans to generate sufficient amount of hydrogen to supply energy for household use, excluding energy for vehicle, by hydrogen alone using panels on the house roof. Panasonic wishes to put this technology into practical use by 2030.  

Toshiba’s Hydrogen Energy Research and Development Center