he world’s first commercially available line of hydrogen-powered domestic products, including a barbecue, a bicycle and most crucially a unit that creates and stores hydrogen power, has been developed by an Australian company, LAVO, working with the University of NSW.
The LAVO battery, which is about the size of a large fridge, can be hooked up to an existing array of solar panels. Inside it, electrolysers use that power to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen.
The oxygen is vented and the hydrogen stored in a patented hydride – a fibrous metal alloy not dissimilar to iron-filings in appearance – in canisters inside the unit for use as needed.
LAVO’s chief executive, Alan Yu, says the unit can store three times as much power as the largest popular commercially available wall-mounted batteries, allowing it to power the average household for two to three days on a single charge.
Unlike other lithium batteries, it can also constantly recharge itself rather than waiting until it has been fully discharged.
He said the system, which costs around $34,000, has a lifespan around three times longer than current lithium batteries and should last users around 30 years. When the hydride is degraded it can be melted down and reused, giving the system significant environmental advantages over its competitors […]