Hydrogen solution to energy costs

June 25, 2008 8:46:38 PM PDT
With energy costs rising across the board, a South Jersey man is pitching an elemental solution, sunlight for hydrogen, the simplest element on earth.In a garage style workshop, not far from Princeton, government types, executives, and academics focus on Mike Strizki's every word.

Strizki's interest is in the hydrogen. His firm Renewable Energy has figured out a way to, in effect, bottle sunshine.

Solar power is used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is stored in these tanks and when needed can produce electricity in an off the shelf fuel cell.

This system powers Strizki's entire home. Among those at the open house Philadelphia Councilman Curtis Jones, who was among those at the open house Wednesday, said with oil prices soaring, cities need to know about alternatives.

"These kinds of energy alternatives went from a novelty to a necessity overnight and over oil," Councilman Jones said.

Big auto companies like Honda, Mercedes, General Motors are seriously looking at hydrogen. Chevy is testing a fuel cell powered Equinox and filled with solar hydrogen, it would have a zero carbon footprint.

The big hurdle for solar hydrogen is the cost of the hardware. Strizki's home sized system is a quarter of million dollars. Proponents say costs will drop with mass production and the jackpot they say the cost of the sun will always be free.