Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Energy Saving Technique- Solar Energy to Hydrogen Concept

Last night I was reading about superconductors in my physics book. Its extraordinary qualities intrigued meand I checked Wikipedia for more details. Suprisingly, people are more interested in them because they can transfer electricity at no loss which otherwise suffers great transmission loss.
I thought, why not change one energy source at point of extraction into another source which can also yield energy. So, I decided to jot down a technique which came to my mind while I was watching Discovery Science few months back. But alas! all I remember now is that a solar cell company developed a high efficiency solar paint which was a result of mixture of several different solar paints, each responsible for absorbing light of a particular wavelength. Those people were pretty excited about their prototype but they feared that even though the paint will generate energy in desert like Sahara (unobstructed sunlight) but its transmission will suffer and loss of energy may happen because of poor amenities in developing countries.
As soon this show ended, I switched to a movie channel, perhaps Star Movies (believe me I am not a couch potato, those were my summer vacations). At that time, Quantum of Solace was just about to end and I found Daniel Craig driving a hydrogen-powered car in a desert where he left the villain to die.
Result- [innovation + desert] + [nice concept car + desert] = NEW IDEA!!
I thought why not just use the electricity obtained from these advanced solar cells to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen with the help of electrolysis and then transfer hydrogen gas to cities where it can be used in any way- as a fuel, in a fuel cell, in electricity generators, etc.
At first it seems a very comfortable and easy technology. But, every thing is not that practical. There are many flaws which although can be overcome. Few of them are-
  1. We are in the middle of a desert, how we will get water?  - Simple we can setup these projects near any water body, pump the water and purify it with the help of 'DEKA Slingshot' (I remember this one) and use it. There are many water bodies in Africa, especially near Great Desert ( Nile, Niger, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean), so there must be no water crisis. I must remind that this technique is not restricted to deserts.
  2. How much hydrogen we will get?   - Answer is simple but calculations are complex. For basic idea just understand that 1 liter of water weighs 1 kilogram. The Gram Molecular Mass of water (H2O) is 18 grams (it means that are fixed number of molecules in this amount) and hydrogen weighs 2 grams in it (2H). So, eighteen liters of pure water can provide two liters of hydrogen. Now, energy obtained by our good cells must be enough to break the bond between oxygen and hydrogen resulting in their generation. We can easily collect these gases afterwards. According to the Law of Conservation of Energy, the energy obtained from solar panels will be equal to the energy provided by hydrogen when it again combines with oxygen to form water.
This process will definitely have some energy losses but it will be far less than loss of energy by resistance offered by High Tension wires.

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