Sunday, May 10, 2009

Japan's Energy Crisis... solution?

I happened to peek through Ode Magazine and discovered this really interesting article about what Japan is doing about it's energy crisis. How can the consumer in his own home manage the cost of his energy bill? Simple, get a hydrogen fuel cell placed in your backyard.

Yasushi Kawamori shows off his new cogeneration unit.

"Yasushi Kawamori has a power plant in his backyard. Not the kind that belches clouds of CO2 into the atmosphere, but the kind that’s small (about the size of a refrigerator and a suitcase placed side by side), quiet (a faint thumping is just audible) and emits a fraction of the carbon dioxide a coal-fired plant would. The system uses a hydrogen fuel cell to convert natural gas into electricity; heat from the reaction generates hot water for himself, his wife and their two children. It’s called a fuel cell cogeneration system, and Kawamori is more than happy to have it in his backyard. 'We’re making electricity at our own home, and the heat from that electricity gets used, so it’s really efficient,” he says. “I like that it’s cost-effective and good for the environment.'"

A video of the cell in action

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