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Archive for August 1st, 2008

Researchers at MIT have developed a fuel cell which could revolutionize not only how we get energy but how we think about it. The old model has always been to hook up your home to a power grid and an electric utility which buys electricity from coal and gas-burning power plants (and to a lesser degree nuclear and in the last few years some wind).

With this breakthrough, we can conceivably turn our homes into “power plants… and gas stations” according to MIT’s Daniel Nocera.

How the solar fuel cell storage would work - from MIT

How the solar fuel cell storage would work - from MIT

With Daniel Nocera’s and Matthew Kanan’s new catalyst, homeowners could use their solar panels during the day to power their home, while also using the energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen for storage. At night, the stored hydrogen and oxygen could be recombined using a fuel cell to generate power while the solar panels are inactive.

This is an important breakthrough that will lead to lower energy prices for us, but we have to act quickly. We need to deploy smart meters in our cities and start getting ready for plug-in hybrids or fully electric vehicles. Bring it up with your Congressman, Senator, State Legislator, City Councilmember, or electric Co-op board member and get ready for the next generation in energy.

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