Solar-powered homes in Thailand store excess energy as hydrogen

A new residential complex in Thailand will be completely off-grid, running on solar-powered hydrogen energy storage.

The Phi Suea House development in Chiang Mai consists of four family homes and several other support buildings, fully powered by 114 kW of photovoltaic panels generating around 441 kWh of electricity per day, Gizmag reported recently.

During the day, excess solar power is used to run electrolysers and produce hydrogen. This is stored until it is needed, typically at night, and is then transformed back into electricity using fuel cells.

It’s a dream to have 24-hour access to the power of the sun. With our renewable power system and hydrogen energy storage, we have fulfilled this dream, said Sebastian-Justus Schmidt, initiator of the Phi Suea House project.

The housing complex is expected to be fully operational by the end of January. It will also feature solar hot water panels to heat water, double-glazed windows, thick walls, natural ventilation, efficient fans to reduce air conditioning use, and large windows and lower-power LED lamps to minimise the energy required for lighting, Gizmag reported.

CNX Construction, the company behind the Phi Suea House, believes that further advancements in the technology and lower costs will result in similar projects being developed in Thailand and all over the world in the coming years.

The technology behind this system is still very new, the company said. There are some systems already running in labs at leading universities worldwide and small numbers of similar hydrogen energy storages have been deployed as backup power systems for telecommunications in remote areas, but the Phi Suea House is the first project worldwide where this ground-breaking technology is being used as the main energy storage for a multi-house residential development.

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