Arno's EnergyIdeas (44)
Berlin was worth the trip: SolarPACES 2009 with sunny glimpses
More than two dozen of the 200 oral and poster presentations on the topic "Concentrating Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems" at the International Congress SolarPACES in September 2009 in Berlin, Germany, were devoted to solar hydrogen production. This included not only technical presentations, but also contributions to policy and marketing issues for the more than 700 international attendees. Much-praised host was the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics from the German Center for Aerospace. The organization of the conference was well covered by the team from PSE AG, Freiburg, Germany. In this World `s No. 1 CSP conference, everything was revolving around "Electricity, fuels and clean water, powered by the sun".
Caption: "Direct Solar Hydrogen: The Next Steps", Graphic Design: Thomas Schirmaier, research Daniela Peschka, both from Team Arno A. Evers
For me one of the most important lecture was DLR's presentation on "Operation of a test 100 kW Solar Pilot Plant for Hydrogen Production from Water-splitting" with a description of experiences gained within the "Hydrosol 1 and 2 program“, founded by the European Union. Here European researchers proofed the direct production of hydrogen from water in a one-shot-process only with support of concentrating solar power. In January 20009, I have seen this process for myself at the Plataforma Solar de Almeria. I was convinced by the obviousness of this procedure and was impressed by the fabulous work of the European scientists.
Based on this research, we developed our own poster with the headline: "Direct Solar Hydrogen: The Next Steps" which we presented in room "Washington" at Hotel Berlin, Berlin, the venue of the conference. Here we featured a future scenario with a global long-term perspective for a really renewable hydrogen production and usage. The key points of the poster call for use of all renewable energies available to produce hydrogen in only one step, in this case with the aid of concentrating solar power. The poster showed - in a stunning photo montage - our idea, which is in fact a vision:
Multi-storey buildings, equipped with heliostats, mirrors which are following the sun, are focusing the rays of the sun into two receiver / reactors with 800 and 1200 °C respectively, (HydRator) where, as proven in the Hydrosol 1 and 2 project, hydrogen is being produced locally only out of water and nitrogen. In our poster, we pointed out that today's hydrogen production so far is based on the conversion of fossil fuels, only four percent is produced by electrolysis. This is and will not, by frequent repetition, become forward-looking at any time and is not sustainable. Therefore, our belief is to create a global movement that is now essential, especially to motivate the young generations, for a rational and sensitive use of hydrogen and fuel cells.
Especially since so much work lays ahead of us, if we want to come to a truly genuine renewable hydrogen production, distribution and utilization. To achieve this goal, many smart followers are needed, who are committed to work hard on this topic. In our poster, we recommend locally generated hydrogen for a "... truly renewable energy use "and to convert it rather late in smart fuel cells into electricity to safe transformation and transport loses. This should be done only at the time and place of use. Since fuel cells are producing (domestic) water and generate heat during the generation of electricity process naturally, these should be used "in house" as locally tradable commodities in order to make the energy cycle much more effective, compared to today`s condition.
Hydrogen, made directly by concentrating solar power can also most favorable been used as fuel to drive motor vehicles, trains, ships and aircraft decentralized. This disrupted and independent energy conversion and distribution system should not only apply to cities, but can also be installed in remote villages and even in individual buildings, as shown in the poster in a social-ecological scenario. Here we see a high future potential, especially when the CO2 reduction and the suppression of losses in the existing electricity system will seriously be considered. The current energy distribution losses, especially for electricity, are historically established, what however, does not mean that they should be kept up to the "twelfth of never " for succeeding generations. In our opinion, based on 15-years personal experience and full - preoccupation with the issue of commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cells, this new global vision for transformation, distribution and use of energy is inevitable and must come soon. That’s what we have also learned at 101 international hydrogen and fuel cell and energy conferences, which we have attended since 2003. Thus the ideas of the old hydrogen-fighters of the seventies were also rehabilitated, which, mainly due to the cheap oil prices were a bit lost at our time. To date, hydrogen is not used directly by consumers, but as a future energy carrier, that is produced environmentally friendly, locally traded and used, it has unlimited usages and a unlimited, personalized market potential, far beyond all of today's imaginations ... Power to the people!
Links to the news: