This FAQ is aimed at providing you some answers to the most common questions you may have on hydrogen technologies before you purchase a hydrogen system.
Q1: How can we produce hydrogen?
A1: We can produce hydrogen in many different ways. The two most popular methods are hydrogen from natural gas reformation and from an electrolysis process.
Q2: Can hydrogen be produced using an environmental friendly method?
A2: Yes – When hydrogen is produced using renewable energy and electrolysis process.
Q3: What is electrolysis?
A3: Electrolysis is a method where we dissociate water into hydrogen and oxygen using a device called electrolyser.
Q4: What is an electrolyser?
A4: An electrolyser is a device that splits water (H2O) into H2 and O2.
Q5: Do we need energy to create hydrogen from water?
A5: Yes – The extraction of any fuel takes energy. We can think of getting hydrocarbons from an oil well to a fuel pump on a filling station forecourt. This also consumes energy, which is about the equivalent of 20% of the energy of the petrol.
Q6: Does it take more energy to produce hydrogen than to take oil out of wells?
A6: Yes and No. You need to look at the bigger picture here. It took several millions of years to produce the oil and gas as we know it today. Oil and Gas is also becoming more difficult to extract from far away fields in the sea. Hydrogen, on the other hand, can be produced from any renewable source right away.
Q7: So why do I need to consider hydrogen at all?
A7: Because hydrogen can be produced and used with no harmful emissions. Also, hydrogen can be used everywhere we use energy (transport, cooling, heating, cooking, electricity generation, etc). In addition, hydrogen can be used in a fuel cell (see our fuel cell tab) which is more efficient than any conventional energy devices. Electrical efficiency of a fuel cell can reach 50%. So the overall cycle from production of hydrogen to its usage in a fuel cell is quite high (it can reach up to 40% if we use the waste heat of the fuel cell).
Q8: Do we have enough water to produce hydrogen for all our needs?
A8: Yes. In fact the full cycle from hydrogen production from water and its usage in a fuel cell ends up with water being produced at the output of the fuel cell.
Q9: Why not use renewable electricity to satisfy our needs instead of converting it to hydrogen?
A9: We can use the electricity from renewables directly to satisfy our immediate needs. However, there are many times when there is wind/solar/hydro electrical power being generated, but there is no demand. So what do we do in these cases? We just shut down the wind turbines, solar PV and hydropower systems. So hydrogen production system using electrolysis processes can be used when we have surplus renewable energy.
Q10: So producing hydrogen could help in providing us with continuous power and fuel?
A10: Yes. Wind and solar systems, on their own, do not address our need for continuous power and fuel. Green hydrogen energy systems as a whole can do. If you need an around the clock clean energy solution, then call us on +44 (0) 1957 711 410. We can provide complete solutions including transport.
Q11: Is hydrogen safe?
A11: Hydrogen is like any flammable fuel such as natural gas and petrol. It requires care and safe handling. Many scientists agree that the properties of hydrogen make it safer than other conventional fuels in many cases. To learn more about the safety aspects of hydrogen and fuel cells, please attend our training course.
Q12: How do we store hydrogen?
A12: The most common way is to store hydrogen in a pressurised cylinders similar to the butane ones we find installed outside a home and used for cooking purposes. There are other means to store hydrogen such as liquid and in metal hydride canisters. If you want to know more, please attend our training course.
Q13: How do you transport hydrogen?
A13: The two main methods for transporting hydrogen are in compressed tankers and in gas pipelines.
Q14: Can hydrogen be used in my petrol car?
A14: Yes – Hydrogen can be used in a petrol car. Modification of your fuel supply system in the car is required. Then your vehicle will run on two fuels, petrol and hydrogen.
Q15: Can we compare H2 with other fuels?
A15: Yes. Here are some pointers:
- Hydrogen can be produced anywhere in the world from any energy sources.
- Hydrogen can be totally non-polluting with water being the exhaust from fuel cells.
- Hydrogen can help prevent the depletion of fossil fuel reserves by only using fossil fuels where we really cannot do without them and not burning them in transport applications
- Hydrogen can be as safe as if not safer in some cases than diesel/petrol, or natural gas
Q16: How much water do I need to produce the equivalent of 1 litre of petrol?
A16: between three to four litres.
Q17: Can I install a hydrogen system myself?
A17: No. You will need to get a company with expertise in hydrogen installations so that you reduce your installation risk.
Q18: Can I sell my hydrogen as fuel?
A18: Yes. You just need to find someone who wants to buy it such as a hydrogen bus, fuel cell manufacturer or users and others.
Q19: How much money will I make selling hydrogen?
A19: There is no governmental support mechanism as with wind and solar. However, you can think of hydrogen being sold as the equivalent energy content of one litre of petrol. This is about £1.30 a litre of petrol.
Q20: Does a hydrogen system require maintenance?
A20: Yes. We provide all our systems with standard maintenance contracts.
Q21: How much does a hydrogen system cost?
A21: This all depends on size and site specifics. Please contact us to find out more.
Q22: What do I do if I want to do to buy a hydrogen system?
A22: Call us on +44 (0) 1957 711 410.
Have more question before purchasing a hydrogen system?
Please do not hesitate to contact the Pure Energy Centre to discuss your requirements on +44 (0) 1957 711 410 or click here and fill up the form for your hydrogen system (compressor, electrolyser, fuel cell, refueler, dispensere, storage, sensors, piping etc).