AstroPower solar cells are an easy sell. Quite simply, we supply the best value in solar cells and power modules...anywhere. As a market-driven, product-oriented company, we focus exclusively on supplying the solar products you need, at the best price.
AstroPower's AP-105 and AP-106 solar cells are high-efficiency five and six inch single crystal solar cells, respectively. They are the largest and most powerful solar cells available today, rated between 1.5 and 3.3 watts each. Our new APex™ six inch polycrystalline silicon solar cells use our patented SiliconFilm™ technology for high-speed, large-area fabrication of solar cells at low cost. Large solar cells are more cost effective.
AstroPower's PV modules are available in rated powers up to 120Wpeak, and are the perfect solution for home power applications. The modules utilize industry standard construction techniques, and are certified by both Underwriters Laboratories (UL 1703) and international (IEC 1215) specification.
These products are designed specifically for systems requiring large arrays. AstroPower's panels provide the largest increment of pre-tested, pre-wired power available on the market-up to 480 watts per panel-and they can still be handled and installed by two people. Uncrate them, mount them, plug them in, and you're up and running. much quicker and easier than field assembly.
For more information about AstroPower or any AstroPower products, please call 302^366^0400 or e-mail us at [email protected].
AstroPower t^PJ ATO hO
The Large Solar Cell Company
Solar Park Newark, DE, USA 19716-2000 Tel: 302-366-0400 Fax: 302-368-6474
Hydrogen gas (H2) can be used for cooking, water heating, space heating, electricity generation, welding and cutting, and the synthesis and purification of other chemical materials. When hydrogen is made from water and renewable energy resources such as PV, wind, or microhydro, we refer to the produced gas as "solar-hydrogen."
Solar-hydrogen is a sustainable carbon-free gas. It can release heat when burned with air or oxygen, or produce electricity when combined electrochemically with oxygen in a fuel cell. When solar-hydrogen is made or burned, there is no carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide "greenhouse gas," or hydrocarbon pollutants produced.
This article discusses hydrogen purification as a prerequisite to storage or utilization, and covers safety considerations in home power applications.
Where Does Hydrogen Gas Come From?
We use PV electricity to run an alkaline electrolyzer to produce hydrogen gas. Unfortunately, we do not have a creek or other water resource nearby for micro-hydro electricity production. We could really use it during the rainy season when there is less solar insolation. Since
Above: Electrolyzers driven by photovoltaics.
we are located on a hillside in an urban area, a wind generator tower would not be a welcome addition to our neighbors' view. With this in mind, we use PV electricity as the exclusive renewable power source for our hydrogen plant.
Solec 50 peak-Watt PVs (A, see diagrams on pages 43 and 45)are arranged in eight panel arrays. They are wired in series-parallel for 24 Volts. Three of these arrays, totaling 24 panels, will produce sufficient power to run our Hydrogen Wind twelve-cell electrolyzer at nearly its rated 1 kW capacity.
Our Hydrogen Wind electrolyzer (B) is shown in the diagrams with its associated purifiers and storage tanks. For more information on the production of hydrogen by electrolysis and hydrogen storage, see HP39 and HP59, respectively.
We can buy hydrogen gas in high pressure cylinders from a welding supply house. The industrial grade is about 99.5+% pure hydrogen. It may have a few parts per million of hydrocarbons, water vapor, helium, oxygen, and nitrogen contaminants present. These cylinders come in four volumetric sizes, and have 120 to 240 bar (1800 to 3500 psig) pressure ratings. The most common cylinder size is six cubic meters (215 cubic feet). Most industrial hydrogen is made by steam-reforming natural gas.
In the past, we bought hydrogen cylinders and used them in our shop. Now that we make our own gas, we rarely have to purchase it.
There are several higher purity grades of hydrogen available for research and metallurgical processing purposes, when contaminants must be minimized. One is the "pre-purified grade" with minimum purity of 99.95%. This grade contains less than 20 ppm oxygen with a dew point of less than -59°C (-75°F). This quality of hydrogen is often referred to as "3-nines."
Below: The Double-Bubbler™ removes particlulate matter and KOH from the hydrogen gas by passing it through a column of water.
Hydrogen Production Flow Diagram
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.