Renewable energy sources and hybrid generating systems

In addition to photovoltaics, other renewable energy sources such as geothermal, tidal, hydro and wind power can be used to produce hydrogen for fuel cells. Any of these sources can also be combined with photovoltaic panels in a hybrid system to power hydrogen production. All of these renewable energy technologies, whether combined or stand alone, have the virtue of no continuing costs of buying and transporting fuel, and thus no dependence on regular supplies of fuels from outside and politically unstable sources.

The choice of a renewable energy source to power a hydrogen fuel cell system will depend on the geography, climate and other resources of the location. I have chosen photovoltaics as the example power source for hydrogen production because it is available to more people than either geothermal, wind, or tidal. For a person without much technical skill, solar power is easier to implement than wind power. It is also less costly up 3 front and not as dependent on location as the other RE power sources noted, so a PV hydrogen system can be portable. In comparison to other renewable energy systems, photovoltaics also has these major advantages: photovoltaic systems are, for the most part, easier to put up and maintain. They have no moving parts to wear out or maintain, so a system is less likely to break down; and they can be gradually enlarged to increase capacity, whereas other systems require greater expense to make upgrades. This does not mean that a photovoltaic system is ultimately less costly, but it does mean that it should be possible to fit a PV system into a more modest budget.

Of course there are exceptions to this. For instance, if you live in Iceland, you would certainly want to explore geothermal energy as your power source. Or, if you live in an area where there is a great deal of cloud cover, wind power or hydropower might be more viable alternatives. Hybrid systems such as a combination of photovoltaics and wind (or any other combination) can be a good a choice for areas where the resources are present but limited. If you are interested in wind power, many wind turbines are suitable for a stand alone power source for hydrogen production, or as a part of a hybrid photovoltaic system.

Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

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.

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