A Japanese real estate company starts a solar hydrogen project



Sekisui House-W is testing a pilot project consisting of a home solar power system, a small-sized electrolyzer, hydrogen-absorbing alloy tanks and a fuel cell. The company said the hydrogen storage compounds used in the project have a higher energy density than battery storage.

Sekisui House-W, one of Japan’s largest real estate service providers, has launched a pilot project to produce solar-powered hydrogen in a residential building. The project uses excess solar electricity produced by the solar power system on the roof to power up a small-sized electrolyzer for hydrogen production.

The generated hydrogen is then stored in hydrogen-absorbing metal alloy tanks, the tightness and safety of which are generally known.

The hydrogen stored in the tank is then used in fuel cells to generate electricity for the building regardless of the time of day or season, which promotes self-sufficiency in household electricity consumption.

The company said the hydrogen storage compounds used in the project have a higher energy density than battery storage and have no natural discharge, so they have the advantage of high capacity and long-term energy storage.

“Furthermore, compared to high-pressure gas tanks, it is very compact, so you can expect proposals to suit your home,” it said.

The company added that it plans to commercialize the proposed solution from summer 2025.

Researchers from LUT University and Germany’s Regensburg University of Applied Sciences have recently found out whether seasonal hydrogen storage (SHS) can be a cost-effective solution for maximizing self-consumption of solar energy in the coming decades.

The team conducted a global analysis of 145 regions from 2020 to 2050 every five years, using a “least cost” model. Together with SHS, they simulated a photovoltaic system on the roof of a residential building using the LUT-Prosume software. The analysis included detailed forecasts of SHS system component costs from various sources. The SHS components included a water electrolyser, a hydrogen compressor, a storage tank and a fuel cell.

In January, a Dutch consortium led by Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and social housing organization Woningcorporations connected an existing residential building on the TU Delft campus to an underground hydrogen network, which now meets all space heating and hot water demand.

The results show that SHS can only be expected in narrow off-grid markets in areas limited to North America, Northern Europe and Northwest Eurasia. Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar could also see small amounts of SHS capacity, according to the study.

In addition, a recent study by researchers at the German research center Forschungszentrum J├╝lich GmbH has proposed an optimization model for combining solar energy production from rooftop solar photovoltaic systems with hybrid hydrogen storage in a self-sufficient, well-insulated and highly energy-efficient residential building.

David is a passionate writer and researcher who specializes in solar energy. He has a strong background in engineering and environmental science, which gives him a deep understanding of the science behind solar power and its benefits. David writes about the latest developments in solar technology and provides practical advice for homeowners and businesses who are interested in switching to solar.

Read More

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here