How Hydrogen Gas is Powering Our World

The shift to using more renewable energy sources is brought forth by the world’s collective effort to minimize greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. But while they’re cleaner and safer to nature and us, the power that they produce can be intermittent. To address this challenge, industry experts are turning to sustainable energy storage in the form of hydrogen fuel cells, the production of which entails the use of hydrogen compressor systems and safe storage solutions. 

The Demand For Renewable Energy

Fossil fuels are the traditional source of energy for most parts of the globe. They provide stable power and are easier to supply. However, they’re finite and produce harmful emissions. Hence, the rise of the demand for alternative sources. 

Wind, solar, bioenergy, and hydropower are popular renewable energy sources. According to the International Energy Agency, these renewables are expected to account for about 18% of primary energy in 12 years. 

Manufacturers of high-pressure gas compressors are one of the industry players involved with ways to compress, store and transport hydrogen gas more cost-effectively because of the demand for their hydrogen gas compressors. One of the biggest challenges of using hydrogen fuel cells as an energy source is their market stability. For instance, energy harnessed from winds won’t be the same throughout the year because wind conditions vary on a daily basis. The same is true for solar energy. 

Therefore, these renewables must be properly stored once produced. And as stated, one of the most viable ways that experts are looking into is the use of hydrogen. 

Hydrogen As A Flexible Energy Carrier

Hydrogen is a gas with many applications. It’s used to treat metals, produce fertilizers, and process the very food that people consume. Back in the 50s, the folks at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have even used it (in the form of hydrogen fuel cells) to run their spacecraft’s electrical systems. 

Hydrogen is considered a flexible energy carrier — it can be compressed and stored in solid or liquid form. It can be produced from various sources (e.g., Natural gas, a byproduct of petroleum refining), it’s a potent option as a top long-term energy storage solution. But harnessing hydrogen has also been more common with the increased use of syngas in the fuel cell technology market.

The problem, however, is that its production from sources that have a low carbon footprint can be too expensive. To address this, experts are turning to electrolyzers, which break water down into oxygen and hydrogen with the use of (renewable) electricity. The hydrogen produced, in turn, is stored in tanks until power is demanded. When the need arises, the hydrogen will power fuel cells to produce zero-emission energy. 

The use of hydrogen in conjunction with hydrogen fuel cells provides a longer-term energy storage solution (batteries can also be used as non-fuel-based energy storage but it’s only viable for a short period). 

Electrolyzers, together with high-pressure gas compressors, are also advantageous because the hydrogen they produce is pure. Additionally, they can be produced directly at a certain location where there’s energy demand. 

We can all look forward to a future powered by an element as abundant as hydrogen with such technologies. Fluitron is a high pressure equipment company in PA that is one of those hydrogen compressor manufacturers that continues to exceed the needs of energy engineers with their ability to deliver high quality gas recovery systems that are needed by manufacturers.

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