Forget the wind turbine and solar panels – Will we recycle fuel cell cars as domestic electricity generating stations instead?

I was very impressed with topgear’s review of the Honda fx clarity which uses a fuel cell to power its movement. The car is powered using hydrogen which is used by the fuel cell to generate electricity which powers the car. The byproduct i.e fumes is water, hydrogen is already priced in the USA similar to petrol and the car drove and performed like a family car.

The ramifications for this car demo were staggering. Jay Leno pointed out the fuel cell will allow petrol heads to enjoy driving their vintage petrol cars the same way we went from whipping horses on the street to pull wagons to using them for a leisurely pursuit and enjoyment.

The difficulty of producing the worlds most abundant element was likened to the challenge that faced oil companies when they first started to consider drilling for oil on the ocean floor i.e. challenging but not unsurmountable.

I am looking forward to the future with a bit a more optimism, if I see a second hand clarity in a few years time on ebay I might buy it and convert it to power my home 🙂

In the mean time if you dont want to wait 20 – 30 years, you should keep on eye on what Quentin Gargan (the person behind  a great irish renewables company) is up to as they are developing a new type of wind turbine for the irish climate i.e gusty and unpredictable. The site is called which is a great name and kudos should go to their branding.

More importantly the blog outlines and explains some of the nice features of their 2.5 kw turbine and the thinking behind it. I look forward to hearing more information about this turbine especially its rotor diameter as I will use some wind swept area calculations to establish what it could generate on my site using the wind speed data I am recording. They hope to price the turbuine, tower and inverter for 8,000 euros plus which is competitive. Their analysis and explanations of noise, cogs, cut in on inverters indicates a passion for doing it right.

I haven’t provided as much info as I would have liked about the wind stats for Upperchurch in Tipperary but due to work and family commitments the data has been sitting quietly in spreadsheet silios. The data will be released in March/April when I have 1 year of wind speeds recorded at 3.5 meters.

One comment

  1. The Commissioner for Energy Regulation has made its announcement on a feed in tariff for microgenerators – the price stays at the level offered by ESB – 9c per KwHr.
    I’m a bit worried that this will encourage people to go for low cost turbines that can offer a five year payback (if they last that long….) rather than go for a quality machine offering a payback of perhaps 12 or 14 years.
    But its a lot better than nothing, which is what we’ve been getting so far.

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