Solar Fuel Cell Machine Can Separate Hydrogen and Oxygen

Posted on December 28th, 2010 by

A new solar fuel cell machine has the ability to separate hydrogen, the Waldeck Hydroelectric Station gains watts, Trina Solar invests in a PV Park and electric buses picking up passengers in Seoul.

New Solar Fuel Cell Machine Can Separate Hydrogen

A new machine uses the solar rays and ceria, a metal oxide, to break down CO2 or water into transportable fuels. Conventional PV panels must use the electricity they generate and are typically unable to deliver power at night. Researchers in the US and Switzerland developed a prototype using a quartz window to concentrate the sunlight. The metal oxide will then heat up and release oxygen. If water is pumped into the device and comes into contact with the ceria, then the oxide will strip the oxygen from the water and the remaining hydrogen can be used to fuel hydrogen fuel cells in cars. Currently, the prototype needs refinement because the fuel harnesses less than one percent of the solar energy the vessel takes in since much of the energy is lost through heat loss. However, with more research will come greater efficiency.

Waldeck Hydroelectric Station Gains Watts

Waldeck, a pumped-storage hydroelectric station in central Germany, is going to gain a boost in its megawatt capacity. E.ON has plans to build a 300-megawatt plant adjacent to the Waldeck 2 facility in 2012. E.ON is one of Europe’s largest hydro-storage operators with 212 facilities sprawled across four countries. Their total capacity is 6.2-gigawatts. The new plant, like its neighbor Waldeck 2, will have an underground turbine room. The plant is scheduled to reach commercial operation in 2016, after four years of construction.

Trina Solar Invests in PV Park
Trina Solar Ltd., an integrated PV product manufacturer plans to invest $800 million in the Changzhou Trina PV Park. Investments will be made over the next three years from 2011 through 2013 to expand the company’s manufacturing abilities and research and development facilities. Trina Solar manufactures ingots, wafers, and cells to assemble PV modules.

Electric Buses Picking up Passengers in Seoul

Full-sized electric buses can now be seen driving routes in Seoul, South Korea. The Seoul Metropolitan Government said that it has begun commercial operation of the green buses on the Mt.Namsan circular routes since December 21. These are the world’s first full-sized electric buses that are in commercial operation. The technology involved work with Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hankuk Fiber for the past one and a half years. The vehicles can go up to 83km on a single charge and can be charged in less than 30 minutes.

SunPower Sold 44-MW to Investors

SunPower Corp. has sold its 44-MW solar park to international investors including MetLife, Fondo PP Italia and Voigt & Collegen. The Montalto di Castro solar park is in Rome, Italy. Its first phase was connected to the grid in November 2009, a total of 20-MW. The 8-MW second phase followed the first in fall of 2010. The third and fourth phases, totaling 44-MW, were completed just earlier this month. These two phases are now under commercial operations, selling their power to their international investors.

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