Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Hydrogen System Architecture for Energy Storage and Water Production

The global community faces complex, highly interrelated challenges that cannot be addressed with legacy energy systems.  Carbon and methane emissions...aquifer and surface water depletion...population growth and economic development.  Our planet is becoming warmer, thirstier, and in ever greater need of systems that support sustainability.

Isotherm Energy is developing a system architecture for addressing these challenges that provides energy storage and potable water production.  The architecture enables tailoring of system parameters to meet specific application requirements using current and emerging technologies.

Isotherm's hydrogen-based system accepts inputs from a variety of energy (solar, wind, etc), non-potable water (saltwater, wastewater, etc.), biomass and other sources.  The selected inputs are used to produce hydrogen to be stored for later use.  Oxygen and other beneficial byproducts are also produced depending on the water and/or hydrogen feedstocks used.  Power is generated when needed from the stored hydrogen via fuel cells, turbines, internal combustion engines or other combustion processes.  The resulting outputs are electrical or kinetic energy and potable water.

Roundtrip efficiency of the system is optimized by incorporating heat recovery in the form of waste heat harvesting, combined heat and power (CHP), bottoming cycles and other combined cycles depending on the application.  The production of potable water from non-potable sources also increases the effective performance of the system relative to separate energy storage and water processing systems.  The architecture is scalable to a wide range of applications including:

  • Microgrids and onsite water processing
  • Desalination and energy storage
  • Transportation systems

Matt Moran is the Managing Member at Moran Innovation, and previous Managing Partner at Isotherm Energy. He's been developing power and propulsion systems since 1982. Matt was also the Sector Manager for Energy & Materials in his last position at NASA where he worked for 31 years. He's been involved in seven technology based start-ups; and provided R&D and engineering support to many industrial, government and research organizations.  More about Matt here