SERC has recently begun working with Frostburg State University (FSU) and Instant Access Networks to design and build an off-grid hydrogen storage and power system. FSU, located in Western Maryland in the city of Frostburg, is looking to create a backup power system for important equipment in the case of a long- term power outage caused by natural or manmade disasters. They plan to generate hydrogen via electrolysis and renewable energy and store it on site; a fuel cell will provide power when needed. The system will be housed at FSU’s Sustainable Energy Research Facility, an off-grid and renewable energy powered building currently under construction.
Currently SERC research engineer Andrea Alstone and graduate research assistant Meg Harper are looking into commercially available hydrogen storage technologies to determine the least cost option. The type of storage chosen will help determine what other kinds of equipment are necessary, such as a compressor. Once the final storage option is chosen, SERC will complete the design of the hydrogen power system. We expect to finish our work by July 2011.