Science Questions

Are home-brew kits for energy a practical proposition?

Sun, 9th Oct 2011

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Outpacing Petrol - Biofuels and Hydrogen

Question

Andrew Reitemeyer, via facebook asked:

If I could produce hydrogen safely and cheaply at home I would. A solar-algae bioreactor producing biodiesel or alcohol would also be interesting.

Are home-brew kits for energy a practical proposition?

Answer

Mark -   Home energy generation is definitely a big thing that has got to come in in the future, because the more that you generate locally, the less transport is involved of resources, and then that means the more efficient the system is going to be.  When it comes to a system like the kind that I study, where we’re looking at turning organic wastes into energy, then a home scale doesn’t really work.  If you look at the amount of organic waste that each home produces, even if you were to invent the most amazing system that could get all of the energy out of that waste, it’s no way near enough to provide the family with its needs.  So, you would actually have to be bringing in crops from around the local fields!  You'd have to have at least a community level or maybe a block level plant and I think that these minimum scale limitations apply to most of the technologies.  One of the best things going on at the moment is you can get your domestic wind or your domestic photovoltaic tiles on the roof of your house, those are working very well.  You can get some good schemes going on at the moment and actually make money out of those.

Multimedia

Subscribe Free

Related Content

Not working please enable javascript
EPSRC
Powered by UKfast
STFC
Genetics Society
ipDTL