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What is a Hydrogen House?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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A hydrogen house is a house which relies on hydrogen for much of its energy needs. The hydrogen is created through the use of solar panels which power an electrolyzer, a device which extracts the hydrogen from water, creating oxygen as a byproduct. The hydrogen can be used to run heating systems, power washers and dryers, and provide fuel for cars, while the solar panels provide electricity for lights. When the solar panels are unable to function due to the weather, stored hydrogen can kick in to power a generator which keeps the house lit up. The byproduct of the electricity-generating fuel cell is water, which can be recycled through the system.

With a well designed hydrogen house, it is possible to achieve complete energy independence. Designers of hydrogen houses also usually promote energy saving measures such as using double paned windows, providing lots of insulation to keep internal temperatures stable, installing low flow showerheads, and so forth, with the goal of reducing the amount of energy the house requires. The installation of the systems involved in keeping a hydrogen house going can get expensive, but the tradeoff is never having to pay an energy bill again.

More properly, a hydrogen house should known as a solar-hydrogen house, because it runs on both solar and hydrogen technologies. If solar power is not feasible, the house will need another source of electricity, such as a wind turbine or connection to the conventional electrical grid. The house may also have supplementary measures in place such as geothermal heating and cooling, gravity-fed water systems which eliminate the need for a pump, and so forth.

One convenient thing about using hydrogen as a primary energy source, rather than solar or wind power, is that hydrogen can be stored against the time it is needed. Electricity generated with solar panels and windmills is best used as it is generated, as storage methods tend to be inefficient and costly. By combining environmentally friendly methods of electricity generation with a hydrogen system, a homeowner can get the best of both worlds.

Hydrogen is a highly explosive gas, which fortunately dissipates quickly, and some understandable concerns have been raised about the safety of a hydrogen powered house. It is important to make sure that safety features such as vents are properly maintained and installed, and that workmen hired to perform work on the house are aware that it is powered using a hydrogen-based system. Special caution is required around fuel tanks and the hydrogen fuel cells used to generate electricity.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Soulfox — On Oct 08, 2014

@Terrificli -- Yes, you will waste plenty of water with a typical shower head. The low flow one does save a lot of water, and that means less water has to be heated up and that leads to energy savings.

Some low flow shower heads aren't that bad for water pressure, really. Do some research and you might find something that will provide enough pressure and save water. The best of both worlds, right?

By Terrificli — On Oct 07, 2014

Why the low flow shower head? Won't that just leave you with an unsatisfying shower due to miserable water pressure? Does it really save that much on energy to suffer along with a low flow shower head?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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