Flicking a switch on clean energy
A FUTURE of renewable, emission-free energy is a reality that will be demonstrated on the Sunshine Coast at the end of February to banking and clean energy officials.
Colin Salmond hopes to flick a switch at his Beerwah home, shifting it from the electricity grid to a hydrogen-powered system, nine years in the making.
A successful trial in front of banking and Clean Energy Corporation representatives will unlock $5 million in funding and allow the beginning of the rollout of a series of hydrogen-powered plants across Queensland that will service caravan parks and act as fuelling stations for new generation hydrogen cell vehicles of the kind Hyundai has started importing into Australia.
Mr Salmond, head of Petawatt Energy - Electrygen Pty Ltd, has converted his Beerwah home into a demonstration centre for new-generation energy production.
Solar and wind turbine-captured energy is used to drive a hydrogen regeneration process that can be stored in gas form for vehicles and solid state for home energy systems.
The home will be fitted with a small-capacity (4kg) solid hydrogen storage solution from McPhy Energy in La Motte-Fanjas, France, making it possible to store 130kWh.
McPhy Energy has established a major demonstration project - the multi-energy fuelling station at Berlin-Schönefeld airport in Germany.
An engineer will fly to Australia to guide installation of the system, which will allow total grid independence.
Larger-scale commercial models will then be developed to service 15 power-purchasing agreements Petawatt has signed with businessman Des Mitchell of Woombye who owns caravan parks in Queensland.
The first will be built in Claremont, the centre of the state's coal industry.
The caravan parks will then become fuelling stations for the new generation of hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles now reaching the market.
Mr Salmond will seek a meeting with Hyundai which has recently delivered its first hydrogen-powered car to Australia.
The establishment of the fully-functioning, hydrogen regeneration demonstration plant at Beerwah comes as Hyundai last month imported the first fuel cell electric vehicle to be permanently based in Australia.
The zero-emissions Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell runs on hydrogen and emits water
The company intends to install a hydrogen car refueller at its Australian headquarters in Macquarie Park, Sydney.
Testing and demonstration drives will be under way early this year.
The vehicle is the first component of Hyundai's plan to operate a test fleet of ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles in Australia.