Pilot Hydrogen Home Project to be ready in the US this year

Set to be completed by summer 2022, the Hydrogen home concept from SoCalGas is set to showcase the possibilities of using a combination of renewable energy and Hydrogen to power a home, helping test and showcase the reliability of multiple technologies involved in the process.

US based Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has kicked off the assembly of its award-winning H2 Hydrogen Home in Downey, a state-of-the-art demonstration project designed to show the resiliency and reliability of a hydrogen microgrid.

The company took delivery of the modular, prefabricated H2 Hydrogen Home, which is the first of its kind in the United States and will show how carbon-free gas made from renewable electricity can be used to fuel clean energy systems of the future. The home will act as a miniature microgrid – storing and providing resilient, low-carbon power when energy is needed – and demonstrate how such an energy system could be constructed on a larger scale to power residential neighborhoods and businesses.

“For the past decade, SoCalGas has invested in hydrogen research and development, recognizing it as a critical component of our transition to net-zero emissions,” said Maryam Brown, SoCalGas President. “The H2 Hydrogen home brings many of the technologies that we helped pioneer together under one roof in a unique showcase of how California might power resilient communities and businesses in the future.”

“The H2 Hydrogen Home is a tangible example of the cutting-edge technologies and clean energy systems that we will need to meet our net-zero carbon goal by 2045,” said California Assembly member Cristina Garcia. “As we shift toward a future of renewable electricity in California, we will rely on a variety of energy solutions, including hydrogen and advanced fuel cells to create a more resilient grid. I am proud that this first in the nation example will be showcased in the 58th district.”

The H2 Hydrogen Home features a nearly 2,000 square-foot home, solar panels, a battery, an electrolyzer to convert solar energy to hydrogen and a fuel cell to supply electricity for the home. Hydrogen will also be blended up to 20% with natural gas and used in the home’s tank-less water heater, clothes dryer, and gas stove, fireplace and BBQ grill. The home will function and feel exactly like a regular home but use reliable and clean energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, by drawing power from solar panels on sunny days and converting excess energy into clean hydrogen, which can be stored and then converted back into electricity with an on-site hydrogen fuel cell when solar or batteries cannot provide enough energy. The home is also being constructed to LEED Platinum standards.

Even the materials for the home were delivered by clean Class 8 trucks powered by hydrogen and electric power supply systems that only emit water. The featured participants included two Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks, part of a California Air Resources Board (CARB) and California Energy Commission (CEC) project called “NorCal ZERO” to deploy or supply 30 trucks in Northern California by early 2023, as well as two Kenworth T680s equipped with the Toyota fuel cell electric system, which are being demonstrated as part of the CARB Port of Los Angeles “Shore to Store” (S2S) project.

In March 2021, SoCalGas it became the largest gas distribution utility in North America to set a net zero target for greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045.

Hydrogen is set to play a critical part in SoCalGas’ – and California’s – energy future, particularly in transitioning hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as dispatchable electric generation, heavy industries, and heavy-duty transportation. In all, SoCalGas has more than 10 major pilot projects related to hydrogen innovation that are leading the charge to build a cleaner future.

The project is set to be completed as soon as summer 2022.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna Singh

Prasanna Singh is the founder at IamRenew

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