To get off the grid with home solar, you need to be able to generate energy when the Sun’s out, and store it for when it’s not. Normally, people do this with lithium battery systems – Tesla’s Powerwall 2 is an example.
But Australian company Lavo has built a rather spunky (if chunky) cabinet that can sit on the side of your house and store your excess energy as hydrogen.
The Lavo Green Energy Storage System measures 66 x 49 x 15.7 inches and weighs a meaty 324 kg, making it very unlikely to be pocketed by a thief.
This massive battery is technically an electrolysis unit that can generate hydrogen from water, store it, and then turn it into electricity using a fuel cell, much like a hydrogen vehicle.
Thanks to its massive 40 kilowatt-hours capacity, Lavo’s battery has nearly three times the capacity of Tesla’s current-gen Powerwall 2.
That’s plenty of energy to power an average home for two days straight — and a strident shot across the industry’s bow.
Lavo says its system will last longer than lithium battery systems thanks to its reliance on hydrogen gas rather than the chemicals in a conventional battery.
It’s also technically more environmentally friendly as it doesn’t use as many rare earth metals.
On the downside, there are inefficiencies involved in storing hydrogen gas and then turning it into electricity. Lavo says its “round-trip efficiency is above 50 percent,” far below your average lithium ion battery system’s efficiency.
Reference- Lavo website & PR, Futurism, New Atlas