UNSW says home hydrogen storage for rooftop solar could be real by 2020

The University of New South Wales is working with Tamworth-based company H2Store to develop renewable hydrogen storage solutions it says could rival lithium-ion battery technology – and within a couple of years.

The ambitious project – which includes the development of a 5kWh home solar storage system – last week received backing of $3.5 million from green investment outfit Providence Asset Group.

The UNSW team said the money from Providence Asset Group would be be used to deliver phase one of the four-stage project, including the creation of a home hydrogen storage prototype.

The team hopes that will ready by the end of this year, and a product on the market late in 2020. This would be followed by a “ramped up” 15kWh commercial-scale storage system, they said.

“The biggest challenge with hydrogen is it is very low density, and it needs big storage tanks, which makes transporting it not viable,” H2Store’s Llewellyn Owens told the Northern Daily Leader last week.

“We’ve made a metal that absorbs the hydrogen and then releases it, which makes it very easy to transport. We’ve known that you can transport hydrogen this way for a while, but the metal had to be heated up to 300 to 400 degrees for the hydrogen to be released. This one basically operates entirely at room temperature.”


  1. I’m working in NE Arnhem Land for Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation, providing services to 25 Homelands, or Outstations, across 18,000 km2
    I have put funding applications in for solar hybrid systems (solar/battery with diesel generator backup) for 4 larger Homelands (population 80 – 140 people) and 2 smaller Homelands (population 15 – 30 people); with space/footprint concerns are not an issue
    Is the onsite generation and storage of hydrogen currently a viable option to consider for energy storage, or do we realistically need to look at existing technologies?

    1. Hi Geoff,

      At this stage we are not aware of any residential or commercial uses of hydrogen as storage for a Solar System. Definitely something to wait for at this stage.

      You have a number of storage technologies available for you on an off grid project. Lithium, Lead Acid and AGM (Gel) are the most common and each offer advantages/disadvantages depending on the expected usage of the system.

      If you need further assistance – I would be happy to consult with you on your projects if you send through some information to jeff@solarchoice.net.au

      Jeff Sykes
      Chief Strategist – Solar Choice

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