Desert Research Institute, Reno NV

Hydrogen Energy Research Project

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, Nevada is currently conducting an experiment in using hydrogen to store energy from renewable resources like wind and solar. Hydrogen has the potential to be a cost effective and versatile method of storing and transporting energy. Hydrogen, for example, can be stored over much longer periods than electricity in batteries. This project, which is supported by the US-DOE, is a precursor to a larger project that DRI hopes to install in Alaska in a few years.

The prototype system includes two Bergey 1.5 kW wind turbines on 100 ft guyed-lattice towers, a small (~ 1.2 kW) solar array, an electrolyzer to produce hydrogen, a hydrogen storage system, and a 4 kW fuel-cell to convert hydrogen back into electricity. The system was installed over the summer of 1999 and commissioned in October 1999.