The CLEARgen Hydrogen Power Generator Rolls Out to Produce Clean Energy

While hydrogen has its fair share of critics, especially in the automotive industry, many people still believe that hydrogen can be used as a viable source of clean energy. The element itself is found in fairly abundant and happens to be one of the most common elements on Earth thanks to the fact that it is an important component in water. Despite this, the actual process of extracting and harnessing hydrogen’s energy potential has been seen by some as too costly and not worth the effort. Ballard Power Systems Inc., a hydrogen power research and manufacturing company based in British Columbia, has a different idea.

Last week, Ballard Power Systems announced via press release that they had signed a deal with the FirstEnergy Generation Corporation, an energy utility based in Ohio, to use their brand new hydrogen fuel cell generator to provide clean energy. Called CLEARgen, the generator will be tested in Eastlake, Ohio where it will be used during peak times to relieve stress on the current power grid. The generator has an estimated capacity of one megawatt which, according to Ballard Power, is enough to power 500 homes in the Eastlake area.

Ballard Power believes that CLEARgen represents one of the best methods of generating clean energy that we have today. The is mostly due to the fact that the only real byproducts it gives off are water and heat and that the source of the hydrogen, according to Ballad, is byproduct hydrogen from chemical plants. The generator itself has also been uniquely designed to offer services to nearly any area it can be brought to thanks to the fact that it is entirely mobile. Placed on wheels, the generator is roughly the size of the average tractor trailer and, due to its size, easy to transport on any modern roadway. Ballard Power believes that CLEARgen’s mobility will allow it to be used as a method of supplementing power grids on a regional basis depending on where it is most needed to make up for issues relating to seasonal peak power usage.

As a method of delivering clean energy, the CLEARgen is a rather unique, and the world’s first of this kind, hydrogen power generator. Similar technology, although on a smaller scale, has been implemented by Ballard Power on hydrogen fuel cell buses and forklifts in distribution centers around Canada. While this will be the first major outing for CLEARgen, Ballard does envision a future where the technology can be used to provide clean energy to remote communities around the world that have been otherwise forced to rely on any power system that would work for them or go without. Assuming the trials in Eastlake, Ohio go well, it can be assumed that they will go ahead with the production of more CLEARgen systems and begin testing them out in other areas as soon as possible.