Hydrogen House Survives Sandy & Gets Documentary Film
Written by John Shimkus
Climate change can no longer be denied, whether man-made or not, and the recent superstorm Hurricane Sandy is just another example of weather run amok in recent years. In fact, it was one year ago that Hurricane Irene slammed into the American northeast, followed by an unseasonal ice storm just a few weeks later, also resulting in massive power outages and damage to private property. Energy Digital previously covered the story of New Jersey’s Hydrogen House, a home that generates and stores its own energy supply, and its resilient ability to keep the lights on while neighbors suffered without power after Hurricane Irene. Now, one year later, the Hydrogen House has done it again and survived Hurricane Sandy!
The Hydrogen House uses the excess renewable energy generated from its solar panel arrays to run an electrolyzer, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is stored in safe low-pressure tanks onsite. During cloudy days, or in emergency situations like Hurricane Sandy, the Hydrogen House recovers energy from the stored hydrogen with the help of a fuel cell. The fuel cell creates a reaction with the oxygen in the air, resulting in electricity production. The only emissions produced in the process are pure water!
While New Jersey’s electric utility companies scrambled to fix downed power lines and busted transformers, the Hydrogen House never lost power. “We had neighbors coming by during the power outage to charge their cell phones,” says Hydrogen House developer and owner Mike Strizki. “All my neighbors have gone without power for over a week and have had to wait several hours in lines at the gas stations to get fuel for their back-up generators.”
However, Strizki’s Hydrogen House did not come cheap, and the prototype energy independent home cost nearly half a million dollars to develop. Nonetheless, Strizki has been continually inventing new hydrogen devices to try and make the technology more affordable and available to the masses. His most recent invention is called the “Joule Box.” This portable power station combines lightweight flexible film sun-tracking solar panels and a micro-wind turbine with onboard energy storage in the form of batteries, ultracapacitors and self-generating hydrogen to create a robust renewable energy alternative to gasoline generators. The Joule Box is ideal for off-grid energy needs, as well as for emergency power generation. What’s more, the Joule Box is portable for easy mobility and delivery, it eliminates the need to buy another gallon of fuel, and the unit actually survived the gale force winds of Hurricane Sandy! The Joule Box is available for sale through Strizki’s company Renewable Energy Holdings, which has gained respect in the solar power industry with its flagship product, Genmounts™, a low cost, easy-to-install ballasted solar panel racking system for commercial ground and rooftop pv installations.
Inventor Mike Strizki’s continuing pursuit of hydrogen technology has proven to be such an inspiration that Michael Henning of Sovran Films has decided to make him the centerpiece of his new documentary, “Strizki: Keys to the Cage.” Henning gained international acclaim for his 2003 release, “Hempsters: Plant the Seed,” which documents the political struggle to legalize industrial hemp for textile, food and fuel production in the United States. His new project will focus on Mike Strizki’s own struggle to bring renewable hydrogen energy to the world. “The world needs to know his name, his work, and his mission,” says Henning. “And we're here to do just that through the amazing and far-reaching powers of film.” Sovran Films is co-producing the documentary with Remedia Global, the company currently producing the commercial for Mike Strizki’s Genmounts™ solar racking system. The film is slated for release late 2013.
“Joule Box” Portable Power Station:
- Flexible Lightweight Solar Panels
- GPS Sun Tracking
- Micro-Wind Turbine
- Onboard Inverter and Power Controls
- Battery Bank
- Electrolyzer (for hydrogen generation)
- Hydrogen storage tanks
- Fuel Cell (for hydrogen energy production)
For more information on the Joule Box portable charge station and to learn more about the upcoming documentary, “Strizki: Keys to the Cage,” visit the Hydrogen House Project website at www.hydrogenhouseproject.org. For more information on Genmounts solar racking system and web PR and Media for the renewable energy industry, visit www.remediaglobal.com.
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.