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Monday, November 14, 2011

Cool Invention

I was looking online for something to blog about, and I came across something that I thought was pretty neat. Jack Robertson, a Stanford University graduate and fromer BPA (Bonneville Power Administration) CFO, has come up with a pretty incredible idea. He calls it the "Hydrogen Hub." According to http://www.beavertonvalleytimes.com/sustainable/story.php?story_id=123912628689392400, it "would be a power plant that uses water and air to produce a form of ammonia, then burns the ammonia to yield hydrogen energy." Robertson believes that his invention would curb the need for our current major types of energy (coal and gas). He proposes the idea because he thinks that the current hydro power methods are inefficient. In the spring, there is actually a surplus of energy because of the melting snow and increase in winds. The article says that some people were actually getting paid to take power in the spring. Then in the summer, prices soar because there is such an increase in demand; everyone needs air conditioning. Robertson is quoted as saying, "It's feast or famine, because of the way the system is designed." One of the biggest issues he faces with his Hydrogen Hub is efficiency. He plans to do some experimenting to see how efficient he can make it. One thing that disappointed me a little bit about this article was the date; it was from 2009. Granted, that isn't very long ago, but this is the first time I've heard about it. I hope this doesn't mean that he was unable to make it efficient enough!

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