Our Changing World - Hydrogen on Matiu Somes Island
On Matiu Somes Island in Wellington Harbour, the Department of Conservation has installed a renewable energy system which has made a diesel powered generator practically redundant. The 'HyLink' distributed hydrogen energy system, created by Callaghan Innovation, captures renewable energy from a small wind turbine or photovoltaic solar cells. Any energy in excess of that stored by batteries powers an electrolyser that extracts hydrogen from water by separating it into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. The system stores hydrogen in an "earth battery", consisting of two cylinders, under the ground. Currently, the hydrogen powers a small barbeque, but in the future could be used to fuel a hot water system for staff, and another larger barbecue in the main entertainment centre.