Tharsus Design and Engineering and ITM Power have launched HBox Solar, a solar photovoltaic powered hydrogen generator able to utilise solar energy to generate hydrogen using its own patented HCore electrolyser.

The hydrogen unit uses solar panels to generate electricity which is then translated into hydrogen; making it completely off-grid.

Tharsus Design Engineer, John Kelso, said: “In order for the product to work commercially the unit needed to be designed with complete thermal management to achieve maximum functionality.

“The HCore has an optimum operating temperature. The challenge was therefore to design a system that could expel sufficient heat during the day whilst still retaining sufficient heat during the hours of darkness to ensure efficient operation at sunrise the following morning.

“We used aluminium heat sinks to help shed excess heat and a bespoke insulation unit fitted around the core with an automated open and close function to help maintain or shed heat when necessary. This allows the unit to operate at optimum temperature; neither falling below 40 degrees overnight, nor getting too hot during peak summer conditions.”

ITM Power’s Simon Bourne said: “Tharsus has created an innovative solution that helps maximise the hydrogen yield of HBox Solar by managing and utilising waste heat from the electrolysis process. There is no other product like this on the market.

“HBox Solar can produce 20 – 40kg of hydrogen per annum and absorb a 1,300W peak power input from a direct connection with a solar PV array. It’s a zero carbon hydrogen generator that is currently being trialled by two UK universities.”

Powered purely by solar energy the HBox Solar offers a flexible energy storage system appropriate for use within a telecom applications and solar powered homes. The product has been designed to be completely off-grid.