As expected, this decade looks like it’ll be shaped by renewable energy sources and battery technology. But while Tesla, for example, is already cranking out batteries as fast as humanly possible, other companies are getting into the energy storage game too. Such as Australian tech company Lavo, which now has pre-orders open for its $30,000 hydrogen home batteries.
Good News Network reported on Lavo’s retail batteries, which range in price from $29,450 to $34,750. Aesthetically, the batteries contrast with Tesla’s Powerwall home batteries due to their more gadget-y look. It looks somewhat like a combination of gaming console and vending machine (The giant silver tanks Lavo’s team members hold in the image below are hydrogen containers that slot into the system.)
According to Lavo, its home batteries are good for everyday use by residential homes and businesses. They’re also capable of holding enough charge to power the average residential home in Australia for two days. Additionally, the company says the batteries don’t need hydrogen to be stored as a gas or liquid. Doing so would require extreme pressures or cold temperatures, and may cause a hazard.
The battery works by pulling in water, and using electrolyzers to separate it into its constituent atoms, hydrogen and oxygen. The system then stores the hydrogen, in its solid state, in the silver tanks. (Lavo’s proprietary metal hydride powder captures the hydrogen in the tanks.) Users can then run the hydrogen back through a fuel cell in order to generate electricity.
“We are very excited to be building the next generation of energy storage in Australia alongside the leading researchers at [the University of New South Wales] and our world-class manufacturing partners,” Lavo’s CEO, Alan Yu, said in a press release. “LAVO’s technology is truly a game changer for the energy storage market, and we believe it will have a real, positive impact on the way people power their lives,” he added.
Unfortunately, prospective buyers will not only have to spend $30,000 for one of these batteries, but also wait until September 2022 to receive it. (Except for the most expensive version, which will be available later this year.) On top of that, it’s possible that hydrogen batteries may not work as well as lithium-ion ones, as they require energy to produce their hydrogen; i.e. something needs to power those electrolyzers. In general, this fundamental constraint may be the reason hydrogen batteries aren’t flowing like water.