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Tesla Powerwall Rival Seeks to Bring Hydrogen Into Your Home

 

It’s about the size of Tesla Inc.’s Powerwall, but can store up to three times as much energy over a longer period.

That’s the promise of a new hydrogen-based energy-storage system for homes and businesses being developed by Australian startup Lavo Hydrogen Technology Ltd. The technology, developed with scientists at the University of New South Wales, uses power from rooftop solar panels to produce hydrogen from water by electrolysis. The gas is stored in a metal hydride container and converted back into electricity when needed using a fuel cell.

Australia’s world-beating rooftop-solar take-up rates make it an ideal early market, said Lavo Chief Executive Officer Alan Yu. The unit will go on sale from November, with installations starting in June 2021, subject to final approvals. The company plans to sell 10,000 units a year by 2022.

“Our mission is to try and change the way people live with energy,” Yu said in a phone interview.

Companies and governments are plowing billions of dollars into hydrogen as a potential cleaner alternative to fossil fuels such as natural gas. Still, commercial application of the fuel for use in heavy transportation and industrial processes such as steel-making is still seen as several years away.

At about triple the price of a Powerwall, the Lavo unit’s main selling point will be its ability to store more energy for longer. Each system will initially cost A$34,750 ($24,620) and will be able to hold 40 kilowatt-hours of power — enough to supply an average household for more than two days, according to the company. Tesla’s Powerwall holds about 13.5 kilowatt-hours.

Tesla founder Elon Musk has been critical of moves to develop hydrogen-powered cars, which compete with his own electric vehicles, arguing that hydrogen storage can never be as efficient as a lithium-ion battery. And investors are wary about bold claims for new hydrogen technology after startup Nikola Corp. was accused of misleading statements about its zero-emission trucks.

“Getting from laboratory to commercial-scale deployment is incredibly difficult,” said Jake Whitehead, fellow at the University of Queensland, whose research has examined the challenges of storing hydrogen on a large scale. He said electrolyzers need a lot of power and suggested that many household solar arrays may not generate enough electricity to run the system efficiently.

Lavo’s Yu acknowledged that the higher cost of the system might initially limit interest to energy-technology enthusiasts initially, but he also sees it as a solution for small off-grid rural villages to replace diesel generators or a compact solution for communities and homes cut off from the main grid by natural disasters such as bushfires.

From Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-19/tesla-powerwall-rival-seeks-to-bring-hydrogen-into-your-home

LAVO™ and Nedstack have taken a first step in localising manufacturing hydrogen fuel cells in Australia

LAVO, an Australian technology and lifestyle company powered by hydrogen, and Nedstack fuel cell Technology BV (Nedstack), a world-leading Dutch PEM fuel cell technology manufacturer, today announced the intention to localise production of Nedstack fuel cell production technology in Australia.

  • Parties intend to cooperate on localising the production of Nedstack fuel cell technology for LAVO and other customers across the Australasia region
  • Nedstack is a leading producer of PEM fuel cells with a 20 year track record and a strong, well-established global network that the JV will leverage
  • LAVO has the first and only commercial-ready hydrogen energy storage system, set to be installation ready in mid-2021
  • Manufacturing capabilities are foreseen to be located on the east coast of Australia

Sydney, NSW and  Arnhem, Netherlands – 20 November 2020 – LAVO, an Australian technology and lifestyle company powered by hydrogen, and Nedstack fuel cell Technology BV (Nedstack), a world-leading Dutch PEM fuel cell technology manufacturer, today announced the intention to localise production of  Nedstack fuel cell production technology in Australia.

Based in the Netherlands, Nedstack is a leading producer of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells and fuel cell power systems. For more than 20 years, Nedstack has successfully implemented its technology across infrastructure assets, commercial vehicles and maritime solutions, including the world’s longest running PEM power plant, the world’s first PEM power plant above the megawatt power size and world’s largest PEM power plant in the field today.

LAVO has the first and only commercial-ready hydrogen energy storage system in the world designed for everyday use by residential homes and businesses, called the LAVO System. The LAVO System is set to be installation-ready by mid-2021 and will employ Nedstack PEM fuel cell as a critical component in the LAVO System and future applications still in development, such as its hydrogen-powered bicycle and barbecue.

Together, LAVO and Nedstack’s combined experience, market leading positions and innovative spirit will enable the cooperation to deliver an important boost to Australian manufacturing capabilities and capitalise on consumer demand across the Australasia region for secure, reliable and sustainable energy solutions.

Alan Yu, CEO and Executive Director of LAVO, commented, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Nedstack to bring market leading fuel cell production facilities to Australia and the broader Australasia region. Through our work together in developing the LAVO System, we have already established a strong relationship with Nedstack and have full confidence in the team as a trusted manufacturing partner. We look forward to continuing to deepen that partnership through our joint venture, leveraging the full strength of Nedstack’s global network and creating additional opportunities for growth.”

Arnoud van de Bree, CEO of Nedstack commented, “We are very pleased to be expanding our footprint into Australia and could think of no better team to do it with than LAVO. Our work at Nedstack revolves around creating global solutions to address the environmental challenges that the world is facing, and LAVO’s innovative hydrogen technology is set to have a real, positive impact. LAVO’s vision for a lower emissions future and the role that hydrogen storage solutions will play is well-aligned with ours, and we are pleased to be coming together to develop the infrastructure necessary to deliver on that vision.”

–ENDS–

LAVO Media contact:

Megan Moore, FTI Consulting

Megan.moore@fticonsulting.com

+61 434 225 643

Nedstack Media Contact:

Ambrose Feukkink, Nedstack Communications

Ambrose.feukkink@nedstack.com

+31 263197674

About LAVO™

LAVO™ is changing the way people live with energy. A hydrogen technology and lifestyle company, LAVO™ designs and manufactures renewable hydrogen energy storage solutions for residential and commercial use. LAVO™ will challenge convention, spark a global conversation and enable a meaningful change in attitudes and behaviours around sustainability, the environment and responsible consumerism. Founded in 2020, LAVO™ Hydrogen Technology Limited was established to fast track the commercialisation of technology developed within the Hydrogen Energy Research Centre cofounded by Providence Asset Group and the University of New South Wales. LAVO is headquartered in Sydney Australia. For more information visit www.lavo.com.

About Nedstack

Nedstack is a Dutch manufacturer of PEM Fuel cell power solutions for heavy duty and long-life applications. Nedstack was founded in 1999 as a spin-out from AkzoNobel and is incorporated in Arnhem, the Netherlands. For more information visit: www.nedstack.com