Researchers at the University of Birmingham are working to revolutionise the future of housing with a new, green solution unveiled in the West Midlands.
The house in Lye, near Stourbridge, is powered by a small, refridgerator-sized unit that draws natural gas from the national grid and converts it into hydrogen, which is used to generate electricity and heat. Crucially, no carbon dioxide is produced in the process.
The university teamed up with the the Black Country Housing Group to launch the project. By monitoring the house and the equipment that powers it, researchers hope to prove hydrogen’s viability as an alternative to fossil fuels as one of the planet’s most readily available resources.
Researchers hope that, in the future, a hydrogen-based infrastructure will allow their technology to achieve widespread domestic use.
Dr Waldemar Bujalski, the project’s lead investigator, said: “The unit itself is actually very straightforward and can be installed into a house in much the same way as a boiler. For the same amount of natural gas, we can reduce the carbon footprint of a house by up to 40 per cent in comparison to one powered by fossil fuels.
“Our task now is to evaluate the unit’s performance, both in the laboratory and in conjunction with local small and medium-sized businesses.”