Researchers from the KU Leuven intend to commercialize a solar-powered panel that produces hydrogen from moisture in the air. After working on it for over a decade, their invention currently turns 15 percent of sunlight into the energy-carrying gas – a higher efficiency than competing technologies. Even in the Low Lands climate, the researchers claim twenty panels measuring 1.6 m2 each could provide a family with electricity and heat for an entire winter.
The Leuven team of bioscience engineers will spend the next couple of years focusing on small-scale development. By working out all the kinks along the way, they hope to deliver a commercial product, ready for use in various contexts, from agricultural settings, retail to transport and remote communities. “We expect that it will be possible to install hydrogen panels on rooftops of homes from 2030 onwards,” KU Leuven researcher Jan Rongé told VRT Nieuws.