Self suf­fi­cient

Element - - Clean technology -

This lo-tech ship­ping con­tainer bristling with hi-tech re­new­able en­ergy bits and pieces is the Green En­ergy Pod, un­veiled this month at the Clean En­ergy Expo in Taupo. Built by Welling­ton-based ESG en­ergy, the pod’s pur­pose is to demon­strate the ca­pa­bil­ity and cost ef­fec­tive­ness of small-scale re­new­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tion. The pod is its own power sta­tion, run­ning on wind and so­lar-gen­er­ated elec­tric­ity, and also en­ergy from hy­dro­gen gas. It is fit­ted with a spe­cial water split­ter to al­low hy­dro­gen to be made from water. The hy­dro­gen is then stored and used when the wind isn’t blow­ing to pro­duce elec­tric­ity, or can be used di­rectly for cook­ing or heat­ing. This al­lows the peaks and troughs of wind gen­er­a­tion to be evened out and also al­lows the trans­mis­sion pipework to act as an en­ergy stor­age buf­fer. The Pod has been fit­ted to oper­ate ba­sic lap-top func­tions, an elec­tric car charg­ing unit, a mo­bile phone charg­ing fa­cil­ity and the abil­ity to a make cof­fee or cook a sausage. The ap­pli­ca­tions for this tech­nol­ogy are many and varied, from dis­as­ter re­lief sit­u­a­tions, to re­mote com­mu­ni­ties or de­vel­op­ing na­tions. ESG hopes to have a de­ploy­able ver­sion of the pod ready for mar­ket by mid 2012.

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