Hydrogen House: Mike Strizki on the Future of Hydrogen
On Monday, October 26th, founder of the Hydrogen House Mike Strizki gave a tour of his hydrogen-powered house via Zoom to the Lawrenceville community to share possibilities for a more sustainable future.
On Monday, October 26th, founder of the Hydrogen House Mike Strizki gave a tour of his hydrogen-powered house via Zoom to the Lawrenceville community to share possibilities for a more sustainable future. As a pioneer in the research and development of hydrogen fuel-oriented communities, Strizki believes that hydrogen has the potential to be the energy source of the future. Wanting to help effectively fight climate change, Strizki pioneered hydrogen-powered living with a home full of original technology. Since then, he has been living and working in Hopewell, New Jersey’s Hydrogen House for the past 18 years.
According to Strizki, water and energy loss are the two most pressing environmental issues of our time, and hydrogen is the optimal solution to both. He began his presentation by showing students one of the most popular applications for hydrogen fuel cell prototypes: his car, a hydrogen-fueled car that can produce pure drinking water just by driving.
Strizki then explained how hydrogen fuel cells split electrons from hydrogen atoms to power appliances before recombining with the hydrogen ions and oxygen to produce pure water. He described how by using several hydrogen tanks and a solar array in the Hydrogen House, his entire complex emits no greenhouse gas at all. “If everyone switches to using hydrogen fuel for vehicles and buildings, like I have been doing for the past 18 years, we can eliminate 90 percent of all emissions,” Strizki explained.
Strizki emphasized that hydrogen is the “fuel of the future,” as it is both sustainable and plentiful. Moreover, two-thirds of planet Earth is water, which can be used to produce hydrogen. Strizki also explained that using hydrogen storage tanks can produce “three months of [hydrogen production] that can supply energy for a whole year.”
In addition to the abundance in supply, Strizki emphasized that using hydrogen as fuel is superior to many current-day technologies, as is evident in automobiles. Unlike the traditional internal combustion engine cars or electric battery-powered cars, Strizki explained how “hydrogen-powered cars have no moving parts [and are] thus much lighter and quieter.” Compared to electric cars that require on average 18 hours to recharge their batteries, Strizki described how hydrogen-powered vehicles “can be refueled in just three minutes.”
After discussing how hydrogen power is one of the safest and most efficient technologies, Strizki then gave examples of its extensive use in multiple different fields, from the NASA Apollo missions, where it provided heat and water to astronauts, to tech companies, with Bill Gates considering powering the Microsoft Cloud with hydrogen fuel.
While hydrogen fuel may seem to have lots of benefits, Strizki then discussed potential drawbacks to the use of hydrogen, namely the issue of money. Fossil fuel companies are “making too much money...thus their greed prevents a transition to more sustainable fuels,” said Strizki.
The other main drawbacks lie in the production and storage of hydrogen; while hydrogen is easy to store, it takes up lots of space. Additionally, producing hydrogen requires an energy source like solar or wind to power the electromagnets used in electrolysis, so the initial set up costs are very high. Despite these potential drawbacks, Strizki emphasized that hydrogen power could be employed on a larger scale, as a “full-scale hydrogen plant could be built just like any other modern power plant.”
Though this new technology still has many imperfections, Strizki stressed the urgency of the need to adopt technologies that can combat climate change and benefit the earth, calling for the younger generations to “take up arms” and help fix the climate crisis by advocating a wider adoption of this versatile and sustainable fuel.
To wrap up his presentation, Strizki called for the Lawrencevillle community to work together: “We’re at the turning point here...We have the technology to cure the disease. We have to make a decision: Do we want to be part of the solution or part of the problem? One person can only do so much; the choice is yours to make.”