Man-on-a-mission Mike Strizki first hit my radar three years back via YouTube video of his self designed hydrogen-powered home. A recent appearance on Coast to Coast AM spurred follow up on this revolutionary engineer/inventor. Talk about timing; Strizki’s been busy turning a very good idea into a polished consumer product released on 9/11 of this year – a date now relabeled Hydrogen Economy Day.
Here’s how his system works. Energy is generated by solar panels, wind turbines or a combination – geography decides. After filling a bank of charge controlled lead/acid batteries, the continuing renewable electricity splits water into hydrogen and oxygen in an ‘Electrolyzer’. The hydrogen is pumped into standard propane tanks. Advantage: energy storage lasts “for 100 million years.”
When needed, a ‘Fuel Cell’ converts gas back to electricity. Within the cell, hydrogen recombines with oxygen to make water, essentially giving back the electricity used to split it. That power runs through the battery bank to maintain optimum power levels – lead/acid isn’t finicky as lithium but requires consistent charge for long life.
At Strizki’s Hopewell NJ home and showcase, solar panels, electrolyzer, fuel cell and batteries all require a “very small foot print that fits on a pallet.” The utility grade container called ‘The Joule Box’ represents a first scalable, all-in-one hydrogen dynamo for home and industry. Remember you heard it here: this will rewrite global energy history.
Strizki is confident his technology will challenge oil monopoly’s vice grip. The former NJ Dept of Transportation engineer brought fuel cells to the public sector through military technology transfer – part of his job description while working for the state. A 2006 grant funded development, leading over nine years to this months product release.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a vocal fuel cell critic, touts battery power’s superiority. Musk’s opinion requires a salt shaker as he’s heavily vested in cars run on competing lithium tech. Japan’s inconsistent defection from Musk’s vision may speak more about competition than settle lithium/hydrogen debate. Though an earlier Tesla fire issue is resolved, a more recent and costly Mitsubishi recall confirms existing battery hurdles, not to mention tons of heavy metal now leaching into landfills. Auto makers continue a two avenue approach to electric cars – we’re going to see both fuel cell and battery powered on the market before a clear winner appears.
Joule Box clients, however, don’t have any of car makers weight and storage concerns. Generous federal and state renewable energy credits answer the most important question: how much do I save? Strizki’s product is really a grown-up cousin to solar installs that, depending on location, cut consumer energy costs in half or better – sometimes much better. Also, it’s transportable – clean power moves with you when switching homes. Initial investment of between 40k and 175k typically pays for itself in under eight years. More important, buyers have energy security-they can economically make, store and use clean power from their own plant – a long awaited green milestone and the reason press have flocked to his door.
Says Strizki, “There are no technological barriers to what we do. I would like to give the gift of renewable energy to the next generation. I want to level the economy. I want to give people a better life.”
Official Press Release