Member of Executive Board of Vestel, Mr. Cengiz Ultav, Responsible from Job Development and Strategic Planning stated that the laboratory works on hydrogen energy are concluded and the certification process for the mentioned products and technologies will start, Mr. Ultav said:
We have acquired immensely successful results from the researches on hydrogen energy we have been conducting with a team expert scientists for approximately 2 years. The point we reached today enabled us to produce sodium borohydride (Sodium tetrahydridoborate) based advanced material “hydrogen sponge”, the PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel batteries that will be used in operating numerous devices from radios to laptops, from audio systems to refrigerators, solid oxide fuel batteries that will supply all the energy needs of households, 100% environment friendly dry batteries and with our highly productive, original electrolysis method for extracting hydrogen from water system, from borax that Turkey exports as a raw material for detergents. After the certification and trial processes we will be ready for production.
Ultav pointed out that Vestel has been investing in alternative energy for years, and said:
Today, we are showing our distinction with Turkish scientists and engineers on R&D for basic research areas not only about electronics, but also about the alternative energy systems that will be the solutions for energy crisis. Our target is to make Turkey one of the 3 leader countries on clean energy area that will use clean energy resources densely and will develop the furthest versions of systems on this subject.
Ultav pointed out that hydrogen is regarded one of the most suitable energy sources for solving the energy crisis in the world, and that Turkey is the heaven of hydrogen with the natural resources she has. He reminded that Turkey owns the 60% of boron reserves and its derivatives of the world, for boron has a very important function in storing, using safely and economically transport hydrogen.
The products and technologies Vestel Group developed are:
Low cost sodium borohydride based “hydrogen sponge” from Vestel
Under normal circumstances, when it contacts with oxygen in a specific mixture, hydrogen is an explosive and hard to store fuel because it takes a lot of space. One of the most productive ways to store hydrogen safely and without any danger is to embed it into sodium borohydride. Sodium borohydride acts as a “hydrogen sponge” and enables hydrogen to be carried and stored safely and with low cost. Using borax, a simple form of boron that is exported for 314 USD/ton to be used as a raw material for detergent production, Vestel developed and patented its own way for producing sodium borohydride, thus this advanced material costing 50.000 USD/ton is manufactured originally with only domestic sources.
The purity of obtained sodium borohydride was certified at university laboratories; and the patent application for this method completed.
PEM fuel batteries with sodium borohydride input
Vestel developed PEM fuel batteries with various capacities by using sodium borohydride input. These fuel batteries have ‘liquid’ catalysts that can extract hydrogen from sodium borohydride solution at any given moment and any given amount, and PEM based electricity generator. With its patented cylindrical architecture and catalyst, this system can be scaled from small powers (1-10W) to big powers (1kW and more).
For now, these fuel batteries may be suitable for the utilities such as, radios, phones, computers, but the work for developing different versions for military, automotive and household utilities is continuing. Following the compatibility for consumer usage and security certification processes, these product groups will be subjected to controlled tests at chosen customer points and after this period they will be marketed. These products have greater advantages than the similar products in the world with respect to their attributes like, sodium borohydride input and hydrogen generation proportional with the consumed power.
Economical energy source for households: Solid oxide fuel battery
With this attempt, aiming to free the houses from the current electricity network, it is planned to provide electricity, hot water and heating with the solid oxide fuel battery in the coming years. Because the house type fuel batteries that currently tested in Japan, Germany and U.S.A., work over 800 C, they require the utilization of valuable metals like titanium. These fuel batteries are being subsidized by the governments because of their high cost.
The solid oxide fuel batteries produced by Vestel have the Vestel patented catalyst that can extract hydrogen from the fossil fuels and the Vestel patented ceramic membrane that separates the electron from hydrogen, both working under 650 C, thus stainless steel is being used and for this reason this provides considerable technological and cost management advantages with respect to their similar types in the world. As this system can be used with natural gas and LPG, it can be used with diesel fuel or powdered lignite, after a simple catalysts change. System provides cost management advantages over using the fossil fuels as a direct energy source.
For the production of catalysts and the high-tech ceramic membranes that were developed by the academics at Ankara, Gazi and Nide universities, only one component used is being imported. These technologies reflecting the equipment expertise of Anatolia can be regarded as the Renaissance of Anatolia for clean energy.
For the house type fuel batteries, the certification process will start in July 2007 and following the consumer tests the production will start.
100% environment friendly dry battery from Vestel
While cadmium and similar toxic substances are used for the dry batteries of today, Vestel succeeded in developing 100% environment friendly dry battery. These batteries that can be used in every kind of electronic gear which belong in civil and military areas, contain completely natural and environment friendly materials. It is planned to develop the rechargeable versions of these one time usable batteries.
Low energy consuming water electrolysis system
The methods that have been used for extracting hydrogen and oxygen from water by using electrical energy haven’t changed since the beginning of the 20th century. In order to obtain 1 m of hydrogen from water, 4-5 kW/h energy is consumed. When 1 m is burned 3 kW/h energy can be produced. For this reason, only the places with low cost on sun and wind energy can be regarded as a hydrogen source with the utilization of classical electrolysis method. Current technologies enable us to produce 1 m hydrogen with the consumption of less than 3 kW/h power with electrolysis method. When this method is perfected, it will be possible to create systems that will have water as input and output, and that will obtain hydrogen and electricity with some of the energy it produce by itself. Vestel developed an electrolysis system that uses energy under 3 kW/h with its patented electrode bearing a special geometry and its specifically designed power source. As it is planned to bring this system to a more productive level within a year, Vestel fuel batteries will be able to use water as an input source.