Referring to hydro electricity generation, a lot of what we produce is wasted as the buyer buys only the minimum generation. What would be the appropriate measure to use that excess energy? Is electrolysis of water a good option to produce hydrogen and store it so that it can be turned back into electricity (increasing the generation of farm) or is storage with lead acid batteries still the more efficient option?

P.S. I'm basically looking at using that fluctuating excess energy. Any other solutions are also welcome.

  • Please edit your question and define good.
    – user2451
    Jan 11, 2019 at 9:21
  • 1
    What does "Referring to hydro energy" mean? Where is the excess energy you're talking about coming from? Jan 11, 2019 at 14:05
  • Is this for home usage? Or are you working for a power company?
    – THelper
    Jan 22, 2019 at 8:13

2 Answers 2


No, it is too tricky to handle for the general public. When it leaks ( not -if it leaks) , it will rise in a storage area and may reach explosive conditions. I once saw a brick wall blown out of a dedicated hydrogen bottle store-room( many 5 ft tall steel bottles); fortunately no bottles were damaged. I also had a lab where we used bottled hydrogen for testing ; the corporate safety group doubled my estimate of the room cost with explosion proof light fixtures and other electric fixtures. Also in addition to normal hood exhaust they put special exhaust ducts on the ceiling and some kind of inert gas automatic discharge fire extinguishers in addition to usual water sprinklers. The point hydrogen is difficult and expensive to store. Don't get me wrong, I love hydrogen ; I made a good living consulting on how to protect metals from various types of hydrogen damage.

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    You say that hydrogen "is too tricky to handle for the general public." and I fully agree, but I'm not sure if home usage is what the OP has in mind. My take of the question is if hydrogen is usable by big power companies that utilize hydro-dams. I'm hoping the OP can clarify his intent.
    – THelper
    Jan 22, 2019 at 8:12
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    My bad, I misread the question. An industrial site could handle the hydrogen . But "pumped storage" would be more practical / cheaper/ more efficient than hydrogen. Jan 23, 2019 at 1:35

Electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen does have good efficiency numbers. The most efficient electrolysers are PEM.

But hydrogen can be more easily stored and transported if converted to ammonia-gas. Then ammonia-gas at the point of use can be easily converted to hydrogen without any local pollution.

Ammonia-gas is more of a public risk than hydrogen but ammonia-gas is currently used in agricultural farming activities for fertilizer purposes. Well, hydrogen dissipates instantly while ammonia-gas is a serious vapor threat.

Now water-pumping has good efficiencies. So excess solar or wind power can pump water from the low side of a dam to the high side of a dam.

Another note, hydrogen electrolysers can be set-up in series for the power level of magnified solar panels.

Lithium-ion batteries are used for electrical power storage because they are quick charging. Lithium-ion batteries are prone to fire in vehicle crashes but then safer when used in a stationary facility. Nickel-metal hydride batteries are about the best current alternative to lithium-ion batteries but the nickel-metal hydride batteries are lower performing.

  • Depending on how the ammonia is made it can cause stress corrosion cracking of some steels. Jan 16, 2019 at 16:29

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