AI Solar Tech for Green Hydrogen - Lancaster and Heliogen  - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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AI Solar Tech for Green Hydrogen – Lancaster and Heliogen 

Here’s an article posted in Hydrogen Central that talks about Heliogen’s AI solar tech.

According to the article,

  • Heliogen and the City of Lancaster have partnered to produce green hydrogen for the city’s municipal fleet.
  • Heliogen will use AI-enabled concentrating solar energy technology to produce carbon-free hydrogen at its Proxima facility in Lancaster.
  • This is Lancaster’s first green hydrogen contract 


Heliogen’s Proxima hydrogen facility in Lancaster employs innovative technology to produce green hydrogen, leveraging AI and advanced computer vision software to concentrate sunlight with mirrors. Let’s break down the process step by step, along with some informative facts and specific data points:

  1. Concentrating Solar Energy: Heliogen’s technology uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a focal point, significantly increasing the temperature at that point. This concentrated solar energy is harnessed to drive chemical reactions for hydrogen production.
    • Fact: Concentrated solar power (CSP) systems can achieve temperatures exceeding 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit), ideal for high-temperature processes like hydrogen production.
  2. Thermochemical Water Splitting: At the focal point of the concentrated sunlight, water molecules (H2O) are subjected to high temperatures, causing them to split into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) through a process called thermochemical water splitting.
    • Fact: Thermochemical water splitting is a promising method for hydrogen production as it utilizes renewable solar energy and produces only water vapor as a byproduct.
  3. Electrolysis: The produced hydrogen is then captured and purified. In some cases, electrolysis may be employed to further refine the hydrogen, separating it from any remaining impurities or byproducts.
    • Fact: Electrolysis is a well-established method for hydrogen production that involves passing an electric current through water to split it into hydrogen and oxygen.
  4. Certification of Carbon Intensity: Heliogen certifies the carbon intensity of the green hydrogen produced at the Proxima facility. Carbon intensity measures the amount of CO2 emitted per kilogram of hydrogen produced, ensuring the environmental sustainability of the hydrogen fuel.
    • Fact: Green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy sources like solar power, has zero carbon emissions during its production process, making it a clean and sustainable fuel.
  5. Economic Development Potential: The production of green hydrogen at the Proxima facility not only provides a clean fuel source for the City of Lancaster but also holds significant economic development potential. The hydrogen can be used for various applications, including fueling municipal fleets, sustainable aviation fuel, and industrial processes like long-haul trucking, cement, and mining.
    • Fact: The global hydrogen market is projected to grow substantially in the coming years, with increasing demand for clean energy solutions to mitigate climate change.
  6. Cost Efficiency: The agreement between Heliogen and the City of Lancaster ensures a competitive pricing structure for the green hydrogen, with an offtake price of $10/kg. This represents significant cost savings compared to the average hydrogen pump price in California, which reached an all-time high of $21.28/kg in November 2022.
    • Fact: Lowering the cost of green hydrogen is crucial for its widespread adoption as a clean energy solution, particularly in sectors like transportation and industry where decarbonization is a priority.

Overall, Heliogen’s Proxima hydrogen facility in Lancaster showcases a scalable and sustainable approach to green hydrogen production, driven by innovative technology and a commitment to environmental stewardship.

Interestingly, we have some other posts related to this content:

  1. Green Hydrogen Production Boosts by Solar Device: Hits 20% Efficiency
    • A new solar-radiation-concentrating device has surpassed 20% efficiency in hydrogen production, generating green hydrogen at over 2 kilowatts and usable heat at 70°C, potentially applicable in hospitals, electric vehicles, and residential heating.
  2. Hydrogen-Producing Rooftop Solar Panels: The Future of Clean Energy
    • Researchers at KU Leuven have developed hydrogen-producing rooftop solar panels nearing commercialization. These panels are compatible with common PV structures and utilize non-precious materials to keep costs low, indicating readiness for industrial production.
  3. Solar-Powered Hydrogen Generation from Seawater: by IIT Madras
    • IIT Madras researchers have developed a solar-powered system to generate hydrogen from seawater, producing 100 liters per day, enough to power a small car for 100 km, using solar energy, seawater, and a catalyst.


About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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