There’s an article on Peswiki.com that reports that the Solar Hydrogen Trends team recently visited an investors conference at nonprofit research center SRI International in Menlo Park, California. While they were there they spent some time with Michael McKubre, director of SRI’s Energy Research Center. Solar Hydrogen Trends claim to have developed a method of producing large amounts of hydrogen from oxygen through an undisclosed system of physical and chemical processes that act on hydrogen bonds.
In an email to PESN’s Sterling Allan, SHT presidetJack Aganyan reports that he presented test results to McKubre for consideration. McKubre told Sterling Allan why at present he is not able to carry out testing of the SHT system which they claim produces large quantities of hydrogen very cheaply. The SHT team wants to use a large facility to test their reactors to handle the flow rate of hydrogen that they claim, but have had a difficult time securing a premises where they can do this. McKubre wrote the following to Allan:
Until I see the machine in operation and have a chance to run at least zero’th level checks, there is very little I can or should contribute publicly. I liked the guys. They seem honest and knowledgeable but acknowledge that they are concealing elements of the chemical reactions that occur inside the box. This is their right, and obviously if the third party tests are valid (as they seem to be) then something is happening well beyond chemistry. But I do not want to give the impression of “selling a pig in a poke” – especially a “poke” (box) I have not seen and watched operate.
As a clarification to your story SRI does have the capability of handling their hydrogen production at present rates but not at our Menlo Park (urban) facility. What they propose seems far more sensible at this point. Run a downscaled (or throttled) unit into a fuel cell and quantify the electricity out. This would immediately demonstrate practicality. Hydrogen is a bit like Excess Heat — hard to see, hard to store, and in the case of H2, potentially hazardous.
SRI has stringent policies about what kinds of research projects they can get involved in, and Mike McKubre will not enter into any testing agreement that does not meet those standards. It seems that SHT are looking for ways to gain credibility so they can raise funds — so far there are many unanswered questions. Perhaps the fuel cell idea that McKubre talks about would be a good way for them to demonstrate the amount of energy they claim to be producing from their system.
UPDATE: Here’s a link to a document in which CEO, founder and Chief Scientist Konstantin Balakiryan comments on the mechanisms he claims are behind the SHT reaction. I don’t think these are new statements to followers here, but I think it’s useful to have them all in one place.