A home on the Isle of Wight will trial a hydrogen storage system that captures the energy from solar panels and stores it for use once the sun has gone down.

The trial is the latest development from the Ecoisland Partnership, a community interest company that is aiming to make the Isle of Wight self-sufficient in water, energy, food and fuel by 2020.

The partnership has signed a letter of intent to partner with the Italian hydrogen generator company Acta. Initially, the company will run a three-month trial beginning in April 2014 to demonstrate the potential of hydrogen storage as an alternative to traditional energy sources.

If it proves successful, the company will supply and install the devices in up to half the island’s homes.

The technology comprises an electrolyser that is hooked up to solar panels on the house. During the day, any solar energy that is not consumed by the home will be used to generate hydrogen.

This hydrogen will be stored in cylinders for when the sun is not shining and the solar panels are not generating energy.

When needed, the stored hydrogen will be put through a 5kW fuel cell to generate power for the home.

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