“We are holding the key to strong limitless clean energy,” says Mike Strizki, who came to Nevis through the invitation of the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS). The NHCS Executive Director saw his innovation on CNN and CBS and contacted him.
“Our goal is to demonstrate that hydrogen can power anything fossil fuel can, but unlike fossil fuels, the only bi-product from burning or converting hydrogen into fuel is pure water. The technologies have the potential to help reduce pollution on our planet,” Strizki said.
Strizki makes solar energy and stores what he needs in a battery bank in the garage. He uses the excess power to crack water, liberating hydrogen that he stores for those days when the sun is unavailable. He uses the hydrogen to power a fuel cell that not only runs his car, but supplies all the energy he needs for his home, all year round.
According to Strizki, hydrogen is the simplest, lightest and most abundant element in the universe, making up 90 per cent of all matter. Hydrogen is odorless, tasteless and non-toxic. Hydrogen burns readily with oxygen, releasing considerable amounts of energy as heat and producing only water as exhaust.
Pushing boundaries in the name of renewable energy comes naturally to Strizki. His 3,000 square-foot, four –bedroom conventional modular house in Hopewell, New Jersey, runs on electrical energy generated by a garage roof full of 56 solar panels. Strizki’s home is super energy efficient and features geothermal heating and cooling. It is fully loaded with hot tub, wide-screen TV and swimming pool and he boasts of no utility bills, no emissions.
His house is a demonstration project in New Jersey with collaboration from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and Rutgers University. The undertaking took Strizki 4 years due to the permit process in New Jersey - one of the most difficult and stringent states in US. With persistence and education of the NJ State and local officials, Strizki gained the necessary approvals. Thanks to his project, residential applications of hydrogen technology are now allowed within New Jersey’s standards and codes.
Strizki took time to visit Peak Heaven where Edward Herbert has solar powered his freezers and other gadgets. Newslink asked him how he assesses Herbert’s solar power installations. Strizki said, “It works. There are lots of different technologies out there now that are a lot better but his technology works. The first solar panel ever invented 60 years ago still works . It is a piece of glass. “
Asked how he could upgrade Herbert’s installation he said, “We can improve it by going into higher voltage channels. We can go to battery storage. We can go into hydrogen storage. I can put an electrorizer in the batteries. Instead of adding more batteries, he can make hydrogen, and he can cook with the hydrogen instead of diesel-generated gas. When you burn hydrogen, you get water.”
Herbert responded by saying that it all depends on the cost of upgrading and informed Strizki his solar power installation has worked continuously for the past two and a half years. “I like his concept but have to look at the cost. We will find what the cost is to upgrade our system,” Herbert said.
Asked what is required for small islands to adjust to renewable energies, he said new legislation, availability of land and labour. “We will train the local people. They will get a skill they can use on other islands and private residences. By having renewable energy, the island will make money that does not leave the island. All the money stays here and generates jobs, people’s standard of living will go up and the quality of life gets better.”
Strizki says there are other ways small islands could generate renewable energy, “If you have a composting digester, you can convert food waste from restaurants into methane gas. You can make more electricity from garbage or from food waste. These can be sources of revenue for the island.”
As a university trained and experienced Civil Engineer Strizki is part of the team at Advanced Solar Products, the largest installer of solar systems in the Mid-Atlantic region. He also knows his way around state government, having spent more than 16 years with the Office of Research and Technology in the NJ Department of Transportation. During his time there, he helped set tighter diesel emissions standards, developed natural gas vehicles and two fuel cell vehicles. The New Jersey genesis captured a world range record.
Mike Strizki sees his life’s passion as displacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. “Everything that touches our lives runs on energy, whether it’s that first cup of coffee in the morning, getting to work or running your computer. If you change the energy equation, you’ve changed society and I’m trying to do that one piece at a time.”