Presented by Robert Wegeng
Recap by guest-contributor Atinuke Ademola-Idowu, PhD Candidate, Electrical Engineering, University of Washington Seattle.
The STARS in the company name is an acronym for Solar Thermochemical Advanced Reaction Systems which converts Solar-to-Chemical Energy at a 70% world record efficiency. The core of STARS Modular H2 Generator is a compact, Steam-Methane Reformer (SMR) and utilizes around 700 -800 C heat from sun to power the chemical reaction. The value proposition of STARS is as follows: while it costs a lot to get hydrogen at the pup ~$14-16/kg H2, the gain is that the modular H2 produces H2 at less than $5/kg and can fall to $3/kg with low volume mass production. The competing technologies are Conventional Industrial Hydrogen (CIH) which costs about $1+/kg and Electrolysis which costs about $10+/kg compared to STARS which costs about $2-5/kg. Although CIH costs less, it is a more carbon intensive process than the STARS.