What could make for a better metaphor than a lighthouse powered by a hydrogen fuel cell? In fact, such a beacon of hope exists for the hydrogen economy, and it is situated in the United Kingdom.
The historic South Gare lighthouse, built in 1884, now uses hydrogen power to shine a light on one of the UK’s busiest ports at Teesport on the North Sea Coast. The lighthouse is regularly hit by high seas and rugged winds and needed a stable energy source to keep the light in business.
In the past, lighthouses in remote areas in the Soviet Union were powered by radioactive batteries. This made subsequent cleanup of the nuclear waste a huge issue. So, in more recent times, with alternative power sources in the public consciousness, other means of powering lighthouses are developing.
The South Gare lighthouse uses a high intensity LED light and fuel cell to lead ships and other vessels back to port. The South Gare lighthouse is the first in the world to use a hydrogen fuel cell for power. It was developed by the Centre for Process Innovation, PD Ports and Schunk (fuel cell maker).