At first glance, the quaint little house outside the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia engineering faculty looks like any house. But there is more to it than meets the eye.
Called the Solar-Hydrogen Eco-house, it is the first in the world that is fully self-sustainable and runs entirely on hydrogen.
The house is part of UKM’s new fuel cell and automotive research centre. It was jointly designed and developed by Prof Kamaruzzaman Sopian, director of UKM’s Advanced Engineering Centre, and architect Shah Jaafar.
“My initial idea was to have a small hut which was entirely fuelled by hydrogen,” said Kamaruzzaman, who has been researching solar power since 1985. “Then someone suggested that I build and design an actual house which implements the technology.”
After more than a year of designing and planning, the house was constructed to demonstrate the technology and architectural aspects to the public, as well as for further research into the viability of solar hydrogen technology application for a residential dwelling. Covering an area of 110sqm, the cost of building the house at almost RM250,000 was sponsored by the Science, Technology and Environment Ministry, as it was then known.
The eco-house functions just like any home, except that it utilises hydrogen as a fuel to operate household appliances.