Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

Business Enquiries

Product Enquires

General | Maintenance | Technical

Business Enquiries

1. What is LAVOTM ?

LAVO is an Australian technology and lifestyle company powered by hydrogen. We are commercialising the LAVO systemTM, which is a world first integrated hybrid hydrogen battery designed for residential and business use.

Our mission is to empower the world with limitless energy.

2. How can I register to be a business partner?

As our product and business continues to develop, we are always looking to engage in conversations about strategic partnerships that will help bring green energy to families, businesses and communities.

If you are interested in partnering with LAVO, please register your interest via our contact page.

3. How can I invest in LAVO?

LAVO is not listed on any public exchange and at this stage we have no immediate plans for public listing. 

LAVO will be holding funding rounds open to strategic sophisticated investors with a minimum placement of AUD$2 million. If you wish to invest in LAVO™ and meet this criteria, please reach out to us via our contact page.

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Product Enquiries

General

1. How does the LAVO unit work?

The LAVO system is a hybrid battery that performs the function of storing this excess energy from solar panels in the form of very high density, solid state hydrogen through our proprietary hydrogen hydride technology.

When this excess energy is needed, it is converted back into AC power on demand through a hydrogen fuel cell to power your home in times when there is not enough solar power being produced to meet energy demands.

One LAVO unit can store up to 40kWh of hydrogen (net of efficiency losses), which is enough to power the average Aussie home for up to about 2 days off the grid.

For more information about the tech specs of the product, please see our e-brochure here.

2. Why can’t I just power my home using solar panels?

A problem faced by traditional solar power is intermittency: during times of low sun or wind there is not enough power being produced to meet demand, and at other times there is much more power generated than is required. The LAVO unit aims to fill this gap by providing a storage solution for this excess energy, with an ability to power the average Australian home for up to two days off the grid.

3. What is the environmental impact of the LAVO unit?

By storing excess renewable energy as hydrogen, the LAVO unit can help households, businesses and communities reduce their carbon footprint and protect the environment.

When hydrogen is combined with oxygen at the fuel cell it creates electricity, heat, and purified water only. Therefore, the LAVO system produces zero carbon dioxide emissions. The hydrogen is also stored in a proprietary metallic hydride formula using a unique combination of common metals. Once this hydride within the vessels reaches its end of life these metals can be melted down and fully recycled.

The current system does not recover the purified water or oxygen, but future designs will likely be completely circular and emit nothing at all. The water created at the fuel cell can be reused in the electrolyser and the created oxygen also has value. Once the basic unit is certified these refinements and design upgrades can be explored further to have even more positive environmental impact.

4. Is the LAVO unit safe?

LAVO is complying with all the State and Federal safety regulations in Australia.

The innovation of LAVO’s proprietary metal hydride container means the hydrogen itself is locked in solid materials. This is a reliable and well-established technology used to store hydrogen safely. If the Hydrogen were to catch flame, it will not explode. While hydrogen is flammable it is inherently no more dangerous than other conventional fuels such as gasoline or natural gas.

The LAVO system is also embedded with smart technology and multiple safety mechanisms, meaning that if there were to be a malfunction, the system will shut off and the hydrogen will be released into the atmosphere immediately, and a technician will be alerted to resolve the issue.

Maintenance

1. Will my unit require maintenance?

Annual maintenance of the LAVO unit by a qualified technician likely be recommended.

The maintenance will include replacing consumables like filters, coolant levels and electrolyser fluids if required, maintenance to the water purifiers, and replacement of the lithium battery, metal hydride and fuel cell after completing their 20 000+ cycles (which is expected to last 15-20 years). The life expectancy of the electrolyser is approximately one half-two thirds that of the other components. In our modelling we generally assume an electrolyser refurbishment or replacement will be required over the life of the unit. Timing on this will be dependent on the environment and useage factors that impact performance degradation.

Please note the technology is still under development and might change/improve over time, and maintenance requirements are dependent on environmental factors and usage patterns.

The LAVO unit will have inbuilt self-monitoring capabilities and will notify your authorised installer (and you) of any potential issues – and in many cases, even before an issue becomes a problem!

Technical

1. What inverter is the LAVO unit compatible with?

The LAVO unit is only compatible with a hybrid AC / DC solar power inverter at this stage. LAVO has tested the Sungrow SH5K-20 Hybrid Inverter bundle and compatibility with other Hybrid Inverters is being investigated and will be released shortly. Please note that the inverter is not included in the purchase of the LAVO unit.

2. What connections does the LAVO unit require?

The LAVO unit will require connection to the mains water supply, a hybrid inverter (compatible with a minimum 6.5 kW systems, and grid power) and connection to 3G or 4G Wifi to monitor and control performance via the LAVO App.

3. Can the LAVO unit be used to refuel vehicles?

The current model of the LAVO unit cannot be used to refuel vehicles. 

However, the LAVO unit has showcased the role Hydrogen can play in a Net Zero carbon world. Core to the unit is our proprietary hydrogen storage vessel, and we are currently working with partners to develop a range of applications of this into entertainment (such as a LAVO BBQ) and mobility (such as a LAVO Hydrogen powered bike). We are also considering the possibilities for adapting our hydrogen storage innovation for vehicle refuelling products. You can sign up to our newsletter to keep informed about this and our other R&D initiatives.

4. Why does the LAVO unit include a battery?

The LAVO system includes a small Li-ion battery (5kWh and 5 kW output, 1C). This small on-board battery acts a bit like the starter in your motor vehicle, helping to get the system up and going in the morning while providing any additional peak energy demands your household or business may need.  Another interesting feature is that the battery also allows us to focus the fuel cell within the set of boundary conditions to maximise its overall efficiency.

5. How much water will the LAVO unit use?

The LAVO unit uses around 18L of water for a full charge cycle, allowing you to power an average Australian house for two days off the grid. Once recombined at the fuel cell, the resulting water can then be released as de-mineralised water. The LAVO unit does not yet recycle this clean water but may do so in future product designs.

6. Can the LAVO unit use rainwater or greywater?

The LAVO unit requires water to be at a potable standard (about 200 Total Dissolved Solids). If you put in very hard (high TDS, say above 1,000 ppm) or dirty water, the filters and RO membrane will still do their job but will have to be replaced much more often. By these standards, rainwater can be used to power the LAVO unit provided it is relatively clean and there is enough supply for a full charge cycle. Greywater is probably too dirty to be used directly, so will need pre-filtering.

7. What is hydride and how is it used in the LAVO unit?

LAVO’s hydride formula is a unique combination of minerals that forms an alloy. These Hydride materials absorb the hydrogen like a sponge and store it as an atom (H), allowing it to store very large amounts of hydrogen in a small space.

8. What solar panels are compatible with the LAVO unit? 

The main consideration for LAVO’s compatibility with your system is not the type of solar panels, but rather the inverter used to connect the solar panels.

The LAVO unit connects to a Hybrid Inverter which links to dwelling’s photovoltaic systems, currently compatible with 6.5 kW or larger systems, and grid power. LAVO has tested the Sungrow SH5K-20 Hybrid Inverter bundle and compatibility with other Hybrid Inverters is being investigated and will be released shortly.

9. Can multiple LAVO units work together for higher storage demands?

Yes, multiple LAVO units can be used together to generate higher rates of energy storage. To achieve this, compatible inverter(s) will be required. 

10. Can the hydrogen hydride vessel system be used on a standalone basis for other purposes?

Not at this stage. Our metal hydride is a core proprietary system developed in conjunction with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and forms part of the LAVO system which offers a unique value proposition as an integrated, standalone system.

11. What is the efficiency of the LAVO unit and what does this mean?

The round trip efficiency of the LAVO unit is approximately 50%.

This means that of the excess energy going into the unit, only 50% can be reused to power your home. This is due to energy being lost in the process of electrolysis and at the fuel cell and is unavoidable. The product long life cycle tends to more than make up for this efficiency loss when compared to a battery only solutions.

12. What is a fuel cell?

A fuel cell is a device that can react hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity from chemical energy. It can continuously provide electricity if there is a constant supply of hydrogen and oxygen.

13. What is the output power of the Fuel cell?

The output is 5kW continuous, with a peak output of 6.8kW. However, the peak output is not recommended for the longevity of the fuel cell and therefore the max. output of the system is limited to 5kW.

14. What is the input power and input voltage requirement to run the Electrolyser?

The input power is 2.2kW and the voltage is 48VDC.

15. What is the Output Voltage range of the 48V 5kW DC-DC Converter? 

The range is 0 – 80V.

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