Students Think Up Hydrogen Solutions; Industry Body Asks For More Official Support

by Antonio Pasolini on February 28, 2011

Via Flickr/IntelligentEnergy

The University of Waterloo has won the Hydrogen Education Foundation’s 2011 Hydrogen Student Design Contest for the fifth time in the six-year history of the contest.

The contest is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and is part of the DOE’s efforts to “encourage innovation and student participation and challenge university students to develop innovative solutions to key issues facing the hydrogen and fuel cell industry”.

The theme this year was design concepts for residential hydrogen fueling systems and the challenge of fueling infrastructure development by focusing on concepts for small-scale hydrogen production.

50 teams of university students from 17 countries entered the contest. Imperial College London and University of California Riverside were awarded honorable mentions.

The winning team, four students from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, presented their design during a keynote session at the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy 2011 conference (13 – 16 February) which is held annually in Washington, D.C. and attended by hundreds of representatives of the hydrogen industry.

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The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA), which organized the event, recently said the proposed cuts to the Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Program misguided and harmful to American competitiveness.

“After investing billions of American dollars and years of effort, we simply cannot walk away from our commitment to these critical technologies,” said Ruth Cox, president and executive director of the FCHEA. “Fuel cells are the microprocessors of the Energy Age and they are already transforming the energy network through distributed generation of clean, efficient and reliable power.”

It said the move would endanger present and future American jobs in the field since Japan, Korea, China, Germany, and other European countries have made substantial economic and policy commitments to fuel cells and hydrogen energy.

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