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Hydrogen Contest Winner Could Improve Airports Worldwide

16.04.2008
Students present design focused on Columbia, SC airport to over 1,000 industry professionals at the NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference

When you think of hydrogen, cars might be the first thing that comes to mind. But last week, non-automotive applications were the focus of the design developed by the grand prize winner of the 2007-2008 Hydrogen Student Design Contest.

In the opening keynote panel of the NHA's 19th Annual Hydrogen Conference, Shannon Baxter Clemmons, Executive Director of the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance (SCHFCA) announced the team from Missouri University of Science & Technology as the winner of the Hydrogen Education Foundation's (HEF) 2007-2008 Hydrogen Student Design Contest.

The team was recognized for their unique design that highlighted technologies that are currently available for consumer purchase, including back-up and portable fuel cell power supply, hydrogen fork lifts, and on-site hydrogen production technologies. The awards were presented by this year's Title Sponsor the SCHFCA, represented by Ms. Baxter-Clemmons. Another lead sponsor, U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program, represented by Deputy Assistant Secretary Dr. Steven Chalk, was also part of the award presentation. Other contest sponsors included Chevron Hydrogen, Natural Resources Canada, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and American Wind Power and Hydrogen.

For this year's contest, teams of students from around the world were challenged to use a budget of $3 million to design the most effective airport hydrogen system to address the three main challenges for airports: noise, air pollution and groundwater contamination. Designs were based on the Columbia International Airport in Columbia, SC, but are applicable to other airports worldwide. Twenty-three teams from countries all over the world registered for this year's contest, including teams from Canada, China, Guinea, India, Libya, Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The winning team's design included an on-site hydrogen fueling station, a primary fuel cell system to provide 200 kW of power to the airport, back-up power supply to protect the airport's computer systems, portable fuel cell power for tools and communications, a hydrogen forklift and baggage tug for use on the tarmac, as well as two hydrogen vehicles designed to increase public attention: a hydrogen ICE shuttle bus to transport passengers from the airport to downtown, as well as a hydrogen fuel cell scooter for use at the airport. Not only does the system drastically reduce the emissions created by power and personal vehicle use at the airport, it saves over $28,000 in heating and electric costs annually. "The design presented by the team from Missouri was completely realistic and technically accurate," said Columbia Airport Director Mike Flack. "If implemented, this design would greatly decrease our energy footprint and bolster airport operations as a whole."

Four teams received honroable mention awards:
McMaster University (Ontario, Canada), University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada), and two teams from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan). Their designs included a wide range of hydrogen applications, from hydrogen power plants to waste-to-hydrogen production facilities. Each team presented their design as a poster in the Exhibition Hall at the Hydrogen Expo US. To see the designs submitted by all contest finalists, as well as other entries, please visit http://www.HydrogenContest.org.

The team from Missouri received an all-expenses paid trip to Sacramento, CA for the NHA Conference to present their design to attendees on opening day. The winning team's presentation followed a panel of distinguished speakers, notably Paul Brubaker, adminstrator of the Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and Dr. Steve Chalk, U.S. Department of Energy. Ms. Baxter-Clemmons, presented the awards to the grand prize winners. "We were very impressed by the students creative and practical design for hydrogen use at the Columbia Airport" said Mrs. Baxter-Clemmons, "We are proud to help support the education of students and expand the public knowledge base about near-term applications of hydrogen."

CONTACT:
Rex Hazelton, Hydrogen Education Foundation
HazeltonR@hydrogenassociation.org
202.223.5547 x322

About the Hydrogen Student Design Contest
The Hydrogen Education Foundation is currently looking for sponsors and theme ideas for the 2008-2009 Hydrogen Student Design Contest, now in its fourth year. Although the Contest is traditionally focused on the design only, in past years grand-prize winning designs have attracted funding to actually construct the designs. If you are interested in supporting the next Hydrogen Student Design Contest, or would like to find out more about the designs from previous years, please visit www.HydrogenContest.org or contact Rex Hazelton at 202-223-5547.

About the Hydrogen Education Foundation

The Hydrogen Education Foundation is the charitable, education-focused arm of the NHA which administers two hallmark programs, the H2 & You outreach program and the Hydrogen Student Design Contest.

About the National Hydrogen Association
The National Hydrogen Association (NHA) is the Nation's premier hydrogen trade organization led by over 100 companies dedicated to supporting the transition to hydrogen. Efforts are focused on education and outreach, policy, safety and codes and standards. Since 1989, the NHA has served as a catalyst for information exchange and cooperative projects and continues to provide the setting for mutual support among industry, research and government organizations. The NHA Conference and Hydrogen Expo is the largest hydrogen conference in the U.S. and the longest running hydrogen conference in the world.

Rex Hazelton | National Hydrogen Association
Further information:
http://www.H2andYou.org
http://www.HydrogenContest.org
http://www.HydrogenAssociation.org

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