UMR’s Hydrogen Fueling Station Team received an honorable mention in the first University Student Hydrogen Design Contest: Hydrogen Fueling Station during the 15th Annual U.S. Hydrogen Conference and Hydrogen Expo USA on April 26-30 at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif.
UMR’s team was one of more than 17 teams from universities throughout the United States and Canada to submit designs for a hydrogen fueling station. The University of Victoria from British Columbia, Canada, was the grand prize winner, with Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., a close second. UMR was among three honorable mentions awarded. All winners will have their design published in the conference preceedings.
Each design was required to include necessary safety, economic and environmental analyses; as well as a feasible marketing and education campaign. Each team’s design was also required to use current technology so that the station could, in theory, open by March 2006.
The National Hydrogen Association says students today are "the future of the new hydrogen industry and are critical to achieving the vision of a hydrogen economy." The NHA and U.S. Department of Energy — competition sponsors — were looking for innovative and imaginative designs for next-generation hydrogen fueling stations while involving students in the progress of hydrogen and fuel cell technology.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke at the conference, along with the U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. Schwarzenegger is a strong supporter of hydrogen fueling stations, having pledged to build hydrogen fueling stations every 20 miles along major highways in California by 2010. With gasoline prices increasing in recent months across the nation, hydrogen has become a cheaper, more efficient alternative, says Dr. John Sheffield, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UMR and team co-advisor.