Oil is the world’s most commonly used source of energy, fuelling almost every car on the planet. Burning oil releases carbon emissions into our atmosphere, and these emissions are changing the world's climate. Oil is also a source of many global conflicts.

The oil party is coming to an end. It is predicted that worldwide oil reserves will be empty in as little as 20 to 40 years. But the world's population will still need energy. In fact, the world’s demand for energy will double by 2050 because of population growth and the industrialization of developing countries. This will put great pressure on both the production and distribution of energy.

Oil is also a source of conflict between nations. As supplies decrease and nations become more desperate for oil, tensions will only grow.

Renewable energy sources are necessary if we are to provide energy for the world and move away from the most polluting era in our history.

One of the largest causes of pollution is the car. There are more cars on the road today than ever before. There are an estimated 500 million vehicles being driven today – that’s more than six time Read More
Oil is the world’s most commonly used source of energy, fuelling almost every car on the planet. Burning oil releases carbon emissions into our atmosphere, and these emissions are changing the world's climate. Oil is also a source of many global conflicts.

The oil party is coming to an end. It is predicted that worldwide oil reserves will be empty in as little as 20 to 40 years. But the world's population will still need energy. In fact, the world’s demand for energy will double by 2050 because of population growth and the industrialization of developing countries. This will put great pressure on both the production and distribution of energy.

Oil is also a source of conflict between nations. As supplies decrease and nations become more desperate for oil, tensions will only grow.

Renewable energy sources are necessary if we are to provide energy for the world and move away from the most polluting era in our history.

One of the largest causes of pollution is the car. There are more cars on the road today than ever before. There are an estimated 500 million vehicles being driven today – that’s more than six times as many as in 1950. Every year millions of cars and trucks are built and added to our roads. Cars run on gasoline – or petroleum – that is made from oil. Every day, these petroleum-burning vehicles produce tons of greenhouse gases as well as gases that harm the ozone layer – the part of the earth's atmosphere that protects us from the sun's harmful radiation.

© 2005, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Traffic

Every year, millions of cars and trucks are built and added to our roads. Each one increases the volume of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Bruce Mau Design, Institute Without Boudaries

© 2005, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.


Designers are working to bring hydrogen fuel to a gas station near you. Hydrogen energy solutions are leading the way to a future where there is enough energy for everyone – and where we don't have to wage wars or destroy the environment to produce it.

In Mississauga, Ontario, the Hydrogenics Corporation recently bought the Stuart Energy Company. They are now manufacturing the Stuart Energy Station (SES). The SES is a new type of gas station that will allow drivers to fill up their cars with hydrogen fuel at the pump and drive the way to a cleaner future.

Other hydrogen fueling systems provide a way to store hydrogen and a way to pump it into cars. The Stuart Energy Station (SES) is unique because it provides a way to store hydrogen and a way to pump it into cars – and also provides a way to produce it in the areas where hydrogen fuel is in demand.

Hydrogen fuel can be produced in two ways. It can either be extracted from fossil fuels such as natural gas, or it can be created through a revolutionary and eco-friendly method called water electrolysis. Water electrolysis works by pulling hydrogen from water using electricity. The electr Read More
Designers are working to bring hydrogen fuel to a gas station near you. Hydrogen energy solutions are leading the way to a future where there is enough energy for everyone – and where we don't have to wage wars or destroy the environment to produce it.

In Mississauga, Ontario, the Hydrogenics Corporation recently bought the Stuart Energy Company. They are now manufacturing the Stuart Energy Station (SES). The SES is a new type of gas station that will allow drivers to fill up their cars with hydrogen fuel at the pump and drive the way to a cleaner future.

Other hydrogen fueling systems provide a way to store hydrogen and a way to pump it into cars. The Stuart Energy Station (SES) is unique because it provides a way to store hydrogen and a way to pump it into cars – and also provides a way to produce it in the areas where hydrogen fuel is in demand.

Hydrogen fuel can be produced in two ways. It can either be extracted from fossil fuels such as natural gas, or it can be created through a revolutionary and eco-friendly method called water electrolysis. Water electrolysis works by pulling hydrogen from water using electricity. The electricity it uses comes from sustainable sources like solar panels or wind turbines.

The electricity is applied to the water to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in the water molecule. The oxygen is then released and the hydrogen is compressed and stored in a fuel tank.

The hydrogen such as that produced by the SES can be used in devices that convert hydrogen into electricity. This could be either a fuel cell or an internal combustion engine like the one in your car. The best part of using hydrogen fuel is that instead of emitting smoky, toxic fumes, your car's exhaust pipe would emit only water.

© 2005, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Hydrogen Fuel Dispenser

Gassing up a hydrogen car at an SES Fuel Dispenser Module is virtually the same as gassing up a traditional car at a traditional gas station. This makes the SES a piggy-back solution – one that uses an interface that is already well-known and successful.

Hydrogenics Corporation

©2005 Hydrogenics Corporation


There is a large and interdisciplinary design team behind every Stuart Energy Station (SES).

The design team behind the SES is made up of many smaller sub-teams. The people on these sub-teams design, engineer, install, test, maintain and ensure the safety of each SES. Such a large and diverse team requires constant communication. The sub-teams have to keep in touch with one another at all times to ensure that all the parts of the station work together, and are safe and easy to use.

Hydrogen production is an emerging industry. This means that some of the technology that has been developed is still being tested and is used only in labs.

But fueling stations have to be used by the public, so the equipment has to be safe and easy to use. The designers of the SES are working with safety regulators to develop rules and standards that will ensure the filling stations are safe.

The design team is also working with other companies, and helping car manufacturers develop vehicles that run on hydrogen fuel. Currently, Toyota and Ford are testing hydrogen-powered vehicles and are using the SES to fuel them. Fuel companies like ChevronTexaco have Read More
There is a large and interdisciplinary design team behind every Stuart Energy Station (SES).

The design team behind the SES is made up of many smaller sub-teams. The people on these sub-teams design, engineer, install, test, maintain and ensure the safety of each SES. Such a large and diverse team requires constant communication. The sub-teams have to keep in touch with one another at all times to ensure that all the parts of the station work together, and are safe and easy to use.

Hydrogen production is an emerging industry. This means that some of the technology that has been developed is still being tested and is used only in labs.

But fueling stations have to be used by the public, so the equipment has to be safe and easy to use. The designers of the SES are working with safety regulators to develop rules and standards that will ensure the filling stations are safe.

The design team is also working with other companies, and helping car manufacturers develop vehicles that run on hydrogen fuel. Currently, Toyota and Ford are testing hydrogen-powered vehicles and are using the SES to fuel them. Fuel companies like ChevronTexaco have also been testing the SES as a possible fueling station.

© 2005, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

SES

Sharing knowledge: the SES project involved people from many different fields of research working in different sub-teams. Because of this, sharing knowledge among team members became crucial to the success of the project.

Hydrogenics Corporation

©2005 Hydrogenics Corporation.


Pretty much anyone who drives a car can help the environment by converting to a hydrogen-powered vehicle.

Car manufacturers are already developing hydrogen-powered vehicles for the mass market. Toyota is already testing hydrogen-fueling stations. Meanwhile, even the notorious gas-guzzlers at Hummer have introduced a hydrogen concept car. While this car is not available for the public to buy yet, one is being driven by the current governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Hydrogen-powered vehicles are expected to be widely available to the public by 2010.

Hydrogen – Hybrids or Hydrogen Hybrids?
A “hybrid” car is one that uses two sources of energy instead of one. Usually, it combines an internal combustion system with a battery system. Gas-powered hybrids like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight are efficient solutions. They reduce emissions by using an electric engine at low speeds and when the car is idling. But they still use a gas engine at high speeds, and emit greenhouse gases. A hydrogen-powered car is a more effective solution because it only emits water. Hydrogen vehicles will most likely all be hybri Read More
Pretty much anyone who drives a car can help the environment by converting to a hydrogen-powered vehicle.

Car manufacturers are already developing hydrogen-powered vehicles for the mass market. Toyota is already testing hydrogen-fueling stations. Meanwhile, even the notorious gas-guzzlers at Hummer have introduced a hydrogen concept car. While this car is not available for the public to buy yet, one is being driven by the current governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Hydrogen-powered vehicles are expected to be widely available to the public by 2010.

Hydrogen – Hybrids or Hydrogen Hybrids?
A “hybrid” car is one that uses two sources of energy instead of one. Usually, it combines an internal combustion system with a battery system. Gas-powered hybrids like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight are efficient solutions. They reduce emissions by using an electric engine at low speeds and when the car is idling. But they still use a gas engine at high speeds, and emit greenhouse gases. A hydrogen-powered car is a more effective solution because it only emits water. Hydrogen vehicles will most likely all be hybrids that use either a fuel cell or hydrogen-powered engine with batteries to store extra energy.

© 2005, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger is pictured here showing off his hydrogen-powered Hummer. He plans to build 200 hydrogen fuel stations along Californian highways before 2010. “All Californians deserve clean air and the promise of a healthy environment for generations to come,” he says.

State of California

©2004 State of California


The Stuart Energy Station (SES) team worked tirelessly to create a highly efficient hydrogen production system. The process required a lot of creative thinking to make sure the system would work in the real world.

The success of the SES relies on carefully designed part called an electrolysis stack. The electrolysis stack produces the electrical reaction that separates water molecules to make hydrogen. The key feature of the electrolysis stack is a membrane with tiny holes that are only big enough for a hydrogen molecule to pass through. This membrane keeps the hydrogen from rejoining with the oxygen and changing back into water.

The team members used all their combined skills to make the electrolysis stacks as efficient as they could. They used their expertise in chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as in physics. The goal was to make the stacks draw as much hydrogen from the water as possible, using as little energy as possible.

Another goal of the team was to make the SES as small as possible. While they were doing this, the team realized they could fit the whole system onto a truck. As a result, they were able to design a Read More
The Stuart Energy Station (SES) team worked tirelessly to create a highly efficient hydrogen production system. The process required a lot of creative thinking to make sure the system would work in the real world.

The success of the SES relies on carefully designed part called an electrolysis stack. The electrolysis stack produces the electrical reaction that separates water molecules to make hydrogen. The key feature of the electrolysis stack is a membrane with tiny holes that are only big enough for a hydrogen molecule to pass through. This membrane keeps the hydrogen from rejoining with the oxygen and changing back into water.

The team members used all their combined skills to make the electrolysis stacks as efficient as they could. They used their expertise in chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as in physics. The goal was to make the stacks draw as much hydrogen from the water as possible, using as little energy as possible.

Another goal of the team was to make the SES as small as possible. While they were doing this, the team realized they could fit the whole system onto a truck. As a result, they were able to design a mobile SES that could be used to demonstrate the system to people interested in buying one of the stations.

Switching to hydrogen can often be a difficult process; so many buyers need to be reassured that it is a practical choice. For example, if a city wants to buy a hydrogen-powered bus, it needs to know that it can get the fuel easily. The mobile SES can travel with the test bus to prove that both will be a sustainable and practical solution.

© 2005, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Wind Farm

To separate water molecules and produce hydrogen, electrolysis needs a source of electricity. It could come from a wind farm (this one is in Denmark) or another source of renewable energy. This would complete the green circle and make electricity and the use of hydrogen sustainable.

Sandia Corporation

©2004 Sandia Corporation


Hydrogen could very well be the sustainable answer to the world’s growing demand for renewable energy.

Cars that run on hydrogen require an entirely different infrastructure from cars that run on gasoline. This means that everything from the cars to the roads and fuelling stations must be modified. This change is already beginning to happen.

General Motors, Ford and Toyota are developing fuel cell cars. The first "hydrogen highways" – roads with hydrogen gas stations – are scheduled to open on both the east and west coasts of the United States in the coming years. In Canada, there are also plans for a hydrogen highway to be built between Vancouver and Whistler for the 2010 Olympic Games. During the Olympics, hydrogen-powered buses will carry athletes between competitions.

Fossil fuels like gasoline need to be shipped from where they are made to gas stations. This is an expensive, slow process that creates a lot of pollution.

With a hydrogen solution like the Stuart Energy Station (SES), the fuel would be made where it is needed, when it is needed. Disasters like oil spills would become a thing of the pa Read More

Hydrogen could very well be the sustainable answer to the world’s growing demand for renewable energy.

Cars that run on hydrogen require an entirely different infrastructure from cars that run on gasoline. This means that everything from the cars to the roads and fuelling stations must be modified. This change is already beginning to happen.

General Motors, Ford and Toyota are developing fuel cell cars. The first "hydrogen highways" – roads with hydrogen gas stations – are scheduled to open on both the east and west coasts of the United States in the coming years. In Canada, there are also plans for a hydrogen highway to be built between Vancouver and Whistler for the 2010 Olympic Games. During the Olympics, hydrogen-powered buses will carry athletes between competitions.

Fossil fuels like gasoline need to be shipped from where they are made to gas stations. This is an expensive, slow process that creates a lot of pollution.

With a hydrogen solution like the Stuart Energy Station (SES), the fuel would be made where it is needed, when it is needed. Disasters like oil spills would become a thing of the past. The entire supply chain of fuel production and distribution would be flipped upside down. The people who use the hydrogen would become the ones who produce it, and would share in the profits from it.

The hydrogen energy stations could also perform another important function. They could be used to store electricity from wind and solar sources that do not produce constant levels of energy.

If we changed to hydrogen power, it wouldn’t be the first time we switched to a different way of producing energy. Before gasoline-powered combustion, there were steam engines. Before that, people used animal power and waterwheels to drive machines. Petroleum fuels like gasoline are much too costly – both environmentally and socially – to keep using. And they will eventually run out, anyway.

In 1901, 2% of energy in the United States was produced by burning oil. In 2001, 2% of energy around the world was produced using renewable source. See the pattern?

The Hydrogen Village
The Hydrogen Village Project is based in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). People at the project are working to find solutions to make hydrogen power practical. They are looking at hydrogen fuel, how hydrogen power could be used in everyday life and how our current infrastructure needs to change. They are working with public and private groups to bring hydrogen products into local communities.
-The Hydrogen Village Project (http://www.hydrogenvillage.ca)


© 2005, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Hydrogen Society

Combining sustainable energy sources such as wind turbines with hydrogen technologies such as the SES could eliminate, the negative environmental effects of driving. It could also eliminate the negative effects caused by many other activities that are part of modern life. As this graphic shows, everyday life would feel the same, but activities that used to create negative effects would instead create positive effects.

Hydrogenics Corporation

©2005 Hydrogenics Corporation


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

•Learn about the impact of globalization on quality of life
•Understanding how changes in lifestyles have led to an increased demand for energy
•Articulate that oil is a source of conflict between nations
•Recognize that one of the largest causes of pollution is the car
•Recognize that engineers are designing and developing vehicles that run on hydrogen fuel
•Define the terms “hybrid” and “hydrogen-hybrid” in relation to alternative designs of energy efficient transportation
•Discover that skills and technologies that already exist where a design is intended to be used can lead to cost-effective and practical solutions (piggy-back solutions)
•Articulate how hydrogen fuel is produced, distributed and disposed of
•Identify the key features of an electrolysis stack and describe its role in the production of hydrogen as an energy source
•Understand that access to hydrogen fuelling stations will be critical to its successful implementation with today’s consumers


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