This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 15, 2014

Help Design the Hydrogen Fueling Station of Tomorrow

Hydrogen is increasingly becoming a fuel for clean, reliable power and is helping reduce the nation’s overall carbon footprint. In fact, U.S. shipments of fuel cells—electrochemical devices that use hydrogen and other fuels to produce electricity for fuel cell electric vehicles, buses, and other light-duty and specialty vehicles—increased by 34% in 2012 compared to the previous year.

As the hydrogen industry expands, refueling infrastructure needs to be developed to keep fuel cell electric vehicles powered and moving on U.S. roadways. University students can play a big role in this through the Hydrogen Education Foundation’s Hydrogen Student Design Contest, supported by the Energy Department.

This year’s contest invites teams of undergraduate and graduate students specializing in several areas of expertise including chemistry, industrial design, engineering, business, environmental science, and policy, to plan and design a drop-in fueling station (about the size of a freight container) which is low-cost, low-maintenance, and can be easily transported. The contest consists of two phases. First, teams develop a draft technical design of the system and provide initial cost estimates, which are reviewed and evaluated by a panel of judges consisting of leaders throughout the hydrogen industry. Next, teams submit a report that includes the system’s final design, addresses any identified issues such as safety and code compliance, an economic analysis, and marketing and public education plans. The judges then score the reports, and teams with the highest point totals win the contest. For the complete story, see the EERE Blog.