September 2006

EngenuitySC '06 Announces Keynote Speaker
(full article)

NHA H2U Student Design Contest
(full article)

Registration for EngenuitySC '06
(full article)

BMW to lease hydrogen cars in April
(full article)

S.C. hopes to lead hydrogen economy
(full article)

S.C. must take lead in developing hydrogen technology
(full article)

September 27, 2006
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EngenuitySC '06 Announces Keynote Speaker

To learn more about the Global Fuel Cell economy and Columbia's potential role in it, we invite you to join us for Engenuity '06 on Tuesday, October 17, from 1:00 to 5:00 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Registration is $50.00, which includes a networking reception following the conference.

The key note speaker for this year's event is Pierre Rivard, President and C.E.O. of Hydrogenics - a leading international company with a vision of the future of fuel cell technology.  This vision is balanced by a pragmatic business strategy that is focused on making hydrogen and fuel cell systems work for today's revenue-generating fuel cell markets.  Hydrogenics is a world leader in the introduction of hydrogen and fuel cells into fully-operational, commercial products - starting with today's early adopting markets.

Pierre Rivard has served as President and a director since the inception of Hydrogenics' fuel cell related business in August of 1995. Since July 2000, he has also served as Chief Executive Officer. Pierre's vision, leadership, and technical skills have been a primary force behind Hydrogenics' success since day one. From June 1994 to July 1995, he served as a research engineer at the University of Toronto with the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He earned a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada.

For more information on the conference, please visit

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September 27, 2006
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NHA H2U Student Design Contest 2007-2008 Update

Over the past few months, the staff of the National Hydrogen Association has been working hard to develop the 2006-2007 H2U Student Design Contest. A lot of great ideas were brought forth as we worked to select a location for this year's competition, develop guidelines, and secure sponsorship to guarantee that this year's contest would be the best we have conducted to date. As a result of these efforts, we are pleased to announce that we have secured total sponsorship for the H2U Student Design Contest! Our title sponsor, the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance is working with NHA staff to come to a final agreement on the preferred theme. Several intriguing ideas already have been identified.

In order to provide participants with the ability to develop the greatest quality product possible, and to do so within an appropriate timeframe, the sponsors and NHA staff have decided to announce the theme and specific contest details beginning in January 2007. We will release general information regarding the contest, short of the full set of guidelines, between now and then.

In past years, we have announced the contest in the beginning of the fall semester to allow teams to work on the contest through that fall and into the winter. For 2007-08, we will provide all the necessary information a semester earlier (this coming winter) so that professors are better able to incorporate the contest into the curricula for the fall semester, if they choose. We're hoping the 2007-08 H2U Contest will provide an attractive option for those who want to engage in senior or independent projects. This way, teams can receive academic credit in addition to the other benefits a competition like this offers students. So get ready for a far more exciting contest than ever before, and with enough time to prepare!

Please ask your friends, classmates, club members, fellow faculty and others to visit to join the H2U mailing list and ensure you receive the most up-to-date information on the H2U Student Design Contest.

We apologize to any students, teachers, or companies who were interested in working on a contest this coming semester. Hopefully, you will consider participating in the 2007-08 H2U Student Design Contest.

If you have any questions or comments about this year's competition, or ideas for future competitions, please contact Rex Hazelton via email at: or by phone at 202-223-5547 ext. 322. Thank you to all those who supported the 2006 H2U Student Design Contest, and be on the lookout for announcements for 2007!

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September 19, 2006
(view original press release)

Registration for EngenuitySC '06


October 17, 2006
Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Annual Meeting: Harnessing the Elements for Change

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Economy in the Columbia Region

The Hydrogen economy in the United States and in fact, the world, is poised for explosive growth and the Columbia region has a fantastic opportunity to be a major player and beneficiary of this phenomenon. The development and application of fuel cell technology will no doubt be a key component of the hydrogen economy and Columbia is uniquely positioned to be a leader in this particular area.

To find out more about the Global Fuel Cell economy and Columbia's potential role in it, we invite you to join us for Engenuity '06, Tuesday, October 17, from 1:00 to 5:00 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

The afternoon will be filled with information from industry experts on the opportunities created by the hydrogen economy and the role of fuel cells in particular.

In addition, you will hear from local public and private sector leaders, as well as state legislative officials regarding initiatives to help the region harness our potential in this area.

Scheduled to Speak:
Pierre Rivard, CEO, Hydrogenics Corporation
House Speaker Bobby Harrell
Mayor Bob Coble
USC President Andrew Sorensen

Registration is $50.00, which includes a networking reception following the conference.

Additionally, a Design Conference is being held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting during a morning session. For more information and registration, please click here.

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September 12, 2006
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BMW to lease hydrogen cars in April

MUNICH - Eager to put its stamp on cars with green credentials, BMW announced Tuesday that it will roll out the world’s first hydrogen-burning car in serial production early next year.

Dubbed the Hydrogen 7, the specially equipped 7-Series executive cars emit only water vapor when running on hydrogen. That means zero emissions of pollutants and carbon dioxide, a gas that many scientists tie to global warming.

"The complete change from a fossil fuel infrastructure to a hydrogen economy will require decades," the German carmaker said in a statement, but the Hydrogen 7 "shows that bringing hydrogen technology to the road is indeed feasible."

The car hits the market next April and will be shown at the Los Angeles car show in November, BMW said. It had said in March that the hydrogen cars would arrive within two years.

A spokesman said the car would be leased to selected customers rather than sold because of its high price. Leasing rates would be similar to those for a top-end BMW 760LI with a full-service package but BMW said specifics were not yet available.

"We have not yet finalized this," said BMW North America spokesman Andreas Klugescheid. "It will depend on the region the car goes to, the infrastructure, the service package and the profile of the user." 

California could be a key market for BMW since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to build a "hydrogen highway" of refueling stations along major roads.

Two tanks
The Hydrogen 7 is powered by a 260 horsepower, 12-cylinder engine and accelerates from 0-60 mph in 9.5 seconds. The top speed is limited electronically to 140 mph.

BMW has said it intends to build a few hundred such cars at first. They will be able to switch between burning standard gasoline and hydrogen so that drivers will not be left stranded while the infrastructure to deliver hydrogen is built up.

That means both hydrogen and gasoline tanks — the former allowing a 125-mile driving range and the latter 300 miles. Drivers can switch back and forth with a button on the steering wheel.

"Because engine power and torque remain exactly the same regardless of the mode of operation," BMW said, "switching from one mode to another has no effect on the driving behavior and performance of the BMW Hydrogen 7."

Most carmakers experimenting with hydrogen are doing so with fuel cells that would use the energy carrier to create an electric power system. But BMW's path is to use liquid hydrogen in existing internal combustion engines since the infrastructure for fuel cells and refueling hydrogen is so limited.

The space that two fuel tanks take up means only the 7-Series will offer the hydrogen package at first. BMW’s long-term goal is to offer hydrogen motors in all its cars.

BMW unveiled the world’s fastest hydrogen-powered car at the 2004 Paris auto show. Dubbed the H2R, it can exceed 185 miles per hour and reaches 60 mph from a standing start in around six seconds.

GM shows off hydrogen Sequel
BMW's announcement comes on the heels of General Motors on Monday unveiling a drivable version of the Chevrolet Sequel, a hydrogen fuel cell SUV that it called "the most technologically advanced automobile ever built."

GM said the Sequel "is the first vehicle in the world to successfully integrate a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system with a broad menu of advanced technologies such as steer- and brake-by-wire controls, wheel hub motors, lithium-ion batteries and a lightweight aluminum structure."

The Sequel can go 300 miles before refueling, GM said, well beyond the industry standard of 150 miles. And it does 0-60 in 10 seconds, the carmaker said.

"General Motors is proving that advanced technology can remove the automobile from the environmental debate and reduce our dependence on petroleum," Larry Burns, GM's research and development vice president, said in a statement.

"Sequel fundamentally changes the DNA of today's automobiles," Burns added, "exchanging an internal combustion engine, petroleum and mechanical systems for fuel cell propulsion, hydrogen and electrical systems."

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September 10, 2006
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S.C. hopes to lead hydrogen economy

NEW ELLENTON, S.C. — Years ago, engineers for the federal government here studied hydrogen for its bomb-boosting capabilities. Now, scientists are working toward developing an economy that runs on the element.

"Our people did indeed help win the Cold War," said Fred Humes, director of the Economic Development Partnership in Aiken and Edgefield counties. "And with the capability we have ... we can help the country gain energy independence."

Using hydrogen as a fuel means cars will emit water rather than exhaust fumes, making it a clean, widely available alternative to fossil fuels. Hydrogen-run vehicles have been tested, but public availability is probably at least a decade away, said Todd Wright, director of the Savannah River National Laboratory.

Nearly every state has some sort of hydrogen initiative as they scramble to discover ways to cheaply and practically use the element as fuel. South Carolina lawmakers and business leaders believe the Savannah River Site's work since the early 1950s gives an edge to a state typically thought of as backward rather than futuristic.

"Because of SRS, we're ahead of the curve," said House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston. "Whoever cracks the nut first will probably be the center of the universe. ... This can be so powerful for South Carolina's economy."

Humes believes the research and resulting industry investments could tally $10 billion within the next 20 years and translate into tens of thousands of well-paying jobs if the state rises to the top.

"Many of the states have the smoke but no fire," he said. "South Carolina has the foundations and the fire."

The Savannah River National Laboratory, designated one of 12 national labs two years ago, boasts of having the nation's largest collection of hydrogen experts. The lab's initial mission was studying tritium, a hydrogen isotope used to boost nuclear bombs.

Its new research specialty is separating hydrogen from sources such as water and storing the element, normally a gas, onboard a vehicle in a safe, solid, lightweight form.

Making such expertise publicly available meant moving engineers offsite.

The lab is moving all its unclassified, nonradioactive hydrogen work into the Center for Hydrogen Research, which opened in February just outside the federal boundaries. The national facility is leasing half the center, built and owned by Aiken County; the rest is available for private industries.

So far, Toyota is leasing space, and General Motors, though not leasing, is working with the lab. Virtually every automaker is testing hydrogen-powered vehicles, which have received support from a five-year, $1.2 billion initiative announced by President Bush in 2003.

"Before, there was no mechanism for people to come in and work at SRS," said Humes, who was instrumental in creating the center. "We wanted to bring the technology outside of the fence and make it available to the world."

Half of the lab's 80 hydrogen scientists and engineers are moving to the center, whose new facilities are a marked contrast to the drab, '50s-era federal labs.

"It's exciting," said Theodore Motyka, a hydrogen technology program manager. "There are not many places you can do something as important as this."

The national laboratory and hydrogen center are two major components in the larger statewide initiative.

Others that make up what Wright calls the "dream team of hydrogen" include the University of South Carolina's national fuel cell center, the International Center for Automotive Research at Clemson University and the James E. Clyburn transportation center at South Carolina State University.

The South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance was formed in January to promote the groups' combined efforts, and it's already proved successful. In July, the National Hydrogen Association chose Columbia as the site for its 2009 convention, which should further propel South Carolina's status as a research and business leader.

Patrick Serfass, spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based association, called South Carolina "one of the newest strong players." He credited a "magic combination" of governments, private industry and universities working together.

"The activity is growing very, very fast," he said. "South Carolina is really becoming a shining star."

Humes, an alliance member, said he expects South Carolina to be among the top three states for hydrogen research by the time the national convention arrives — but even that's not good enough for him.

"I will not settle for anything other than the recognition of being the number one state," he said.

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September 9, 2006
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S.C. must take lead in developing hydrogen technology

As fossil fuels enter the twilight years, South Carolina is finding itself in a unique position to revolutionize the energy industry. Hydrogen research and initiatives within our state have the potential to end the U.S. reliance on foreign sources of oil while catapulting South Carolina and Columbia into the international spotlight.

Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant element in the universe. It can be converted to an energy source through the use of a fuel cell to power cars, homes, businesses and portable devices.

Unlike fossil fuels, hydrogen can never be depleted and can be derived from a variety of domestically available resources, including renewable energies and nuclear power.

Notably, hydrogen power emits no harmful pollutants — the only exhaust from a vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell is water, the very essence of life.

The Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, the University of South Carolina’s Horizon Center, the Savannah River National Laboratory and its Center for Hydrogen Research, South Carolina State University, General Motors and BMW are all in-state institutions dedicated to developing and commercializing hydrogen and fuel-cell technology. It is time to put these resources to work.

States such as California, Ohio, Florida and Connecticut have invested state and federal money in the development and commercialization of hydrogen technologies. These states have created tax incentives and credits to retailers, consumers and businesses investing in clean energies such as hydrogen.

South Carolina already has an advantage over other states. Organizations are gaining momentum with hydrogen and fuel cell initiatives and are becoming major market players.

In July, the National Hydrogen Association announced that it has selected Columbia and the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance to host its annual conference in 2009. The economic impact of the conference is estimated at $1 million, with around 1,200 visitors and 100 exhibitors. The announcement is a significant step toward recognizing South Carolina as a world leader in hydrogen research and initiatives and is a huge boost for Columbia in general.

Demand for hydrogen research will grow in the coming years, and creating incentives now will put South Carolina ahead of the curve and on the path to becoming the world’s hydrogen leader.

South Carolina must not hesitate to capitalize on our assets, create hydrogen incentives and secure our economic future.

South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance

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