The Fuel of the Future: Realization

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.
Canadian Heritage Information Network
Bruce Mau Design, Institute Without Boudaries

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