Hydrogen Highway for British Columbia

(From Natural Resources Canada) On April 2, 2004, approximately $1.1 million in funding for the BC Hydrogen Highway” was announced. The BC Hydrogen Highway is a coordinated, large-scale demonstration and deployment program intended to accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies. The $1.1 million in funding is being provided through Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance (CTFCA) and includes $632,000 (over 3.5 years) for the BC Hydrogen Highway project manager as well as $485,500 in support of three projects. The objective of this demonstration and deployment project is to form a consortium of organizations to design, build, operate, test and evaluate a hydrogen fuelling infrastructure or “BC Hydrogen Highway” along a corridor between Vancouver and Whistler, with an extension to Victoria. The project will demonstrate a wide variety of transportation, stationary, portable and micropower applications that can utilize the hydrogen fuelling infrastructure. It will also demonstrate the operational, economic, environmental and social feasibility of a hydrogen fuelling infrastructure that utilizes different hydrogen production and delivery pathways. In this way, the project is a “highway” leading to the future hydrogen economy – one that will play an integral role in removing barriers for hydrogen and fuel-cell commercialization. Targeted for full implementation by the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, the project will be a showcase of sustainable transportation, creating a hydrogen highway that will allow visitors to travel between the Vancouver Airport and Whistler for the 2010 Olympics. Seven initial hydrogen fuelling demonstration sites are currently planned: the Vancouver International Airport, Powertech Labs in Surrey, the National Research Council’s (NRC) Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, the Finnings Lands/Athletics Village, Sacré-Davey in North Vancouver, the Whistler Village and the University of Victoria/BC Transit. The BC Hydrogen Highway is being managed by a Steering Committee, which is chaired and championed by Firoz Rasul, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ballard Power Systems. Members of the Steering Committee include Richard Fry, NRCan; Bruce Sampson, BC Hydro; Maja Veljkovic, NRC; Dennis Connor, QuestAir; Mark Grist, Methanex; Chris Sacré, Sacré-Davey; Steve Kukucha, Ballard Power Systems; Ron Britton, Fuel Cells Canada; and Ned Djilali, University of Victoria. BC Hydrogen Highway Projects Announced at Globe 2004 Preliminary Engineering for Fuelling Station Sacré-Davey Engineering will be performing preliminary engineering to develop a fuelling station located in North Vancouver based on a waste hydrogen stream. This work is a component of an Integrated Waste Hydrogen Utilization Project (IWHUP), defined as a multi-faceted, multi-member project designed to harness a large waste stream of hydrogen and stimulate the use of hydrogen in the transportation market. Sacré-Davey Engineering is based in North Vancouver. The company provides civil, structural and mechanical engineering and project management services to industrial, process and manufacturing customers located in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Funding: $96,000 Sacré-Davey Engineering will match that contribution. Total project cost is $192,000. Electrolyser Upgrade Powertech Labs has upgraded the existing Stuart Energy Systems electrolyser at the Compressed Hydrogen Infrastructure Program (CH2IP) station in Surrey, British Columbia. The original electrolyzer, supplied by Stuart Energy Systems, was a prototype package and has operated more than 10,000 hours at Powertech producing hydrogen for the testing program. The new unit will be more reliable and will consume less power. Powertech Labs, based in Surrey, B.C. provides testing, consulting and research services to the electric and natural gas industries, their customers and their suppliers. Funding: $265,000 BC Hydro/Powertech will match that contribution . Total project cost is $530,000. Development of Hydrogen Dispenser Fueling Technologies Inc. has delivered a 10,000-psi (700-bar) hydrogen dispenser to Powertech Labs. The hydrogen industry has been working for years to increase the amount of energy that is available through fuel cells. This has included better technologies for creating, and then storing, hydrogen gas. Currently, the vast majority of hydrogen dispensing systems operate at approximately 5,000 psi (350 bar) pressure. Moving to 10,000 psi (700 bar) will permit fuel-cell vehicles with 10,000-psi storage tanks to operate over greater ranges between fuelling. Increasing the range of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles is a major step forward in bringing about the commercialization of hydrogen fuel-cell technology (a stated goal of both government and industry participants). Fueling Technologies Inc. is an ISO9001:2000 certified company based near Toronto, Ontario. The company has more than ten years of experience in building hydrogen and compressed natural gas dispensers. Its hydrogen dispensing systems are used in dozens of demonstration projects with more than a dozen partners on three continents. Its industry firsts include the world’s first CE and ATEX certified dispensers (installed in Europe) and Japan’s first mobile hydrogen fuelling dispensers (fully KHK certified). This project is part of Powertech’s CH2IP (noted above). Funding: $124,500 Fueling Technologies Inc.will match that contribution. Total project cost is $249,000.
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