National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day
Happy National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day!
Blog Written by Steven E. Beyer, Director of Business Development for Re:Build Optimation
We join in celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell day www.hydrogenandfuelcellday.org and week, beginning October 8 (leveraging the atomic weight of hydrogen, 1.008 to the date 10/08). More than just a “Hallmark holiday”, this recognition is meant to draw attention and to recognize the importance that hydrogen and the technologies related to producing energy from it are playing in our world. As most often cited, hydrogen is the most abundant element on the planet and is being harnessed for a huge variety of applications. It has the potential to replace so many other earth-depleting resources that it is attractive to consumers and conservers alike.
Tremendous investments and initiatives are underway in electrolysis, the process of generating hydrogen from water. This process cleanly and efficiently separates the hydrogen and oxygen molecules so that we can store the hydrogen for a wide variety of uses.
One of the most interesting applications for hydrogen is production of electricity through a set of chemical reactions occurring in fuel cells. There are many different types for many different purposes. PEM fuel cells, or proton exchange membrane/polymer electrolyte membrane, solid oxide, molten carbonate, and other technologies break down the hydrogen into usable components of water, heat, and electricity. Thus hydrogen fuel cells can be used to power cars and trucks, stationary applications such as data centers and hospitals, consumer and other products, even off the grid applications bringing clean power that would otherwise be difficult to access.
Industry leaders such as Plug Power of Latham, NY and Rochester, NY (home of PlugPower’s new gigafactory), FuelCell Energy of Danbury CT, and Nuvera of Billerica, MA are prominent hydrogen and fuel cell innovators and producers. They are leading the domestic and global technology surge to bring down the cost, maximize the safety, and expand the applicability and availability with all the benefits that hydrogen brings. These innovators and manufacturers are pushing the envelope globally, with their foundations right here in the Northeast US and branching out across the country on the West Coast, in the southwest USA, and internationally.
At Optimation we are making equipment in this ever-increasingly expanding market. The advancements in materials, processes, and chemistries are making tremendous gains and one of our jobs is to assure their efficacy and productivity. Our manufacturing capabilities to produce this sophisticated and sensitive equipment are putting us in a position to support accelerating and increasing commercialization and innovation in fuel-cell stacks and systems. This includes the electrolyzer equipment that produces the hydrogen, the related “balance of plant” production and downstream infrastructure, and dispensing systems that get the hydrogen and electricity to end users.
Celebrating national Hydrogen and Fuel Cell day and the achievements being made helps to ensure that hydrogen gets the recognition and the credit it deserves for the ability to transform the global economy, our energy infrastructure, and the local and regional landscapes around us. Optimation, along with our parent Re:Build Manufacturing and our affiliated companies, are pushing the envelope in many aspects of these technologies so that our clients in these critical industries can keep developing and delivering clean energy for our future.
Steven E. Beyer