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 Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies of Singapore

The purpose of the G.E.P. for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Science/Technology education,is to assist students to further their understanding of hydrogen and fuel cell science/engineering education. Principals and teachers will be encouraged to develop modules to integrate with their existing curricula, so that by ~year 2007/8,H& Fuel Cell Science/Engineering education is formally introduced.Curriculum advisory groups at state or territory levels, should be receiving Expressions of Interest during year 2006,for year 2008 implementation. (Created 2004/5)

Below is report two(2) of a three(3) report series that was issued nationally across Australia between June-September 2004.The reports were issued at ministerial level, and copies now exist in all libraries in The Greater West of Sydney Australia. The report below has received commendation by the Minister for Education of Western Australia, The Hon. Allan Carpenter MP. See Report three(3)BASIC  FUEL  SCIENCE  

1.0. Introduction:

“ A parallel of significance has been reached, between the importance of hydrogen in its nuclear sense as in our stars, with hydrogen in its humble chemical sense, here on Earth”     – The Parallel of Significance©sz95A positive approach is always displayed to young students so that students are installed with a prosperous outlook as regarding their futures. As time progresses and students mature through adolescence, they of course notice differences to the real world they are being exposed to. Students then equate in their own ways such differences between their learning through teaching, and the real world they are becoming increasingly familiar with.

Such variances in my opinion can lead to unfortunate behaviours by students, as they express their anger at such differences. For the very first time a future for students can be proven to be consistent, prosperous and environmentally sustainable. I believe hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are currently in a pre-phase era, parallel to the pre-space era of the 1960’s no less.Students can be promised with a very high degree of certainty that before year 2015,they will be able to purchase a fuel cell powered vehicle (FCV), which will not only have the power of a conventional vehicle, but will not pollute the environment they live in. Tasmania recently produced Australia’s first fuel cell powered motorbike. Perth Western Australia will have fuel cell powered buses beginning operation this September, as part of a global trial.    

1.1   Why is it so important now?

The world has been trying for decades to find a replacement for fossil fuels used in transporation. Petrol/gasoline and diesel are fuels that pollute but as well are becoming more and more difficult to obtain from countries due to the instability of such countries. The conflicts in Iraq are a good example of geo-political issues, and the past economic consequences of oil shortages as well give strong reason to replace fossil fuels.Finally, scientists are becoming increasingly aware of the danger of greenhouse gas emissions to our planet’s environment, and that fossil fuel oil reserves underground, are not as large as first thought. So simply the very fossil fuels we have lived with for a century are dwindling a lot faster than first thought, and are causing much more damage to our world than first thought.

   1.2   The impact on our future:

The impact on our future world will be definite and real. The impact will strike the environment before year 2020 everlasting. The economic impact will be relatively measurable to the post space era. Countries will not become poor due to the links with the fossil fuel economy. Countries like India, China and Pakistan by example will like many others seek their own supplies of hydrogen in the future. A much fairer distribution of global wealth will result in time. Less geo-political squabbles will result between countries. Students should be made aware if possible in the social science subjects including economics of these overarching principles.

   1.3   Why is it important for Australia?

Firstly, students should be made aware that hydrogen is already Australia’s future energy carrier, as per the CSIRO and the federal government. The most critical of all reasons of explanation to students is that Australia has approximately ~6.7 MKls2 of landmass, and the solar energy that falls upon Australia daily is vast. Such vast solar energy can easily be converted to electrical energy which in turn via eletrolysis, breaks the water molecule (H-O bond) to produce hydrogen as an energy carrier.The world via The International Partnership for The Hydrogen Economy (IPHE), currently seek a country for a mass hydrogen demonstration project, and Australia fits perfectly with this desire.

So in a “nutshell” Australia currently is glaring at the opportunity of being one of the world’s most powerful suppliers of the future fuel, due to economies of scale. Australia has abundant port facilities, it is stable and secure, and is close to many countries that desire hydrogen. The economic impact on Australia’s future is thus potentially vast. It is perhaps quite ironic that the current debate in Australia as I write is The Free Trade Agreement. “The Sheep’s Back” is basically in sight and could return before year 2035, by a methodology obviously not being covered in the current F.T.A. debate. Students can be made aware of why Australia therefore now has great opportunity.

   2.0   “Stepping Stones” – How to get there:

After students are taught these basic principles, they then will enquire as to how best we get there. A series of logical steps is a fair and reasonable answer in my view. The production, storage and supply of hydrogen then must be looked at, as these are the main categories along with the very fuel cell technologies that will use such hydrogen.

   2.1   Hydrogen production, storage and transporation:

Students can be made aware that hydrogen can be produced from a variety of methods. Processing fossil fuels like petrol, diesel, coal, and oils to hydrogen production from water via electrolysis where electricity is generated from renewable sources like wind, tidal and solar are all possible. Renewable energy producing electricity and then hydrogen as an energy carrier, is our main long term goal of course.

Once hydrogen is mass-produced it needs to be stored safely so it can be transported by shipping in vast quantities. Hydrogen stored can be as well transported by rail and or truck. Within Australia it can be piped using our large pipeline network by being added as a small percentage to our natural gas pipeline by example. Hydrogen production then pipelining allows us to get around the issue of storing hydrogen. Hydrogen produced from a future hydrogen station will most probably start by hydrogen being produced onsite, by processing natural gas. Hydrogen is then stored onsite the hydrogen station and then dispensed to consumers. The above fundamental issues I believe can be taught to secondary school students.

   2.2   Solar hydrogen-Australia’s future choice:

A main “stepping stone” is to have the technology in place to be able to produce hydrogen from solar energy. The Australian National University (ANU) now has the largest solar dish (Paraboloid) in the world. Soon a large demonstration project will be built to see vast amounts of electricity generated from solar energy. Such a large project is a “Stepping Stone” as from it we progress to storing solar energy into chemical form, then to hydrogen. The CSIRO has Energy Tech.Park Newcastle NSW dedicated to these processes, as well as several main universities within Australia. A logical progression can thus be explained to students as above.

   2.3   Low  pressure storage of hydrogen:  

Once hydrogen is made it can be stored at pressure. We can operate today on hydrogen stored at up to 700bar or ~10,000 psi. That’s high pressure and we can do it safely today, but we seek the low-pressure storage of hydrogen to reduce risk further. Another fundamental “stepping stone” is thus to conquer hydrogen storage at low pressure. Australia is aware of this need as is the rest of the world. There is currently much R&D being done in this area involving nanotechnology achieving good preliminary results. The low-pressure storage of hydrogen should be available by year 2010 or sooner. NEXT Page 2.4

Principals and Teachers can email their project ideas

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