Technology Demonstrations a Hit At the Grove
Fuel Cell Symposium
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By Karen Hall and Jörg Weigl

The Grove Fuel Cell Symposium had record breaking attendance with over 600 participants and two technical tracks. However, the most impressive aspect of the symposium was the hydrogen technology demonstration area where live demonstrations ran throughout the day in the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London.  In fact, one of the highlights was the fuel cell recumbent tricycle, demonstrated by Jörg Weigl.  You may remember that Jörg was demonstrating a hydrogen recumbent bicycle at the NHA’s 14th Annual Hydrogen Conference and H2 Expo in Washington, DC in March 2003.  At that time, it was not possible to run the bicycle on hydrogen, as the venue did not allow hydrogen indoors.  Therefore he had to run the bicycle on the backup battery.

Jörg Weigl demonstrates his PIOS Hydrogen Tricycle at the Grove FC Symposium

The Grove organizers were able to work with the Senior Health & Safety Manager at ExCel and the Council representative for ExCel to gain approval for the indoor exhibits.  The final decision, however, was with the Grove committee.  I asked how they were able to convince so many people to approve indoor hydrogen demonstrations.  They told me that the new video from Hydrogen 2000, “Hydrogen: A Safe and Clean Fuel”, was shown, and that it had a significant positive impact.  It also helped that ExCel was a large exhibit facility, so the demonstrations could be held far enough away from the meeting areas as to minimize risk to the public.  It was an excellent opportunity to allow participants the chance to see that hydrogen fuel cells are here today.

Weigl's concept of the PIOS hydrogen fuel cell powered recumbent tricycle.

Jörg let people drive the tricycle, which travels up to 40 km/hr and included a fuel cell and onboard hydrogen storage.  It was a big hit.  The hydrogen storage tank was a 350 bar Dynatek composite wrapped aluminium tank.  The fuel cell was manufactured by H-Power, and is unfortunately no longer available.

Jörg has completed his Masters Thesis in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Applied Science in Ostfrieslam, Germany, on the PIOS vehicles he developed, and is now looking for an opportunity to work in the hydrogen/fuel cell field whilst working on a doctorate.

The experience gave a valuable insight into the importance of choosing an appropriate venue and having educational tools readily available to enable indoor hydrogen demonstrations to take place.  I am looking forward to the next Grove Fuel Cell Symposium in 2005.

You may contact the authors through email:

Karen Hall: khall@ttcorp.com

Jörg Weigl: joerg_weigl@web.de ©2003. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of the National Hydrogen Association.
This material may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

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