Hydrogen-Fueled Prius Arrives at HSU

Humboldt State University has taken delivery of a hydrogen-powered Toyota Prius that will use clean hydrogen fuel produced and dispensed at a new fueling station built by the campus's internationally recognized Schatz Energy Research Center.

A hydrogen-fueled Toyota Prius arrives at Humboldt State University.

The station, now in its test phase, will be California’s first rural facility in a breakthrough initiative called the “Hydrogen Highway,” whose importance is soaring in concert with world oil and gasoline prices.

Provided by the California Air Resources Board to encourage alternative transportation fuels, the Prius will be shared by HSU and other public agencies that have jointly supported the station project. The car was converted by Quantum Technologies of Irvine, CA., to run on hydrogen gas.

HSU’s hydrogen fueling station will be the northernmost link in California’s emerging Hydrogen Highway, a network of such stations that eventually will allow hydrogen-powered vehicles to travel throughout the state as global demand intensifies for alternative sources of energy.

The station is nearly complete and is undergoing final testing. It will produce enough hydrogen fuel to maintain a fleet of three or four hydrogen-powered cars. The Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) is pursuing funding and vehicle suppliers to build a planned hydrogen car fleet.

Project Manager Greg Chapman at the installation of the canopy for Humboldt State University’s Hydrogen Fueling Station, which is in its test phase.

A public dedication ceremony for the fueling station and car will take place at HSU on Thursday, September 4.

SERC has played an historic role in HSU’s decades-old reputation for green technology leadership. It promotes the use of clean and renewable energy, conducting research and development of new technology; designing, building, operating, and demonstrating clean and renewable energy systems; providing training for professionals; and educating the public about a sustainable energy future.

SERC’s close affiliation with HSU’s premier Environmental Resources Engineering program provides rare opportunities for undergraduate and graduate engineering students to acquire hands-on experience with cutting-edge energy technologies.

The Center also provides exceptional scientific and educational opportunities to local youth. Under SERC’s auspices, Arcata High School became one of the first institutions to participate in a hydrogen energy curriculum project in 2006, enabling chemistry students to learn about the chemistry of hydrogen and fuel cells. Arcata High students also assembled
and tested their own miniature hydrogen systems.

SERC is a national leader in introducing secondary students to the fuel cells and related devices that will be an integral part of their adult lives.