The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently invited the community to an open house event on October 8th. Pleasant View Electronics was in attendance. Since NREL is basically our neighbor and a lot of their engineers visit us to get parts and supplies needed for their experiments. We decided it would be a great opportunity to see some of the different areas of the campus and maybe meet up with some of our customers.
Also on this same day NREL had a dedication ceremony for their Hydrogen Fuel and Fuel Cell Technology that we will be seeing hitting the street in the next few years.
Seen here is a Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Vehicle. Looking at this vehicle in general it is almost seamlessly just like every other vehicle you see on the roads today. But with a few exceptions, there is no engine noise. These vehicles are silent when they drive, No loud exhaust or engine sounds. You do hear a bit of a slight whine from the electric motor.
Under the hood and a general glance at the power plant. It looks very similar to what you see under the hood of newer vehicles these days. But what’s really hidden under there is in my opinion one of the most awesome ways to produce energy.
The Fuel Stack generates power by combining oxygen from the outside air and the compressed hydrogen gas that is stored in the tank which produces an electrical charge and leaves behind Nitrogen and H2O.
Here we see the next generation of “Gas Pump” for the Hydrogen powered vehicles. The overall goal was to create a very similar fueling experience for the consumer. Everyone knows how to roll up to the pump and fill up the gas tank in their cars today, Why reinvent the wheel when it comes to filling up your Hydrogen Vehicle. Of course there are a slew of safety features built in to the the process of fueling your vehicle.
NREL is also working on other projects that will make our vehicles more efficient overall. Seen in the picture above are standard fossil fuel vehicles in which experiments are being done to increase the driver/occupant heating and cooling efficiency. Various test are being performed to the vehicles to measure what effects heating and cooling the vehicle such as paint color and different types of cabin heating/cooling systems like heated and cooled seats and different types of UV reflective glass.
On the way out, we got a good shot of the Solar Panels attached to the parking garage. These panels provide power to the parking structure lighting and also to provide energy to the electric vehicle recharging stations that are abundant within the structure.