This coming Thursday, April 14, 2011, SAE International will hold its first ever “World in Motion Fuel Cell Olympics” in Detroit. The event is being sponsored by GM. Last week I had talked about Michigan getting its first public hydrogen fueling station. So, it looks like the Great Lakes State (or the Wolverine State depending upon who you ask) is stepping up their game in regard to hydrogen technology.
According to SAE, “The technology behind the cars is available to educators, volunteers and young engineers. Using distilled water as the source for hydrogen fuel, the reversible fuel cell is used to electrolyze water and then the hydrogen produced is drawn back into the fuel cell to power the electric motor.
“The Fuel Cell Olympics have four different events, covering different components of successful vehicle engineering: distance, weight, accuracy and speed. All of the events take place on a ten meter track. The goal of the distance event is for the car to travel as long as possible while staying in the guidelines of the track. The goal of the weight category is for the car to travel as far as possible with an attached weight. The goal of the accuracy event is to have the car stop at a specific point in the ten meter strip. The goal of the speed event is to have the car that crosses the ten meter line in the shortest time. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to student teams for each event.”
I’ve talked about other student hydrogen fuel cell car competitions in the past such as this one in Union County, NJ. It’s always good seeing competitions such as this so that the educators of today can teach the engineers of tomorrows where future jobs will be and how to become an active part in revolutionary technology that will forever change how people drive.