The only cryogenic hydrogen research laboratory in US academia.
Innovating electrofuels since 2010.
Imagine the challenge of storing and reliably dispensing fuel at -421°F, the temperature of liquid hydrogen. Go one step further — try it in microgravity. Not hard enough? If a vapor bubble leaves the bottom of the tank you’ll explode the turbo of your engine.
One of the greatest issues in developing a sustainable hydrogen economy is the issue of infrastructure. This project found that tube geometry can help cool gases, requiring less energy to keep fuel at cryogenic temperatures.
The first liquid hydrogen fueled drone by a University. Fourteen flights proved the airframe, electric propulsion, and guidance systems were working beautifully, and extensive ground testing and characterization of the hydrogen systems showed the fuel cell hydrogen powertrain was up to the task.
How To Engage With Professionals
In collaboration with Jacob Leachman.
Today I got lucky, I received the opportunity for a redo without having to face any consequences. I logged on to a zoom call expecting to meet with a professional and I was drastically underprepared. As a testament to my lack of preparation, I soon learned that our meeting was actually scheduled for next week. I took a deep breath, realizing that I would get a second chance. As a student, my goal is to learn, not just about hydrogen, but to absorb the knowledge and skills necessary to become a professional myself. Writing this blog post will serve as … » More …Read Story
Reasons to be thankful extracted from reference letters
Phrases I’m thankful for extracted from the reference letters I’ve written for the lab over the years:
“the quiet type that finishes everything they started.”
“I soon discovered that the majority of our recent hires applied because of them.”
“They quickly became a go-to member who could be relied upon.”
“They knew how to ask the types of questions that really engaged me.”
“Instead of asking for direction, they proposed paths and requested feedback.”
“They demonstrated continuous improvement by posting a plan, then improving on the plan for others.”
“They often saved time via quick calculations before heading to the lab.”
“Asked whether they are … » More …Read Story
Could smaller hydrogen liquefiers be better?
This is a pre-print of my October 2020 article for Cold Facts Magazine by the Cryogenic Society of America.
Although the minimum work to liquefy hydrogen is 3.92 kWh/kg, the current best performance for industrial scale hydrogen liquefiers is near 10 kWh/kg. In other words, the best hydrogen liquefiers are only achieving 40% of the theoretically possible efficiency. This energy cost to liquefy hydrogen is approximately 30% the energy content of the fuel at the lower heating value. Given the current trends towards renewable energy and low carbon content of cool electro-fuels like hydrogen, humanity is overdue for fundamental innovations in hydrogen … » More …Read Story
Reflections on privilege, decadence, and my life to become an academic
It’s Labor Day weekend and the beginning of the third week of a quarantined fall semester due to COVID-19. Over the last couple of weeks our community was home to considerable displays of decadence — parties of 100s without social distancing or facial coverings. Now the National Guard is coming to town to help cope with the surge of COVID-19 cases. Pullman topped the New York Times list of highest percentage of COVID-19 cases per capita on Labor Day. I hear the increased frequency of the Medivac helicopter flying over my house transporting people to Spokane; reminding me of the day I nearly lost my … » More …Read Story
How we master engineering through daily practice
“How do you practice to perform as an engineer?” — HYPER lab mentor PK Northcutt II
The question was simple and sincere. But I (Jake Leachman) had no answer. I had been an ‘engineer’ for over a decade and was now teaching others to be ‘engineers’, but I had nothing. With a decade of experience practicing football, shotput and discus, Jazz trombone, you name it; I had practiced for decades but could not identify a singular act or trait in engineering that could be considered deliberate ‘practice’ as I had, well, practiced with these other professional performances. Sure I’d given students homework problems to do … » More …Read Story