Last Friday I sent the following message to all students, faculty, and staff in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture at WSU:

It is my pleasure to announce the formation of WSU’s H2Refuel team. The team is competing for a Department of Energy $1 million prize competition to develop an in-home or community based hydrogen vehicle refueling system.

We will leverage our prior win in the 2014 Hydrogen Student Design Competition to develop a drop-in hydrogen refueling station, 2nd place in the 2012 Hydrogen Student Design Challenge to generate heat, hydrogen, and power for the local campus, and development of the Genii Liquid Hydrogen fueled Unmanned Aerial System (UAS/drone).

Our novel approach is to develop the first ever efficient (>30% of ideal), small (<1 MW), modular hydrogen liquefaction system utilizing WSU patent pending technologies for vortex liquefaction and cryogenic thermal compression. Regardless of the competition, if we are successful in developing this technology we will change the paradigm of clean energy storage for the betterment of humanity.

If you want to be a part of this effort, show up to our inaugural meeting on Monday at 3 pm in Thermal Fluids Research Building (TFRB) 108 (through the double doors on the northwest side of TFRB). If you cannot make the meeting but still want to be involved, sign up for the team’s Slack channel by sending me an e-mail.

In 3 days we had 3 staff, 4 faculty, and 20 students volunteer their support towards our effort!!! In less than 1 day on the team, over half of the students worked throughout the day refurbishing our design suite within our 5000 square foot build space in the Thermal Fluids Research Building (TFRB). In short, we have the people, space, and ideas to accomplish the improbable. An advance that can not only enable the coming fleet of hydrogen fueled vehicles, but provide an alternative renewable energy storage technology for windfarms or micro-grid/islands.

So it’s your turn to spread the word. It takes $3,600 to fund an engineer at $15/hour, 20 hours a week for the rest of summer. It’s this or fast food. All that lies between this group and throwing open the doors on the hydrogen economy is your support. Help us out here.