Horizon Fuel Cells, the manufacturer of the fuel cell stack we used in Genii, has announced operation of a hydrogen fuel cell powered quadrotor:
They anticipate flights up to 4 hours from the gaseous hydrogen fuel storage. Liquid hydrogen should be next.
NASA announced the winners of the 2015 SBIR Phase 1 competition. We partnered with Matthew Wright of Ultramet, an advanced material solutions company based in Pacoima CA, to win the Cryogenic Fluid Management for In-Space Transportation sub-topic with a proposal titled, “Parahydrogen-Orthohydrogen Catalytic Conversion for Cryogenic Propellant Passive Heat Shielding.” As stated in the citation abstract, “The Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) laboratory at Washington State University (WSU) recently demonstrated a Cryocatalysis Hydrogen Experiment Facility (CHEF) to characterize parahydrogen-orthohydrogen catalysts for passive heat shielding.” This work builds off of Ron Bliesner’s graduate work during his Master’s Thesis that eventually built CHEF.
Jefferson County Washington is embracing their sustainable energy future. I recently gave a presentation at their Clean Energy luncheon in Port Townsend and was both proud and amazed by the level of engagement combined with a sense of urgency from the community. Video from the full talk starts at 5:00 here: http://porttownsendmedia.com//energy/Leachman.php A major part of humanities sustainable energy future will rely on local county and community efforts to work together for mutual benefit. Good luck Jefferson County!
Congratulations to Blue Origin in their successful launch of the New Shepard rocket:
Four Cougs participated in the effort, three of which are from the HYPER lab. Congratulations to Eric, Ron, Justin, and Patrick!
A report by the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom was just released that emphasizes and quantifies the benefit of cryogenics to the UK economy. Here are a few statistics from the full report:
-Total direct and indirect annual contributions to UK economy is $492 million.
-Between $2.4-$5 billion generated in next 10 years.
To place this into context, the US economy is 2.5 times the size of the UK’s. If it scales, that could mean $1.5 billion/year generated in the US from a field that produces less than a handful of graduate engineers/year across the US. NASA and other organizations have said publicly that they are desperately hiring new engineers to try to train them in-house through an apprenticeship system. While that’s better than nothing, it does not meet the definition of a professional. We need more folks trained in cryogenic engineering through our research institutions and the National Academies should take action. We definitely do not need more intellectual in-breeding occurring in a field that’s desperate for a renaissance.
HYPER lab member Victor Charoonsophonsak just won the Voiland College of Engineering Outstanding Junior Award for 2014. A writeup is posted at the following link: https://news.wsu.edu/2015/04/15/engineering-architecture-honors-students-faculty-staff/#.VTAGZPnF8xQ
He joins Melissa Street and Patrick Gavin bringing the total number of HYPER lab members to 3 over the last 4 years that have won the highest award the college can offer. Congratulations Victor!
Paul Allen has formed a new deep space company, Vulcan Aerospace, that is looking to mine asteroids. We look forward to helping them find the talent and cryogenics research they’ll need:
Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a new approach to hydrogen production from corn biomass:
When will somebody engineer an effective way to store and distribute the hydrogen? Stay tuned…
HYPER Lab member Eli Shoemake was featured with Victor Charoonsophonsak in this Month’s edition of “Inside Honors” the WSU Honors College Newsletter:
Leslie Helm featured our vortex hydrogen liquefaction concept in Seattle Business Insider’s “Bright Ideas” column: