UCI?s National Fuel Cell Research Center Sponsors Exhibit at 2005 World's Fair

03.23.05 – The National Fuel Cell Research Center at UC Irvine, a Calit2 academic partner, will demonstrate the fuel cell’s potential at the 2005 World’s Fair, called EXPO 2005, opening Friday, March 25, in Aichi, Japan.

NFCRC 2005 Expo Display
Fuel cell (at right) with display backdrop

Nearly 2 million people are expected to see the exhibit, which demonstrates the fuel cell’s promise as a dependable, efficient and environmentally friendly source of energy. It will be one of five main displays featured in the U.S. Pavilion’s exhibit hall at EXPO 2005. The Expo, which opens March 25 and runs through Sept. 25, is located east of Nagoya in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture. In selecting the theme “Nature’s Wisdom,” Japan cites the need for “modern science and technology to create a better world where humankind and nature can co-exist in harmony.” More than 120 countries and numerous other exhibitors are participating in this event.

The theme for the U.S. Pavilion is “The Franklin Spirit” in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of American statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin. A virtual 3-dimensional image of Franklin will serve as the pavilion’s official host and describe technologies of the past, present and future in the multimedia show. With an emphasis on innovation, the U.S. Pavilion’s exhibit hall will feature, among other displays, a replica of the 1902 Wright Glider, a full-scale model of the Mars Rover space vehicle, the NFCRC’s hydrogen fuel cell exhibit and the GM Autonomy fuel cell concept vehicle.

 “We are very excited to be a part of the U.S. Pavilion,” said NFCRC Director Scott Samuelsen. “This is a perfect venue for showcasing the fuel cell’s potential for residential, commercial and industrial applications.”

U.S. Pavilion
U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2005

The NFCRC is sponsoring the exhibit in association with the Pacific Rim Consortium on Energy, Combustion and the Environment, a partnership of universities and companies that promote the advancement of efficient and environmentally friendly energy technologies in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Chile and the United States. PARCON was established in 1992 by the UCI energy program as an experiment to accelerate the advancement of environmentally preferred electric power generation in the region.

The fuel cell exhibit was made possible through private donations, primarily a major gift from one of the center’s industry partners, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., based in Torrance, Calif.

“The fuel cell and other ‘clean’ energy technologies have the potential to help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while sustaining economic growth, and the health of our environment and our communities,” said Jim Press, Toyota Motor Sales’ executive vice president and chief operating officer. “The NFCRC plays an instrumental role in advancing these technologies, and we are delighted to help the center in its efforts to increase public awareness of the fuel cell’s potential.”

The fuel cell exhibit features a 5-kilowatt GenSys™ stationary fuel cell manufactured by NFCRC industry member Plug Power of Latham, N.Y. Next to the fuel cell, the NFCRC has designed a demonstration resembling a water fountain to illustrate how heat produced by the fuel cell in the generation of electricity can be used to heat water.

Other elements of the display include an animated video describing fuel cell technology and its benefits, large-scale images of current and future technologies that employ fuel cells, and a model home designed to show how a photovoltaic panel in combination with a fuel cell could handle the power needs of a single-family home.

For more information about EXPO 2005, see www.expo2005.or.jp. For more information about the NFCRC, see www.nfcrc.uci.edu.

About the National Fuel Cell Research Center
The NFCRC combines fundamental research with market-driven industry activities to advance the deployment of fuel cells, hydrogen and fuel cell technology. It was established at the University of California , Irvine in 1997 in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission. The center was formally dedicated on Feb. 28, 1998.

Media contact: Kathy Haq, (949) 824-1999, ext. 118, or khaq@nfcrc.uci.edu