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H-power to supply Cambridge campus

News :

HYDROGEN POWER is set to provide transport solutions for Cambridge University's new campus and science park.

Initial approval for a £1.35M European grant was awarded last week to the Urban Integrated Solar to Hydrogen Energy Realisation (USHER) project.

Members of USHER include designers Whitby Bird & Partners, the University of Cambridge and the Gotlands Kommun - a Swedish Baltic island community which aims to have fully sustainable energy by 2025.

Photovoltaic thin film technology will replace the original design's expensive 350m long, 10m wide glass roofed colonnade. It will be the largest photovoltaic array in the country when constructed in 2003, as well as the world's largest renewable energy project used to produce hydrogen power.

Electricity produced from the solar panels, along with some water, is then put through an electrolyser - which generates oxygen and hydrogen. A bus transport link into the congested city centre will then be powered by the hydrogen produced. Once up and running the system will be cost free to run - with a negligible amount of water vapour the only emission.

'The real innovation is the system's ability to provide a constant level of energy, ' said Whitby Bird project engineer Shane Slater. This is a common problem with renewable energy sources and is overcome in this case by half the energy produced being stored in the form of hydrogen pressure.

Whitby Bird project engineer Ben Madden believes that: 'There is no excuse for the continued use of nuclear power when such a sustainable and environmentally sound alternative is so readily available.'

INFOPLUS www. whitbybird. com www. gotland. se

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