HyTEC Update

HyTEC Fuel Cells

The commercial fuel cells tested for the HyTEC project.

SERC has been working with the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) at UC Berkeley since 2004 on the Hydrogen Technology and Energy Curriculum (HyTEC) project. The curriculum introduces hydrogen and fuel cells into high school chemistry and science courses. To date we have completed a curriculum module consisting of six activities. The module has been field tested in numerous schools throughout the country. The curriculum module is built around a laboratory kit that allows small groups of students to work with a bench top electrolyzer and fuel cell. Students generate hydrogen via electrolysis, use the hydrogen to operate a fuel cell and power an electric motor, and then measure the efficiency of the fuel cell. In the process they learn about electrochemistry and how a fuel cell works.

SERC developed the bench top kit and is now working with LHS and Lab-Aids Inc. to commercialize the kit. In support of this effort, SERC recently tested various single-cell educational fuel cells to see how well they performed and how well they would fit into our laboratory kit. Later this year we hope to finalize the curriculum with LHS and support them in making the curriculum available nationwide to help educate our future scientists and engineers.

About Jim Zoellick

James is a Senior Research Engineer at SERC. He has a B.S. Degree in Environmental Resources Engineering from Humboldt State University, and has worked professionally in the energy field since 1990. Since 1995 he has been a project manager at SERC and has been involved in the design, development, installation, and start-up of electrolytic hydrogen generation systems, hydrogen vehicle fueling stations, hydrogen fuel cell power systems, and solar electric power systems. Mr. Zoellick was the project manager and lead designer for both the Schatz Hydrogen Generation Center and the Zweig Education Building Fuel Cell System at SunLine Transit . Mr. Zoellick's additional work at SERC has included the development and demonstration of hydrogen fuel cell systems for real world applications, including vehicles and stationary, portable and remote power systems. Mr. Zoellick has also been involved in the design, installation, testing and modeling of photovoltaic energy systems, including the design and installation of a 2 kW AC grid-intertied system at the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology. Mr. Zoellick has taught several college level energy courses. He is the current chairman for the City of Arcata Energy Committee.