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Last Call for Submissions: NREL Student Design Contest for Fuel Cell Vehicle Decals

Feb. 25, 2013

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is hosting a contest for students to design graphic decals for use on three fuel cell hybrid advanced vehicles (FCHV-adv) that NREL recently received on loan from Toyota. Students currently enrolled in a graphic design program at a university, community college, or technical school in the Denver Metro area are invited to participate.

Three winning student designs—one for each vehicle—will be selected based on the design specifications and themes described on the Student Design Contest webpage. Design mockups must be submitted to Hydrogen Education by March 1, 2013.

Once the graphics are applied, NREL will host a public event at its Visitors Center to unveil the vehicles and recognize the winning students. The students whose designs are selected will receive $50 for their design services.

NREL will showcase the vehicles at a variety of events to educate the public about advanced vehicle technologies and to solicit feedback for assessing consumer acceptance and interest in such vehicles.

More about the Vehicles
Based on the Toyota Highlander mid-size sport utility vehicle platform, the FCHV-adv has a fuel cell system with light-weight high-pressure hydrogen gas tanks, an electric motor, a nickel metal hydride battery, and a power-control unit that determines the split of power from the battery or the fuel cell stack to power the vehicle. When the fuel cell is in use, hydrogen is fed to the fuel cell stack where it is combined with oxygen from the air. The electricity produced by this chemical reaction is used to power the electric motor and charge the battery.

In addition to a high fuel economy (estimated 68 miles/kg on-road fuel economy, as verified in 2009 and documented in the Evaluation of Range Estimates for Toyota FCHV-adv report), the vehicles emit no harmful tailpipe emissions—water vapor is the only byproduct.

Filling up on Renewable Hydrogen
The vehicles on loan to NREL are fueled with renewable hydrogen made from wind and solar energy thanks to the Wind-to-Hydrogen Project, which uses wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays to power electrolyzer stacks that split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

—Julia Thomas