Over a 5-year period, the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute has been developing the Environmental Sensor System (patent pending) which will allow proton exchange membrane fuel cells to be safely and reliably operated in environments with a highly contaminated atmosphere. As a demonstration, the Environmental Sensor System is being installed onto two fuel cell powered buses to be operated on the Island of Hawaii at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This active volcano is consistently emitting high levels of sulfur based compounds in the atmosphere and the Environmental Sensor System will serve to detect the air contamination and allow the bus control system to protect the fuel cell from exposure to the air contaminants. The successful demonstration of the technology will validate the devices and methodologies developed and form a foundation to adapt the technology to other fuel cell platforms across stationary and mobile applications.

Point Person: Scott Higgins