How do you combine urban waste, hydrogen, and heat recovery into one power system?
A team of University of Maryland undergraduate and graduate engineering students designed a solution to this question as part of the Hydrogen Student Design Contest — a competition supported by the Energy Department to challenge university students to design hydrogen energy applications for real-world use. With a different theme every year, this year’s contest required teams to plan and design a combined heat, hydrogen, and power (CHHP) system (also known as a “tri-generation” system) for their university campus using local resources.
The Maryland team, which won for its tri-generation design, had to think creatively to overcome a challenge associated with its campus’s urban location. During the first phase of the contest — developing a feedstock analysis — the students realized their campus didn’t have enough waste to produce sufficient energy for the fuel cell system design. As an innovative solution, they opted to use waste from the nearby City of College Park in addition to their campus source to feed their CHHP design.