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$2M hydrogen testing facility to target fuel cell innovation


Vancouver, BC – The Honourable Stephen Owen, Minister for Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), on behalf of the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the National Research Council (NRC), today opened the

A $2 million hydrogen technology environmental chamber (HTEC) at Canada’s NRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (NRC-IFCI) at the University of British Columbia has opened. The only public facility of its kind, it will allow companies and researchers to test and evaluate hydrogen vehicles and stationary power systems under a wide range of climatic conditions – all from one location. This is an important step in moving hydrogen and fuel cell products closer to commercialization.

The HTEC will simulate extreme temperature, humidity, and altitude to create conditions ranging from an arid desert to the coolness of high altitudes or the heat and humidity of the tropics. It is large enough to hold a complete vehicle and is equipped with a chassis dynamometer. The facility will serve as an invaluable way to minimize real-world testing, which can require transporting equipment and personnel to extremely remote regions of the world.

“NRC-IFCI is a perfect example of how a research institute can support and anchor a growing technology cluster,” said Dr Michael Raymont, NRC president (acting). “By combining this facility for testing and product demonstration with our research expertise and services such as the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), we will make a critical contribution to the commercialization of fuel cell technology in Canada.”

The HTEC was built through a partnership between government and industry. Funding for the HTEC was announced in June 2003 and was provided by the National Research Council Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada, and Fuel Cells Canada. In-kind support was provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada.