Thursday, August 25, 2011

September Meeting and Reorganization

Exciting news ahead for OC Renewables!

First, join us at our next regular meeting on Thursday, September 8, 6:30 PM at the Duck Club. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Jack Brouwer, the Associate Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) located at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Dr. Brouwer's topic will be Turning Waste Into Energy: Overview of Fuel Cells. At the NFCRC, Dr. Brouwer has overall responsibility of the management and operations of the center as well as the challenges associated with the development of this unique concept. The NFCRC is breaking new ground in the design and conduct of both a university center and a National Center. This, coupled with the extraordinary changes that are occurring with regard to electric restructuring and global climate requirements, is bringing focused attention of the world's community to high-efficiency, environmental-preferred energy generation options with fuel cell technology serving as the principal target.

Dr. Brouwer will speak to us about his last ten years of hard work bringing the sewage-to-hydrogen project online at the Orange County Sanitation District in Fountain Valley. The Fuel Cell Research Center recently posted the following: "Imagine being able to get the equivalent of 70 miles per gallon in your car, keep your home cool and power your computer – all from sewage. Thanks to technology developed by UC Irvine’s National Fuel Cell Research Center and partners, that’s now possible. Ten years of hard work, led by center associate director Jack Brouwer, has paid off in a cutting-edge project at the Orange County Sanitation District in Fountain Valley. A unique fuel cell generator simultaneously and continuously converts gas created in wastewater digesters to hydrogen used for zero-emission vehicle fuel, electricity and heat in a highly efficient manner.

“This will reduce smog and greenhouse gases and mean a better quality of life for Southern Californians,” says Brouwer, showing off the white generator box and shiny silver pipes across from a waste settling pond, along with a brand-new hydrogen fueling station. Starting this month, drivers of select hydrogen-run cars will be able to exit the 405 freeway at Euclid Avenue and fill up with converted sewage waste. Numerous major automakers have announced plans to commercially manufacture such vehicles by 2015. Using locally produced hydrogen will increase its supply and bring costs in line with other renewable energy sources.

Also, at this meeting, we will start the process for electing new officers to the Board of Directors. OC Renewables is at the point where we need to find the best, most persuasive case to promote renewable energy to Orange County and celebrate renewable energy success stories.
If you think you have an idea, or are willing to make a contribution, this is your chance! Contact Lori Greene to find out more details about being a member of the Board and what Board members do.

See you on Thursday the 8th!