A mobile lighting system powered by a fuel cell was used at the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on July 8th 2011. The hydrogen fuel cell provided power to an advanced, proprietary Light Emitting Plasma (LEP) lighting system in the press area, plus up to 2.5 kW additional auxiliary power to recharge the camera battery packs for a number of photographers at the event.

The system was developed by Sandia National Laboratories with several industry partners, sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DoE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and Boeing. This is the latest in a series of high-profile demonstrations of the system, bringing it to the attention of NASA’s visitors, shuttle astronauts and members of the international media.

Mobile lighting typically uses diesel generators; Sandia researchers estimate that a single hydrogen fuel cell powered lighting system would offset 900 US gallons of diesel fuel per year, eliminating emissions and allowing for indoor use.

Multiquip, one of the industrial partners collaborating on the project, is implementing a manufacturing and commercialisation plan for the system.

Source: FuelCellWorks