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Hydrogen-powered transit and commuter rail featured at fifth international hydrail conference in Charlotte

BOONE – Innovative hydrogen technology for streetcar and commuter rail applications will be featured at the fifth International Hydrail Conference June 11-12 in Charlotte, N.C. The conference is hosted by the Appalachian State University Energy Center, the Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte and the Hydrogen Economy Action Team of Mooresville.

More information is available at http://www.hydrail.org.

In addition to a special panel discussion on hydrolleys – hydrogen-powered streetcars – the conference will spotlight Canada’s growing expertise in hydrail. The conference also will feature an insider’s tour of the Charlotte Area Transit System’s new light rail operations and a reception and dinner.

Other panels include an introduction to hydrogen rail applications, an examination of future nuclear and industrial hydrogen production technology, a review of international activities, and opportunities for hydrail manufacture and deployment in the Charlotte area.

Previous conferences in Charlotte, Herning, Denmark, and Valencia, Spain, have played a significant role in the development of both hydrail technology and an international network of related researchers, regulators and developers.

Hydrogen trains, or hydrail, offer the promise of highly efficient emission-free mass transit without the expense or unsightliness of traditional electric rail systems with overhead power lines, called catenaries. Hydrogen rail technology may also serve as a cornerstone in the development of a regional hydrogen fuel infrastructure for transportation.

A public research university, UNC Charlotte is the fourth largest campus among the 17 institutions of the University of North Carolina system. It is the largest institution of higher education in the Charlotte region.  The university offers 18 doctoral programs, 61 master’s degree programs and 89 programs leading to bachelor’s degrees.  Fall 2008 enrollment exceeded 23,300 students, including almost 4,800 graduate students.

The Appalachian State University Energy Center, located in Boone, N.C., is a multi-disciplinary applied research center working in the area of energy. The Energy Center draws upon faculty resources from across the university, including business, economics, political science, technology, chemistry, physics, and sustainable development. The center also is closely involved with regional and national organizations dedicated to facilitating the advancement of the hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

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Contacts:

Stan Thompson, Hydrogen Economy Action Team, (704) 664-5486
Jason Hoyle, Appalachian State University Energy Center, (828) 262-7934
Barry Burks, Charlotte Research Institute UNC-Charlotte (704) 687-8283