The first phase of an off-grid hydrogen-powered exhibition hall was unveiled in Shanghai’s Jiading district. The project is a collaboration between Shanghai International Automobile City and Tongji University.

The exhibition hall prototype is the first of its kind in China, consisting of a refitted container housing the hydrogen fuel cell and an inflatable dome tent for activities. It is the brainchild of Wu Zhiqiang, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a former professor at Tongji University.

The full-size exhibition hall, which is scheduled to open by the end of this year, will encompass 500 square meters and showcase knowledge about hydrogen energy and its diverse applications in daily life and manufacturing.

Its primary construction will be made of air-supported membranes. The airborne structure was inspired by the Fire Eye lab, which was deployed in numerous cities worldwide last year for COVID-19 testing.

The 5-kilowatt fuel cell was contained in a container and supplied with hydrogen via tanks. One hydrogen tank can create ten kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is about enough to power the exposition hall’s lighting for an entire day.

As a readily available and clean energy source, hydrogen was viewed as a possible substitute for fossil fuels and was included in China’s long-range objectives through 2035, implying that the country will accelerate the development of a variety of future industries, including hydrogen power and energy storage.

Additionally, Shanghai’s municipal 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) has identified hydrogen energy as one of six industrial development priorities, alongside genetics, photonic chips, and the marine industry.

According to the municipal government, nearly 1,500 hydrogen vehicles and nine hydrogen fueling stations are in use throughout the city. By 2025, it hoped to have more than 70 hydrogen stations spread throughout the five newly planned satellite cities, as well as the Hongqiao and Pudong airports.

Nedim Husomanovic

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