The final and 135th launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis at the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center also saw the deployment of a mobile lighting system powered by the hydrogen fuel cell.
Sandia National Laboratories along with a number of industry partners has developed the system sponsored by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in association with the Boeing Company.
The mobile unit supplied the required power to light the international press area and its backup power supported the recharge of the camera batteries used by the photographers covering the event. Earlier to its deployment at NASA, the mobile system was used in a number of prestigious places.
Unlike the normally used diesel powered mobile units that generate good amount of carbon dioxide, smog, soot and noise during the power production process, the mobile lighting units powered by the hydrogen fuel cell offer efficient, quite and clean power generation. The system incorporates a fuel cell that utilizes pure hydrogen to generate power thus producing electricity with zero emissions. The incorporated fuel cell generates enough power to supply the latest Light Emitting Plasma TM (LEP) lighting facility that consumes less quantity of power as well as to maintain an extra supporting power unit of 2.5 kW to supply power to the microphone, metal detectors and power tools. According to Sandia Researchers, a lighting system utilizing a single hydrogen fuel cell can substitute the use of around 900 gal of diesel every year and allow its usage indoors.
The mobile unit has been tried out in a range of surroundings in the airports, transportation and entertainment segments. The system in addition to NASA has been earlier successfully tested at the 2011 Grammy Awards, the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards, the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony.
In addition to DOE, the other industries participated in the project include Ovonic Hydrogen Solutions, Golden State Energy, Stray Light Optical Technologies, Lumenworks, Luxim, Altergy Systems, Multiquip and Boeing.