The Burpee water quality station could be the site for showcasing renewable energy and hydrogen-based products that have been implemented to operate the entire facility. The site could also serve as a hydrogen fueling station for a Rockford Park District trolley and/or Rockford Mass Transit bus.
Funding in the form of grants and tax breaks are probably available. Also, local or regional manufacturers may be interested in donating time and materials to produce some of the products. This proposal would increase students learning opportunities at the station and serve as a downtown attraction and marketing tool.
1. Hydro, solar and wind products could be combined to directly power electrical systems in the water quality station. When these power sources are not available, a stationary fuel cell could be used.
Fuel cell and hydrogen storage
2. Hydro, solar and wind products could also be used to pump water from the river.
A. The water quality station could purify the water.
B. Through electrolysis, the purified water could be separated into hydrogen and oxygen. An electrolyzer could be stored inside the water quality station.
C. The hydrogen gas could be stored above or below ground and used to feed an external fuel cell. The fuel cell could be used to power the water quality station, when needed. Some, if not most of the water produced through the use of the fuel cell could be recycled back into the electrolyzer.
D. If desired, the stored hydrogen could also be used as a fueling station for a Rockford District trolley and/or Rockford Mass Transit bus.