TodayApril 17, 2022

Los Altos Academy of Engineering hydrogen

Infusion wins first place

The infusion was intended to be a vehicle innovative in every way. In addition to utilizing hydrogen fuel cell technology, the body of Infusion is unique in that it is modeled after the shape of a teardrop to minimize air resistance. Students utilized
AutoCAD and Rhino to design the vehicle completely.

Infusion uses a complex system of regulators and valves to store ultra-pure hydrogen to run the Ballard Nexa fuel cell. The fuel cell outputs 1200 watts of power, equivalent to that of a hairdryer.

Infusion is a three-wheeled vehicle with a carbon-steel chassis and bulkheads made out of aluminum and Nomex honeycomb composite material. The front suspension of the vehicle is composed of dual A-arms wrapped around torsion bars while the rear suspension is composed of a swing-arm and single bicycle damper. The rear wheel of the vehicle is driven by a belt from the 12-horsepower motor.

Infusion’s body was constructed at Cerritos College by students of LAAE’s composites team. The body was manufactured using an
environmentally friendly, state of the art; a technique called infusion impregnation to produce an extremely light and strong body. The body took four attempts and two years to complete a body that met the weight and structural requirements.

The LAAE at Los Altos High School is a joint program with the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District and La Puente Valley Regional Occupational Program. Founded in 1989, the LAAE is one of the remaining career and technical education programs in California. LAAE has many notable achievements in building electric and solar vehicles. The mission of the Los Altos Academy of Engineering is to establish opportunities in mathematics, science, computer science, and engineering for students who demonstrate an early interest in these career fields

Tomorrow’s engineer’s passion starts at the Los Altos Academy of Engineering.

Watch a student describe how hydrogen gas powers a fuel cell vehicle at the 2007 Shell Eco-marathon event at the California Speedway, Fontana CA April 13, 2007

Los Altos Academy of Engineering’s vehicle, “Infusion,” won first place in the hydrogen category, at 1,038 miles per gallon.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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