From the World’s Fair to the Orange County Fair

NFCRC fuel cell exhibit gains local popularity and exposure


Amidst carnival rides, outdoor concerts, and “best of” competitions, a fuel cell exhibit presented by the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the 2005 World’s Fair, made its U.S. debut at the Orange County Fair this July in Costa Mesa.  The exhibit, made possible by a gift from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., was shown by invitation from the fair’s board of directors and viewed by thousands of fair-goers, some of whom visited the fair expressly to learn more about this emerging energy technology. 

More than 2 million people viewed the fuel cell exhibit at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan, where it was one of only five exhibits highlighted in The American Journey gallery in the U.S. Pavilion.


The local fuel cell exhibit was modified slightly, but utilized the original signage, which featured English and Japanese text in respect of the Expo’s host country. The display included a brief animated video, a stationary fuel cell, a one-of-a-kind unit showing how the heat created by the fuel cell in the production of electricity can be captured and used, images of current and future fuel cell technologies.  Conceptual panels depicting the three main elements of a fuel cell, and an architectural model showing how fuel cells and photovoltaic technology could be combined in the future to provide all of the power needed in a residential setting, were also shown.

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