This is a story of trials and tribulations for harnessing hydrogen for the
benefit of humankind, written by one of the pioneers in the field of
hydrogen energy. It is also a charming and entertaining book, and is a true
storya story how a high school kid's dream became reality. And Roger
Billings indeed played a central role in this.
This book is written in chronological order, starting with the first high
school experiments, through a series of engines converted to use hydrogen,
to the most recent research on a fuel cell powered vehicle. Description of
the experiments is sometimes so detailed that the enthusiastic reader should
have no difficulty in repeating the experiments, and give his own
contribution in creating and developing hydrogen technologies. There are
many useful details and valuable suggestions based on the author's 25 years
of experience. There is no other book, which provides so much information
about the best carburetor for water induction in a hydrogen engine or the
type and size of the manifold for hydrogen fuel.
Books usually do not provide descriptions of failed experiments, although
the unsuccessful experiments are the best lessons. Billings, as a pioneer in
the field of hydrogen energy, had his share of mistakes. The reader
therefore will learn the pitfalls first hand. The author provides very
useful details of the problems that he had to solve, and gives even more
details on how he solved them.
It is amazing how with unbounded enthusiasm Billings made (and is still
making) his dream come true. He created the world's first hydrogen car,
first liquid hydrogen car, first hydrogen bus, first metal hydride storage,
first hydrogen homestead, and finally the first fuel cell car which can be
charged with hydrogen just using household electricity. In his career, he
was often in a position that he did it first but no one believed that he
really did it, and then when it became a standard no one remembered who did
it first. But he did not care, because he had only one goalto contribute
to the realization of the concept of Hydrogen Economy.
This book is recommended to everyone who wants to put his hands on hydrogen
technology. It should be useful to a wide range of readers, from high school
students and teachers working on hydrogen related projects, to graduate
students and researchers planning to undertake some serious experiments.
Actually everyone who plans to do any experiment with hydrogen engines
should first read this book and probably would find the answers to many
questions, even before they arise.
(Dr. T. Nejat Veziroglu, President
International Association for Hydrogen Energy)