An RC race and construction challenge with cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells? 24h de St Jo!


Horizon is involved in pretty much all areas of hydrogen fuel cell technologies, from hydrogen-powered cars to fuel cell systems for telecom companies. But nothing delivers quite the same sense of satisfaction than our involvement in educational projects. Sometimes we get to be part of something very special, an event that captures the imagination of students and adults alike and helps spread awareness of fuel cell technology to a whole new generation of budding scientists. 24h de St Jo is just such an event.

Taking its inspiration from 24 Heures de le Mans, the oldest car race on earth, 24h de St Jo is a 1:10 scale RC car construction and racing challenge, designed to test the skills of mechanical engineering students and pit high schools against each other in friendly competition but also mutual discovery. To make the project even more interesting, rather than running off a traditional lithium battery the cars utilize Horizon’s H-Cell 2.0 fuel cell system and hybrid integration technology. Students get first hand, in-depth experience of the sustainable technology that is shaping the future of transport.

Needless to say, 24h de St Jo has enjoyed enormous success over its ten years of existence— even garnering attention from the French Minister for transport who later wrote that the French government is eager to invest in sustainable science projects in the future. Such has been the positive response that the organizers are looking to expand the competition across the channel to the UK.

The young engineers at St Jo high school doesn’t only make hybrid cars, however. As part of his introduction to the competition, Monsieur Cuveillier got to see the ‘H-bord’ hybrid RC boat first hand. Again, using Horizon’s H-Cell hobbykit Thierry Maison and his class created a model for real-scale nautical vehicles.

Horizon is delighted to be part of these kind of projects and by way of thanks we sent 24h de St Jo founder Thierry Maison a free i-H2GO to use in his classroom. Our own hydrogen powered RC car works on a similar principle to the amazing vehicles designed by St Jo students, only it’s controlled by an iPhone and includes a refueling station to separate hydrogen from distilled water.
Both the i-H2GO and H-Cell 2.0 are part of the Horizon education range. This is a selection of products that explores different aspect of alternative methods of energy generation. Solar and wind energy sets not only introduce students to the advantages of renewable tech, but also how by combining green solutions we can create self-contained clean energy systems. The salt water fuel cell, ethanol fuel cell and micro fuel cell science kits demonstrate the flexibility and variety of fuel cell technology. Our range of fuel cell RC cars give an insight into both the hydrogen hybrid engine and the H2 fuel station infrastructure, and our hobbykits let advanced students integrate hydride cartridges into their own RC projects.

No doubt we’ll be hearing a lot more about this competition as hydrogen transport becomes a reality across the European Union and increasingly in the US. Ten years ahead of its time, there’s little doubt that 24h de St Jo has a long and healthy future driving forward fuel cell technology through inspiring young engineers.

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