Billings Energy Corporation was founded by Roger Billings in 1973 to continue his work in the development of hydrogen energy systems. Right away the company gained worldwide attention with the successful development of numerous hydrogen fueled vehicle prototypes, safe metal hydride-based hydrogen storage systems, and the world's first completely hydrogen powered residence, dubbed the "Hydrogen Homestead". Billings Energy Corporation
Billings' hydrogen work attracted the attention of industry leaders, such as Winnebago founder John Hansen, who in 1974 invested $1 million to acquire a 20 percent stake in the newly formed energy development company. Billings soon found himself surrounded with talented engineering and business management professionals, including members of the Company's Board of Directors -- Willis Hawkins, retired Chairman of Lockheed California, and George Romney, former Governor of Michigan and founder of American Motors.
However, the timing was not right for widespread hydrogen energy implementation in the 1970's. The problems with fossil fuels had not yet emerged to the level of seriousness that we are seeing today, and an efficient and affordable method of using hydrogen in an automobile was yet to be developed. In 1984, Billings sold most of his interest in the Billings Energy Corporation and set out, using his own money, on the somewhat risky endeavor of developing a hydrogen fuel cell -- a device that could propel a vehicle so efficiently so as to increase the range by three times, making the cost of operating on hydrogen competitive with hydrocarbon fuels.
In 1991, Billings unveiled Laser Cell 1, the world's very first hydrogen fuel cell powered automobile. Reaction to this technological breakthrough was very positive, with fuel cell development programs being initiated at auto companies in several countries. In his State of the Union Address before Congress in 2003, President George Bush announced a hydrogen fuel cell car initiative, which he said would be funded to the tune of $1.2 billion to move this technology into full scale commercialization in the near future. Similar announcements in both Europe and Japan have provided additional momentum to this initiative.
Meanwhile, under new management, the Billings Energy Corporation name was changed to "The Hydrogen Energy Corp" in 1985 and, without the direction of Billings, the company gradually disappeared into obscurity. The mission statement of the new Billings Energy Corporation is to stimulate the transition to a clean and efficient hydrogen economy through the commercialization of enabling technologies.
Since winning the International Science Fair as a high school student in 1966, Dr. Billings and his associates have been involved in numerous hydrogen energy related research and development projects. Detailed technical information regarding many of these projects is available in the book "The Hydrogen World View," and in the other technical publications available on this site.
Global : Ideas : Bank - Fuel from water (hydrogen power)
A new fuel cell, patented as the Laser-Cell-TM, costing £2,000, has been developed by Dr Roger Billings (who invented the first home personal computer and double-sided floppy disk). When his fuel cell is plugged into the electric mains it extracts hydrogen from water over an eight hour period and stores the gas harmlessly in powdered metals, where it cannot explode or ignite. The fuel cell can then be switched into 'reverse' and turn the hydrogen into electricity to power the electric motor driving the car. Dr Billings' invention could have much wider applications, using hydrogen for home electrical needs and for trucks, buses, trains, boats, submarines and aircraft. The cell is a third the size of a Fiesta petrol engine and has no moving parts, nothing to service and a life of over 250,000 miles. 60 to 80 per cent of the hydrogen is turned into electricity, compared with the fuel-to-power ratio of a petrol engine of 30 per cent.