Hydrogen Fuel Cells? Where Are They?



Hydrogen Fuel Cells? How Can They Be Used?

You will have heard about the federal program to create fuel cell technology and make it viable by 2020.

The USA has provided about 1 billion dollars so far to this program...

And there have been a lot of car products made with hydrogen fuel cell power, BMW has released a model that is just as good a performer as a gasoline car, but can run on either...

What is a fuel cell and how does it work?

And are companies, governments and other parties collaborating to make them more common?

These cells create power without noise or pollution and the products of combustion are electricity and water...

The hydrogen fuel cell has a membrane inside it which separates the fuel which is usually hydrogen from the oxygen which is in the air.

Once this is done, the two chemically combine to form water.

By introducing a catalyst, usually some kind of metal, the reaction is facilitated...

The other side of this is that it also provides a way to supply electricity...

By using positive ions from the hydrogen, and negative ions from the oxygen, you form a battery which is self powered...

It has 2 connections which are on either side of the membrane, which connect the 2 sides of the "battery" if you like to the outside world for simply drawing off power.

If you connect more than one fuel cell together, you get more voltage, which can then be used to do useful work...

The space shuttle provides water for the crew using fuel cell technology...

Although the fuel cell unit works very similarly to a battery, you would expect it to wear out, but fuel cells don't wear out as long as you have fuel...

The other advantage of these cells is that you don't have any moving parts...

Although in an electric car, there is the electric motor, and other moving parts, however in the fuel cell, there are none.

So you can see that the use of a fuel cell in a car provides a clear cut advantage over a gasoline car, but the major problem is still range...

What this means is that the range of your fuel cell car is limited by the amount of fuel which you can carry, and at the moment this is limited by the size of the hydrogen fuel tank, which must be small compared to the size of the gasoline fuel tank which the vehicle must have...

Since hydrogen fuel stations are not as ubiquitous as gas stations, and because of "Range Anxiety" most of the cars produced have to be dual fuel, or gasoline and hydrogen vehicles, which means extra complexity and expense...

The GM Sequel HFC Car

Leave Hydrogen Fuel Cells For Home...

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