The fuel cell is an electrochemical device, conceptually similar to a battery that utilizes a chemical reaction to generate electricity. Batteries are built as portable electrical power sources and therefore, they must contain all the chemicals required to provide that power within them. Once those chemicals are depleted, no power can be provided by the battery any more.
In a fuel cell, a fuel and an oxidant transform the chemical energy directly into electrical energy, which is expressed within terms of cell potential and electrical current output. The fuel cell works like a battery by transforming the chemical energy from reactants into electricity, but it varies from a battery as long as it provides the fuel and an oxidant, it will continuously produce DC electricity.
Facts about Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Fuel cell uses hydrogen fuel as the major source of electric power through a fuel cell system. Hydrogen fuel burns cleanly. The tailpipes of hydrogen fuel cell cars give off water rather than dangerous gases. Just like solar or wind energy, hydrogen fuel cell are an alternative energy source.
- Hydrogen was first recognized as a distinct gas in the year 1700.
- In 1839 the first hydrogen fuel cell was developed by William Grove.
- In the universe the most abundant element is hydrogen.
- Hydrogen fuel cells absorb hydrogen gas, produce electricity and emit water.
- Hydrogen fuel cells are more eco friendly than gasoline. They contain no greenhouse gases.
- Even hydrogen fuel cells can be used to drive vehicles like planes and drones.
- Hydrogen is accumulated in tanks and can be injected into vehicles.
- Some commercial hydrogen powered cars are available now, even with all of the challenges.
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell
Fuel cells convert chemical energy into electricity and heat with a high efficiency. In most cases, hydrogen is the only suitable fuel since it reaches a high efficiency, even for small units. This is the fact that gives hydrogen a decisive advantage over efficient large scale power plants. Fuel cells are therefore ideal for many stationary and mobile applications to be supplied.
A fuel cell itself needs no fuel for chemicals. This simply provides a chamber of reaction in which a reaction by fuel cells takes place. The specific reactants required to generate the electricity are supplied from outside. The fuel cell can generate power, as long as there is a source of the chemical fuel. Many fuel cells, like batteries, are still designed to be portable. However, many are built for stationary applications and their portability is very minimal.