What is a Fuel Cell?A Fuel Cell is an electrochemical device that combineshydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, withwater and heat as its by-product.
Why is Fuel Cell Technology Important?• Since conversion of the fuel to energy takes place via an electrochemical process, not combustion• It is a clean, quiet and highly efficient process- two to three times more efficient than fuel burning.
ENERGYSTORAGE SystemsPerformance of Energy Storage Specific EnergyFuel Wh/kgGasoline 12,300Natural gas 9,300Hydrogen 33,000Lead-acid battery 30Advanced Lead Acid 48
Major Types of Fuel Cells In general all fuel cells have the same basic configuration - an electrolyte and two electrodes Regenerative Fuel Cells
How does a fuel cell work? It operates similarly to a battery, but it does not run down nor does it require recharging As long as fuel is supplied, a Fuel Cell will produce both energy and heat
How does a fuel cell work? A fuel cell consists of two electrodes sandwiched around an electrolyte. Oxygen passes over one electrode and hydrogen over the other generating electricity, water and heat.
How does a fuel cell work? Individual fuel cells can be placed in a series to form a fuel cell stack. The stack can be used in a system to power a vehicle or to provide stationary power to a building.
How can Fuel Cell technology be used? • Transportation • All major automakers are working to commercialize a fuel cell car. • Honda Motors have developed FCX Clarity as the first commercial fuel cell vehicle. • Trains, planes, boats, scooters, forklifts and even bicycles are utilizing fuel cell technology.
How can Fuel Cell technology be used? • Telecommunications • Due to computers, the Internet and sophisticated communication networks there is a need for an incredibly reliable power source • Fuel Cells have been proven to be 99.999% reliable
How can Fuel Cell technology be • Micro Power used? • Consumer electronics could gain drastically longer battery power with Fuel Cell technology. • Cell phones can be powered for 30 days without recharging. • Laptops can be powered for 20 hours without recharging.
Hydrogen Production Technologies• From nuclear energyWater splitting by thermochemical process. Need temperature of 700 to 1000 . No CO2 emitted.
Hydrogen Production Technologies• From natural gas Already import natural gas. If natural gas costs $6.50/Btu, H costs $3.51/kg
Hydrogen Production Technologies•Renewable Liquid Reforming • Biomass is processed to make renewable liquid fuels, such as ethanol or bio-oil, that are then reacted with high-temperature steam to produce hydrogen
Hydrogen Production Technologies•Electrolytic Processes • Electrolytic processes use an electric current to split water into hydrogen and oxygen • The electricity required can be generated by using renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power
What are the benefits of Fuel Cell technology? Physical Security • Both central station power generation and long distance, high voltage power grids can be terrorist targets in an attempt to cripple our energy infrastructure • Fuel Cells allow the country to discontinue reliance on these potential targets
What are the benefits of Fuel Cell technology? Efficiency • Because no fuel is burned to make energy, fuel cells are fundamentally more efficient than combustion systems • Additionally when the heat comes off of the fuel cell system it can be captured for beneficial purposes • This is called Cogeneration • In combination with a turbine, electrical efficiencies can exceed 60%
What are the benefits of Fuel Cell technology? Environmental Benefits of Fuel Cell Vehicles • Fuel Cell Vehicles with hydrogen stored on-board produce ZERO POLLUTION in the conventional sense • The only byproducts of these Fuel Cell vehicles are water and heat • Fuel Cell Vehicles with a reformer on board to convert a liquid fuel to hydrogen would produce a small amount of pollutants, but it would be 90% less than the pollutants produced from combustion engines
What are the benefits of Fuel Cell technology? Battery replacement/alternative • Fuel Cell replacements for batteries would offer much longer operating life in a packaged of lighter or equal weight • Additionally, Fuel Cell replacements would have an environmental advantage over batteries, since certain kinds of batteries require special disposal treatment
Click icon to add pictureCar working on hydrogen fuel cell.
Challenges to Fuel Cell Technology•Cost •The cost of fuel cells must be reduced to compete with conventional technologies •Conventional internal combustion engines cost $25-$35/kW; a fuel cell system would need to cost $30/kW to be competitive
Challenges to Fuel Cell Technology• Durability and Reliability • Durability of fuel cell systems have not yet been adequately established • The durability standard for automobiles is approximately 150,000 miles and the ability to function under normal vehicle operating conditions • For stationary systems 40,000 hours of reliable operation in a temperature range of -35 degree Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius will be required for market acceptance
Challenges to Fuel Cell Technology• System Size • The size and weight of current fuel cell systems must be reduced to attain market acceptance, especially with automobiles