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An Introduction To Hydrogen Fuel Cells

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A training presentation to introduce people to hydrogen as a fuel in ICE and fuel cells.

A training presentation to introduce people to hydrogen as a fuel in ICE and fuel cells.

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  • Good Morning. This is the first part of my presentation on Hydrogen Fuel Cell systems. This morning’s session will focus on a broad overview of the Fuel Cell. 1. What is a fuel cell?2. A bit of History3. I will focus most on the PEMFC. 4. a bit about different fuel cell systems.The afternoon session will delve further into how a fuel cell plant design issues and what kind health and safety items have to be taken into account. As well, as operating procedures and maintenance. For this presentation I have to extend my thanks to our partners in a previous project: Centrum for Process Engineering in Wilton of whom I use some of their training slides.
  • It is expected that the use of energy and the population growth and the miles travelled as well as number of vehicles nearly all will increase exponentially. So over the next 40 years this is what we can expect (approximation) based on personal transport and drivable age group only.The graph shows the effect of the no reductions in CO2 against the government set targets, based on expected population, miles travelled per person (both are expected to increase exponentially. It also shows how much the trees take out of the air (CO2) and the number in H2 can be varied to show the effects.NAIGT expects that it will take 30 years for a switch to occur – but do we have 30 years?King report:
  • The graph shows the effect of the no reductions in CO2 against the government set targets, based on expected population, miles travelled per person (both are expected to increase exponentially. It also shows how much the trees take out of the air (CO2) and the number in H2 can be varied to show the effects.So we show how much energy we can take out if we manage the vegetation population, but this is in an extreme case. We need to look for further reductions in CO2 emissions.
  • This case of urgency was enhanced this morning on the BBC breakfast show, where they stated that during the climate conference higher target were needed to combat climate change.
  • The current trend of development already guarantees a 60% reductions based on ICE development. A promise of 60% reduction does not add anything. A promise – as made by world leaders – of 80% increased the number of ULCV, but does not really change the ICE influence. To really make an impact it is necessary to aim for 90% emissions change. The reason why this is important is that personal transport will remain the preferred and best form of transport even within cities. It is estimated that public transport is most effective in cities of 10 million plus inhabitants. But most cities are in the region of 0.5 million, where personal transport is fastest mode of transportation.Switching to a hydrogen economy is a possibility to greatly reduce carbon emissions and achieve the paradigm shift necessary and with the right strategy have a profitable economy as well.
  • Hydrogen has been around for as long as we live and possibly longer. We exist partially of hydrogen considering that 60 percent of our body is water and there are 2 H’s to every 1 O; this means that our body is actually almost 40 percent of hydrogen based on the water content alone. 1960 – People at General Electric invent the PEM Fuel Cell.
  • 1976 – GM’s Electrovan with limited space and very heavy the van provide a nice test bed but that was about it. 1969 – The reason for NASA to switch from PEM to Alkaline is the higher efficiency.
  • Today: Major OEMs have demonstration or lease versionsICE and Fuel Cell vehiclesPrice per kW is coming downHydrogen SupplyFunding available (TSB)
  • What you need to know about hydrogen- it exists all around us it is part of water and thus we have plenty. 1. You can not smell it.2. Like any fuel it can be dangerous. 3. It burns with a flame that is hard to see. 4. It is also lighter than air which means a flame will go upwards.We have seen -previously- what can go wrong with a battery. So now, lets have a look at a hydrogen fire and compare that to a petrol fire. This first picture shows a hydrogen fire on the left and a petrol fire on the right; this is three seconds in.Now we make a jump and let the fire burn for a minute. You can see that the hydrogen flame is almost going out while the petrol fire is really going. As you can see, petrol fires can actually be more dangerous than hydrogen fires.
  • Hydrogen the good and the bad.Since the Hindenburg disaster and even in todays time, people are thinking about hydrogen as an extremely dangerous gas. But The Hindenburg disaster was an example of bad engineering and clever spin doctors who blamed hydrogen to save the at that moment very delicate political situation between America and Germany. But Hydrogen was not the cause of the fire although it did not help to stop it. During the 60’s NASA and the military had been conducting tests with hydrogen to use hydrogen as a fuel and in fuel cells. This resulted in conclusion that Hydrogen did not require more safety pre-cautions than working with petroleum. So, despite the history, hydrogen was used in the space program and got a little bit of popularity back.
  • High energy Density, about 3x the amount of petrol. More efficient and clearer.
  • What is a Fuel Cell? Well, a Fuel Cell is much like a battery. - Like a battery a fuel cell has got a Plus and a Minus side. - Unlike a battery a Fuel Cell does not contain the active chemicals instead you have to feed it. And this has to be done in a save and controllable fashion otherwise big accidents will happen.The active ingredients for the Hydrogen PEM FC are: Hydrogen, Oxygen in the form of air.Other Fuel Cell will be discussing later.
  • In a schematic this works as follows: A fuel cell consists of a hydrogen side and an oxygen side separated by an electrolyte. An electrolyte allows only positive atoms to pass through. When hydrogen arrives at the barrier it splits into a positive and a negative part and the positive part travels through the electrolyte while the negative parts take the long way around and make the light go on. On the top side, the positive and negative parts combine with the oxygen out of the air to make water, which can be drunk.
  • The slits are for the oxygen to enter and the larger holes for the gases to travel through.
  • On the other side of the cell we can find the IN and OUT for the hydrogen. As well as still visible are the lines where the silicon from the cell below was set. This design has various manufacturing advantages: thanks to the silicon the cooling is on a large area on the top and bottom of every cell. Also, the tolerances are increased thus less accurate machining; you can see that if the slits or even the holes were bigger the silicon would still close the area of from every other part. And with the slits hydrogen can be brought to every cell individually. A big problem we found with this design is the effects of sudden pressure changes. Sudden pressure changes can cause the stack to loose its “cool” and the silicon does not close properly.
  • Inside the cell there is a membrane with catalyst to separate the gases and speed up the reaction as well as an electrode to provide conductance for the electrons. Every Cell produces around 1 volt (depending on the control, design, humidity, age, etc) and the necessary voltage is created by stacking multiple cells.
  • Inside the cell there is a membrane with catalyst to separate the gases and speed up the reaction as well as an electrode to provide conductance for the electrons. Every Cell produces around 1 volt (depending on the control, design, humidity, age, etc) and the necessary voltage is created by stacking multiple cells.
  • They all have different characteristics Are suitable for different applications Use different fuels
  • The advantages of the Proton Exchange Membrane are the combination of non toxic gasses. The usability of all the outputs: Electricity, Water and heat. And the high efficiency of the reaction about double that of an ICE.The disadvantages: high cost of manufacturing, the difficulty in control, the necessary addition of batteries for both the start-up and the temp or longer term storage.
  • Central heating applications are ideal for the high temperature systems because the excess heat can be used to heat a building and thus increasing efficiency.Forklift trucks and Public transport provide a good market since they can be decide on their own filling sites; i.e. Not necessary to make it accessible to average Joe. Instead provide a trained engineer.
  • There are potential future issues involved here: I am thinking about using your Fuel Cell powered Laptop on an airplane. For one there is the pressure influences, as well as bringing an fuel on the plane that maybe can be abused. It would greatly create acceptance if it gets to this level, but the repercussions of an terrorist attack or a mid air failure would set the entire economy back various decades.
  • If we now take step back to the beginning and the urgent case I was arguing. There is a report by the NAIGT team.The NAIGT team is a large group of representatives from across the industry: representing the major stakeholders in the sector.Do not think EV alone! This is were the research and development is.This includes development with the aim to commercially produce Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles.But largely ignores the development of Air vehicles and steam vehicles. Very much aimed at the current established manufacturers.
  • Proposed development:Micro / mild Hybrids first, followed by full hybrids, to plugin hybrids to Electrically Powered VehiclesImmediate from now:Focus on ICE with a minor change to EVMedium research from around 2020 onwards:Improvements across the boardEV finally getting a footholdLong term from around 2030 onwards:Fuel Cell technologies finally affordableICE getting closer to 70% efficiency (with electric vehicles already >80% efficient)This proposed scenario is not providing the change in paradigm that we need to tackle climate change.
  • Proposed development:Micro / mild Hybrids first, followed by full hybrids, to plugin hybrids to Electrically Powered VehiclesImmediate from now:Focus on ICE with a minor change to EVMedium research from around 2020 onwards:Improvements across the boardEV finally getting a footholdLong term from around 2030 onwards:Fuel Cell technologies finally affordableICE getting closer to 70% efficiency (with electric vehicles already >80% efficient)This proposed scenario is not providing the change in paradigm that we need to tackle climate change.
  • Proposed development:Micro / mild Hybrids first, followed by full hybrids, to plugin hybrids to Electrically Powered VehiclesImmediate from now:Focus on ICE with a minor change to EVMedium research from around 2020 onwards:Improvements across the boardEV finally getting a footholdLong term from around 2030 onwards:Fuel Cell technologies finally affordableICE getting closer to 70% efficiency (with electric vehicles already >80% efficient)This proposed scenario is not providing the change in paradigm that we need to tackle climate change.
  • Proposed development:Micro / mild Hybrids first, followed by full hybrids, to plugin hybrids to Electrically Powered VehiclesImmediate from now:Focus on ICE with a minor change to EVMedium research from around 2020 onwards:Improvements across the boardEV finally getting a footholdLong term from around 2030 onwards:Fuel Cell technologies finally affordableICE getting closer to 70% efficiency (with electric vehicles already >80% efficient)This proposed scenario is not providing the change in paradigm that we need to tackle climate change.
  • Well, that is it for now. A little break for lunch and after we come back here to for the second part; Healt safety and maintenance.

An Introduction To Hydrogen Fuel Cells An Introduction To Hydrogen Fuel Cells Presentation Transcript

  • Hydrogen as a Fuel
    Low Carbon: Innovation, Opportunities and Training
    Presented by: Dirk Kok
  • Agenda
    An Urgent Case
    History of Hydrogen
    What is a Fuel Cell?
    Different fuel cells
    Future of Fuel Cells
  • An Urgent Case
  • An Urgent Case
  • An Urgent Case
    BBC Breakfast 07-012-2009
    The Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark
    Higher targets are needed
  • King report
    60% emissions reduction
    Evolutionary improvements guaranteed with current development
    80%
    Growth in Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles
    90-100%
    Complete change in paradigm
    Public Transport most efficient in +10M
  • History
    1839 – Sir William Robert Grove
    “Gas Voltaic Battery” - 1st Fuel Cell
    1937 – Baur and Preis
    1st Solid Oxide Fuel Cell
    1940-45 German Submarines
    FC made SUB “trackless”
    1955 – Francis Thomas Bacon
    5kW stationary Alkaline Fuel Cell
  • History
    1960’s – Grubb and Niedrach (GE)
    PEM Fuel Cell invented
    1967 – GM Electrovan
    1 driver + 1 passenger
    1969 – NASA
    First Alkaline Fuel Cell
    on the moon.
  • History
    Today:
    Major OEMs have demonstration or lease versions
    ICE and Fuel Cell vehicles
    Price per kW is coming down
    Hydrogen Supply
    Funding available (TSB)
  • Health and Safety
    After 1 minute
    After 3 seconds
    • Odourless gas
    • It is very flammable
    • Hydrogen burns with a flame that is hard to see
    • It is lighter than air (unlike petrol which ‘pools’)
  • The good and the Bad
    1937 - Hindenburg Disaster
    • 1969 -Apollo 11 Success
  • Hydrogen Fuel Advantages
    Can be made anywhere
    Electricity (plug, solar, wind, etc)
    Can be stored without losses
    Battery does not hold energy overtime
    High Energy Density
    More efficient and cleaner
  • What is a Fuel Cell
    A fuel cell is a device that converts energy from one form into another
    It converts the ‘Chemical Energy’ in a fuel into Electrical Energy and Heat.
    It does this without burning the fuel. This is very different to the type of engine in a car!
  • What is a Fuel Cell
    2H24H+ + 4e-
    O2+ 4H+ + 4e- 2H2O
    Electrons
    Electrolyte
    Reactionthat produces electrons
    (-)
    Reactionthat consumes electrons
    (+)
    Fuel
    Oxidant
    (water)
  • The science of a fuel cell
    Oxygen Side
    O2
    O2
    O2
    O2
    O
    O
    H2O
    Electrolyte
    H+
    H+
    e-
    e-
    H
    H
    Hydrogen Side
    H2
    H2
    H2
    H2
  • Cell Construction
    Hydrogen
    Oxygen in
    Cooling area
    Water in
    Water in
    Hydrogen
    Oxygen Out
    Silicon separation
  • Cell Construction
    Cooling area
    Hydrogen in
    Hydrogen out
    Silicon separation
  • Inside the cell
  • Inside the cell
  • Different fuel cell technologies
    Low temperature Fuel Cells:
    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) – highest power density
    Alkaline – oldest commercial technology (used by NASA)
    Direct Methanol – similar to PEM but able to use methanol directly
    Phosphoric Acid – commercially available technology
  • Different fuel cell technologies
    High temperature fuel cells:
    Molten Carbonate – requires molten electrolyte
    Solid Oxide – high temperature oxides allow ion transport
  • Main Types of Fuel Cell
  • Differences
  • FCS 1kW Solid Oxide stack
    High Temperature – Solid Oxide
    • Solid ceramic electrolyte conducts
    anions (O2-) at high temps. 800-1000oC
    • High temp. allows wide range of fuel
    • Many materials challenges due to high operating temperatures
    • High efficiency
    • High grade heat available for CHP
    • Slow start up times
    • Most suited to stationary applications
  • MTU 250kW MCFC “HotModule”
    High Temperature – Molten Carbonate
    • Molten ionic salt like lithium carbonate in a ceramic matrix conducts CO32- anion
    • The hot electrolyte (~650oC) is very corrosive
    • High temps. Allow cheaper catalysts (nickel based) to be used
    • High efficiency
    • High grade heat available for CHP
    • Slow start up times
    • Most suited to stationary applications
  • Low Temperature – Proton Exchange Membrane
    • Solid polymer electrolyte conducts
    protons (H+)
    • Water must be managed to keep
    membrane wet for ion conduction, but not flooded
    A roll of Nafion PEM
    • Limited to temp range 60-100oC due to stability of membrane
    • CO easily poisons catalysts
    • Very thin membranes allow low resistance losses and high power density
    • Fast start up – well suited to portable power
    Ballard Nexa 1.2kW system
  • Advantages of PEMFC
    No toxic chemicals
    All three products are useable:
    Electricity
    Water
    Heat
    High Efficiency
    60%
  • 2.5kW Alkaline system
    Low Temperature - Alkaline
    • Liquid electrolyte is a basic solution like
    KOH conducts OH- anions
    • The cathode reaction is faster in alkaline conditions, so higher voltages & efficiency than acidic systems
    • Operates in temp. range 60-100oC
    • CO2 easily reacts with electrolyte forming carbonates
  • Low Temperature – Phosphoric acid
    • Liquid electrolyte within a thin ceramic
    sheet
    • System very similar to PEM
    • Operates at around 200oC
    • Phosphoric acid is a poor conductor at low temperatures, but corrosive at high temperatures
    • Higher operating temperatures result in higher grade heat for co-generation
    200kW UTC PAFC system
  • Typical Applications
    Central Heating Power
    High temp can be used to increase efficiency
    Fork Lift Trucks
    1 off filling point
    Public transport
    Filling station for buses
    Space
    Electricity, Water, Heat
  • Typical Applications
    Portable applications
    Battery chargers
    Power tools
    Laptops
    Personal vehicles
    Filling
    Safety training
    Driving behaviour – driving cycle
  • CPI’s Fuel Cell Installations
  • Future of Fuel Cells
    FUEL CELL COMMERCIALISATION ‘STARTED IN 2007’
    Fuel Cell Shipments to Exceed 5 Million Units by 2013
    Source: www.fuelcellstoday.com
    Portable Fuel Cell Market to Reach $2.3 Billion by 2016
    Source: Pike Research at www.greencarcongress.com
  • NAIGT report
    New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team
    Recommend:
    Provide incentives on a well-to-wheel basis
    The aim is reduction of CO2 and not just introduction of EV
    Well-to-Wheel reduction = R&D
  • Opportunities - NAIGT
  • Opportunities - NAIGT
  • Opportunities - NAIGT
  • Opportunities - NAIGT
  • Opportunities
    Control strategies
    Hydrogen generation (renewables)
    Hydrogen storage
    Transportation
    Filling station and safety
    Fuel Cell Component development and improvement
  • Recommended Reading
    Fuel Cell Systems Explained
    James Larminie, Andrew Dicks
    Wiley 2nd edition 2003
    PEM Fuel Cells: Theory and Practice
    Frano Barbir
    Elsevier Academic Press 2005
    Further reading
    Materials for Fuel Cells
    Michael Gasik (editor)
    Woodhead Publishing in Materials 2008
    The Economic Dynamics of Fuel Cell Technologies
    Arman Avadikyan, Patrick Cohendet, Jean-Alain Héraud (editors)
    Springer 2003
  • Questions
    Do you want to know more about:
    Today’s presentation
    Mentioned projects
    Or discuss project ideas:
    adrian.morris@sunderland.ac.uk
    dirk.kok@sunderland.ac.uk
    0191 – 515 3888