Fuel cells – an intro

A fuel cell is a new breed of electric generatorswhich show a promising future in the sciences ofrenewable energysources and related fields. A Fuel Cell is basically an electro chemical device that combines Oxygen and Hydrogen to generate electricity with water and heat as by products. This technology holds a great promise to the otherwise worried and alarmed world population which is witnessing a rapid decline the world fossil fuel reserves.

Fuel Cells can operate as long as the fuel is supplied and since it is an electrochemical process, unlike combustion, it is clean, devoid of the sins of exhausting deadly gases, efficient, quiet and lasts longer and operates more efficiently than all other known electric generators.

In the world today, very few power generating technologies can come close to the super-performance a fuel cell is capable of showing. Highly reliable, almost four time more efficient that fuel burning and also cleaner due to the lack of any emissions and also very quiet. Fuel cells can be stacked to meet the power output demands and are very flexible when it comes to the operational regard. Due to the total lack of noise, they do not cause noise or air pollution and since the out put is water and heat, they can be re-utilized for heating purposes.

The very first fuel cell was made in 1839, by Sir William Grove, a Welsh scientist and also a judge. However, fuel cells were not regarded seriously until the early 1960s until some U.S space programs used them in their missions to generate electric power, heat and water, as an alternative to riskier nuclear fuels and the more expensive solar energy that were hitherto in use.

Fuels cells need hydrogen to run. The best part is that they can operate regardless of where the hydrogen is coming from, whether it is coming from pure air, biogas, ethanol or any other source- it really doesn’t matter since a few intermediary processes or a “fuel-reformer” should take care of ‘hydrogen-feed’ problem. Fuel cells have become increasingly flexible and have been reported to have operated with many different kinds of fuels.

Recently, Automobile Car manufacturer, Honda along with some other prominent car manufacturers have introduced fuel-cell powered cars, which is a testimony to the fact that the world is aware and taking notice of a true alternative to our favorite fossil fuels like gasoline and Diesel.