Hydrogen & Fuel Cells

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The Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Story A Presentation by Debajyoti Bose M Tech Renewable Energy Engineering

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The Fuel Cell & Hydrogen StoryA Presentation byDebajyoti BoseM Tech Renewable Energy Engineering

Why Fuel Cells?The main reasons has everything to do with oilPolitical Factors

The Global Warming Scenario

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the known universe

Bush Administrations Hydrogen Commitment 500 metric tons of carbon saved each year by 2040Reduce demand for oil by 11 million barrels per day by 2040 Child born in 2003 to drive a hydrogen car at age 16

Fuel cell technologies are an attractive alternative to oil dependencyRenewable, environmentally-friendly ways of producing hydrogen in the future



An anodeA Cathode

An ElectrolyteA Catalyst


How did it all start?

Welsh Physicist, William Grove was the pioneer of Fuel Cell Technology

In 1955, W. Thomas Grubb further modified it

3 years later, Leonard Niedrach, devised a way of depositing platinum onto the membrane, served as catalyst for the necessary hydrogen oxidation and oxygen reduction reactions

Project Gemini , 1965, prelude to the Apollo moon missions

The Extra Vehicular ActivityThe first commercial use of fuel cells was in NASA space programs to generate powerThe Apollo moon missions was powered single handedly by fuel cells

Fuel cells were a vital component of the power systemArmstrong describes as one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

The International Space Station

Fuel cells provide drinking water to the astronauts on board

Green Flag for fuel cells, yellow for batteries

Alkaline Fuel Cells (AFC)

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC)

Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC)

Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC)

Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells (MCFC)

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC)

Types of Fuel cells

Advantages Of Fuel CellsClean Energy SourceBy-product involves water and heat

High EfficiencyAverage: 60% Cogeneration: 80%More efficient than combustion engines

Noise ReductionNo combustion required- pumps and compressors produce small vibrations which are relatively silent

Disadvantages Of Fuel CellsCostExpensiveCatalyst cost (usually platinum)

DurabilityA 100 degrees Celsius temperature target is required in order for a fuel cell to have a higher tolerance to impurities in fuel

InfrastructureHydrogen generation and delivery infrastructure

Storage and Other ConsiderationsSafety Hazards associated with Hydrogen

An Outlook: Automobiles

Refining Designs

Boosting fuel cell efficiency is now top priority

Combining fuel cell and battery-powered vehicles

Ford Motors and Airstream are developing a concept vehicle powered by a hybrid fuel cell drive train named theHySeries Drive

The vehicle uses alithium batteryto power the car, while the fuel cell recharges the battery

Refining DesignsThe hydrogen-powered Honda FCX ClarityAvailable to the people of Southern California

The DaimlerChrysler NECAR fuel cell vehicle drives along a 17-mile stretch of coastline

Endless Forms Most BeautifulEstablishment of hydrogen filling stations

An initiative by SHELL

Problems associated with HydrogenSafety HazardsHydrogen is highly flammable and combustibleHydrogen leakage may cause explosionsPure hydrogen is poisonous

Efforts are under way to develop fuel-cell batteries that would use hydrogen or other fuels that can be converted to hydrogen

These mini power plants would produce electricity directly from hydrogen and oxygen, with the only discharge being water vapor


Developed by environmental engineers at Pennsylvania State UniversityRuns on wastewater

Uses microbes to break down organic matter

The matter in turn releases hydrogen and electronsOutput is heat and pure water

Making Hydrogen WorkHighlights:

Low-pressure and low-temperature fuel processors able to produce hydrogen from hydrocarbon fuels.Use of coal-derived synthetic gas as a source of hydrogenExtraction of hydrogen from fossil fuels

An imaginative array of new processes based on:Water splitting,Biomass and wastewater reforming, andRenewable electrolysis

Rural Electrification Success StoryIn South Africa it is estimated that over 2 000 000 households are without electricityOver 1 000 000 are located in rural areas The plan by the Department of Energy is to make electricity available to these households by 2025Despite these plans there are potentially 600 000 households and 20 000 schools and clinics in remote rural areas where extending existing grid power connection comes at a significant cost

Rural Electrification Success StoryFuel cells mini grid electrification technology is an attractive, cost competitive alternative to grid electrification in remote areasOffers more efficient low carbon options

No reliance on the weather

Anglo American Platinum in partnership with Ballard Power Systems is implementing the use of methanol fuel cell technologyPower to 34 households in the Naledi Trust Community

Beautiful Chemistry Better TomorrowComponents of the System3 Platinum based 5 KW fuel cells

Each with a methanol reformer

Integrated into a power generation system that includes:InvertersControlsBattery Bank

Methanol fuel tankBenefitsStudents can study late at night

No use of paraffin stove for cooking

Access to refrigeration and television

Supporting local jobs

Sustainability in the Platinum mining industry

Endless Forms most Beautiful

Applications Of Fuel CellsStationarySupplemental generatorsDistributed power sources

TransportationFuel Cell VehicleHybrid VehiclesFuture: trains, airplanes, boats

Consumer ElectronicsLaptops, cell phones, video recorders

ReferencesHow Does a Fuel Cell Work. http://www.utcfuelcells.com/fuelcell/how_fl.shtml

Hydrogen Fuel Initiative Can Make Fundamental Difference: Remarks by the President on Energy Independence. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/release/2003/02

Lavelle, Marianne. Living Without Oil. US News and World Report. 17 Feb.2003. Page 32

Rifkin, Jeremy. The Hydrogen Economy. Tarcher/Putnam. New York. 2002

U.S. Oil Imports - Top 10 Countries of Origin. http://www.ott.doe.gov/facts/archives/fotw246.shtml

References (Continued)Daily Auto Insider, The. http://www.caranddriver.com12 Feb. 2003Fact Sheet: Hydrogen Fuel: a Clean and Secure Energy Future. 6 Feb. 2003 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/release/2003/02Hall, Larry. General Motors tries out a Hy-Wire act with new fuel-cell vehicle. The Oregonian. 25 Jan. 2003

UPES Library:Renewable Energy in Non Technical Language, Ann Chambers, PennWell CorporationAlternative Fuels, SS Thipse, Jaico PublishersRenewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future, Godfrey Boyle, OUPRenewable Energy Resources, John Twidell,Tony Weir, Taylor & Francis


A Presentation By:Debajyoti BoseR120214007M Tech, Renewable Energy EngineeringDepartment of Electrical, Power & Energy Engineering