Hydrogen & Fuel Cells

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

Transcript of Hydrogen & Fuel Cells

Page 1: Hydrogen & Fuel Cells

The Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Story

A Presentation by

Debajyoti Bose

M Tech Renewable Energy Engineering

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Why Fuel Cells?

• The main reasons has everything to do with oil

• Political Factors

• The Global Warming Scenario

• Hydrogen is the most abundant

element in the known universe

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Bush Administration’s Hydrogen Commitment

• 500 metric tons of carbon saved each year by 2040

• Reduce 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 dependency

• Renewable, environmentally-friendly ways of producing hydrogen in the future

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• An anode

• A Cathode

• An Electrolyte

• A Catalyst

• Fuel

• Oxidant

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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

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The Extra Vehicular Activity

• The first commercial use of fuel cells was in NASA space programs to generate power

• The Apollo moon missions was powered single handedly by fuel cells

• Fuel cells were a vital component of the power system

• Armstrong describes as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”

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The International Space Station

• Fuel cells provide drinking water to the astronauts on board

• Green Flag for fuel cells, yellow for batteries

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• 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

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Advantages Of Fuel CellsClean Energy Source

• By-product involves water and heat

High Efficiency

• Average: 60% Cogeneration: 80%

• More efficient than combustion engines

Noise Reduction

• No combustion required- pumps and compressors produce small vibrations which are relatively silent

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Disadvantages Of Fuel CellsCost

• Expensive

• Catalyst cost (usually platinum)


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


• Hydrogen generation and delivery infrastructure

Storage and Other Considerations

• Safety Hazards associated with Hydrogen

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An Outlook: Automobiles

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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 the HySeries Drive

• The vehicle uses a lithium battery to power the car, while the fuel cell recharges the battery

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Refining Designs

• The hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity

• Available to the people of Southern California

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

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Endless Forms Most Beautiful

• Establishment of hydrogen filling stations

• An initiative by SHELL

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Problems associated with Hydrogen

Safety Hazards• Hydrogen is highly flammable and combustible

• Hydrogen leakage may cause explosions

• Pure 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

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Innovation At Work


• Developed by environmental engineers at Pennsylvania State University

• Runs on wastewater

• Uses microbes to break down organic matter

• The matter in turn releases hydrogen and electrons

• Output is heat and pure water

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Making Hydrogen Work


• Low-pressure and low-temperature fuel processors able to produce hydrogen from hydrocarbon fuels.

• Use of coal-derived synthetic gas as a source of hydrogen

• Extraction of hydrogen from fossil fuels

• An imaginative array of new processes based on:– Water splitting,– Biomass and wastewater

reforming, and– Renewable electrolysis

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Rural Electrification – Success Story• In South Africa it is estimated

that over 2 000 000 households are without electricity

• Over 1 000 000 are located in rural areas

• The plan by the Department of Energy is to make electricity available to these households by 2025

• Despite 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

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Rural Electrification – Success Story• Fuel cells mini grid electrification technology is an attractive, cost

competitive alternative to grid electrification in remote areas

• Offers 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 technology

• Power to 34 households in the Naledi Trust Community

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Beautiful Chemistry Better Tomorrow

Components of the System

• 3 Platinum based 5 KW fuel cells

• Each with a methanol reformer

• Integrated into a power generation system that includes:

1. Inverters

2. Controls

3. Battery Bank

• Methanol fuel tank


• Students can study late at night

• No use of paraffin stove for cooking

• Access to refrigeration and television

• Supporting local jobs

• Sustainability in the Platinummining industry

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Endless Forms most Beautiful

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Applications Of Fuel Cells


• Supplemental generators

• Distributed power sources


• Fuel Cell Vehicle

• Hybrid Vehicles

• Future: trains, airplanes, boats

Consumer Electronics

• Laptops, cell phones, video recorders

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References• “How Does a Fuel Cell Work.”


• “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

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References (Continued)

• “Daily Auto Insider, The.” http://www.caranddriver.com12 Feb. 2003

• “Fact Sheet: Hydrogen Fuel: a Clean and Secure Energy Future.” 6 Feb. 2003 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/release/2003/02

• Hall, 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 Corporation

• Alternative Fuels, SS Thipse, Jaico Publishers

• Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future, Godfrey Boyle, OUP

• Renewable Energy Resources, John Twidell, Tony Weir,

Taylor & Francis

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A Presentation By:

Debajyoti Bose


M Tech, Renewable Energy Engineering

Department of Electrical, Power & Energy Engineering