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Physics 470 Lecture. Hydrogen Fuel Cells May 9, 2012. The hydrogen fuel cell. The PEM fuel cell. Features of a fuel cell. Sir William Grove invented the fuel cell in 1839 Hydrogen gas is fed to the negative terminal (the anode )

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physics 470 lecture

Physics 470Lecture

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

May 9, 2012

features of a fuel cell
Features of a fuel cell
  • Sir William Grove invented the fuel cell in 1839
  • Hydrogen gas is fed to the negative terminal (the anode)
  • A catalyst helps the hydrogen to split, sending its electrons through an external circuit and the protons through an electrolyte
features of a fuel cell1
Features of a fuel cell
  • Oxygen combines with the electrons at the positive terminal (the cathode) and protons to form water
  • The overall reaction combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity and water.
the proton exchange membrane fuel cell
The proton exchange membrane fuel cell
  • Has a high power density and low operating temperature
  • The electrolyte is a specially treated polymer (chemically related to Teflon) that conducts only positive ions
  • The membrane must be hydrated (7 water molecules for every proton conducted!)
  • The membrane is “poisoned” by carbon monoxide
the proton exchange membrane fuel cell1
The proton exchange membrane fuel cell
  • The anode-membrane-cathode assemblies are stacked for higher voltage
pem fuel cell stack
PEM Fuel Cell Stack

10 kW Fuel Cell Power Supply

GENEPAC by PSA Puegot Citroën, France

other types of fuel cells
Other types of fuel cells
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Molten Carbonate
  • Solid Oxide
  • Alkali
  • See comparison chart from the Department of Energy
fuel cell problems
Fuel cell problems
  • PEM cells: Hydration of the membrane requires careful water control and/or pressurization (adds weight, complexity). New membranes such as PBI may require less water.
  • For all fuel cells, drawing large currents reduces performance
fuel cell losses
Fuel cell losses

Ohm’s Law Applet

which of the following statements is false
Which of the following statements is FALSE?
  • Catalysts help fuel cells increase the gas transport rate to the electrodes.
  • Fuel cells operate on the chemical reaction that combines hydrogen and oxygen.
  • Fuel cells are like a battery with a continuous supply of chemical reactants.
  • The only outputs of a fuel cell are water and electrical energy.
which of the following statements is false1
Which of the following statements is FALSE?
  • Catalysts help fuel cells increase the gas transport rate to the electrodes.
  • Fuel cells operate on the chemical reaction that combines hydrogen and oxygen.
  • Fuel cells are like a battery with a continuous supply of chemical reactants.
  • The only outputs of a fuel cell are water and electrical energy.
slide16

Suppose a fuel cell has an internal resis-tance of 0.025 . What is the output voltage when the ideal voltage is 12.0 V and the current is 30 A ?

  • 0.30 V
  • 0.75 V
  • 9.00 V
  • 11.25 V
slide17

Suppose a fuel cell has an internal resis-tance of 0.025 . What is the output voltage when the ideal voltage is 12.0 V and the current is 30 A ?

  • 0.30 V
  • 0.75 V
  • 9.00 V
  • 11.25 V
slide18

Suppose a fuel cell has an internal resis-tance of 0.025 . What fraction of the power is lost when the ideal voltage is 12.0 V and the current is 30 A ?

  • 2.5%
  • 3.6%
  • 6.25%
  • 12.0%
slide19

Suppose a fuel cell has an internal resis-tance of 0.025 . What fraction of the power is lost when the ideal voltage is 12.0 V and the current is 30 A ?

  • 2.5%
  • 3.6%
  • 6.25%
  • 12.0%
stationary power fuel cells
Stationary Power Fuel Cells

Biogas-powered fuel cell power plant, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico, CA

Fuel Cell power plant, Santa Rita Jail, Dublin, CA

200 kW fuel cell, Central Park, NY police station

fuel cell powered zero emission vehicles
Fuel Cell-Powered Zero Emission Vehicles

Hyundai FC Tucson

Ford Focus FC5

Fuel Cell Car

Thor UTC Bus

Honda FCX Clarity

Several other fuel cell cars in this 2008 article. More links at fueleconomy.gov.

fuel cell airplane
Fuel cell airplane

Boeing fuel cell aircraft first flight: April 3, 2008. It used a battery to assist the takeoff.

DLR Antares, the world’s first fuel-cell-only aircraft, takes off July 7, 2009 in Hamburg, Germany.