Learn Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology With A DIY Project.
There has been quite a bit of news for hydrogen fuel cells in the last few years, with automakers like Toyota commiting some rather large research dollars. Fuel cell cars are basically electric cars that have a fuel cell instead of a battery. Or at least instead of a battery as the main power source.
Hydrogen fuel cells work by taking advantage of the electron flow that occurs when free hydrogen and oxygen recombine into water while in the presence of a catalyist. Perfecting this reaction so that it is economic to become the main power plant of a vehicle is where fuel cell research is today.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Is Not So Mysterous.
While it may sound like fuel cells are pretty high tech stuff and you need a phd to understand them, in fact the reaction I described about is relatively simple. It is aslo a simple mater to make a small cell at home so you can observe the reaction first hand.
Preparing the catalyst for the hydrogen fuel cell
Here is a video from a internet home inventor, that shows us how to make a very small working model of a hydrogen fuel cell. The most difficult component to obtain that you will need is platinum. Learning the basic of the fuel cell reaction will give you an understanding of the many different types of fuel cells that exist so far. While the proton exchange fuel cell is the one that you hear the most about due to it’s size and power, there are several others equally as interesting. Just for different applications from automotive power.
Give the cell a try, Remember to work safely as hydrogen is flammable and invisible. The experiment uses very small amounts of hydrogen so there is little worry.
About Gordon Smith Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.