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Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Hydrogen fuel cells represent a ground breaking technology. However, these fuel cells were only discovered in the nineteenth century and so is a relatively new technology. It was also only after the sixties that these fuel cells began to be used in a serious manner. Since the sixties, hydrogen fuel cells have undergone much transformation and much research has been conducted on them and they have been refined in the hope that they will become readily available in mass use markets.

Hydrogen fuel cells – environmentally friendly

Hydrogen fuel cells offer a clean and environmentally suitable solution and they represent a more efficient solution as well. Basically, these fuel cells make it easy to generate electricity though use of electromechanical reactions that involve oxygen as well as an alternative fuel in the form of hydrogen. When these two combine together, they form water that is clean.

Different kinds

There are different kinds of hydrogen fuel cells but each will have the same basic design. These fuel cells produce electricity which can then be used for powering up different devices including large and small sized vehicles. The history of the hydrogen fuel cells is interesting and can be traced to the year 1838 when Christian Friedrich Schoenbein, a scientist from Germany, published his concept. He was followed by Sir William Robert Grove, a scientist from Wales, who invented what was to be known as the Grove cell. Grove later developed the first fuel cell in which he made use of hydrogen as well as oxygen to produce electricity. That design is still being used in modern hydrogen fuel cells.

NASA

NASA or National Aeronautical Space Administration along with the US military was the last to make full use of hydrogen fuel cells. It is interesting to compare hydrogen fuel cells with normal batteries as each is different. Batteries are capable of storing and releasing chemical energy and will, after some time, lose their power and have to be recharged or are dispensed with.

Hydrogen fuel cells, on the other hand, are capable of producing energy which is produced when hydrogen is combined with some oxygen. This enables the hydrogen fuel cells to function as well as generate power for as long as there is sufficient fuel and oxygen.

The reason why mankind needs to use hydrogen fuel cells is because our fossil fuels are being depleted at an alarming rate and so they may not be around for too long. Fossil fuels also create a lot of pollution which is why an alternative fuel needs to be found that can produce sufficient power in a clean and efficient and affordable manner. Hydrogen fuel cells are going to play an important role in producing power that is clean and which is sufficient to power up a vehicle.

At present, hydrogen fuel cells are not being used too widely as they are primarily in a very early stage of development. They are however being used in certain types of cars and they are also being used in public transportation as well as in boats and a few other types of vehicles (like forklifts.) Hydrogen fuel cells are also being used in the military as they offer quiet operation and do not produce much heat and offer a few significant benefits to the military as well.

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