You may have heard of hydrogen fuel cells powering automobiles, but their application is now extending to providing power for homes and businesses.
Fuel Cells are comprehensive and complex systems best explained in a simplified way in the following equation:
A fuel cell generates electricity through a chemical reaction (this is known as an electrochemical reaction). This differs from a conventional engine where the fuel is burned i.e. a combustion process. Utilising this reaction makes the fuel cell very clean, efficient and quiet. Similar to a conventional engine, a constant fuel source is required and you do not require any charging or recharging.
Depending on your energy requirements, fuel cells can be joined together to form ‘stacks’ which can then be integrated into much larger systems. This makes them very scalable and, with several different types of fuel cell systems, the appropriate system can be chosen to suit your context. Fuel cells can also be combined with CHP systems to utilise the waste heat, thus pushing the efficiency even higher.
There are numerous fuel cell advantages, here are some:
- Carbon free/zero emissions – if pure hydrogen is used
- High efficiency – increased when combined with CHP system
- Scalable to meet customer requirements
- Quiet Operation