Presentation on theme: "The Future in Energy: hydrogen Fuel Cells Lauren Havens."— Presentation transcript:
The Future in Energy: hydrogen Fuel Cells Lauren Havens
What is a Fuel Cell? A fuel cell is like a battery that recharges itself. They are electrochemical devices that use a natural gas, such as hydrogen to create energy. Fuel cells do not use the traditional method of combustion to extract energy, but rather chemically combine hydrogen from oxygen. That means that fuel cell energy completely skips, the conversion of heat energy to mechanical energy to electricity, making it much more efficient.
What is the history of fuel cells? Though they seem like a mystical new technology, fuel cells have actually been studied for more than 150 years! The first fuel cell was developed by William Robert Grove in the early 1800’s. He found that he could combine hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity and water—he called it a "gas battery.” The fuel cell remained mearly a curiosity throughout the 1800’s. Fuel cells have been studied intensively, especially since World War II.
What are the advantages of fuel cells? They are clean; the only emission is water vapor. They are more efficient than energy sources that include combustion. Hydrogen is the most plentiful substance on the Earth’s surface.
What are the Problems with Fuel Cells? As a gas, hydrogen is not concentrated enough to be used in a fuel tank. (One solution is to compress it to high pressures. Another is to chill it to very low temperatures, causing it to liquefy.) Hydrogen is a non-renewable resource.
What are some examples of use of fuel cells? Long Island is currently installing fuel cells that will be able to power average-sized homes. 46 Fuel-cell powered buses will be provided to Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Cairo, New Delhi, Shanghai, and Beijing in a $60 million program by the Global Environment Facility for Mexico City. Ford's FC5 TH!NK prototype, modeled after the Focus sedan, is powered by the latest generation of fuel-cell technology. A family in Connecticut is installing a fuel cell system to power their dairy farm. Electrical power for NASA's Space Shuttle Orbiter is provided by fuel cell power.
Bibliography Collecting the History of Fuel Cells, americanhistory.si.edu/csr/fuelcells / Environmental Science, Karen Arms Environmental News Network, enn.com Howstuffworks.com H-Power Pacific, hpowerpacific.com National Fuel Cell Research Center, nfcrc.uci.edu/index.html UTC Fuel Cells www. Ifc.com