Problems such as CO2 emissions and the sustainability of our current energy supplies are going to result in the western world adopting lasting changes to the way we harness energy. It is likely that fuel cell technology has an important part to play in this future.
This TLP should have taught the following:
- The principles, construction and thermodynamics of a fuel cell
- Differences between types of fuel cell – high temperature, low temperature, the key components of each.
- How the technology can be applied and possible future applications
- The complications involved in the fuel cell system as a whole
- The basis of a future hydrogen economy
- Problems associated with storing hydrogen
It is important to remember that the sums spent on developing fuel cells thus far have been very large indeed but, as of yet, returns are sparse. Few people will encounter fuel cells as part of their every day lives, but perhaps this is set to change in near future.
1. J. Larminie and A. Dicks, Fuel Cell Systems Explained, 2nd edition, John Wiley and Sons Ltd (2003).
2. M.H. Westbrook, The Electric Car: Development and Future of Battery, Hybrid and Fuel-Cell Cars, London: Institution of Electrical Engineers; Society of Automotive Engineers (2001).
3. High-temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Fundamentals, Design and Applications by S.C. Singhal and K. Kendall (Eds.), Publisher: Elsevier Science (2004).