How Does Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electricity Generation Work?
A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device. A fuel cell converts the chemicals hydrogen and oxygen into water, and in the process, it produces electricity.
The other electrochemical device that we are all familiar with is the battery. A battery has all its chemicals stored inside, and it converts those chemicals into electricity too. This means that a battery eventually “goes dead” and you either throw it away or recharge it.
With a fuel cell, chemicals constantly flow into the fuel cell, so it never goes dead if there is a flow of chemicals into the cell, the electricity flows out of the cell. Most fuel cells in use today use hydrogen and oxygen as the chemicals.
Why Use Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electricity Generation?
In many places in Africa communities and businesses do not have connectivity to reliable electricity or to an electrical grid. In these instances, as in Liberia, our distributed power generated by hydrogen fuel cell technology is a perfect solution. In addition, we can install electricity generation in systems small enough to power a cell phone tower or large enough to power a village. Our waste to energy systems can also be used to produce hydrogen to use for electricity generation.
The potential impacts of hydrogen economy are enormous. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has developed a Hydrogen Road Map for transitioning the entire Japanese economy to a hydrogen economy. The roadmap can be viewed at http://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2014/0624_04.html.
Fuel cells are highly energy efficiency leading to the achievement of dramatic energy conservation.
Reducing Carbon Footprint for Electricity Generation
When used as an energy source, hydrogen does not emit carbon dioxide. Combining the technology for manufacturing hydrogen with a carbon capture and storage (CCS) process, or with making use of hydrogen derived from any renewable energy, will lead to the reduction of environmental burdens and even to the full elimination of carbon dioxide.
- Do not need to build expensive electrical grid.
- Clean energy, only outputs are oxygen and water.
- Cheaper than diesel generators currently being widely used in Africa.
- Reliability is greater than diesel generators.
- Power provided to underserved communities.