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Design Of An Experimental Power Source Using Hydrogen Fuel Cells

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Teaching Emerging Energy Technologies

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

12.457.1 - 12.457.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2992

Download Count

67

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Paper Authors

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Esther Ososanya University of the District of Columbia

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Samuel Lakeou University of the District of Columbia

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Kidist Negede University of the District of Columbia

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Abiyu Negede University of the District of Columbia

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Aziz Sirag University of the District of Columbia

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Sisay Beru University of the District of Columbia

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Azezom Meles University of the District of Columbia

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Design of an Experimental Power Source using Hydrogen Fuel Cells Abstract

Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell is a device that converts electrochemical energy to electricity at high efficiency without combustion. The PEM fuel cell consists of an electrolyte membrane sandwiched between two electrodes (the anode- negative electrode and the cathode- the positive electrode). The electrodes are made of porous carbon plates which are laced with a catalyst_ a substance that accelerates chemical reactions. Hydrogen and oxygen are commonly used as the fuel and oxidant. At the anode, the hydrogen gas combines with the catalyst which causes the hydrogen to split into hydrogen ions and electrons. The electrons flow through an external circuit from the anode to the cathode producing an electrical current. The hydrogen ions flow through the membrane, and at the cathode, oxygen and hydrogen ions combine to form water, which flows out of the cell. The returning used electrons at the cathode side are recycled back to the anode, generating continuous electricity. Fuel cells can provide clean and efficient energy; low temperature operation; safe and quiet performance; ease of operation and low maintenance. In this study an experimental prototype fuel cell system is designed for undergraduate studies. In the presentation, an overview of fuel cells is provided starting with the fundamental principles, the different types, the key components, the basics of PEM fuel cell operation, the diverse benefits and the considerations of various applications.

Introduction

Fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device. Depending on the type of electrolyte used fuel cells are classified. Of which our main emphasis would be on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells as they have the highest power density and low operating temperature. The PEM fuel cell consists of an electrolyte membrane sandwiched between the anode and the cathode. The surrounding air provides enough oxygen concentration for the fuel cell and Hydrogen is produced from sun-light powered electrolysis of water. Other sources of hydrogen processes are Biological Water Splitting (green algae), Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting, Solar Thermal Water Splitting and others. The produced hydrogen can be stored in high pressure tanks in gaseous form, in liquid form or in Micropore Storage. Fuel cells are applicable for Stationary, Residential, Transportation and Portable Power, Landfill/wastewater treatment and most importantly the environmental-friendly energy production.

The objectives of this study are: i) to exploit and advertise the benefits of fuel cell technology, ii) to compare and contrast different types of fuel cells, and iii) to build a prototype fuel cell generator and demonstrate its operation.

Definition: 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, as shown in figure 1.

Ososanya, E., & Lakeou, S., & Negede, K., & Negede, A., & Sirag, A., & Beru, S., & Meles, A. (2007, June), Design Of An Experimental Power Source Using Hydrogen Fuel Cells Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2992

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