Hydrogen Fuel Cells - The Next Great Step In Fuel Saving Technology
The world in its run for progress and mechanization has almost exhausted all non-renewable energy sources that Mother Earth had provided. Global warming, depleted water sources and increased pollution have paused serious threat to the well-being of mankind. We are now looking desperately for renewable energy sources and alternate fuel. In our tryst the latest addition is hydrogen fuel cells. Developed as a part of the space program initially, more and more car manufacturers are now edging towards adopting Hydrogen Fuel Cells to power the cars.
What are Hydrogen Fuel Cells?
The hydrogen fuel cell is same as our battery cells except for the fact that in case of hydrogen fuel cells the power is produced only when hydrogen is fed to the fuel cell. The electricity produced in hydrogen fuel cell is dependent on the rate of Hydrogen flow to the cell and also on size of the hydrogen fuel cell.
What are the advantages of Hydrogen Fuel Cells?
Although along with electricity it produces heat and water, the hydrogen fuel cells produce a lot less heat than the traditional rod cells. Hydrogen fuel cells are a lot more efficient than the gasoline engines by about 20 to 30%.
These cells can be created in different sizes and as a result can be used to power smaller instruments like an MP3 player to factory buildings and towns.
For the automobile industries the biggest challenge today are its dependence on gasoline and the rate of pollution. Hydrogen fuel cells if used as internal combustion engines for cars can reduce the petroleum dependency and environmental pollution.
Not just for cars, hydrogen fuel cells can be used to power remote areas, provide electricity where roads have not yet been built and in general alleviate the living conditions. It can also be used as a portable source of energy.
It is estimated that hydrogen fuel cells may replace the traditional batteries all together in the next 50 to 100 years. If it has been successful in the space programs, it is quite evident that it will leave its mark in day-today life as well. Different government and environment agencies are also supporting the use of hydrogen fuel cells. However with all boons comes its accompanying bane. To produce hydrogen we need energy. Fossil fuels are widely used to produce that energy. Now as we all know fossil fuel too is a non-renewable energy source. So the need of the hour is a lot more research so that we can get hydrogen from a renewable energy source in order to power hydrogen fuel cells in generating electricity.
However there is no denying the fact that today we need such energy alternatives like hydrogen fuel cells that are customizable, can be used everywhere, can power anything from a small walkman to a town and the best of all reduces pollution and generated less heat. As we all know it is time that we do away with global warming!