The search has always been on to find a reliable substitute to fossil fuel. Hydrogen fuel cell technology provides a solution to the perennial problem of pollution that our planet struggles with. We need to minimize our carbon footprint and Hydrogen fuel cell technology is slowly capturing the markets.
What is a fuel stack?
Electricity is generated in fuel cell by a chemical reaction that happens between Hydrogen and Oxygen. The yield of one fuel cell is less than one volt. Since more voltage is needed, hundreds of fuel cells are connected in a series. It produces desired amount of voltage. When fuel cells are put together connected in a series, they are said to be a part of the fuel cell stack.
How does a Hydrogen fuel cell generates electricity?
When Hydrogen is provided to the anode side of the cell, the Hydrogen molecules get activated by the anode catalysts. These excited Hydrogen molecules with the help of anode catalyst release electrons. These electrons which are released then travel from the anode to the cathode. This movement creates an electrical current.
Hydrogen molecules become Hydrogen ions after releasing electrons. These Hydrogen ions then move through the polymer electrolyte membranes and collect at the cathode. Further, these Hydrogen ions then bond with the oxygen present in the atmosphere and with electrons on the cathode and form water.
Fuel cell engines
A synchronous AC motor is used by Fuel Cell engines. It has a rotating magnetic field. This motor can also be used as a generator. Some of the energy is converted into electrical energy under deceleration and is stored. This stored energy then can power the motor. When used alongside the fuel stack improves fuel economy.
This infographic given below explains the process in a much more detailed fashion. Do go through it.