DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE & HUMANITIES
RECENT TRENDS IN POWER GENERATION-TECHNICAL APPROACH
All over the world, electricity remains to be a vital component of national development. Electrical energy is easy to transport and convert to other forms of energy, and available at the flick of a switch, it has kept its place as the main source of energy in commercial and residential applications and in many industrial and transportation applications. But there are increasing challenges faced by the people throughout the world to secure a reliable, safe and sustainable energy supply to meet their needs. In developing countries, the demand for commercial energy is growing quickly. These countries are faced with substantial financial, growing environmental and energy security problems. The implementation of renewable energy systems, make a major contribution to finding solutions to these challenges by stimulating the early implementation of economically viable sustainable energy technologies. One among them is the fuel cell technology. The paper will give the answers about the fuel cell technologies, providing a short description of how they work, areas of operation and cost considerations. This paper addresses the technical viability and economy of using various types of fuel cells to replace all the existing conventional power plants .
. The hydrogen economy consists of many physical and chemical processes linked in an interdependent network that connects production, distribution, storage, and use. Hydrogen in its various forms flows throughout the network, linking primary sources like hydrocarbons or seawater to storage media like alanates to end-use functions like fuel cells .
The gap between present-day technology and commercial viability is vast. Bridging the gap requires not only creative engineering, but also revolutionary conceptual breakthroughs in understanding and controlling the physical and chemical processes that govern the interaction of hydrogen with materials. Such breakthroughs can only come from comprehensive basic research focused on the behavior of hydrogen at the atomic level, exploiting the remarkable recent advances in materials synthesis capabilities, forefront characterization tools, and creative theory and modeling.
WHAT IS A FUEL CELL ?
A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity by a chemical reaction. Every fuel cell has two electrodes, one positive and one negative, called, respectively, the anode and cathode. The reactions that produce electricity take place at the electrodes. Every fuel cell also has an electrolyte, which carries electrically charged particles from one electrode to the other, and a catalyst, which speeds the reactions at the electrodes. Hydrogen is the basic fuel, but fuel cells also require oxygen. One great appeal of fuel cells is that they generate electricity with very little pollution—much of the hydrogen and oxygen used in generating electricity ultimately combine to form a harmless byproduct, namely water.
One detail of terminology: a single fuel cell generates a tiny amount of direct current (DC) electricity. In practice, many fuel cells are usually assembled into a stack. Cell or stack, the principles are the same.
HOW DO FUEL CELLS WORK?
The purpose of a fuel cell is to produce an electrical current that can be directed outside the cell to do work, such as powering an electric motor or illuminating a light bulb or a city. Because of the way electricity behaves, this current returns to the fuel cell, completing an electrical circuit. The chemical reactions that produce this current are the key to how a fuel cell works.
There are several kinds of fuel cells, and each operates a bit differently. But in general terms, hydrogen atoms enter a fuel cell at the anode where a chemical reaction strips...