Read full document

Pem Fuel Cells

  • By
  • May 7, 2013
  • 2127 Words
  • 73 Views
Page 1 of 6
Proton Exchange Membranes
Recently, the renewable energy issue is becoming significant all over the world due to increasing power demand, instability of the rising oil prices and environmental problems caused by humans. Among the various renewable energy sources, fuel cell technology has received great attention as an alternative to the conventional way of getting energy due to its high efficiency, clean operation and cost efficient supply of power demanded by the consumers. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells technology plays a leading role for many applications when comparing with other competitive types of fuel cells. The world is in high demand for clean alternative fuel source and PEM fuel cells could be that change with a little bit more research. The very first known form of a fuel cell was made in 1839 but it was not a practical fuel cell, the first practical fuel cell was not made until one hundred and ten years later in the 1950’s. A fuel cell is an electrochemical converter that takes the chemical energy of a fuel and converts it directly into DC electricity. A fuel cell is similar to a battery in that it has electrodes and an electrolyte, but it needs a fuel and oxidant supply to run, and produces a waste of heat and water. PEM fuel cells use the air as their fuel. They take in the hydrogen and the oxygen to produce the energy. PEM fuel cells were invented in the early 1960’s and used in early Gemini space missions but were later replaced by alkaline batteries. They were also used in a few Apollo space missions as well but were not used in any general public opportunities due to cost until the early 1990’s but even then they were still very expensive. Today PEM fuel cells are still underdeveloped for the amount of time they have been around and still cost too much for the amount of weight to power. The scalability of PEM fuel cells allows for a wide range of power outputs from a few milliwatts, up to millions of watts. The four main...