What Is A Fuel Cell?
Fuel cells are similar to batteries in that
both produce a direct current by using an electrochemical process. Two electrodes, an
anode and a cathode, are separated by an electrolyte. Like batteries, fuel cells are
combined into groups, called stacks, to obtain a usable voltage and power output.
Unlike batteries, however, fuel cells do not release energy stored in the cell or run down
when the energy is gone. Instead, they convert the energy in a hydrogen-rich fuel directly
into electricity and operate as long as they are supplied with fuel. Fuel cells emit
almost none of the sulfur and nitrogen compounds released by conventional generating
methods, and can utilize a wide variety of fuels: natural gas, coal-derived gas, landfill
gas, biogas, or alcohols.
Fuel cells have emerged in the last decade
as one of the most promising new technologies for meeting the Nation's energy needs well
into the 21st century. Unlike power plants that use conventional technologies, fuel cell
plants that generate electricity and usable heat can be built in a wide range of sizes -
from 200-kilowatt units suitable for powering commercial buildings, to 100-megawatt plants
that can add baseload capacity to utility power plants.
War Bonnet Construction
37690 Kenai Spur Highway, Mile 3.3
Soldotna, AK 99669
FAX (907) 262-2337
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