Fuel cells and fuel cell components produce electricity and heat electrochemically by combining oxygen from the air with a fuel, preferably hydrogen, from methanol, natural gas, or petroleum. Reformers are often used in conjunction with hydrogen fuel cells. There many are types of fuel cells and fuel cell components. Examples include a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, direct methanol fuel cell (DFMC), phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC), molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC), and solid oxide...
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Q & A on Fuel Cells

We asked our users for their input on Fuel Cells. Here are the results of 152 users familiar with Fuel Cells.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing fuel cell design?
26 answers
Answers:
Gore Tex Membrane instead of Platinum coated.
~Robert E, Engineering Consultant, Buchs, Switzerland
"freeze cast" tape casting, all ceramic interconnects.
~John S, Process Engineer, Cleveland, OH
Hybrid systems that optimize the benefits of a fuel cell in combination with other power generating devices or situations.
~Engineering Consultant, Fayetteville, NC
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative fuel cells?
19 answers
Answers:
Idatec
~Philip J, Installer, Arima, Trinidad
NASA-Glenn Research Center
~John S, Process Engineer, Cleveland, OH
Ballard, GE, FuelCell Energy, and UTC
~Quality Control, Hartford, CT
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used fuel cells for?
38 answers
Answers:
On a 4 cylinder 2.4 liter VW Diesel Panelvan 1996 On a 8 Cylinder 6.2 liter Bentley Petrol 1960 On a 4 Cylinder 2.4 liter Mercedes Petrol 240/4 1975 On a 6 Cylinder Mercedes fuel injection Petrol 1985
~Axel, General Management, Autun, France
Golf Course Maintenance Equipment. (Nearly noiseless Electric Triplex Greensmower who can start cutting at 5 AM without disturbing Neighbors around.
~Robert E, Engineering Consultant, Buchs, Switzerland
Running an electricity generator. installed different HHO fuel cells in cars and experimenting upon them.
~Michael G, Engineering Consultant, Mellieha, Malta
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that fuel cells have been used for.
14 answers
Answers:
Military applications come to mind. A regenerative fuel cell unit which would provide an on the 'battle field system' would be an advantage in remote desolate areas. This concept was tested and proved feasible in the late 60's, would be a fuel cell which could provide remote on site power then after the fuel gases were used up, the unit was then placed in a regenerative mode; acting like a battery & regenerating the gas supplies. As I recall, cell technology was not sufficiently advanced at that time to keep the cycle efficient enough for many repeat cycles.
~Theodore K, Retired P&WA Engineer, Vernon, CT
I guess standard would be in space vehicle applications and hybrid vehicles, whereas non-standard would comprise anything else. I have heard references to fuel cell products that have been evaluated for laptop computers and other portable electronic devices, but that's about it.
~Rick B., Engineering Consultant, Nashua, NH
Manufacture of chemicals, conversion of byproduct streams, instrument probes, sensors/detectors, miniature (sacrificial) power supplies, etc.
~Engineering Consultant, Fayetteville, NC
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of fuel cells?
7 answers
Answers:
As during the Apollo Space program and the users so aptly showed, these are not units you simply put into the hands of general technicians. There has to be a high respect for their high technology and require intense training. My job was created at Cape Kennedy because of this lack of discipline. Even when they thought they were capable and told us after Apollo 12 they no longer needed the suppliers look what happened!
~Theodore K, Retired P&WA Engineer, Vernon, CT
A friend of mine purchased a 6 cell fuel cell arrangement and it was fitted in the boot of the car, in accordance with the manufacturer. It exploded after only a couple of km because it got too hot in the boot. Fuel cells which produce Hydroxy gas must have good ventilation. .
~Axel, General Management, Autun, France
Catastrophic mistakes there, but the formation of soda after 4 months of work on the ship's propulsion - it's a fact. But it is easy to do a mass of modern engineering solutions.
~Petr21 G, Engineer - physicist, Toronto, Canada
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
28 answers
Answers:
The design would have 2 main parts, 1st would be setting up a simple and cost effective way to produce and store hydrogen by electrolysis; and the second would involve multiple stacked fuel cells.
~Rick B., Engineering Consultant, Nashua, NH
Instead of distilled water cells go to dry cells to produce Hydroxy gas. The usage and integration of the cells in oil heating burners.
~Axel, General Management, Autun, France
Standardization of the fuel cell stack's components to enable production scale up and reduce overall stack cost.
~Engineering Consultant, Fayetteville, NC
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of fuel cells?
9 answers
Answers:
Fuel Cells that use metal interconnects will have leakage and corrosion issues due to the thermal expansion mismatch and high temperature environment.
~John S, Process Engineer, Cleveland, OH
Do not be very anxious to just start a system unless a proper check out for leaks with a non flammable pressure gas or air have been accomplished.
~Michael G, Engineering Consultant, Mellieha, Malta
Need to look at the root - the elements emit carbon dioxide - the need to destroy it - only those systems today are reasonable.
~Petr21 G, Engineer - physicist, Toronto, Canada
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using fuel cells?
11 answers
Answers:
At this point do your research and decide whether you want to make or buy your fuel cells. The other area to focus on is safety, as good electrical grounding is needed as well as adequate ventilation to prevent a concentration of gases.
~Rick B., Engineering Consultant, Nashua, NH
Research any by-product of the cell while under heavy load...
~Todd L, Engineer, Orlando, FL
There are many adverts and designs which one will pay money for with the concept that these are simple to manufacture but yet the output as per the designs on sale is not genuine, apart from this one must be careful since fuel cells could be deadly if not handled properly.
~Michael G, Engineering Consultant, Mellieha, Malta
There are many conditions for work DTSFTS (many of them belong to the negative characteristics of the cells), but with proper consideration of these disadvantages, our company - all the negative characteristics have been transformed into a big plus (but only in the application process TFG)
~Petr21 G, Engineer - physicist, Toronto, Canada
If buying, be sure to study the difference in specifications to determine best fuel cell for the application.
~Dave T, Controls Engineer, Mauk, GA
Check the internet for the best ideas. I found Water4gas the best distributor and adviser on the net.
~Axel, General Management, Autun, France
Safety & Training!! The two most important items when using fuel cells.
~Theodore K, Retired P&WA Engineer, Vernon, CT
Testing a fuel cell before it is to be applied
~Udo H, Research & Development, Sinsheim, Germany
Set up a clear profile of needs
~Robert E, Engineering Consultant, Buchs, Switzerland
Depends on application
~FRANCIS C, Transport operations and technology, MEATH, IRELAND
Go green
~Vinoth kumar Kusuma, Marketing/Sales, Coimbatore, India

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