Chapter 7

Fuel Cells

Abstract

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that consume hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. They are not heat engines, therefore they are not restricted by the heat engine thermodynamic limits. A number of different types of fuel cells have been developed, each with different characteristics. The alkaline fuel cell is very efficient but also expensive. The phosphoric acid fuel cell has achieved the biggest commercial success, particularly in packaged combined heat and power modules for distributed generation applications. The proton exchange membrane fuel cell is very light and also potentially of high efficiency, making it attractive for automotive applications. The molten carbonate and the solid oxide fuel ...

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