Futuristic Fuel Cell-Based Power System : ISRO
ISRO recently said it has successfully tested a futuristic fuel cell-based power system.
- A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity by a chemical reaction.
- Fuel cells can be used in a wide range of applications, providing power for applications across multiple sectors, including transportation, industrial/commercial/residential buildings, and long-term energy storage for the grid in reversible systems.
- A fuel cell consists of two electrodes—a negative electrode (or anode) and a positive electrode (or cathode).
- Both electrodes must be immersed in and separated by an electrolyte, which may be a liquid or a solid but must, in either case, conduct ions between the electrodes in order to complete the chemistry of the system.
- A fuel, such as hydrogen, is supplied to the anode, where it is oxidised, producing hydrogen ions and electrons.
- An oxidizer, such as oxygen, is supplied to the cathode, where the hydrogen ions from the anode absorb electrons from the latter and react with the oxygen to produce water.
- The difference between the respective energy levels at the electrodes (electromotive force) is the voltage per unit cell.
- The amount of electric current available to the external circuit depends on the chemical activity and amount of the substances supplied as fuel.
- A single fuel cell generates a tiny amount of direct-current (DC) electricity. In practice, many fuel cells are usually assembled into a stack.
- Fuel cells have lower or zero emissions compared to combustion engines. Hydrogen fuel cells emit only water, addressing critical climate challenges as there are no carbon dioxide emissions.