On completion of this TLP, the student should gain an understanding of the following topics of discussion:
- The principle behind fuel cells and what constitutes a fuel cell.
- A brief history of the technology.
- Function and specifics of four main types of fuel cell:
- Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)
- Molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC)
- Proton exchange membrane/ polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)
- Direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC)
- The advantages, problems and applications associated with each of the different electrolytes commonly used in fuel cells, including discussion of the factors influencing their suitability.
- The electrochemical explanation of the fuel cell processes.
- The requirements of fuelling a fuel cell system including “balance of plant” considerations, reforming and ways of storing the fuel.
- Building a simple fuel cell.