Fuel Cell Uses

It’s the age of technology, and we demand clean energy

Fuel cells are a much cleaner energy source since they rely on electrochemistry, instead of combustion. This process of electrochemistry is what makes fuel cells more environmentally-friendly, efficient, and cleaner. The main by-products from varying fuel cells include: heat, and a minimized release of carbon dioxide. It is important to note that this small release of CO2 is much smaller than that which is released by combustion driven sources. When used adequately, fuel cell technology proves to be 60 – 90% efficient!

Fuel cell technology is being used for a variety of processes already, and has a promising potential for a variety of future applications. The three main markets of fuel cell technology includes: stationary power, portable power and transportation. The future of fuel cells is looking bright and clean!


Stationary Power

The main reason for incorporating stationary power of fuel cell technology onto your property as a main source of power is to save money and to reduce your carbon footprint. Also, some models can serve as a backup power for critical, required loads. Fuel cells may even be used as a supplement to your current power, thereby by offsetting high rate tariffs associated with your energy consumption.

Fuel cells are an excellent way to green a residential property because they can save you up to 50% on your utility expenses, and during 24/7 operation they work tirelessly creating the power you need. In addition, homeowners can significantly benefit from the thermal energy produced by fuel cells. This energy can be used to heat residential water, pools or spas, and indoor living areas.

This clean technology may also be easily used for commercial or industrial properties. Fuel cells are capable of supplying your property with the necessary amount of energy to run a variety of office electronics, hospital equipment, or even the energy necessary within universities and schools. Fuel cells may truly be the solution for high traffic areas during storms since they do not experience surges or blackouts. In addition, various types of fuel cells can run off biomass, which makes them a great additional to areas like landfills which generate anaerobic gases and could use the produced electricity.


Transportation

Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are not unheard of. In fact, many large auto manufacturing companies are already experimenting with their capabilities; it’s amazing that its taking so long considering the internal combustion engines (ICE) are only 20% efficient. Imagine getting 3 to 4 times the fuel efficiency without having to be crammed in some goofy-looking little car. FCV have the potential to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and all the environmental impacts associated with crude oil as a whole. Since FCVs run on hydrogen driven fuel cells, the tailpipe exhaust emits no toxic chemicals.

Honda has been leasing out their FCX Clarity, a fuel cell vehicle, to a limited number of people in California and parts of Japan. This vehicle has earned EPA-certified fuel economy of an astonishing 60 miles per gallon. Automakers believe that FCVs such as this are only a few years away from being available to the public.

FCVs look like the average car from the exterior, but check out the interior of this Honda model.


Portable Power

The EPA estimates that approximately 6% of annual utility energy is being used to charge portable devices like media players, cell phones, and other small technologies. In addition, this is considering all the “vampire” energy being consumed by the plugged in phone and PDA charges. It is believed that fuel cell technology may be the long-lasting alternative to modern day batteries.

One of the main advantages micro or portable fuel cells have to a common battery is the fact that fuel cell energy comes from an external source that is not placed within the fuel cell itself, unlike batteries. This can prove to be safer for consumers and technologies since overloads and shortages are prevented from occurring. This is especially true because cell phone batteries have been known to explode, imagine that as your ring tone! In addition, the running time of devices charged with fuel cells is many more hours longer than that of conventional batteries. Such fuel cells may ultimately replace batteries in cell phones, laptops, and other portable devices.

At this time numerous prototypes are being produced to measure the efficiency of such fuel cells. On example being the Angstrom Motorola cell phone pictured below.


ClearEdge Power Attends TED2010 and Unveils the ClearEdge5 Fuel Cell

This unique conference brings together three distinct worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design.


Getting Started

If you plan on incorporating a fuel cell system onto your property first determine your budget and then decide on the size of your specific project. Many states offer various incentives for clean and renewable energy sources, so make sure to determine if you are eligible for any rebates at dsire.org.

Our recommendation is to look for companies that offer commercial and residential installation—search our GreenPages for fuel cell providers such as ClearEdge Power.


Learn More

Money Saving Lights

Renewable Energy at Home

Home Energy Audit

10 Quick Ways to Green Your Home

Hiring a Home Improvement Professional

8 Comments

  1. HowardStone45 September 30, 2010
  2. JayBoyde September 30, 2010
  3. tigerbomb September 30, 2010
  4. ROLFatU September 30, 2010
  5. Zekeda2112 September 30, 2010
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