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A Fuel cell vehicle or FC vehicle (FCV) is a type of hydrogen vehicle which uses a fuel cell to produce its on-board motive power. Fuel cells create electricity to power an electric motor using hydrogen or a reformed hydrocarbon fuel and oxygen from the air.

Contents

History

The first ever "road worthy" (excepting the Allis-Chalmers Fuel-Cell Tractor)[1] fuel cell vehicle was produced by General Motors in 1966.[2], the first ever hydrogen vehicle was built in 1807 by François Isaac de Rivaz.

Efficiency

Fuel cell efficiency is limited because "the energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use... For comparison, the 'wind-to-wheel' efficiency is at least three times greater for electric cars than for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles."[3]

The efficiency of the vehicle's engine does not take into account the efficiency at which hydrogen is produced, stored, and transported today. Fuel cell vehicles running on compressed hydrogen may have a power-plant-to-wheel efficiency of 22% if the hydrogen is stored as high-pressure gas, and 17% if it is stored as liquid hydrogen.[4] In addition to the production losses, some of the electricity used for hydrogen production, comes from thermal power, which only has an efficiency of 33% to 48% resulting in emission of carbon dioxide.

Codes and standards

Fuel cell vehicle is a classification in FC Hydrogen codes and standards and fuel cell codes and standards[5] other main standards are Stationary fuel cell applications and Portable fuel cell applications.

Applications

Hybrid fuel combustion vehicle

To promote the demand side for hydrogen to promote the creation of more hydrogen filling stations), Hybrid fuel combustion vehicles like the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE on Hynor and the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid running on hydrogen or another fuel have been introduced.[6]

Description of fuel cells

All fuel cells are made up of three parts: an electrolyte, an anode and a cathode.[7] Fuel cells function similarly to a conventional battery, but instead of recharging, they are refilled with hydrogen.[8] Different types of fuel cells include Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells, Direct Methanol Fuel Cells, Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells, Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells, Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, and Regenerative Fuel Cells.[9]

A vehicle fueled with pure hydrogen emits few pollutants, only water and heat.[10] Highway vehicles currently produce about 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.[11] However, the support for the idea of a fuel cell vehicle as a viable option for the replacement of the internal combustion engine has largely been replaced by other alternatives. This is due to the complexity of using hydrogen gas; when created, fossil fuels are often used with water to create steam, but the byproduct is carbon dioxide.[12]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "HistoryWired: A few of our favourite things". http://historywired.si.edu/object.cfm?ID=223. Retrieved October 23, 2009.  
  2. ^ "The First Fuel Cell on Wheels". 2008-10-21. http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-10071307-48.html?tag=mncol;txt. Retrieved October 23, 2009.  
  3. ^ "Ulf Bossel On Hydrogen". 2006-12-11. http://www.physorg.com/news85074285.html. Retrieved June 2, 2009.  
  4. ^ "Efficiency of Hydrogen PEFC, Diesel-SOFC-Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles" (PDF). 2003-07-15. http://www.efcf.com/reports/E04.pdf. Retrieved January 7, 2009.  
  5. ^ FC Vehicle standards
  6. ^ Mazda delivers Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid to Yamaguchi prefectural government
  7. ^ "Basics", U.S. Department of Energy, Retrieved on: 2008-11-03.
  8. ^ "What Is a Fuel Cell?", The Online Fuel Cell Information Resource, Retrieved on: 2008-11-03.
  9. ^ "Types of Fuel Cells", U.S. Department of Energy, Retrieved on: 2008-11-03.
  10. ^ "Fuel Cell Vehicles", Fuel Economy, Retrieved on: 2008-11-03.
  11. ^ "HFCIT Fuel Cells", U.S. Department of Energy, Retrieved on: 2008-11-03
  12. ^ Carr, p. 11.

References

Carr. "The power and the glory: A special report on the future of energy", page 11. The Economist, 2008.

External links

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