When Sir William Robert Grove, a lawyer turned scientist based in Swansea, Wales, invented the first fuel cell in 1839, he undoubtably did not know the huge impact his work would have on the flourishing clean energy sector today. Buses, trains, military equipment, data centres and warehouse logistics technologies; you name it, the chances are a fuel cell can power it – and in environmentally favourable manner.
Similar to battery technology, a fuel cell produces electricity through an electrochemical reaction without any combustion, but does not need to be recharged like a battery. As long as there is a constant source of fuel and oxygen, fuel cells will continue to generate power1. When it comes to the world of hydrogen, fuel cells are frequently incorporated within a variety of discussions, plans and projects, and continue to be a pioneered technology.
As well as providing benefits for the environment, fuel cells also offer numerous efficiency benefits, such as the ability to operate at higher efficiencies than combustion engines and having the ability to convert chemical energy in the fuel directly to electric energy with efficiencies capable of exceeding 60%, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE)2.
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