How Things Work: Fuel Cells

Untitled design (11)Curious about fuel cells and electric powered cars? In this exciting episode of How Items Work, we will just take you by means of the fascinating mechanics of gasoline cells and how they’re utilized to propel electrical autos.

Estimated examining time: 3 minutes, 39 seconds.

If you can not check out the video, you can browse the video clip transcription below:
Edited for clarity and readability

Pieter: (00:16)

Welcome to Let’s Chat Automotive. And in this week’s episode on How Items Get the job done, I’m going to be taking you via a technologies that you have possibly previously heard of identified as gasoline cells. And I am heading to display you how we use gas cells to propel electric cars. Now in former episodes, we have spoken a ton about electric cars, and in fact, you may possibly have even noticed the phase where we test drove the Tesla Design X. Now gas cells differ significantly in the way that they function in contrast to classic batteries. Now, if we have a look at a lead-acid battery, it is pretty a terrible matter simply because we have acquired an anode and a cathode, and we’ve obtained an acid generally performing as our electrolytes. So it really is pretty a messy affair and not quite environmentally friendly. And standard electric powered autos use lithium-ion batteries. And at the time all over again, individuals lithium-ion batteries are basically rather devastating if we have a appear at the whole footprint that takes place in terms of mining them and then disposing of them at the conclusion of the day–not extremely fantastic for the environment. 


Pieter: (01:20)

So some of the suppliers early on when it arrived to the layout of electric autos, in truth, invested quite intensely in fuel cell technology. Now gasoline cells have been utilised for a extended time in the area station, for case in point, as a really clean and efficient way of supplying electrical electric power. And I am heading to choose you by quite briefly, how gas cells work and why I consider that some of the makers actually need to carry on contemplating about employing hydrogen-run fuel cells as an energy source for electric powered autos. And I feel as soon as I’ve shown you, you are going to concur with me that this, probably, is the way to go. 

So essentially, what we have is significantly the very same as a lead-acid battery we have an anode and a cathode, but the variance listed here is that the anode around listed here is filled up with hydrogen, and on the other facet, the cathode has oxygen. And we also have a catalyst, and this catalyst is generally manufactured out of platinum. And what this catalyst does is it splits up our hydrogen into protons and electrons. Now what the oxygen does on this aspect, is the oxygen appeals to the hydrogen protons and electrons to this side. But this membrane, which is named a proton exchange membrane, is so fantastic that it can truly filter out the protons and allow the protons to go as a result of. But the electrons are way too big to go as a result of this membrane, and so what comes about to the electrons is that we power them to vacation a even further path to get to the other side.


Pieter: (03:05)

And so what we have around in this article is all of our electrons transferring as a result of this extended route, or this channel, till they pop out on this side. Now the genius at the rear of this is that we know, as with any other battery, when we have a stream of electrons, we have recent stream and if we have obtained current move, we are producing electric power. And all that transpires when the electrons get to this side of the stack, is that the hydrogen protons and electrons then sort hydrogen yet again, and the hydrogen then interacts with the oxygen and produces harmless water. So the only byproduct of this battery, in point, is warmth and a small little bit of water. And as long as we’ve acquired a constant provide of hydrogen, so we have a hydrogen tank in our auto, for case in point, then we’re heading to have a continual present-day circulation that’s developed by this membrane.


Pieter: (04:04)
And if we have a total ton of these stacks put with each other, we then have plenty of recent that is produced to, in truth, source plenty of energy for our electric motors. 

So from my standpoint, I feel that the gasoline cells are the way to go. The only challenge, of training course, is that they are really, quite pricey and that has, I believe to a massive extent, put the brakes on their advancement. Which is a minimal little bit of a pity mainly because I think that it is a superb, cleanse alternative to even lithium-ion batteries. 

So I hope you observed that practical and have a greater knowing on how fuel cells perform and right up until our subsequent episode on How Issues Do the job, I glance ahead to viewing you then. Cheers everyone.


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