Electricity Generation from Water Using a Hydrogen Fuel Cell
In this paper, electricity is successfully generated at the Faculty of Engineering, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) laboratory from water using a hydrogen fuel cell as an alternative to the popular hydroelectric technology. This was achieved by building a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cell, more popularly known as the PEM fuel cell or PEMFC, and using it to generate electricity from water.On first trial, an input voltage and current of 3.4v & 1.54A respectively were applied to the system of 1.37liters of water and 411g of NaOH. No system output was recorded. A second trial was then carried out with the fuel reduced to a quarter of the original amount, this recorded an increase in hydrogen production rate as well as a peak voltage in addition to current of 11 volts and 5.3 amps respectively. However, no activity was observed in the fuel cell or bubbler. Trial 2 revealed that the hydrogen was not reaching the MEA inside the assembly, the solution was to increase the gas port from 9/64'' to 1/5''. The gas port, input voltage and current were increased for a 3rd trial. After several component troubleshooting & testing, the system was set up and within a period of 1 – 2 minutes the fuel cell gave a rising output starting at 0.01 volts and peaking at 0.7 volts driving a small motor at 0.3 volts.
Keywords:Renewable Energy, Technology, Fuel cell, Electrolyzer, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM), Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)
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© 2022, Centre for Foundation and Interdisciplinary Studies, Baze University, Abuja
Electronic Publication 2022
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