In the wake of destructive and irreversible effects of global warming, it has always been a global concern on how to develop alternative form of energy part from oil. This is because oil is known as a key pollutant. Carbon emission damages the tri oxide layer otherwise known as the ozone layer. This gives the destructive and easy penetration by ultraviolent rays to the earth’s atmosphere. The UV light can cause paints on buildings metals to fade, mutilate photosynthesis in plants and also cause skin cancer in human skin.
Focus has shifted from oil to harnessing power from renewable sources such as the sun, the wind and even ocean tides. The world has successfully succeeded in harnessing electric power from the sun. Solar panels have been innovated to power small stations such as homes to industrial needs. This success has inspired government to put more funds in fuel cell research technology.
Fuel cell is simply an electrochemical cell that converts chemical energy into electric energy. Thus generation of electricity is as a result of the reaction between fuel supplies an oxidizing agent. The reaction process works on principle that the reactants flow into the cell, the resultant product flow out and his electrodes remain. This reaction is continuous as long as the flow of oxidizers and reactants is maintained.
There are many sets of fuels and oxidants that give rise to electricity. One of such set is use of hydrogen fuels and oxygen from the air as the oxidant. Others may include chlorine and chlorine oxide, hydrocarbons and alcohols.
How to easily develop and manage a solar hydrogen fuel system?
It is easy to construct and run a solar hydrogen fuel cell system. A more complex one will need a number of electrical kits that you can purchase from your laboratory equipment store. These components include the fuel cell stack, the electrolyzer to generate hydrogen fuel, simple hydrogen storage. You also need solar panels designed specific to run electrolyzers for hydrogen production. Electrolyzers vary by watt production and source of power to run them.
Commercially, you can find solar energy run 40 watt electrolyzers commonly referred as Photovoltaic modules or a 40-80 watt electrolyze that uses either solar or wind as power source. The second option to make use of easily found materials for a simple hydrogen fuel production provide electricity to power small scale power needs. You will need a popsicle stick or a similar piece of wood or plastic, a 9 volt battery and battery clip. You also need some transparent sticky tape, a class of water as well as a voltmeter.
Different steps to follow
The first step is to make electrodes and in case this you will have to cut the platinum coated wire into two six inch long pieces and then winds each piece into a little coiled spring. Then you have to cut the leads of the battery clip in half and strip the insulation off the cut ends. Twist the ends of the bare wires on the end of platinum coated electrodes.
The electrodes are then taped securely to the popsickle stick, and the pop sickle tick secured by tapes to the glass of water. This will enable the electrodes to dangle in the water nearly their entire length. Connect the red wire to the positive terminal of the volt meter and the black wire to the negative of the voltmeter. Touch the 9 volt battery to the battery clip for a second or two to kick start the process. Introduction of current causes the water molecules at the electrodes to split into oxygen and hydrogen in a process called electrolysis.
When the battery is removed, the platinum coat acts as a catalyst to recombine hydrogen and oxygen molecules to water. Electricity will still be produced, whether when the water molecules are combined or detached, the two processes produce electricity. Hydrogen and oxygen molecules could be got from other sources other than this and bubbled over the electrodes to produce electricity. These include gases stored in high pressure tanks in an electric car.