A fuel cell converts any type of source fuel into electrical currents. These particular types of cells are electrochemical cells. They generate electricity that is inside of a cell, this is done through different reactions between oxidants and fuel. This is all triggered within the presence of electrolytes. Reactants will flow in the cell which will cause the reaction products to flow out as the electrolyte itself will stay in. Whenever the oxidant and reactant flows are the right amount, fuel cells will be able to continuously operate.
Fuel Cell Varieties
There are several different varieties for fuel cells. You will find however, that they basically all work the same way. There are 3 segments that are basically all pushed together. These segments include the cathode, electrode and the anode. There are 2 different types of chemical reaction that will occur at each of the interfaces during each of the 3 segments. Basically what will happen with these chemical reactions include carbon dioxide and water being created as well as fuel is consumed. An electrical current is also created. Electrical devices can be powered whenever the electrical current is created.
Fuel Cell Designs
There are quite a few designs of a fuel cell, it is important to become familiar with the most important of them. One of the most important designs is the electrolyte substance; this type of substance is what is normally used to define the type of the fuel cell that is being used. The most common type of fuel that is used is hydrogen. An anode catalyst is a type of design that will break down the fuel into ions and electrons. An anode catalyst is a type of design that is made up from a platinum powder that is very fine. One of the other most important types of designs is the cathode catalyst. This type of design is one that will turn ions into water or carbon dioxide or other types of waste chemicals. It is common that a cathode catalyst is made up of nickel.
Other Design Factors
A catalyst will oxidize fuel with the anode catalyst. This is normally done with hydrogen, whenever the fuel is turned into an ion that is positively charged along with an electron that is negatively charged. An electrolyte is a type of a substance that is designed specifically where the ions can pass directly through it. However, electrons are not able to do this. Any of the electrons that have been freed will travel through a wire that is made through the electrical current. There are ions that will travel to the cathode going through the electrolyte. Whenever the cathode has been reached, ions will be reunited with electrons. There is a third chemical that the two will end up reacting to. It is most common that this third chemical is oxygen. This normally will cause carbon dioxide or water to be created. Usually, a fuel cell will make a voltage that is anywhere from 0.6 to 0.7 V whenever it is at load that is fully rated.