Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydrogen Fuel Cells
With the increasing demand for electricity, people are now looking for alternative means to meet the need. Before you look into the advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen fuel cells, it is important that you know some basics. By definition, fuel cells are like batteries. It is a device that converts oxygen and hydrogen to water, heat, and electricity.
The following are the advantages of hydrogen fuel cells:
1. Efficient conversion to electricity – in comparison to other electrical generating technologies, fuel cells are able to efficiently convert the fuel into electricity because there isn’t any form of combustion involved
2. Extremely reliable – the different parts of the fuel cells are stacked well including the controls, pumps, and fans; unlike generators that are noisy, fuel cells are quieter and more reliable
3. Does not degrade – fuel cells can provide a continuous source of reliable electricity unlike their battery counterparts
4. Doesn’t require huge facilities or power plants – a great advantage of fuel cells is that it is also suitable for transportation, residential, and portable use; you can expect high efficiency rates regardless of scale
5. Clean and efficient – fuel cells can be used in both rural and urban areas, providing reliable and robust electricity while enhancing key infrastructures’ security including water and communication systems
6. Flexible and easy installation – it is an economical solution to the increasing demand for a more reliable energy source since it is flexible and easy to install, thereby making the whole process less costly for any user
If there are benefits to using hydrogen fuel cells, there are also potential drawbacks. Below are the disadvantages of using fuel cells:
1. Extremely expensive and large – this was a great disadvantage several years ago, but things are changing now that the industry is in the transition period; new fuel cell varieties are being developed for mass manufacturing
2. Lacks supply and coast-to-coast delivery is unavailable – the industry still needs to address alternative storage facilities and efficient delivery methods
3. Can’t be implemented right away – it will take many years in order to perfect these conversion solutions since the development of newer fuel cell technologies are still in the transition period
Before you consider using hydrogen fuel cells, it is important that you weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Advanced technologies can be of great help in developing sustainable, flexible, portable, and efficient alternative sources of energy. The fuel cell industry has been around for quite some time now, but because of the immense cost it entails, not many companies and industries are willing to take the chance.
Having a cost effective solution is the only way for hydrogen fuel cells to fit into smaller scale usage including that of residential homes and commercial establishments. If you are interested in the using fuel cells, you must first evaluate your needs and requirements. From there, you can calculate the costs involved and the potential benefits that you are to gain. Weigh the good points and the drawbacks before making the final choice.