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Fuel-cell technology is not science fiction I

In the past two issues of NCE there have been letters referring to fuel cells. Fuel cell technology is not science fiction.
A fuel cell has the ability to convert electricity into hydrogen using the electrolysis of water, or hydrogen to electricity producing water in the process. The energy loss in both cases is extremely small, unlike other methods of storing energy.

The envisaged major use of fuel cells would be to produce electricity in combination with such things as wind turbines or tidal barrages where the electricity produced is not at a constant level. In the case of a tidal barrage it would peak twice a day, and in the case of wind turbines, peaks would depend on the wind speed.

Where power produced exceeded demand, the fuel cell would use the surplus to produce hydrogen, which would then be converted back to electricity to fill any troughs in power supply.

Fuel cell propelled cars is seen as a minor use of fuel cells. I see fuel cells being important in the future and perhaps NCE could publish a technical feature on them in collaboration with one of the research establishments developing fuel cells.

CHARLES MOODIE (M), charles@charlesmoodie.freeserve.co.uk

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