Innovative fuel cell solves the problem of energy storage

The major problem of switching to renewable energy sources is the lack of available technologies for converting electricity derived from solar and wind energy into chemical fuel for long-term storage and in the opposite direction. 

There are already certain solutions in this area, but for the time being, they are too expensive and work only in one direction of transformation. However, now scientists have proposed a model of a fuel cell that turns energy into fuel and vice versa, and if the principle of its operation is worthwhile, the development of renewable energy sources will receive a new powerful stimulus.

Researchers have created a new type of fuel cell - a proton conducting fuel cell (PCFC), which converts electricity into hydrogen fuel and back with a single set of catalysts. It consists of two electrodes, separated by a membrane that transmits protons.

However, for the time being, both new devices are small laboratory samples. In order for the technology to become widespread, researchers need to increase the scale of devices without reducing their performance. If engineers can achieve this, the cost of storing renewable energy can drop dramatically, which will help networks and consumers to end their dependence on fossil fuels.

The market for such technologies grew in parallel with the development of renewable energy: in 2007, with the help of the sun and wind in the USA, only 0.8% of the total electricity was mined, and in 2017 - already 8%. But supply and demand do not always correspond to each other: for example, in California, solar panels generate much more electricity on clear days than the power system needs in the daytime, but they do not produce it after sunset, when all consumers at home actively consume electricity. [via sciencemag]

Solar energy breaks records in Europe

The spread of COVID-19 is helping many European countries set new records in solar energy production. All UK solar panels peaked at 9.68 gigawatts on Monday...

Toyota and Hino Motors develops new fuel cell truck

Japanese carmaker Toyota and its commercial vehicle subsidiary Hino Motors is developing a fuel cell truck based on the Hino Profia. It uses technology that Toyota has...

Hyundai NEXO Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

Hyundai has begun selling its new Nexo fuel cell SUV in its Korean homeland. According to Hyundai, 1,061 fuel cell electric vehicles were ordered during...

Skai Flying Car

Skai Flying Car is the mobility solution from BMW and Alaka'i Technologies that differs from the rest of flying cars that we have seen to date by one...

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Add new comment