Energy is poised to be one of the hottest topics of the decade, and it’s important to know how and where different forms of energy are being utilized. Many companies are beginning to switch from backup batteries and electrical generators to longer-lasting, lower-maintenance energy sources like hydrogen fuel cells. Learn more about how hydrogen fuel cells are revolutionizing the energy industry.
How Do Hydrogen Fuel Cells Work?
Hydrogen fuel cells are just one of many alternative energy sources that offer a comprehensive list of benefits. Fuel cells are comparable to batteries in that they can produce electricity without relying on combustion or emissions. But unlike batteries, fuel cells don’t need to be recharged, as long as they have access to a hydrogen source and oxygen.
Because proper battery disposal can be expensive, having a renewable, non-combustion energy source can cut down on manufacturing and overhead costs. And as the most abundant element on earth, hydrogen can be produced through dozens of different methods and applications.
Compared to conventional gasoline vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can even reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being produced. If the hydrogen is produced by natural gas, it can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to half; if it’s produced by renewable energy like wind or solar, it can reduce emissions by up to 90 percent.
Safety Considerations for Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Hydrogen fuel cells have the potential to solve some of the biggest problems in energy, from commercial buildings to transportation. These fuel cells can be used in a broad range of applications, from powering cars and other vehicles to entire city blocks.
However, hydrogen fuel cells are also highly volatile, so it’s crucial for companies and businesses that rely on them to take proper precautions. Hydrogen storage and production facilities are subject to stringent government regulations to ensure public safety. There are multiple government standards and codes to cover equipment design, construction, and permitting.
Every U.S. facility that handles hydrogen must conform to the “Hydrogen Technologies Code” requirements recently issued by the National Fire Protection Association. Violating these code provisions can result in hefty fines and fees, not to mention the public health and safety risk posed by volatile hydrogen. Unlike substances like natural gas, hydrogen is odorless and colorless, which can make it tough to detect any leaks.
For instance, when hydrogen is stored as 2,400 pounds per square inch (PSI), as it is at cell phone towers, it can quickly escape through even the most microscopic opening. ChemTec’s HPEFV (high-pressure excess flow valve) protects against potentially dangerous leaks by shutting off any excessive gas flow almost instantly.
ChemTec also offers a variety of other adjustable flow monitors, sensors, and switches that can be customized to meet any client’s needs. For companies that are interested in diversifying toward more renewable energy sources, look no further than ChemTec’s broad range of high-quality products.