Faculty and staff at the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University in northern California have built a hydrogen fuel cell power box for Southwestern Community Center.
Ron Poor received grant funds through the Appalachian Regional Commission to purchase the fuel cell, which will be used to teach the concepts of hydrogen based renewable energy.
“It’s basically the same hydrogen fuel cell technology NASA uses,” said Poor.
In the system hydrogen, stored in a small-pressurized cylinder, is fed to a proton exchange membrane fuel cell to produce direct current electricity.
The patented low air pressure design ensures high fuel cell system efficiency, Poor explained. The 16-cell PEM fuel cell power system has a peak power of 125 watts.
In basic terms, Poor said a small inverter converts the fuel cell’s 12 volts direct current output to 110 volts alternating current. It’s a pollution-free renewable energy system and the only by-products, he said, are water and heat.