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Hydrogen Fuel Cells

  1. May 10, 2004 #1
    Does anyone have any hands on expierence with Hydrogen fuel cells used as the backup source on UPSs.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2004 #2


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    I have plenty of experience with fuel cells, but not particularly as a backup for a UPS. Do you have a specific question?

    - Warren
  4. May 11, 2004 #3
    Are there specific fire codes that have to be met for a US installation?
    Do the fuel cells go bad?
    What Kind of heat load do they generate?
    What is the product of the chemical reaction, and do the cells have to be placed in a well ventilated area?
    What is your experience and what are the pos and neg of fuel cells?
    How do Wet Cells and Fuel cells compare to each other?
    What maintenance do the fuel cells require?
    What temperature range do they need to kept in.
    How does temperature effect their discharge or does it?

    I read a interesting article about a large UPS manufacturer and a fuel cell manufacturer collaborating to use fuel cell technology for rack mounted ups's.

  5. May 11, 2004 #4


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    I don't know, I'm not a civil engineer.
    I'll assume we're discussing only proton-exchange membrance cells from now on. Yes, they can go bad, if the membrane is allowed to dry out, or if liquid water is injected into the cell.
    Fuel cells are roughly 50-60% efficient.
    The only chemicals produced are pure water. On the other hand, some hydrogen can sneak out even from recirculating setups, so yes, you need hydrogen sensors and a good ventilation system.
    Pro: efficiency.
    Cons: dangerous reactants, cost, complexity of apparatus.
    A wet cell is an ordinary Energizer battery. I don't think I really need to describe the difference.
    Ideally, none. In reality, it's probably the supporting apparatus that will need the most maintenance.
    Most cells operate at about the 90 degree celsius mark.
    That's a complex question; the effect depends quite a bit on the geometry and design.

    - Warren
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