What is the principle of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle?

Fuel cell is a kind of power generation device, which converts chemical energy in fuel into electric energy by redox reaction of oxygen or other oxidants. The most common fuel is hydrogen, which can be understood as the reverse reaction of water electrolysis to hydrogen and oxygen.

Unlike rocket, hydrogen fuel cell does not produce kinetic energy through the violent reaction of hydrogen and oxygen combustion, but releases Gibbs free energy in hydrogen through catalytic device. Its working principle is that hydrogen is decomposed into electrons and hydrogen ions (protons) through a catalyst (usually platinum) in the positive electrode of a fuel cell. Protons reach the negative electrode through proton exchange membrane and react with oxygen to form water and heat. The corresponding electrons flow from the positive electrode to the negative electrode through the external circuit to generate electric energy. It has no thermal efficiency bottleneck of about 40% for fuel engine, and the efficiency of hydrogen fuel cell can easily reach more than 60%.

As early as a few years ago, hydrogen energy has been known as the “ultimate form” of new energy vehicles by virtue of its advantages of zero pollution, renewable energy, fast hydrogenation, full range and so on. However, the technical theory of hydrogen fuel cell is perfect, but the industrialization progress is seriously backward. One of the biggest challenges of its promotion is cost control. This includes not only the cost of the vehicle itself, but also the cost of hydrogen production and storage.

The development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles depends on the construction of hydrogen fuel infrastructure such as hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, hydrogen transportation and hydrogenation. Unlike pure trams, which can be charged slowly at home or in the company, hydrogen vehicles can only be charged at the hydrogenation station, so the demand for the charging station is more urgent. Without a complete hydrogenation network, the development of hydrogen vehicle industry is impossible.



Post time: Apr-02-2021
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