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Portable Prototype of Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Educational Training


This paper presents an experimental prototype of hydrogen fuel cells suitable for training engineering students. The presented system is designed to teach students the V-I characteristics of the fuel cells and how to record the V-I characteristics curve in the case of a single or multiple fuel cells. The prototype contains a compact electrolyzer to produce hydrogen and oxygen to the fuel cell. The fuel cell generates electricity to supply power to various types of loads. The paper also illustrates how to calculate the efficiency of fuel cells in series and parallel modes of operation. In the series mode of operation, it is mathematically proven that the efficiency is higher at lower currents. Still, the fuel cell operating area is required where the power is the highest. According to experimental results, the efficiency in the case of series connection is approximately 25%, while in parallel operation mode, the efficiency is about 50%. Thus, a parallel connection is recommended in the high current applications because the efficiency is higher than the one resulted from series connection. As explained later in the study plan, several other experiments can be performed using this educational kit.

Funding source: This work was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research at Najran University grant code (NU/RG/SERC/11/2).
Countries: Saudi Arabia

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