International Journal of Engineering and Advanced Technology Studies (IJEATS)

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Efficiency Analysis of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power Systems for Off-Grid Applications


The escalating environmental hazards associated with the use of fossil fuels call for eco-friendly alternative renewable energy conversion sources. One of these renewable energy measures is the development of a hydrogen fuel cell, a device which directly converts the potential of chemical fuel into electrical power without combustion. This study evaluates the efficiency of a hydrogen fuel cell power system for off-grid applications with an aim to show how much energy can be generated from a locally produced hydrogen powered device, and for how long an electrical load (1Ω resistor) in the form of bulbs of varying loading sizes is carried. For the power and performance evaluation of the cell, multimeters equipped with integrated voltmeters and ammeters were employed for their accuracy, with a power generator, functioning through a rectifier, supplying a direct current of 3.45A at a known voltage of 18.2V, providing the means to calculate the energy input into the developed fuel cell. The results assessments, revealed that power levels steadily fall as time progresses, an occurrence caused by the depletion of reactants and the continuous accumulation of reaction products, which ultimately lead to decreasing electrochemical activity and subsequently decreased power generation. The graph readings show the dynamic behaviour of the fuel cell’s performance depicted by the distinct pattern followed in the relationship between time and power output.

Keywords: fuel cells, hydrogen fuel cell, off-grid applications, proton exchange membrane fuel cells, renewable energy technologies, sustainable energy cycles

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