In a pathbreaking innovation, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with Indian industries has developed India’s first indigenous high-temperature fuel cell. It was unveiled by the President of India on the occasion of CSIR foundation day in New Delhi.
Soon, you may be able to say goodbye to diesel generators (DG Sets) and instead use a fuel cell system run on green fuel like methanol/bio-methane with heat and water as by-products for further use.
This development would reduce India’s dependence on crude oil and promote the use of green and alternate fuels. The development of fuel cell technology carries immense national importance as it also provides an alternative to grid power. And, India can move towards non-grid energy security.
What is a Fuel Cell?
A fuel cell is an electrochemical cell that converts the chemical energy of a fuel (often hydrogen and oxygen) directly into electricity. Fuel cell differs from a battery in the sense that it can supply electrical energy for a long period of time because it is continuously supplied with the fuel whereas a battery continuously depletes the one-time fuel material stored in it.
What is a Fuel Cell System?
A fuel cell system combines many components like fuel cell stack, fuel processor, power conditioners, air compressors, and humidifiers. Out of all these components, fuel cell stack is the most important as a stack has hundreds of fuel cells combined in a series. An individual fuel cell produces less than 1 V which is not sufficient to run most applications.
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“The development of the High Temperature Fuel Cell system is most suitable for distributed stationary power applications at places such as small offices, commercial units and data centers where highly reliable power is essential with simultaneous requirement for air-conditioning,” said a CSIR scientist as quoted by Times of India.
With this development, India has joined the league of a few developed nations which are in possession of such technology.