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Development of Fuel Cell Technology for Electric Power Generation

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This tutorial presents an overview of the fundamentals of fuel cell engineering and of the history of fuel cell development for electric power applications. The fuel cell uses a catalyzed reaction between a fuel and an oxidizer to directly produce electricity. Its high theoretical efficiency and low temperature operation made it a subject of much study upon its invention ca. 1900, but its relatively high life cycle costs kept it as solution in search of a problem for its first half century. After completing this course you should have an understanding of: The place of fuel cells among energy conversion technologies; The basic principles of fuel cell electrochemistry; The engineering fundamentals of fuel cell power plants for both transportation and stationary applications; The differing power system engineering tradeoffs that drive the development of fuel cell technology for NASA's manned space program in a direction different than that for applications for The Hydrogen Economy.

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