Fuel Cell-Powered Mobile Lights – Small Steps to a Green Future
Fuel cells have been around since 2003 and they have shown great promise for a greener future. Essentially, these fuel cells are capable of generating electricity simply through chemical reaction, therefore removing the need to drill and burn oil for power. The chemical reaction produces few materials that can harm the environment and when used on a grand scale, can lead to sustainable power.
Of course, fuel cells are still in the development phase, but scientists are finding more ways to integrate the technology in our everyday lives. Today, fuel cell-powered mobile lights are taking center stage as they are developed, tested, and deemed ready for mass production and commercial use.
Scientists have noted an unexpected bonus with fuel cell-powered mobile lights – the lack of noise and the natural toughness that comes with the construction. Although not specially designed to minimize the noise, these cells produce no sound whatsoever and have proven durable during transportation. Moved through bumpy roads spanning more than 1,000 miles, the fuel cells have remained intact and working. According to ACAL Energy, they have managed to create a fuel cell that can run for more than 10,000 hours during simulated driving. This was reported in 2013…who knows how far they have improved the model this year?
Emission Free through Hydrogen
Of course, the first thing that makes these fuel cell-powered mobile lights preferable to the traditional light source. The use of hydrogen to trigger power does not produce greenhouse gases considered harmful to the environment.
The beauty of this is that even as the use of hydrogen becomes more main stream, this will not cause a major change with the distribution system. Studies have shown that gas stations will have no problem storing hydrogen and distributing it in the same way they distribute diesel and unleaded products. The chain of supply and demand therefore remains unbroken – making the market more than ready for the technology should it become widespread.
How Much does It Cost?
The main problem that originally stopped mass production was the cost. Compared to traditional lights, fuel cell requires thrice as much money to produce – making it very expensive even for businesses to use. Cost cutting strategies, however, have been employed, including the use of smaller fuel cell sizes, therefore less material for construction. Combined with LED technology, the fuel cell powered mobile lights are expected to decline in cost.
More to Come
Mobile lights are just the start of fuel cell-powered technology as possible applications cover practically all industries. Automobiles, buses, airplanes, boats, and submarines are being eyed as possible recipients of this technology. Portable power systems may also become available soon, allowing homeowners an independent source of power for their needs.
Today, more and more headway is being made in fuel cell power. Large scale service companies like the San Francisco International Airport and the Academy Awards have both used the fuel cell powered technology on a regular basis as they identify the many benefits of this green movement. In fact, the technology was used in 2011 by NASA during the Kennedy Space Center shuttle launch.
Photo by Baseball Bugs (Wikipedia)