What's New :
Open Webinar for Mains 2021 : Register Now

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    5th May, 2020

NTPC Ltd, India's largest power producer and a central PSU under Ministry of Power, has invited Global Expression of Interest (EoI) to provide 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell (FC) based electric buses and an equal number of Hydrogen Fuel Cell based electric cars in Leh and Delhi.  The EoI has been issued by NTPC's wholly owned subsidiary, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) Limited.

Context

NTPC Ltd, India's largest power producer and a central PSU under Ministry of Power, has invited Global Expression of Interest (EoI) to provide 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell (FC) based electric buses and an equal number of Hydrogen Fuel Cell based electric cars in Leh and Delhi.  The EoI has been issued by NTPC's wholly owned subsidiary, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) Limited.

About

  • A fuel cell is a device that converts chemical potential energy (energy stored in molecular bonds) into electrical energy.
  • A PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) cell uses hydrogen gas (H2) and oxygen gas (O2) as fuel. The products of the reaction in the cell are water, electricity, and heat.

Hydrogen + Oxygen = Electricity + Water Vapour

  • This is a big improvement over internal combustion engines, coal burning power plants, and nuclear power plants, all of which produce harmful by-products.
  • Since O2 is readily available in the atmosphere, we only need to supply the fuel cell with H2 which can come from an electrolysis process (see Alkaline electrolysis or PEM electrolysis).

What is Hydrogen?

  • Hydrogen is the simplest element. An atom of hydrogen consists of only one proton and one electron.
  • It’s also the most plentiful element in the universe. Despite its simplicity and abundance, hydrogen doesn’t occur naturally as a gas on the Earth – it’s always combined with other elements.
  • Water, for example, is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen (H2O).
  • Hydrogen is high in energy, yet an engine that burns pure hydrogen produces almost no pollution.
  • NASA has used liquid hydrogen since the 1970s to propel the space shuttle and other rockets into orbit.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells power the shuttle’s electrical systems, producing a clean byproduct – pure water, which the crew drinks.

Key-highlights:

  • The initiative, which has been undertaken with support of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, will also harness renewable energy for generation of hydrogen and develop it's storage and dispensation facilities as part of pilot projects at Leh and Delhi.
  • The PSU has been taking various technology initiatives to provide complete e-Mobility solution for public transport including creation of public charging infrastructure and providing electric buses to State/City Transport Undertakings. 
  • In this regard, 90 public charging stations in various cities and battery charging and swapping station at Faridabad for e-3-wheelers have already been commissioned.
  • Similarly, e-Bus solution for Andaman & Nicobar Administration is under implementation.

Significance of the move:

  • The move to launch hydrogen powered vehicles aims at decarbonizing mobility segment. 
  • The move to procure Hydrogen Fuel Cell based vehicles is first of its kind project in the country, wherein a complete solution from green energy to the fuel cell vehicle would be developed.
  • Direct emissions from a fuel cell vehicle are just water and a little heat. This is a huge improvement over the internal combustion engine’s litany of greenhouse gases. Fuel cells have no moving parts. They are thus much more reliable than traditional engines.
Enquire Now