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E – 1124 – Fuel Cells–Green Power

Intended Audience: engineers in all disciplines



    Hydrogen fuel cells present great promise for the future and have significant advantages over the internal combustion engine or even hybrid power technologies for automobile use.  There is, however, a need for infrastructure development for hydrogen production, storage and delivery, as well as for development of the fuel cells themselves.

    This course (3 PDH units) is intended for engineers in all disciplines who want to learn more about this type of renewable energy, and provides information about various aspects of the hydrogen-based fuel cell and several other fuels and fuel cell technologies. Specifically, we’ll cover the history of the fuel cell and various aspects of its operation, and compare fuel cells to other power sources.

    Before beginning this course, please review the material in “Fuel Cells Green Power,” U.S. Department of Energy/Los Alamos National Laboratory publication LA-UR-99-3231 (http://www.lanl.gov/orgs/mpa/mpa11/Green%20Power.pdf).  In order to earn 3 PDH credits and successfully complete the course, you’ll need to take a straightforward, 15-choice multiple-choice based on the course material.

    Learning Objectives

    At the conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss the:
    • History of the fuel cell and its development
    • Basic operating principles of the PEM fuel cell
    • Efficiency advantages of converting chemical energy directly to electrical energy without thermal energy as an intermediate
    • Differences between fuel cells, internal combustion engines and batteries
    • Characteristics of various types of fuel cells
    • Alternative fuels, other than hydrogen for fuel cells
    • Electrochemistry of the hydrogen based fuel cell
    • Components and the overall configuration of a PEM fuel cell
    • Real-world applications of fuel cells

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