Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

SERC Picks Up Patent For Low-Pressure, More-Efficient Fuel Cell

Date:
April 6, 1999
Source:
Humboldt State University
Summary:
Humboldt State University's Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) has received a patent for a fuel cell design that underscores how less can mean more in the world of clean energy.

Humboldt State lab refines design of fuel cells for vehicles, remote power

Related Articles


ARCATA, Calif. -- Humboldt State University's Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) has received a patent for a fuel cell design that underscores how less can mean more in the world of clean energy.

SERC expects the patent to foster licensing opportunities that may propel the clean power of fuel cells into more widespread use.

According to SERC Director Peter Lehman, "This allows us to claim intellectual property to sell, so it greases the skids for licensing. The technology needs to get out of the lab and into the factory to reduce costs. It will take a commercial product that makes money for the technology to have a positive effect on society. It's got to go commercial."

A fuel cell is a quiet, efficient and clean generator that chemically produces electricity from hydrogen and air. With layers of cells, called a stack, it produces direct current like a battery but, unlike a battery, it never discharges; it continues to produce power as long as fuel is supplied. The only exhaust from its energy production is pure water.

Humboldt's patented process allows the fuel cells to operate at very low inlet-air pressure. Lessening the air pressure needed to feed air to the fuel cell reduces the need for power to run a compressor, Lehman said. Because that power is parasitic, the efficiency of the fuel cell is increased.

According to recent independent testing, the SERC cell outperformed--by a considerable margin--the other two fuel cells that were tested, both of which were commercially developed.

Fuel cells have been used on spacecraft for decades, providing direct-current power and drinking water for astronauts.

Since SERC built its first fuel cell in 1992 (to power aquaria pumps at the university's marine laboratory), the center has produced an array of stacks, ranging from 200 watts to 9 kilowatts, providing energy for various uses across the state.

In southern California, SERC stacks provide power to golf carts and a small car that comprise the world's largest and longest-running fleet of fuel-cell vehicles, serving the City of Palm Desert. SERC just completed a fuel cell to power an ice-cream maker in a project for schoolchildren at the Merit Academy in Santa Cruz. Another fuel cell system is being built to power a radio repeater station on Schoolhouse Peak in Redwood National Park in northern California; the station will provide telephone service for the Yurok Tribe in the Klamath River Valley.

Much of SERC's fuel-cell success will be featured at the National Hydrogen Association meeting April 7-9, 1999, in Vienna, Va., outside Washington, D.C. One of the Palm Desert vehicles will be showcased, the promise of employing fuel cells as remote power sources in Alaska will be examined, and Merit Academy students will share the products of their hydrogen-powered ice-cream maker.

For additional details about SERC, visit its website: http://www.humboldt.edu/~serc.

Note to editors -- Photos may be downloaded from our image pickup site: http://www.humboldt.edu/~news/photos.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Humboldt State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Humboldt State University. "SERC Picks Up Patent For Low-Pressure, More-Efficient Fuel Cell." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 April 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990406043026.htm>.
Humboldt State University. (1999, April 6). SERC Picks Up Patent For Low-Pressure, More-Efficient Fuel Cell. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990406043026.htm
Humboldt State University. "SERC Picks Up Patent For Low-Pressure, More-Efficient Fuel Cell." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990406043026.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins