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Issue 01/2020

The age of hydrogen

New IEC Standard to accelerate the scaling up of hydrogen and fuel cell energy storage systems

As concerns over climate change escalate, the case for using clean sources of energy becomes obvious. Renewable energy (RE) generation is gaining ground year on year. Many of these RE sources fluctuate, however, and are therefore difficult to harness in the conventional grid. That’s only one of the reasons why hydrogen is gaining new momentum.

2017
Issue 03/2017

From H₂ to electricity and to H₂O – the virtuous circle

Fuel cell technologies offer opportunities to generate cleaner energy

Fuel cells (FCs) convert chemical energy from a fuel into electrical energy and heat through a chemical reaction, and not through combustion. Increasingly they are being introduced in stationary, transportation and portable or mobile power generation applications for different domains. IEC International Standards for FC technologies are proving essential to ensure their smooth rollout in all these areas. They are prepared by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 105

2016
Issue 02/2016

Reverse mode fuel cells for energy storage

Using fuel cell modules in reverse mode will improve energy storage for renewables

A sense of collective responsibility is required to cope with the growing dependence on energy, given the fundamentally unpredictable nature of primary energy supply, the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources and changing energy consumption demands and patterns. The growing need for decentralized (local or remote, residential or commercial) power generation calls for systems that maximize small-scale electrical efficiency. Fuel cells (FCs) are ideal candidates for fulfilling this demand. In fact, at 60% proven net electrical efficiency for generators with a power output as low as 1 kWe, FC systems are head and shoulders above any other fuel conversion technology. If they are to succeed in being deployed widely, FCs for stationary applications should be able to use any locally available fuel. When and if production volumes manage to cover the extensive need for small-to-medium scale generation – which will also depend on the realization of anticipated reductions in cost – there is no reason why FCs should not also be used on the largest scales of power production.