Fuel Cells are widely recognised as being one of the energy providers of the future. If used at the current rates for worldwide energy production, resources of coal, oil, and natural gas are predicted to be exhausted within 100 years. These non-renewable resources once used up are gone forever. Fossil fuels are a very large source of atmospheric pollution, both locally and globally. With the world changing, both economically with emerging countries demanding more and more energy to fuel their factories and homes, and environmentally with the concerns about global weather changes, now is the right time to plan for the future energy generation with sustainable and pollution free solutions.
HARMAN technology Limited and Fuel Cells
Fuel cell technologies, a potential source of renewable energy, have been around for some time, and come in different forms. Some lend themselves to portable applications such as phones, laptop computers etc. Others to cars, buses, trains etc. Others are suitable for large fixed installations from homes to power stations. HARMAN technology Ltd is proud to have been involved in one small part of the development of a FC Automotive project, sponsored by the DTI, for a very large, successful and well-respected UK Company. This company has been pushing the boundaries for the performance that can be achieved from a Hydrogen sourced Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) design.
In this design, hydrogen and oxygen are fed into the cell where catalysts and a membrane convert them to electricity and water, giving power without pollution. There are a number of component parts that make up such a design system, some of which involve the lay down or coating of materials, which have a specific role within the Fuel Cell. It was our challenge at HARMAN technology Ltd to come up with a coating route, using our multi-layer coating methods and capabilities, which would make the production of this particular part of the Fuel Cell more effective and at a lower cost than current production methods. HARMAN technology Ltd successfully met this challenge. This required the very precise coating of the active layers onto a moving support, such that the integration of the layer with the support was not only perfect the first time, but every time it was coated. Any changes in the amount of lay down or its integration with the supporting web, would seriously compromise the performance and consistent running of the FC.
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