Fuel cells are the most promising technology to support the mobility sector. Fuel Cells are used in zero-emission mobility vehicles so that cars, buses, and trucks can become more efficient, sustainable, and clean. In fact, hydrogen-fueled fuel cells emit only heat and water as waste products and have no negative impact on the environment.
In this context, the Fluid-o-Tech team is developing innovative pumps to meet the challenge of new hydrogen-powered fuel cells, demonstrating our ability to develop customized solutions for this emerging industry.
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Fuel cells are electrochemical systems capable of converting the chemical energy of a fuel, namely hydrogen directly into electrical energy. During the process, there is no intermediate intervention of a thermal cycle: this allows for higher conversion efficiencies than those of conventional thermal machines.
In a fuel cell, there is a continuous feed of fuel (e.g., hydrogen from natural gas) that reacts with an oxidizer (such as oxygen from the air). This produces water, electricity, and heat. This electrochemical reaction is also called "cold combustion" and is particularly efficient.
The operation of fuel cells can be compared to that of batteries: A chemical reaction between the anode and cathode produces energy. This energy can be used in vehicles and has many advantages, such as:
• generation of electrical and thermal energy
• high efficiency
• operation in a virtually pollutant-free site
• low-wear and low-maintenance
All fuel cells have the same principle of operation: an energy conversion system that occurs through a reaction in which hydrogen and oxygen are consumed, producing water and passing electricity into the external circuit. There are different types of fuel cells, differing in the type of electrolyte used and the operating temperature.
From both environmental and energy perspectives, the use of fuel cell technology has significant advantages. Let's look at the main ones:
• High efficiency. A fuel cell makes it possible to obtain a greater amount of energy, for the same amount of fuel, than traditional methods: this is precisely because a direct conversion of fuel into energy takes place through an electrochemical reaction
• Reduction in emissions. Emissions from fuel cell plants remain below 10 percent of those of an equivalent conventional plant; as there are no emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are highly harmful to the environment.
• Low operating temperatures and pressures. Generally, combustion temperatures above 2300°C are reached in internal combustion engines: a Fuel Cell operates in a lower temperature range of 80°C to 1000°C, depending on the type of cell.
• Flexibility in the use of fuels. Fuel cells can be fired with different types of fuel such as natural gas, methanol, syngas, biogas: materials that, following a reforming process can be transformed into H2-rich synthesis gas.
• Cogeneration capability: a lot of heat is produced during the electrochemical reaction, if captured it constitutes an additional energy source that can find application for both space and water heating.
• "On-site" flexibility. Fuel Cells, working quietly and without emissions, can be placed in a wide variety of areas, both residential and commercial, both inside and outside buildings.
One of Fluid-o-Tech's main goals is to stay on the cutting edge of technology.
Our pumps have been developed both to circulate coolant within the system and more importantly to supply the fuel cell with hydrogen.
Fuel cell pumps must offer precise regulation and a wide range of flow rate modulation. This is very important in vehicles that mount this technology because it determines the power delivered by the cell and consequently the speed of the vehicle.
Our gear pumps have significant advantages including pulseless flow, integrated monitoring along with very accurate metering capability. The magnetic coupling allows the containment of the pumped fluid with no leakage.
Micro Gear Pumps are a type of Fuel Cell pump offered by Fluid-o-Tech.
These pumps are considered suitable for fuel cells for several reasons:
1. Compact size - micro gear pumps have a compact and lightweight design, making them ideal for fuel cell applications where space is limited
2. Silent operation - they are known for their quiet operation, which is advantageous in noise-sensitive applications
3. Efficiency and precise dosing - these special pumps provide a consistent and controlled flow of fluid to the fuel cell, ensuring optimal chemical reactions within the cell
4. Durability and longevity - micro gear pumps are constructed to be robust and durable, a crucial factor for fuel cell applications that require continuous and reliable operation over time
5. Fluid adaptability - micro gear pumps can handle a wide range of fluids, including those used in fuel cells such as hydrogen and compressed air