This initiative was launched from thinking that arose after building a great fuel cell-driven model car. In 2003 we purchased a wonderful kit from a German company, Thames and Kronos. The Thames and Kronos Fuel Cell Car and Experiment Kit has a simple-to-assemble and very impressive car with a solar panel and a fuel cell. The solar panel can run the motor directly, or it can run the PEM as an electrolyzer to make hydrogen and oxygen, which it stores and then feeds back into the PEM (as fuel cell) to generate electricity to run the motor. The kit includes a 96 page lab manual, one of the best and most educational we have ever read. The kit or similar is available from the Fuel Cell Store.
The project took about two years, from inception and the 2004 Fuel Cell Conference in Denver to the final permit inspection. Much of that time lag was due to the remote location of Stuart Island. There is no ferry service, there is no hardware store (!!). Everything has to be hauled by private boat, and weather shuts things down in the winter. This web site does not discuss the many complications of an "outer island" project. It focusses on the hydrogen system itself.
Above: The fuel cell car. The cell is a PEM type. The solar panel powers PEM electrolysis, creating H2 and O2 gas which are stored in the chambers at the back. These gases recombine in the same PEM to generate electricity, which runs the motor (visible below the solar panel).
Above Left: Everything arrives by boat.
Below: Stuart Island in the San Juans, Washington. Stuart is about 2 miles long.
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