Fuel Cell Drive Technology
The fuel cell
The fuel cell is a highly efficient converter of energy. Unlike the internal combustion engine, which is based on a thermodynamic principle, i.e. converts heat into motion, the fuel cell transforms the fuel hydrogen directly into electricity that powers an electric motor.
All fuel cell vehicles are thus highly efficient electric vehicles. They are subject to much lower energy loss than vehicles with an internal combustion engine and already today have twice their efficiency factor.
The fundamental principle of the fuel cell
In the fuel cell, the chemical energy bound in the hydrogen is directly transformed into electrical energy. The controlled reaction of hydrogen with oxygen yields electricity, heat, and water. This reaction takes place at a temperature of approx. 80 °C and is therefore referred to as "cold combustion" in a low-temperature fuel cell. The fuel cell operates extremely efficiently.
An individual fuel cell is only about two millimeters thick. Since it generates a comparatively low potential of less than 1 volt, several hundred cells are connected in series to form a so-called stack. The system potential thereby attained, amounting to 200 volts, is sufficient to power a vehicle.
The fuel cell system of the B-Class “F-Cell” cutaway model. The fuel cell stack (illuminated in blue) is clearly visible.
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