Are Fuel Cell Stacks the Answer to Affordable, Clean Energy?
In the market for buying an affordable fuel cell? Prices are becoming cheaper and cheaper for consumers every year. In this article we’ll take you through everything you need to know about the recent reduction in fuel cell prices.
What are Fuel Cell Stacks?
Fuel cell stacks are a breakthrough technology that offers a cleaner and more efficient energy source compared to traditional combustion engines. They work by converting chemical energy from fuels such as hydrogen into electrical energy, making them a highly efficient and environmentally friendly energy source. In fact, according to the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, fuel cell stacks can achieve efficiency levels of over 62%, significantly higher than the efficiency of traditional combustion engines. This makes fuel cell stacks an ideal solution for those who need a power generator with a high efficiency and long duration of operation.
What’s inside a fuel cell? The basic components of a fuel cell are two electrodes (called the anode and the cathode), an electrolyte and a catalyst. When hydrogen fuel is pumped into the cathode, a chemical reaction takes place that creates a flow of electricity that can be used to power anything from a mobile phone to a large trucking vehicle.
Why Are Fuel Cell Stacks Getting Cheaper?
Over time fuel cell stacks have seen an incredible reduction in prices. These systems are getting cheaper for a variety of reasons.
- Improvements in Manufacturing Processes
People have been buying an incredible number of fuel cell stacks in the past few years, and this demand is only expected to grow. This growth in demand means factories are under pressure to produce more systems than ever before, and they've needed to create new and innovative techniques to make more fuel cell systems at a lower cost. This innovation in manufacturing processes means the cost of making fuel cells has become much cheaper, meaning in lower prices for consumers and businesses.
- Increased Competition
More businesses than ever are entering the hydrogen space and building fuel cell stacks. This means the market is flooded with fuel cell systems and competition for customers has increased. With an increasing number of businesses competing against one another for customers, prices are continually being cut and fuel cells are fuel cell stacks are being sold for cheaper.
- Decreased Need for Fuel Cell Maintenance
Fuel cells used to require lots of maintenance. But in recent years this has changed. Newer types of fuel cells such as solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMs) provide consumers with improved performance and reliability, meaning there has been a reduced maintenance cost. This reduced need for maintaining a fuel cell means the cost of fuel cells have become much cheaper over their entire lifecycle.
- Government subsidies
The rise of cheap fuel cells is partly due to governments providing funding and subsidizing the initial purchase price of these systems.
The global fuel cell market has grown exponentially in the past few years, and every world leader wants their country to be first in this technology. From Europe to Singapore to Australia and America - countries around the world are therefore investing heavily in fuel cell research and development.
This often takes the form of governments providing incentives to private businesses looking to invest in fuel cell technology. This type of government support can vastly reduce the cost of fuel cells, making them more affordable to an increasing number of businesses and organizations.
Fuel cell stacks can be seen as an effective solution in the search for sustainable energy at a reasonable price. Global government incentives, a decreased need for maintenance, increased competition and improvements in manufacturing processes have led to the price of fuel cells dropping dramatically over the past decade. If you’ve been waiting for the price of fuel cells to become affordable for your business or organization, now might be the time to invest in this renewable energy technology.