The Hope of the Future:
Water Fuel Cell Technology
Water Fuel Cell Technology Can Put an End to Global Warming.
I intend to demonstrate already existing technology that is probably more than 51 years old, that could offer a solution to the world's energy needs at low cost, and the infrastructure for it is already in place. This technology was used on the Apollo missions that landed on the Moon. Perhaps you are not aware that the Apollo spacecraft had so-called hydrogen fuels cells onboard to supply power to all of the electrical systems on the spacecraft. Three fuel cells were situated in the Service Module, and reportedly two were used for backup for the primary fuel cell. I refer to them as "so-called" hydrogen fuel cells, due to the fact that later we will find that they actually produce water as well as electrical power. How could hydrogen alone do that?
I always enjoyed listening to Jules Bergman, Science Editor for ABC News, when he would question the Mission Specialist that usually sat with him through an Apollo space mission; What were these fuel cells and just how do they work? It seems that a problem had developed with one fuel cell while on the way to the moon, or shortly after launch. I do not remember which Apollo moon mission this particular broadcast was about, or what had happened to the fuel cell? I do believe it was repaired and the mission continued. 'They may have to abort the flight if the fuel cell cannot be repaired,' said Jules Bergman.
As a young boy of 14-year-old, I was extremely fascinated concerning space flight, and what a fuel cell was, and how it worked? Now, here I am, a little more than 51 years later, and I am only now finding out what they were and how they were used. It turns out that the fuel cells supplied power to the Command Module and the Service module. I am not sure what powered the Lander, which was of considerable size; however, it was more than likely a fuel cell as well.
Fuel cells are fascinating devices and the Apollo fuel cells utilize two gases, hydrogen and oxygen, which I first mentioned in my essay, "The Solution to Global Warming and our Energy Needs", which concerned H2O as a fuel source. The essay just spoken of is posted on my website Blog. Anyway, hydrogen and oxygen form water when combined, which is sorely needed by the astronauts to help them survive the desert of space. They also utilized these same two gases to produce a battery. Is this not interesting that 51 plus years ago, NASA were utilizing hydrogen and oxygen to produce a battery that actually supplied an impressive amount of power, which will be shown a little later?
Interestingly enough, the Genepax car manufacturer in Japan, has produced a car powered by water, and it was first introduced in 2008, could get 80 km to a liter of water, which is not too shabby, is it not? That would be equivalent to 188.4 miles per gallon of water. The car worked by first using electrolysis, or something similar, to break apart the water into its constituent components, that being hydrogen and oxygen, which were then combined to produce a battery to power the electric motor car.
In my research of the fuel cells used onboard the Apollo missions to the moon, they work in a similar fashion; however, not as efficiently as the Genepax power supply, apparently. The Apollo power plant; however, precedes the Genepax car by 51 years. Many advances in technology must have happened since then.
Getting back to the fuel cell onboard the Apollo Spacecraft, which there were three, and each battery cell had its own oxygen and hydrogen reservoirs. Each fuel cell power plant was capable of producing 27 to 31 volts of electricity. Also, each power plant had enough of both gases to produce enough water for the crew and to generate electrical power for the Command Module and the Service Module. The battery used nickel for one terminal and nickel and nickel oxide for the other terminal, both contained inside the fuel cell. The fuel cells were 44" x 22" in dimension, and each weighed 245 lbs. The power plant supplied a maximum of 2.3 kW of power, or 55.2 kWh. Usually however, much less power was actually required. I calculated that my own home daily power usage to be 7.8 kWh of power. So, that is one very good battery, is it not?
However, I have my doubts that this small of a vessel could hold enough of both gases to produce the water and power required for a crew of three. For instance, if each astronaut only drank one gallon of water per day, and the typical missions would take about three days to the moon, plus the time for a landing and exploration, which might be a day or two more, then a three-day return trip home, then one fuel cell would be required to supply roughly a minimum of 24 gallons of water. I calculated that 1 gram of water would produce 22.42 liters of hydrogen. Not to mention the oxygen, which would be roughly an additional 11.2 liters of gas. Using my own metric scale, I weighed one gallon of water with my display set to grams, and it showed the weight to be 3,888 grams. Now, multiplying 3,888 x 22.42 liters of hydrogen gives 87,169 liters of hydrogen gas alone, just to produce the 24 gallons of water needed for the astronauts. That does not include oxygen, which would be roughly a third of the amount of hydrogen or about 43,585 liters of oxygen. All of that compressed into this rather small vessel of 44" x 22" in size? Combining both gases leaves us with a total of 130,753 liters of gas in this one small vessel. How much pressure would those two gases have to be under to compress each enough to fit into this rather small vessel? I cannot say, since I do not have the expertise necessary with gases to know for certain. However, there are 3.79 liters in a gallon of water, so dividing 130,753 liters by 3.79 liters gives us 34,499 gallons of gas by volume of both hydrogen and oxygen combined, roughly speaking. Perhaps they can compress that amount of gas into a volume of actually less than 44"x 22," since the exact size of the individual gas vessels cannot be determined unless a more detailed specification requirements of the fuel cell can be obtained. And, let me remind you, that the power plant fuel cell also requires hydrogen and oxygen to supply the battery requirements, which were also internal to this rather small vessel. How must gas is needed for that purpose alone I cannot say, unless I had the specifications of the requirements of the battery. Anyway, since there are three such fuel cells onboard the spacecraft, the astronauts would likely not run out of water, or hydrogen and oxygen for the batteries.
Would it not be much simpler and easier to simply fill these vessels with 24 plus gallons of water, and then through electrolysis or some faster method, disassociate the water into hydrogen and oxygen to produce the battery power that is needed, with remaining water enough for the crew as well? Twenty-four gallons of water would roughly weight in at 205.7 lbs. compared to the 245 lbs. of the power plant itself. So, it is rather hard to determine from what can be garnered with the information given,how the hydrogen and oxygen came to be produced. However, I would not be surprised if it worked in a similar way to the Genepax water powered car.
Still, the whole point of this demonstration is to show that we can use water and/or hydrogen and oxygen to power our home and our automobile as well. Besides, what else may now be available that is being kept from our wondering minds in hopes of finding a solution to the crisis we face from rising temperatures, rising oceans, and melting ice caps. Not to mention the pollution to our water ways, our oceans, and our breathable air. That is why we need young adults and those of lesser age to lead us into this new and exciting future of potentially, nearly free energy, and greater prosperity for all!
Links to websites used in writing my essay.
Here is the link to the website that I found the information concerning the fuel cells used on the Apollo moon missions:
In addition, I have this website which demonstrates a hydrogen fuel cell drone technology. The video will explain how the fuel cell actually works. It is quite interesting to watch, knowing this eye-opening technology is currently in use; however, no one is speaking to it as a possible solution to world-wide warming due to the fact that it does not help us to be energy independent, as does water. I do hope you enjoy viewing it. Here is the website mentioned:
This link will take you to a website demonstrating the Genepax H2O powered car. Is was reported by Reuters.com.