ntpc-launches-hydrogen-fuel-bus-for-leh-and-new-delhi

Context: NTPC Ltd has invited Global Expression of Interest (EoI) to provide 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell (FC) based electric buses and an equal number of Hydrogen Fuel Cell based electric cars in Leh and Delhi.  

More on the news:

  • The move to procure Hydrogen Fuel Cell based vehicles is the first of its kind project in the country, wherein a complete solution from green energy to the fuel cell vehicle would be developed.
    • The initiative, which has been undertaken with support of the MNRE, will also harness renewable energy for generation of hydrogen.
    • It also will develop it's storage and dispensation facilities as part of pilot projects at Leh and Delhi. 
  • The move to launch hydrogen powered vehicles aims at decarbonizing the mobility segment. 

Hydrogen Cell

Abo

  • It uses a source of fuel, such as hydrogen, and an oxidant to generate electricity by means of an electrochemical process that converts chemical energy into electrical energy.
  • However, they only generate electricity, but they do not store electricity.

Applications

  • Given the fact that hydrogen is the most abundant resource in the universe, the electric vehicles built on it are termed as vehicles of the future, from a long-term viability perspective.

Worki

  • It relies on a constant supply of fuel and oxygen and resembles an internal combustion engine that relies on a constant supply of petrol or diesel, and oxygen.
  • It differs in its working with that of battery-powered electric vehicles, that Fuel cell vehicles do not need to be plugged in.
 

Source: Wikipedia

Advantages of fuel cells:

  • Fuel cells produce much smaller quantities of greenhouse gases and none of the air pollutants that cause health problems.
  • The fuel cell emits heat and water as a byproduct, if only pure hydrogen is used.
  • As compared to traditional combustion technologies, they are also more energy efficient.
  • Fuel cell vehicles do not need to be plugged in like battery-powered electric vehicles.

Disadvantages:

  • Question on hydrogen’s green credentials, as the process of making hydrogen needs energy, often from fossil fuel sources. 
  • Hydrogen is more explosive than petrol, hence safety issues are there.
  • Also the fuel cell vehicles are expensive, and fuel dispensing pumps are scarce.