The History of Fuel Cells
The origin of fuel cells can be traced as far back as 1776, when renowned scientist Henry Cavendish discovered that water is not an element, but rather a compound formed when hydrogen reacts with oxygen.
Decades later in 1839, Dr. Christian F. Schönbein hypothesized that this reaction also generated an electrical current--a hypothesis that Sir William Robert Grove confirmed when he assembled what he described as a “gas voltaic battery."
What is today known as a “fuel cell” (a term coined by Charles Langer and Ludwig Mond to describe their efforts using coal gas in 1889) has now been under development for nearly two centuries.
Yet fuel cell technology did not find its first practical uses until the 1950s, when it began to be employed for mobile applications that would eventually range from space missions to public transportation. In recent years, fuel cells have seen widespread implementation, now in stationary heat and power applications.
Fuel Cells Today
Today, fuel cell technology is revolutionizing the energy industry, providing clean, cost-effective, and reliable heat and power that is weaning businesses and homes off of the grid and onto sustainable onsite generation.
Modern fuel cells offer a solution for businesses and homeowners seeking to reduce energy costs, increase energy security, and lower emissions.
Fuel cell systems can cut utility bills by up to 50%, provide continuous power that stays up even when the grid goes down, and reduce carbon emissions by 41%--all while producing 11x more energy than an equivalent solar installation and taking up 1/20th of the surface area.