SOLAR HYDROGEN SYSTEM
Hydrogen cells provide energy without causing pollution or harm to the environment. There are six different types of fuel cells. The types include alkaline, phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, polymer electrolyte membrane, direct methanol, and solid oxide. Hydrogen fuel cells also have many benefits to the user. The fuel cells are clean, modular, quiet, safe, efficient, and sustainable. Hydrogen cells have been used on the space shuttle and are a promising source of electricity for the future. Hydrogen cells work by taking in and reuniting hydrogen and oxygen in the fuel cell. The reunion of the hydrogen and oxygen provide an external energy with only water as a product.
Solar panels provide an environmentally friendly way to gain energy. Because sunlight is an inexhaustible resource, solar panels are a very sustainable way to get energy for homes or other needs. Efficiency determines the performance of the solar panel. Some solar panels are pricey to install but can quickly pay for themselves. Solar panels are also known as photovoltaic cells and work by converting sunlight directly into energy. A semiconducting material makes up the solar panels. This material allows sunlight to be absorbed and then knock loose electrons from their atoms. The electrons flow through the material and create energy.
Knowledge of Series and Parallel Circuits
Series circuits and parallel circuits are two different ways electricity can be transferred. In a parallel circuit components are placed parallel to each other. In a series circuit components are placed beside each other. Voltages drop between components in a series circuit, while in a parallel circuit voltages are the same across all the components. In a series circuit, Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law states that the sum of all the voltage drops equal the voltage of the total circuit. In a parallel circuit, Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law states that the sum of currents in each component equals the current of the total circuit. Both of these circuits allow electricity to flow through them, but in different ways.
Pictorial Representation of Circuit
This project was focused on building a functional car using VEX pieces and a solar hydrogen system. Through this project I was able to learn more about solar panels, hydrogen cells, and circuits. I was able to discover how concepts learned in the classroom relate to real world situations. Stephen and I worked well together and discussed ways to better the design of our car. We wanted to keep our design small and lightweight so that the motor could be powered easily. This design also caused us some problems. After we realized we had to put a breadboard on our car we modified the design of it to better suit space requirements. The solution we came up with was to layer the breadboard and solar panel/ hydrogen cell so the breadboard was below. Another small issue we encountered was gaining enough power from the fuel cell. We tried to create a series circuit so that the solar panel and fuel cell powered the motor. We were unable to create the circuit but our car still ran.