With the right strategy, this disadvantage is ruled out. The lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure makes it difficult for hydrogen users to obtain fuel, so demand remains low compared to cars powered by fossil fuels or electricity.
This is higher than what is currently offered by electric vehicles (EVs), which are increasingly being developed with fuel cell power units as “range amplifiers”. Hydrogen fuel cells are also not significantly affected by the outside temperature and do not deteriorate when it's cold, unlike electric vehicles. This advantage is further increased when combined with short load times. Hydrogen is a much lighter gas than gasoline, making it difficult to store and transport.
In order to store it, we need to compress it into a liquid and store it at a low temperature. The high pressure needed to store hydrogen makes it a difficult fuel to transport in large quantities. Hydrogen fuel cells may be a zero-emission technology, but that doesn't necessarily make them a renewable energy source. The abundance of hydrogen in the atmosphere is only one factor in its sustainability as an energy source.
Current technology requires the use of fossil fuels to produce hydrogen in a usable form. While it is a cleaner form of energy than gasoline, it is still a carbon-intensive form of energy in its creation. The next big market for hydrogen fuel cell technology is the automotive industry. With a shift to alternative fuel sources, focusing mainly on electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel has become a potential option.
With options such as the Toyota Prius and the Tesla Model 3 already on the market, it's no surprise that manufacturers want to expand their offering of green cars. However, for industrial applications, the hydrogen fuel cell makes more sense for those who can afford the infrastructure needed to support it. When considering fuel cells to power your forklifts, make sure you understand all of their pros and cons. Hydrogen fuel cells provide an inherently clean source of energy, without any adverse environmental impact during operation, since the by-products are simply heat and water.
Especially when it comes to the use of hydrogen fuel in vehicles, there is still a lot of work to be done. In addition, hydrogen fuel requires significant infrastructure development, as well as carbon-intensive systems to make it usable. As technology advances, hydrogen fuel cells will be able to provide power for a range of fixed and mobile applications. While a combustion engine operates at an efficiency level of 25%, hydrogen fuel cells are more than 80% efficient.
This will not only reduce the need to transport fuels, but it will also improve the lives of those living in remote regions by providing a clean fuel obtained from a readily available natural resource. For example, a conventional combustion-based power plant generates electricity with an efficiency of 33 to 35%, compared to up to 65% for hydrogen fuel cells. Debates continue about the advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen fuel cells, but despite current limitations, hydrogen remains an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels and can be used to provide flexible, high-density energy and propulsion to a wide range of industrial plants and modes of transportation using hydrogen fuel cell technology. As many companies look for an emission-free alternative to internal combustion engines in their forklifts, some are turning to hydrogen fuel cell technology.
The same applies to vehicles, where hydrogen fuel cells use between 40 and 60% of fuel energy and, at the same time, offer a 50% reduction in fuel consumption. Hydrogen heating tests are already underway in the United Kingdom, where a combination of hydrogen gas and natural gas is already used in some areas. Hydrogen fuel cells work through a chemical reaction of hydrogen gas with oxygen inside a fuel cell, which generates electricity and water as by-products. .