Understanding Fuel Cells As a Student in Hybrid and Electrical Mechanic Courses
As a result of human innovation, there are now vehicles on the road that could potentially improve the impact we have on the planet. As hybrids and electric vehicles become more popular, drivers have begun to embrace this great pathway to lower carbon emissions and enjoy the benefits of better performance and cost efficiency. If you’re thinking about automotive school and are specifically interested in hybrids and EVs, you may find the mechanics behind these impressive machines fascinating.
Fuel cells are an essential component of electric vehicles. Read on to learn all about this energy source and to what capacity you’ll work with it after training.
What Are Fuel Cells?
Fuel cells utilize chemical energy from hydrogen to efficiently produce electricity. The only resulting products are water, heat, and electricity, which power the motors of fuel cell electric vehicles, also called FCEVs. In contrast, the incomplete combustion of gasoline in cars produces carbon monoxide and unburned fuel, which contributes to the number of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, thus having a significant effect on the climate.
How do FCEVs differ from battery electric vehicles? Well, they are much more efficient as they store not only energy but also generate it. As a result, fuel cell batteries are much faster to charge and, much like a gasoline-powered vehicle, it only takes about four minutes to charge them up. Each full charge has a driving range of about 483 km. What components come together to make these amazing batteries work, and when might you encounter them after hybrid and electrical mechanic training? Keep reading to find out!
Key Components of a Fuel Cell
Here are the key parts of a fuel cell battery:
- Battery (Auxiliary): The battery provides electricity – the energy needed to start the vehicle.
- Fuel Cell Stick: A group of individual membrane electrodes that use hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity
- Power Electronics Controller: Manages the flow of electricity to control the speed of the electric traction motor and the torque force.
- Thermal System: Maintains the proper operating temperature
- Electric Transmission: Transfers mechanical power from the electric traction motor to the wheels
Once you become a hybrid and electric vehicle mechanic, you’ll have a better understanding of these parts and how they work.
Servicing Fuel Cells as a Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Mechanic
There are many safety concerns involved in the serving of FCEVs. Firstly, the hydrogen in fuel cells is highly flammable. It can actually cause electric shock when it makes contact with electricity, so practicing proper safety is of utmost importance. In addition, it’s lightweight. It’s considered a lighter-than-air fuel which means that it naturally rises. If precautions aren’t taken, it can escape and pose a risk to others.
The Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Mechanics Introductory Course at ATC will teach you about all of the safety risks involved in servicing EVs. In addition, you’ll gain an understanding of the future of electric vehicles and where you can fit in.
Ready to pursue a position in the auto careers?
Contact ATC Montreal to learn more!