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Clickable Fuel Cell Car
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/fuel-cell-car.html

Peter Tyson, NovaScienceNow

In this interactive, students can investigate a typical hydrogen fuel cell prototype car from its fuel cell stacks to its ultracapacitor, a kind of supplementary power source.

The limited-production vehicle seen in this feature is a Honda 2005 FCX, which is typical of the kinds of hydrogen fuel cell cars that some major automakers are researching and developing.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas
High School: 11 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Review the links on this website that enable students to gain a more thorough understanding of alternative energy innovation for cars.

About the Science

  • The interactive format explains the various components of the fuel cell prototype car.
  • A detailed explanation of how a hydrogen fuel cell works accompanies the interactive.
  • As this technology is continuously developing, check for up-to-date resources when teaching this topic.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    - This resource is scientifically solid and the information is current.
    - The response by Dr. Eric Miller to the posted questions is excellent. He also provided several web-based references that allow the students to explore further on the relevant topics.


    Suggestions:
    - Regarding the answer to the question on using a hydrogen combustion engine to run an alternator which can then be used to generate hydrogen through electrolysis, one important point was touched on but could have been expanded. Namely, when one converts fuels to energy, there is a loss in conversion efficiency. The electricity generated by burning hydrogen will not be sufficient to generate the same amount of hydrogen through subsequent electrolysis.
    - Regarding the question about using the hydrogen used in the gasoline refinery process to power fuel-cell vehicles directly, hydrogen is used to convert crude oil into refined fuels like gasoline, and is NOT a product of fuel refinery.

About the Pedagogy

  • There are a variety of useful links that teachers can use to build a unit on alternative fuels and cars.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Areas to click on are clearly identified. Some areas provide additional links to further information on the topic.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:


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