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Solar and Hydrogen power

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A series of free IGCSE Chemistry Activities and Experiments (Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry).

This demonstration connects a small solar panel to a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. In this mode, the cell acts as an electrolyser and can decompose distilled water into its elements. The experiment can then be reversed and the gases collected can be used to power the fuel cell to drive a small electric fan.

Method:
Stage 1: Using the cell as an electrolyser to produce hydrogen and oxygen
1. Set up the fuel cell and fill it with distilled water. 2. Fill the gas collection cylinders and the connecting tubes with distilled water.
3. Connect the small solar panel to the fuel cell.
4. The cell will produce hydrogen and oxygen which is collected in the respective cylinders. These samples are then used to drive the cell to produce electricity in the next stage.

Stage 2: Using the fuel cell to power a small motor
5. Disconnect the solar panel from the cell.
6. Connect the fuel cell to a small fan.
7. The supply of hydrogen and oxygen stored in the cylinders is used to power the cell.



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