Fuel cells find progress in South AfricaFebruary 25, 2013
South Africa continues to show strong interest in fuel cells
The government of South Africa has been showing major interest in hydrogen fuel cells in recent years. The country is home to the world’s largest supply of platinum, making it an ideal home for a domestic fuel cell industry. This fact has not been lost on the government, which has been investing heavily in the fields of fuel cell and catalyst manufacture. In an ongoing effort to develop new hydrogen fuel cells and test their viability for clean transportation, the government has helped fund a project that has modified a golf cart and equipped it with a fuel cell energy system.
Researchers install fuel cell in golf cart
A team of researchers from the University of the Western Cape have developed a hydrogen fuel cell that has been affixed to a golf cart. These small vehicles are often used throughout the university to transport faculty and students alike. The university has been keen to test the capabilities of fuel cells and determine whether they would be a viable alternative to its current line of golf carts. Thus far, fuel cells have proven to be an adequate replacement for lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries for these vehicles.
Project aims to examine viability of hydrogen transportation
The research project has received the support of Hydrogen South Africa (HySA), which is the primary supporter of fuel cells in the country. The project has also received backing from the Department of Science and Technology. Professor Bruno Pollet, one of the leaders of the research team, claims that the project represents a promising step toward the University of the Western Cape becoming a carbon-neutral campus. Fuel cells and their uses in clean transportation could quickly make this goal a reality.
HySA to continue supporting hydrogen fuel
In October 2012, HySA announced that its first hydrogen fuel cell comprised entirely of domestic components had been created. This was a major step forward for the country’s endeavors concerning fuel cells and its emerging industry. The organization plans to continue supporting the budding fuel cell industry and working to encourage the use of fuel cells in transportation projects throughout South Africa.