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Fuel cell toy

By

June 4, 2004

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There's plenty to recommend this fuel cell kit from British company Thames & Kosmos. There are many hours of fun and learning for yourself and your children as you assemble and experiment with a reversible fuel cell - the kit provides a playful introduction to one of the most significant technologies of the 21st Century and enables you to build a model car that runs on WATER!

Fuel cells are one of the most promising means of producing energy in the future because they do not consume fossil fuels they are considered environmentally friendly. Automobile manufacturers are already experimenting successfully with this technology and it is widely believed that fuel cells will become the energy source for at least 10% of automobiles within a decade.

With the Thames & Kosmos kit, you can build your own experimental reversible fuel cell car to learn more about this energy source. With more than 30 experiments and demonstrations provided in the kit or on Thames & Kosmos web site, users learn how a reversible fuel cell uses electrolysis to create energy. The experiments include: How to build a solar-powered car; Effects of direct and indirect radiation; Characteristics of a solar module; Electrolysis and its effect on water; Oxy-hydrogen test; How to construct and load a reversible fuel cell; Decomposition of water in the fuel cell; Qualitative and quantitative analysis of gas in a fuel cell; How efficient is electrolysis?; How light influences electrolysis; Solar electrolysis; Fuel cell-powered car; and you can add your own experiments once you've mastered the conceptual and practical!

The electricity required to activate electrolysis is created with a large solar cell included with the kit. During electrolysis, water is separated into hydrogen and oxygen and the resulting energy is stored as a gas. When needed, the gas is fed into the fuel cell, which then serves as the power source.

The Thames & Kosmos Fuel Cell kit also includes a digital MultiMate which measures currents and voltage, allowing you to learn exactly what a fuel cell is and how it functions. The experiments and demonstrations explain the physics upon which this future technology is based. Kit contains: Complete reversible fuel cell (hydrocycle system) - Wire - Motor - Chassis - Axle - Gas collector - 4 Wheels - Solar panel with support - Syringe - Tube - Digital multimeter - Test tube - Protective goggles - Labels - Bag of small parts for fuel cell - Bag of small electronic parts - Comprehensive lab manual with 30 experiments and demonstrations - (Additionally required: 1 quart of distilled water) The kit comes with a 96-page, full color manual and experiment guide. Weight: 3 lb 5 oz ( 1.50 kg)

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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