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Miniature Fuel Cell Lab

This learning and teaching innovation project was funded by the Teaching Development Fund (Seed) in 2022/23.



Project status

In progress


1 Jul 2023 to 1 Aug 2024

Project Lead: Mr Nick Evans, Department of Mechanical Engineering

This project, which was awarded funding by the Teaching Development Fund (TDF) Seed, the project involves developing a laboratory session using a hydrogen fuel cell teaching kit that we have recently invested in for the post-graduate Automotive Engineering & Technology MSc Courses within Mechanical Engineering. The proposed project requires the setup of the kit, exploration and documentation of the kit’s potential and limitations to inform the development of taught labs on the Automotive Engineering & Technology MSc Courses.

The aim of the proposed project is to develop a laboratory session plan and approach to provide students with hands-on experience of working with a miniature, desktop fuel cell in a safe working environment while supporting the fundamental theory taught in lectures. Developing these sessions greatly expands the learning styles that can be achieved by the traditional lecturing mode to cover all of the four VARK learning styles.

Hydrogen fuel cells are currently anticipated to be a highly dominant technology in the propulsion of heavy goods vehicles, buses, and regional aircraft. They are also expected to be present in other applications such as passenger vehicles, rail, marine and wider aviation. However, there is a current shortage of skills and experience in this area and industry is looking to universities to provide expertise and training to students in hydrogen and fuel cells. There are numerous examples of our competitor universities working in this area, perhaps one of the most prominent being that the Automotive Engineering course at Loughborough has just introduced an entire unit devoted to fuel cells; this highlights the need for Automotive Engineering & Technology MSc Course to adopt this technology to stay competitive in future when teaching propulsion technologies.

This project enables us to develop small scale experimental teaching materials to reinforce theory that is being introduced to the course and maintaining our position as a leader in automotive propulsion and the road to net zero.