A public viewing area with a difference

18 June 2010 | Story by Newsroom

television screenCreativity: Staff and students at the Department of Chemical Engineering can watch the World Cup on a television powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

The Department of Chemical Engineering (ChemEng) at UCT has dug deep into its creative resources to create a FanPark for the duration of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Now staff and students at the department are able to enjoy the games live on a high-definition TV screen - but with a difference.

The TV is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which splits hydrogen atoms into electrons and protons. The protons pass through a polymer electrolyte membrane, while the electrons form an external electricity circuit that powers the TV before recombining with the protons and oxygen, forming clean water as its only 'waste' product.

This initiative saved the department from power failure on 15 June. The three hour blackout went unnoticed by those watching in ChemEng, thanks to the hydrogen fuel cell.

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