from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An electrochemical cell in which the energy of a reaction between a fuel, such as liquid hydrogen, and an oxidant, such as liquid oxygen, is converted directly and continuously into electrical energy.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An electrochemical device in which the intrinsic chemical free energy of fuel and oxidant is catalytically converted to direct current energy.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. cell that produces electricity by oxidation of fuel (hydrogen and oxygen or zinc and air); often used in electric cars
Sorry, no etymologies found.
For the engineers responsible for making sure that the “newfangled contraption” was reliable, notably MSC’s Charles W. Matthews, head of the Gemini Project Office, the very idea of a problematic fuel cell literally produced nightmares.
On their third orbit, in the middle of one of their seventeen planned experiments, Conrad noticed that the oxygen pressure in the fuel cell had dropped for some unknown reason from 800 to 70 pounds per square inch, just when “we’d released a rendezvous pod, had it on radar, and were just getting ready to intercept it—an experiment designed to provide crucial information about never-before-attempted space rendezvous.”
Now he leaned up against a fuel cell of Segunian design, his rifle dangling from one hand as he flipped up his armor visor with one hand and pressed against his forehead with the other.