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Old 01-13-2016, 02:42 PM   #1
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Fuel Cell

I was at the Toronto Boat Show yesterday where I saw the "EFOY - Comfort" fuel cell. As explained to me it (the 210 model) produces up to 210 Ah per day to automatically charge/top up your 12 volt batteries in an RV or boat. It uses methanol and platinum (?) plates and the chemical reaction produces a small amount of discharge water. The unit only weighs 18.1 pounds and is 17.5 inches by 8 inches by 11.5 inches in size. The Fuel Cartridge (Methanol jug) contains 2.6 gallons, weighs 18.5 pounds, and lasts approximately 30 days. Has anyone had any experience with this product or Fuel Cells in general for their Airstream?? It initially sounds like a great way to compliment solar panels.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:58 PM   #2
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interesting, would love to hear more
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:11 PM   #3
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In the business I was in prior to retirement we used thousands of 12v deep cycle batteries much not if not exactly like the ones we have in most Airstreams. We tested fuel cells and what we viewed as the emerging technology of fuel cells such as you described. They worked, they did the job and did it better than 12v deep cycle batteries, but they did not catch on nor have they to date. The reason, cost. At the time I was involved it was felt through customer focus groups that the cost would be simply too much for them to cover and so we nor our competitors did not pursue. But they may be now and it's interesting as the company we met with and communicated the most with was located in Toronto.

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Old 01-14-2016, 03:05 PM   #4
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When this first showed on a boating add, it sounded interesting. The fuel was a bit of a turn off, but light weight, quiet operation and 24hr power access were good pluses. However, the cost kind of swings the deal over the edge for me. 80ah is ~$3500, the 140ah is ~$5000, and the 210ah is ~$7000, at the supplier I checked. Not impossible, but about 2x what would have had me digging deeper. On the positive, the product did get my attention. Pat
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:00 PM   #5
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I like the concept and the product. Still a few years away for me due to $$.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:04 PM   #6
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Last time I checked, it wasn't as much the capital investment as the ongoing expense for purified methanol that turned me against fuel cells.
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:22 AM   #7
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I have been looking into this subject and my personal opinion is that money is better spent in adding more solar panels / more batteries / buying generator. If I would buy fuel cell system, I would definitely want to have it running with propane or standard gas.
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:41 AM   #8
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Way too much $$$ for my means. a generator and a lifetime supply of fuel would not add up to one of these, and it won't run the A/C.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:57 PM   #9
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Ask Elon Musk why fuel cells are stupid. Elon Musk Is Right: Hydrogen Is 'An Incredibly Dumb' Car Fuel | ThinkProgress
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Old 01-16-2016, 02:25 PM   #10
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I think Elon Musk said fuel cells are silly as a means of automotive propulsion.
Kind of like saying hydro power or wind mills are not really a suitable propulsion system for cars or trucks.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:14 PM   #11
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I have followed Delphi's development of fuel cells for auxiliary power units. They have been focused on Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) for on highway trucks, those with sleepers that required 3-5 kw for heating/cooling/hotel loads when parked. Saves running the rig's diesel engine. Much lower fuel consumption, and much lower emissions. The product development cycle has been slow (it isn't commercially available yet) but it has potential for the future, and particularly for travel trailers that require similar electrical power loads. The fuel isn't hydrogen (Elon Musk will presumably be happy) but rather diesel, gasoline, or natural gas. At the time, I was looking at the potential of using natural gas in combination with our LNG fuel storage for on highway trucks (PACCAR, Volvo, others) as we had NG available on board due to LNG boil off and we could use it for electrical loads.

The Delphi technical articles suggest that the device will also work with a highway truck that would use the diesel engine for propulsion, and the fuel cell for all electrical loads (lights, etc) so as to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Lots of interesting things coming.

Links:

Delphi truck fuel-cell APU to hit road in 2012 - SAE International

Fuel Cells

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Old 01-17-2016, 07:20 AM   #12
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Did you notice this product by Voller Energy? 100W fuel cell using propane. This would be a great, very compact and noiseless backup for battery charging if you don't get enough solar. Only problem is that the company went bust.

LPG-powered Portable fuel cell system is 25% smaller
http://www.fuelcellmarkets.com/conte...a_sheet(1).pdf

Then there's this as well, much larger and heavier unit though:
Lifeforce APU the Propane Truck APU Review | Truck Auxiliary Power Units
Lifeforce Dynapac LP Propane APU By Lifeforce Energy at Smart Truck Solutions : Smartway Upgrades Cab Comfort and Solar Energy Management for Big Rig Trucks
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:43 PM   #13
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How about these.. they are coming down in price...!!!

http://energy.gov/ne/nuclear-reactor...clear-reactors
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