Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-08-2013, 12:20 AM   #1
worried...happy...wo...ha
 
Knuff's Avatar
 
2015 25' FB International
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 196
Images: 3
Fuel cell power

I am a Newbie and just getting settled about hitches etc for my new Tv (on order) for my 2014 FC.
The one and only upgrade thus far for my FC is a dual 70w = 140w solar and Morningstar charge/controller.
Because my TV is not going to be a truck (planning to tow the American dream withe the German dream), I cannot store a generator with fuel and fumes in the trunk of our new cayenne.
So, a thought (admittedly after a bottle of a good cab) is that a fuel cell might be the choice for situations when our 140w solar is not able to keep up with the energy demands. We plan to use the fridge, water pump, led lights, as well as the TV and stereo for 3-4 h - TV is running on the inverter.

Anyone out there with fuel cell experience, recommendations???
__________________

__________________
Knuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2013, 04:59 PM   #2
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar

 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,182
Fuel cell, Ballard Power, equals bad short term investment. But I really like the propensity for Californians to be progressive thinkers. Solar is terrific and you should be ok if you run the fridge on propane. Jim
__________________

__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2013, 05:36 PM   #3
retired USA/USAF

 
2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,157
I'm not sure about your space available but I see some users are finding generators that run on propane. No worries about gas in the vehicle but it would, of course, require regular propane refills. Something to think on. An external fitting in the propane line would make it easy.
__________________
Roger in NJ

" Democracy is the worst form of government. Except for all the rest"
Winston Churchill 1948

TAC - NJ 18

polarlyse is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2013, 06:44 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Melody Ranch's Avatar
 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,960
Images: 78
Send a message via Skype™ to Melody Ranch
Tell me about Ballard fuel cells. I researched and researched….this was the FUTURE. Lost my A--.
__________________
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
Melody Ranch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2013, 07:08 PM   #5
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar

 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,182
There were many affected by something. Not a very exclusive club. Perhaps one was just premature. Jim
__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2013, 07:33 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
jdalrymple's Avatar
 
2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Jay , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,602
Forget the "German" dream.

Buy an American truck and carry the items needed to camp like you want.

Not trying to be argumentative, but one can spend $100 to save $10, when viewed in true context.



Regards,

JD
__________________
Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
jdalrymple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 02:33 AM   #7
worried...happy...wo...ha
 
Knuff's Avatar
 
2015 25' FB International
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 196
Images: 3
I think that it is not so much about being able to carry all the things I need, space is not the issue. I simply do not like trucks, they do not fit in the garage, and frankly looking at a well equipped F250 is almost the same price as the Cayenne. It is not that the Porsche is not able to pull a 20 foot trailer. Is there someone out there who has actually used a fuel cell?
__________________
Knuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 07:07 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
jdalrymple's Avatar
 
2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Jay , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,602
I have not used them, but I have done quite a bit of research on them.

They company I work for owns cellular and public safety radio communications towers.

We looked into fuel cells as redundant power systems.

The reality is that they require just as much care, fuel, and maintenance as a generator, without the huge up-front cost.

They have been used in this application a few times where the desire to appear "green" outweighs all other factors, but that is about it.

One must still carry a large supply of fuel that is much more difficult to manage and find than propane or gasoline.


Things like methanol, hydrogen, and the like.



I hope you find a set up that works for you.


Regards,

JD
__________________
Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
jdalrymple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 08:31 PM   #9
Rivet Master

 
Southwestern , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,669
Welcome to the forums!

Speaking, as an engineer, about purely functional requirements (i.e. not matters of esthetics or political correctness),

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuff View Post
I simply do not like trucks, they do not fit in the garage, and frankly looking at a well equipped F250 is almost the same price as the Cayenne.
That isn't really a valid comparison as you don't need anything like an F250 to tow your trailer. An F-150 will do just fine, at lower cost.

As far as "not liking" trucks, that's your business; you're welcome to like or not like whatever you want.

Quote:
Is there someone out there who has actually used a fuel cell?
I doubt you will find anyone on the forums who has, as I am not aware of any fuel cells made for RV use. As I recall, several years ago General Electric introduced a natural-gas fuel cell system for residential use that achieved economic viability by using the waste heat for space and water heating, but I'm not sure if it was commercially viable.

You could meet your stated auxiliary power requirement with a small modern generator like the Honda EU-1000, which is no bigger than a carry-on bag, weighs less than 30 pounds, is amazingly quiet, and gets good fuel economy on a fuel--plain old gasoline--that you can get anywhere.
.
__________________
Nuvite-F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 10:11 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
1994 30' Excella
Mississauga , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 939
I think what you are talking about is available from a company called Efoy.
I am not associated with them. They run on methanol and the units are very expensive.
Do a search and I am sure you will find info online.
I also think I saw them at Can Am rv in Ontario.
Al
__________________
Al and Jean

TAC ON-3
BigAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2013, 12:39 AM   #11
worried...happy...wo...ha
 
Knuff's Avatar
 
2015 25' FB International
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 196
Images: 3
I looked into the Efoy FCs and they look interesting.
Running at 3.5K for the smallest unit, they are expensive.
The company claims to have sold more than 17,000 units in Europe. There, these fuel cells seem to be very popular.

A concern is if they decide to stop distribution in the US where to get the Methanol. I guess, probably through some chemical company like Sigma or so.

What an amazing gadget to have.

I wonder whether any AS owner has one of these?
__________________
Knuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2013, 01:32 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Mexray's Avatar
 
1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,583
The main detractor for the eFoy RV type fuel cell units are their relatively low output (@12 volts)...they list three models:

1. 3.3 Amp rating (80 Amp Hrs per day)
2. 6.0 Amp rating (140 Amp Hrs per day)
3. 8.8 Amp rating (210 Amp Hrs per day)

As you can see, they are not much more than 'trickle' chargers - and at their high costs, just don't compare with small inverter type gas generators for all around RV use + you get 110 Volts AC with a genny...

The fuel cells do have the advantage of their low weight - less than 20 lbs..! And they are quiet...But you'll have to keep a supply of Methanol on hand - and I believe the Mfg. won't warrant the units unless you use their own brand of go-juice, another detractor IMHO...

Fuel cells are a great idea, but aren't cost effective yet here in the States...
__________________
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
Mexray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2013, 07:02 PM   #13
Rivet Master

 
Southwestern , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,669
An interesting gadget if you really, really want (or need) a fuel cell.

Their website is honest about discussing the devices limitations. Like the fact that you have to use their methanol cartridges because impurities in commercial methanol are likely to damage the device in short order.

I was under the impression that fuel cells were supposed to be efficient, but these aren't. The specifications indicate a specific fuel consumption of 0.9 liters of methanol per kilowatt-hour.

The Frequently Asked Question "How much waste heat is produced" is answered,

Quote:
The [waste] heat (measured in watts) is approximately three times as high as the electrical energy (rated power) generated by the unit. For example, an EFOY COMFORT 80 fuel cell produces approximately 120 W of heat.
In other words, the efficiency is only 25%. This is apparently typical of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) technology. Wikipedia has an article on it: Direct methanol fuel cell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So, to summarize what we've heard so far on this thread, their smallest unit, which only produces 40 watts, costs $3,500 and uses nearly a liter of fuel--which you have to buy in cartridge form from the manufacturer--to produce one kilowatt-hour of electricity.

Solar with a backup generator makes a lot more sense to me, but your mileage may vary!
.
__________________
Nuvite-F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #14
worried...happy...wo...ha
 
Knuff's Avatar
 
2015 25' FB International
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 196
Images: 3
Really good points.

I like gadgets
But it has to make sense, also price-wise.

I think that I will go with solar first (in fact the panels are being installed next week - I got 2 UniSolar stick-on 68W panels).
Then will assess how the stock batteries work for 1+ week boon docking and go from there. A generator is not in the picture yet, but we do not plan on using the A/C or any other appliance that would need 110V except for the TV once in a while for which we use the inverter. Main reason for not liking a generator is that we do not use a truck as a TV, but an SUV.

But still if someone who owns an Efoy or other fuel cell power finds this threat, please post your experience.
__________________

__________________
Knuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.