a question for those in Canada

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henry1
henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
i was reading a article about solar and thermo cell set ups for use year round at remote areas ..

the whole things that got me about the articles was over the fact that the socalled thermo cell worked off a cartidge calles a thermo power pack ..the article says it is the way of the future ..

i have booked marked the website for future reading and some of the solar sites website like this do you have any experince in dealing with the socalled thermo power plant unit ..

there is one place in Canada is talking about a hybid system of solar and wind and thermo power plant instead of gas or desiel fuel driven triangle set up ..the place canada talk the solar panels are for summer and fall and spring use to keep the batties charge and the winter time the wind and thermo power plant is for chargeing the batties at a remote location ..

does anyone know about this system that you have up there ..

Comments

  • waynefromnscanada
    waynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: a question for those in Canada

    Could be wrong, but I doubt anyone "up here" has even one in operation. Never heard of it beyond perhaps a magazine article some years ago suggesting it to be the way of the future. Seems I read the same thing about Cold Fusion one time.
    By the way, regarding solar, I get some of my highest outputs from PV during our winter when the sun is low in the sky, and with my panels mounted vertically (only in Winter) they get light from the sun, PLUS reflected sunlight off the snow as well, assuming there happens to be snow on the ground. AND, if the temperatures are low, the PV output voltage is higher, and a MPPT controller takes advantage of that extra voltage, turning it into extra amps for the batteries. So except for overcast days, and of course shorter days in general, Winter can be actually better for PV output.
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: a question for those in Canada

    Are you talking about a "fuel cell" power pack like are used for RVs?

    Such as the Efoy:

    http://www.efoy.com/en/


    The main drawbacks I see with the Efoy system is: A) expensive, B) they use pure methanol in specialized cannisters which aren't cheap and may not be available when needed, and C) one cannister of fuel doesn't last all that long.

    The Efoy for example has either 5l, 10l or 28l fuel cannisters, and produces about .9kwh per liter of methanol.

    http://www.webasto-outdoors.com/uploads/media/2010_EN_DS_EFOY.pdf

    That's not much power output for a "generator". I can see having to buy a lot of cannisters...


    They do look like a sweet setup - if and when the fuel is widely available and the cannisters are common and interchangeable and the price of the power units comes down.



    The Efoy uses a "stack" (don't ask me what exactly that is...I'll have to wait for the engineers to chime in and explain it).

    http://www.sfc.com/en/sfc-fuel-cells-technology.html

    Then there is the Protonex which is (I think) a similar sort of setup but can use different fuels:

    http://www.protonex.com/technology/sofc.aspx
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,478 admin
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    Re: a question for those in Canada

    Perhaps referencing Thermal Electric Generators (TEGs)?
    ...TEGs are made from thermoelectric modules which are solid-state integrated circuits that employ three established thermoelectric effects known as the Peltier, Seebeck and Thomson effects. It is the Seebeck effect that is responsible for electrical power generation. Their construction consists of pairs of p-type and n-type semiconductor materials forming a thermocouple. These thermocouples are then connected electrically forming an array of multiple thermocouples (thermopile). They are then sandwiched between two thin ceramic wafers.

    These thermocouples are then connected electrically in series and/or parallel forming an array of multiple thermocouples (thermopile). When heat and cold are applied this device then generates electricity. Almost any heat source can be used to generate electricity, such as solar heat, ocean heat, geothermal heat, even body heat! In addition the efficiency of any device or machine that generates heat as a by-product can be drastically improved by recovering the energy lost as heat...
    I know they are sometimes used as replacements for internal combustion engines in remote locations.

    This company sells modules for $5-$10 per watt (up to 32 volt @ 50 watts). Maximum power is at 450F (232C) on the hot side and 33F (16C -- specs are a little wonky) on the cold side.

    Interesting, but not cheap to buy, nor (I don't think) terribly efficient. Better in cold weather (near/below freezing) for maximum output.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: a question for those in Canada

    Lots of articles talking about lots of "amazing breakthroughs" out there. Why, there's years' worth on the Ballard fuel cell alone. We're still waiting for any practical version of that. Washington State news last night mentioned a proposed hydro storage project; don't expect to see that in fruition any time soon. Evidently from the impression you were given it the article in question makes it sound as though these units are commonplace up here. They're not. You probably could find one or two experimental installs at best.

    Call me an old cynic, but until it shows up at the "retail level" don't believe everything you read.
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: a question for those in Canada

    The Efoy units are on the market now. There are some Australian RV manufactures who already offer them as options.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj55xoclZ8Q
  • henry1
    henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: a question for those in Canada

    thank you for the replys on the unit.. the website was showing the sized compared to a modern mircowave oven and the oven was bigger than the unit .

    the price of a fuel cartidge is $49.oo for a M10 model and as soon as i find out more about the whole thing i let you known about it