fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
Interesting product. Automatically turns on when batt volts drops to preset and turns back off when upper preset is reached. Up to 2.2 kwh/day. Approx $6000.
So far aimed at RV market. "cartridge" of fuel $65. Interesting to see where it goes in a few years time. Will it be a boom, or a bust.
U-tube video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHcRXKDpI4A&feature=player_embedded

Comments

  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,384 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    Interesting methanol fuel cell, certainly bulk methanol can be gotten much cheaper than $65 for 10L.

    http://www.aaa-chemicals.com/me55gadr.html
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar
    solar_dave wrote: »
    Interesting methanol fuel cell, certainly bulk methanol can be gotten much cheaper than $65 for 10L.

    http://www.aaa-chemicals.com/me55gadr.html

    I was wondering about that. Very high price. Wonder if the machine is designed to only operate with their "special" non refillable cartridge, forcing the customer to go back to them and pay the extreme price. :grr
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    Mabe im looking at it all wrong ,but wouldnt it be better to use half of that $6000 and buy a few more solar panels and a few more batteries and mabe another charge controller. And no costly replacements for the fuel cell . ??:cool:
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    here is the link from the Canadian web page.
    http://www.efoy.ca/en/cabins-efoy-fuel-cell.html

    the 2200 model has the same Amperge output as a ~120W PV, only difference is that it is available for 24 hrs a day according to the table and will consume the 10 l of Methanol in ~ 11 hours...so much for 24 hr operation!

    or $65 for 1 day at the cabin, a pricey vacation, don't forget the initial cost of the unit at at least 2X the cost of a PV panel.

    NOTE: all the models consume the same volume of methanol per hour!
     
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  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar
    john p wrote: »
    Mabe im looking at it all wrong ,but wouldn't it be better to use half of that $6000 and buy a few more solar panels and a few more batteries and maybe another charge controller. And no costly replacements for the fuel cell . ??:cool:

    Oh for sure PV would be far cheaper, but these units are aimed at the RV crowd with limited space and a desire to do without the roar of generators. My interest is in the technology, as in always wanting to learn more about things and how they work. I have no intention of purchasing one, just a desire for more knowledge. :D
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    aimed at the RV crowd with limited space and a desire to do without the roar of generators I have never personally heard of a solar panel making a lot of noise!!!!
    The cost of the methonol is insane for the intended use and you have to carry in the vehicle a lot of it if going on an extended trip.
    On a RV there is usually space for panels on the roof . A roof extender could also be used for more panels when parked.
    Technology for the sake of technology if not value for money is a total waste.
    Gee if you just want lots of solar power and money no object get a concentrated cells with triple junction panel.:D
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    Uh, John? It's the generators that make the noise when you have to run them to supplement PV. :roll: There's not always room for enough PV, and some shy away from additional panels for logistical reasons - or, ironically, cost.

    I'll agree that this fuel cell technology is too expensive for the masses - so far. But remember what personal computers cost to begin with? If nobody took a chance on what was the over-priced and basically unnecessary technology then we wouldn't be on this forum now.

    Some day the price may make them viable. But anyone from B.C. (Ballard Costs) knows that "someday" can be a long ways off. :p
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    Cariboocoot fuel cells even if almost free are never going to be good as the effeciency is apalling.I dont think you can compare with PCs as the ability of PCs has gone up at a rate that is almost unbelievable and costs reduced to very little. Fuel cells given 50 more years are still going to be very ineffecient.. You just wait and see I will tell you I told you so.:p
    We have one at work designed for a bus .I dont remember its exact effeciency but its about 30%. Now compare that to even a crappy car battery for storage.
    As for solar panels on roof of RV you just need a simple frame that extends and folds out from one end of the roof, I did that when I was into serious outback 4wd ing. .just had 2 panels permanent mounted, carried the other 2 in vehicle mounted and connected them when parked for long time
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    John;

    You may well be right about the lack of future improvements in fuel cells. That's what my too-obscure reference to Ballard (Canadian fuel cell company here in British Columbia) was about.

    Anyway, I don't have 50 years to wait and I sure can't afford them now! :p
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    LOOKS LIKE one company is selling this fuel cell tech. in CA only

    http://clearedgepower.com/

    here are some other links

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_fuel_cell
    http://mapawatt.com/2010/02/02/residential-natural-gas-fuel-cells/
    http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/10/panasonic-shows-advanced-fuel-cell-for-home-use/

    I'm curious about pricing. Only price info I could find is at bottom of last link which states:

    "Panasonic also says that the new Ene-Farm can help an average Japanese family reduce electricity bills by $600 to $725 per year. Partner Tokyo Gas will start selling the fuel cell in Japan on April for between $14,000 and $17,000 (after government subsidies), which is 30% cheaper than existing fuel cells."

    $14,000/$700 = 20 year payback?!?! Doesn't sound that great. But that is probably not taking into account heating benefits.

    There only seems to be a few companies touting this technology. Hopefully it improves.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,459 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    I wonder what the membrane replacements cost (parts & labor) Like changing the membrane on a RO water filter. $$$
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  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,204 admin
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    Plus the ~$50k of palladium and/or platinum used in the high efficiency fuel cells.:cry:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • DavidOHDavidOH Solar Expert Posts: 112 ✭✭✭
    Re: fuel cell "generator" for days without solar

    Wow. I love the idea. Would be great for a rainy day when the solar panels don't work. ;)8)
    ......or several rainy days in a row!

    Yes, right now definitely expensive power, but solar panels were much more expensive than now and less efficient!
    I think the numbers were $1000 for 100 watts and 3-4 % efficiency. :confused:




    btw, I just got my panels. $325 for 135 watts. x4
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