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Old 05-16-2019, 02:55 AM   #1
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Default Fuel Cell instead of (or added to) Solar/Genset

Why not use a fuel cell unit to recharge or directly power your batteries? Not sure how to incorporate this with an Air Conditioner.

The largest Efoy unit makes 105kw apparently.

I've actually seen one of these running at this store here in Seattle.

https://www.fisheriessupply.com/efoy...dc-151-000-212
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:04 AM   #2
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Why not use a fuel cell unit to recharge or directly power your batteries? Not sure how to incorporate this with an Air Conditioner.

The largest Efoy unit makes 105kw apparently.

I've actually seen one of these running at this store here in Seattle.

https://www.fisheriessupply.com/efoy...dc-151-000-212

That link says it is a 105 watt not kilowatt. 105kw would be huge.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:22 AM   #3
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The Efoy would have a lot of users if the fuel was reasonable in cost and available. It is neither.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:41 AM   #4
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The Efoy would have a lot of users if the fuel was reasonable in cost and available. It is neither.

The spec on 2.64 gallons of fuel is supposed to give 11.1 kw-hours of use. Which doesn't seem too bad. That is $75/ 2.64 gallons.

And yes, it is 105 watts.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:22 AM   #5
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This is good review of the EFOY system for boating use complementing solar system. https://www.panbo.com/testing-the-ef...ort-fuel-cell/

“While the amp hours are expensive — the tested 210 model retails for $5,899, and the company’s methanol fuel costs roughly $10 per 100ah — I’m convinced that an EFOY Comfort could be a very pleasing addition to many cruising sailboats and trawlers, especially as a complement to solar power. The installation, operation and EFOY economics are detailed further below, but first I’ll share a graphical use story.”

It is not cheap, alcohol is expensive, and running lifetime is about 5000 hrs. so cost of running without alcohol is 1.2 $/hr. It is reasonably good system for low energy users if solar harvesting is insufficient.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:46 AM   #6
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Methanol is toxic too. I think we first started talking about the EFOY units about 8 or 9 years ago here on the forum. I remember reading that gloves were required when handling the fuel.

I think there are several folks on the forum just waiting for the right fuel cell to come available.

Re: air conditioner use - you'd run the A/C off batteries and the batteries would recharge a bit when the A/C compressor cycles off. You'd probably run the fuel cell continuously and you'd still need a fairly large battery bank.

EDIT: I just looked at the EFOY unit in the OP's link - only 8.8A at 12V DC - that wouldn't help much with running an A/C - maybe 2 hours extra runtime if you ran the EFOY for 24 hours .........
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:59 AM   #7
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Try sourcing the EFOY fuel in some other town like Oklahoma City. By the time you add hazardous material charges and shipping charges you may as well kick the unit into the trash bin.

If you could source the fuel from a local chemical company it would be more practical but no one has commented about that. The thought is the purity spec is pretty tight.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:13 AM   #8
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Lab or racing grade methanol will likely be OK, clean transfer to a correct container could cause potential safety and contamination problem, but, it think it is manageable.

http://www.methanol.org/wp-content/u...ety-Module.pdf
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dw8928 View Post
The spec on 2.64 gallons of fuel is supposed to give 11.1 kw-hours of use. Which doesn't seem too bad. That is $75/ 2.64 gallons.

And yes, it is 105 watts.

$75 / 11.1 = $6.76 per kWh. Typical residential rates are maybe $0.15 per kWh. This is maybe 45 times more expensive! One would have to be desperate to use this device for air conditioning.
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:04 PM   #10
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I, too, think a fuel cell makes sense in my Banff; however, I want a propane fuel cell. Those are now being sold, but I'm waiting for the next generation, which should be more efficient. This is a link to Watt fuel cells, but I don't think they are ready yet. https://www.wattfuelcell.com/
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:18 PM   #11
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I, too, think a fuel cell makes sense in my Banff; however, I want a propane fuel cell. Those are now being sold, but I'm waiting for the next generation, which should be more efficient. This is a link to Watt fuel cells, but I don't think they are ready yet. https://www.wattfuelcell.com/
Unfortunately, unless things have changed very recently, the WATT units are not yet available for retail sale. Their rollout was going to be via EHGNA. We know how that turned out. I have my fingers crossed that they will survive this bump in the road.
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