Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-26-2018, 06:12 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: KS
Posts: 17
Default Hymer's new WATT fuel cell system

See a demonstration video of Hymer's new fuel cell system here:
https://youtu.be/naQk7RrWUdI

I'm curious what board members think of this. I'm not an expert by any means, but the idea of another complex system that takes up space and weight, requires propane, and at best only "assists" Ecotrek, does not seem very appealing.
__________________

Gemlake is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 06:51 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
markopolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 7,820
Default

I didn't look at the video but did find this: https://www.wattfuelcell.com/portabl...watt-imperium/ - is that it?

Maybe Hymer is a customer.

I like the specs and that the fuel is propane. The price of it will make it or break it.

Lots of B vans seem to have small propane tanks though so might have to fill up fairly frequently. It would be nice for my Class A with its huge propane tank.


edit: It may have been around for awhile (maybe in development). I saw posts on a forum dating back to 2016.
__________________

__________________
Two bikes on sliding cargo box: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/m...icture206.html & 1997 GMC Savana 6.5L Turbo Diesel Custom Camper Van Specifications: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...vana-5864.html
markopolo is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 07:02 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: California
Posts: 504
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemlake View Post
See a demonstration video of Hymer's new fuel cell system here:
https://youtu.be/naQk7RrWUdI

I'm curious what board members think of this. I'm not an expert by any means, but the idea of another complex system that takes up space and weight, requires propane, and at best only "assists" Ecotrek, does not seem very appealing.
Fuel Cell
Propane Tank
Solar Cells
Batteries

(no generator or 2nd alternator)

Still sounds expensive but will be very quiet
ClassB4Me is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 07:06 PM   #4
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,308
Default

Been watching these guys for awhile now. If it is real, I think it is a game changer, at any reasonable price. The problem has been poisoning of the cell when used with impure fuel sources, such as commercial propane. If these units have reasonable lifetimes, then I am excited.
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 07:08 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: KS
Posts: 17
Default

Yes, WATT is the company. Here is a press release about the project with Hymer (from March):

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rele...300609304.html

Hymer has introduced fuel cell technology before, in the European market.
Gemlake is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 07:09 PM   #6
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: California
Posts: 68
Default

I guess time will tell.
LosAngeles is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 07:17 PM   #7
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,308
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemlake View Post
Hymer has introduced fuel cell technology before, in the European market.
Yes, but as far as I know, it was only the EFOY system that required special proprietary, expensive, hard-to-find fuel canisters.

The thing about WATT is that they claim commercial-quality propane, which would be huge.
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 07:29 PM   #8
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: California
Posts: 25
Default

I saw a YouTube video this morning with someone from Roadtrek being interviewed, who said that there will be units on sale with the WATT system at the Pomona RV show in October. Seems to me that if the price is reasonable, the WATT system coupled with solar, will make the ideal boondocking vehicle.
__________________
With Gratitude,
David
Davidy52 is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 07:37 PM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,002
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidy52 View Post
I saw a YouTube video this morning with someone from Roadtrek being interviewed, who said that there will be units on sale with the WATT system at the Pomona RV show in October. Seems to me that if the price is reasonable, the WATT system coupled with solar, will make the ideal boondocking vehicle.

the efoy system they tried to introduce 4 years ago was BIG Bucks.
gerrym51 is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 08:23 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
markopolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 7,820
Default

I saw a post on Airforums from 2016 - someone said they inquired about the price and was $10K to $15K. Hopefully that's not what it is.

$2K would be high if comparing to a small Honda or Yamaha generator with much higher output but still attractive enough.
__________________
Two bikes on sliding cargo box: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/m...icture206.html & 1997 GMC Savana 6.5L Turbo Diesel Custom Camper Van Specifications: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...vana-5864.html
markopolo is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 08:52 PM   #11
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,308
Default

The Efoy units are $3-6K, depending on capacity. If WATT is similar, I am betting there would be plenty of early-adopter interest.

IMO, this is a whole different ballgame than any ICE generator. Running a genset is an event, and not a pleasant one. A fuel cell sits silently in invisibly in its place and constantly produces power--just like a solar panel. Totally automatic and out of mind. 500 watts continuous would keep a great many of us permanently happy, with no need for the hassles of lithium batteries. The big question is what kind of warranty they offer on the cell.

I may end up happy that I never pulled my nearly-redundant propane tank
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 09:04 PM   #12
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: California
Posts: 504
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
The Efoy units are $3-6K, depending on capacity. If WATT is similar, I am betting there would be plenty of early-adopter interest.

IMO, this is a whole different ballgame than any ICE generator. Running a genset is an event, and not a pleasant one.
I may end up happy that I never pulled my nearly-redundant propane tank
Other than less noise, please explain (for us slower folks) why this is a gamechanger.

-- $2K-$4K increase over a propane generator
-- Still need propane / possibly larger tank
-- Unclear service network

I can imagine the biggest benefit is you can run house services at parks during 'quiet hours'
ClassB4Me is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 09:30 PM   #13
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Colorado
Posts: 106
Default

Is there any mention of altitude restrictions? I thought I recalled something limiting the Efoy system here in CO, I don't remember what it was other than the expensive fuel.
Mfturner is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 09:52 PM   #14
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,308
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassB4Me View Post
Other than less noise, please explain (for us slower folks) why this is a gamechanger.

-- $2K-$4K increase over a propane generator
-- Still need propane / possibly larger tank
-- Unclear service network

I can imagine the biggest benefit is you can run house services at parks during 'quiet hours'
Well, with my current propane tank, this unit can produce more than 40 amps continuously for more than 100 hours. That is five days, assuming continuous operation and zero solar. With my current 440aH batteries, I can run my A/C from battery for 2 hours or so in the evening. With this unit, this time would almost doubled. If I am parked somewhere (say, the parking lot of the ferry to Isle Royal), I could leave my compressor refrigerator running unattended for well over a month without fear of cloudy days.

If I run my battery down to 50% every day (and ignoring solar, and driving not at all), I could recover that in 5.5 hours. This means that I can boondock for 18 days of zero sunlight and without ever starting the Sprinter. Of course, I would at least have to drive to the dump station, so the second engine generator would add to this. All of this without the expense or hassles of lithium.

This is all completely passive. I never run our current genset simply because the noise and hassle is totally unacceptable to us. I don't know why I haven't pulled it out.

Sounds like a game changer to me.
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 09:58 PM   #15
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: California
Posts: 504
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post

If I run my battery down to 50% every day (and ignoring solar, and driving not at all), I could recover that in 5.5 hours. This means that I can boondock for 18 days of zero sunlight and without ever starting the Sprinter. Of course, I would at least have to drive to the dump station, so the second engine generator would add to this. All of this without the expense or hassles of lithium.

This is all completely passive. I never run our current genset simply because the noise and hassle is totally unacceptable to us. I don't know why I haven't pulled it out.

Sounds like a game changer to me.
The reason I asked is because the guy in the video spoke of batteries in addition to everything else. I'm trying to get a sense of what components would be part of a fuel cell solution and what components would go away.
ClassB4Me is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 10:02 PM   #16
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,308
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassB4Me View Post
The reason I asked is because the guy in the video spoke of batteries in addition to everything else. I'm trying to get a sense of what components would be part of a fuel cell solution and what components would go away.
It is the genset that goes away. Oh, and these units weight 1/3 of an Onan 2400.
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 10:14 PM   #17
Platinum Member
 
Boxster1971's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Maryland
Posts: 891
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
It is the genset that goes away. Oh, and these units weight 1/3 of an Onan 2400.
Yes and about 1/5 the continuous power at 500 watts. Specs here...
https://www.wattfuelcell.com/portabl...watt-imperium/

Also the photo shown in the PRNewswire site seems to show the fuel cell right in the center of area under rear bench seat. Since this unit generates heat you might not be able to store stuff around the fuel cell unit. The photo inserted below.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Watt1.jpg (153.8 KB, 48 views)
__________________
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter 3500 170Ext
Formerly: 1973 Dodge B300 DIY pop-top conversion
Boxster1971 is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 10:52 PM   #18
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: California
Posts: 504
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Yes and about 1/5 the continuous power at 500 watts. Specs here...
https://www.wattfuelcell.com/portabl...watt-imperium/

Also the photo shown in the PRNewswire site seems to show the fuel cell right in the center of area under rear bench seat. Since this unit generates heat you might not be able to store stuff around the fuel cell unit. The photo inserted below.
A picture in-scale speaks volumes
ClassB4Me is offline  
Old 09-26-2018, 11:05 PM   #19
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,308
Default

It is a bit smaller than an Onan, and similar dimensions--probably not a coincidence. If I ever got one, I would certainly put it underneath in place of the genset. I don't know if they are weatherproof, but that can be dealt with.
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline  
Old 09-27-2018, 02:52 AM   #20
Platinum Member
 
GeorgeRa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,424
Default

The technology described in the attached URL is most likely used in Watts fuel cells, direct use of hydrocarbon as fuel without an external conversion to hydrogen. It uses metal catalyst to do this conversion. Biggest issue in my view would be contamination, catalysts can be poisoned easily and they canít be repaired. https://phys.org/news/2017-07-hydroc...fficiency.html

Watts purchased this company https://www.businesswire.com/news/ho...burgh-Electric 4 years ago.

I can clearly understand the attractiveness of fuel cells, but this effort of making fuel cell technology successful has a long history, a very long history. Old one was bad but this one is good, and over, and over again. I am not sorry to sound pessimistic, I am pessimistic.
__________________

GeorgeRa is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×