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Old 10-09-2018, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default SOFC Fuel Cells

The Watt Imperium topic seems unlikely to get back on track so I figured we could start a new SOFC Fuel Cell topic.

I did a bit of Googling today and came across this PDF from RedHawk Energy Systems: http://www.redhawkenergy.net/pdf/Bro...el%20Cells.pdf

It's 250 watt. The brochure is easy to read and informative.

They clearly list some disadvantages which is helpful when trying to see where something like this fits in:

- Startup is not instantaneous
- Ongoing fuel supply required
- Larger upfront $cost than gas/diesel generators
- Not well suited for 24/7 prime power applications
- Stack life is cycle limited

The fuel cells come from Ultra Electronics I think: https://www.ultra-fuelcells.com/P250i

Another PDF here: https://www.ultra-fuelcells.com/Data...-PDS-P250i.pdf

The RedHawk case study is here: https://www.ultra-fuelcells.com/Data...tudyRRFCBN.pdf

The market for this appears to be large budget operations needing assured power in remote locations where solar charging isn't enough or not an option.

I was unable to find any pricing info.

I don't see these SOFC Fuel Cells as a green technology as they require a non-renewable energy source to run (propane) and emit a greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide).
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:46 AM   #2
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Efoy is worth a link since your can purchase it. A link to their benefits page:

https://www.efoy-comfort.com/benefits

You can get pricing at iMarine, although their ratings by amp-hr/day is marketing specmanship

$2999 for the comfort 80i, about 40w
$4299 for the 140i, about 70w
$5899 for the 210i, about 105w

The expensive fuel is a common complaint I see online.
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:55 AM   #3
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Thanks. If this SOFC is cycle limited (250cycles-3000hrs) it is probable that the Imperium is also. No size info, I haven't looked at all the links, but it appears smaller than the Imperium. Those of you that said "Wait and see" seem to be correct. 250 cycles is not enough nor is 3000 hours if you were to run it 10 hours a day.

With respect to the Efoy not only is the fuel expensive, it is unobtanium.

I like the Efoy but the fuel is impossible. You cannot buy it locally and shipping is out of the question with a hazardous material surcharge. Perhaps if we could source our own methanol.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbn7hj View Post
Thanks. If this SOFC is cycle limited (250cycles-3000hrs) it is probable that the Imperium is also. No size info, I haven't looked at all the links, but it appears smaller than the Imperium. Those of you that said "Wait and see" seem to be correct. 250 cycles is not enough nor is 3000 hours if you were to run it 10 hours a day.
Well, as I see it, whether or not those numbers are "enough" depends entirely on the cost and difficulty of renewing the cell. We'll see.
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Old 10-09-2018, 01:34 PM   #5
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For RV use it's more of energy storage problem than an energy production problem.

Those remote, off grid and solar inefficient locations that SOFC's seem to be targeted at are different from typical recreational RV use where we have power from alternators, generators or the grid readily available.

In recreational RV use, power generation is relatively easily achieved. I think Booster's van can likely theoretically produce almost 17 kWh during a 5 hour drive. Periodical connections to the electrical grid provides inexpensive power.

The problem then becomes how to store large amounts of excess or inexpensive energy to use it later.

There doesn't seem to be an easy or inexpensive way to do that so we end up right back at another expensive device to produce power.
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Old 10-09-2018, 01:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
For RV use it's more of energy storage problem than an energy production problem.

Those remote, off grid and solar inefficient locations that SOFC's seem to be targeted at are different from typical recreational RV use where we have power from alternators, generators or the grid readily available.

In recreational RV use, power generation is relatively easily achieved. I think Booster's van can likely theoretically produce almost 17 kWh during a 5 hour drive. Periodical connections to the electrical grid provides inexpensive power.

The problem then becomes how to store large amounts of excess or inexpensive energy to use it later.

There doesn't seem to be an easy or inexpensive way to do that so we end up right back at another expensive device to produce power.
I don't see the line between production and storage to be quite that bright. To the extent that I have continuous production, my need for storage is correspondingly reduced. Continuous production at night has two difficulties: lack of solar and genset noise. Fuel cells potentially address both of these. We'll see if they work....
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
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.................. To the extent that I have continuous production, my need for storage is correspondingly reduced. ...............

Excellent point.
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:11 PM   #8
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I agree.



In a perfect world, having a silent, efficient, power source that would cover all the van use in real time would be wonderful and would require very little battery capacity, if any. Until we get there generate and store are about the only other option, unfortunately.
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:33 PM   #9
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Default Case closed!

Just got an answer from EHGNA after writing to WATT.

The system will only available for Hymer or Roadtrek vehicles. It is not the impression you get on the WATT web site.

" Thank you for your interest in the Watt Fuel cell technology.
These units are exclusive to Erwin Hymer Group North America products.
A portable system will be available in the near future, and must be used with Erwin Hymer Group North America (EHGNA), products.

It will be available on selected Roadtrek and Hymer branded models only.
The coach will need to have propane a system, to have this added as an option. Stay tuned for more info on availability.
Pricing to be announced soon.
Please refer to our website for any further updates: erwinhymergroupna.com
..."

Notice that the test residential system they installed needs a filter for the natural gas. As it has been said, the vulnerable part of the system is the contamination of the ceramic tubes.





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Old 10-11-2018, 02:18 PM   #10
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……………………………..
“…………..A portable system will be available in the near future, and must be used with Erwin Hymer Group North America (EHGNA), products……………....."
It will be interesting to see how a portable system “must be used with Hymer product” will work.
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