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Old 02-15-2009, 07:57 AM   #1
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Fuel Cell Power System

I didn't see any posts about this when searching. Has anyone else heard of this new Fuel Cell Power System for RVs that supposedly will start selling in 2009. Seems like it would be a way of keeping the batteries charged without solar or generator. But, it does not appear it would be strong enough to power a/c or anything that substantial.

http://www.protonex.com/recreation/rv-power.aspx
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: Fuel Cell Power System

Apart from having to buy methanol that's interesting. It might be an alternative for the 2nd 4D crowd, but it doesn't look like a stand alone for an Invertor with the 500W peak.

How available is methanol?
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:06 AM   #3
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Re: Fuel Cell Power System

The article I read about it said as of now you have to buy methanol online. But that soon it would be available in multiple retail outlets. But I don't know what their definition of "soons" is. Plus, handling of it would not be that different from handling/carrying gasoline, I believe.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:15 PM   #4
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Re: Fuel Cell Power System

Thatís interesting. I was just working on an article about fuel cells for a friend. We just put a 1.2 MW system on line. Here is a picture of it being put into place last year. Probably too big for the van.

250 watts is not much but being able to charge at night while you sleep could be useful. Iím waiting for a 3000W model thatís small enough and below 3000 dollars that uses a minimum amount of fuel. Maybe someday.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:31 PM   #5
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Re: Fuel Cell Power System

Here is a system that is build in Germany.
4 models 12V supply from 600 Wh (50Ah) to 1600 Wh (130Ah)
It has a automatic charge control that monitor's the battery voltage.

http://www.efoy.com/en/mobile-homes-benefits.html
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:09 PM   #6
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Re: Fuel Cell Power System

If a model ever comes out that will run my Starcool continuous for 8 hours I would be interested. I have space in the trailer and if I could get enough out of the fuel cell in combination of the twin 4 D's for peaking that would be cool. But what's the price of them? In US dollars. I imagine a 2 to 3000 continuous watt model would be somewhat large and quite expensive.
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:41 PM   #7
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Re: Fuel Cell Power System

Dave,
Just seen an add for a Efoy 1600 selling for US$ 4300.-
Sorry I didn't have the price list under hand, will try to get one for more accurate info.
And for the time the biggest is the 1600 W
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:44 PM   #8
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Re: Fuel Cell Power System

If truly powerful versions ever became available I would single handedly start a foundation to buy one for every generator lovin' fool I have ever camped next to.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:31 AM   #9
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Re: Fuel Cell Power System

I know some of the Protonex guys and have seen their system. It's pretty cool, and they do a decent fuel cell. But remember.... it is still a fuel cell. These things don't work forever; you get a certain number of hours and then you're going to replace your stack, which isn't cheap. And note, these suckers are pricey!

Another option that I think may have better applicability to RVers is the propane-based fuel cell system from Adaptive Materials. See: www.adaptivematerials.com

Runs off propane, so your fuel source is a lot easier for most. But again, you get something like 200 hours of runtime, and then your efficiency is probably starting to degrade. And the stacks are pricey. Then again, anyone with a SMB might have that kind of money... I'm thinking the yacht group is a better target for early fuel cells...
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