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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I want to anytime, anywhere and as long as I want to can go camping with my RV.
That's why I built in my RV a fuel cell for energy supply.

www.efoy-comfort.com/benefits
Dealers: www.efoy-comfort.com/map




In Pic 1 you can see under the seat in my RV the Methanol-Fuel-Cartridge.
In Pic 2 you can see under the seat the fuel cell.
In Pic 3 you can see the cooling air outlet in the bathroom.
 

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Wonderful sounding product and a great new technology. You can buy 10 solar systems for the same money and $2 per day for fuel. But just to say you have one would be worth a lot! Thanks for posting, there is a dealer in MA.
 

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Very nice! I did some research into fuel cells, but fuel availability is currently a problem where I live and travel. I'm hoping that as the technology matures, it will become more available (and less expensive).

What capacity does your system have? Does it supply enough power for your climate control (heat and/or air conditioning)? Please share your experience with using it, especially how many hours of use before refueling.
 

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Wonderful sounding product and a great new technology. You can buy 10 solar systems for the same money and $2 per day for fuel. But just to say you have one would be worth a lot! Thanks for posting, there is a dealer in MA.
$2 will buy a big bag of ice at Walmart and it will last for two days;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I use fuel cells professionally since 2006 in a sensitive application where there must be no errors.
Meanwhile, I use professionally more than 30 fuel cells.

For my compressor-refrigerator, TV, Laptop, TRUMA Gas-Heating System, etc., the small 80Ah-EFOY-Fuel cell is big enough.
Here I need in 3 to 4 weeks about 1 Methanol-Fuel-Cartridge M10.

With the useful energy calculator you can quickly and easily find the right EFOY COMFORT model for your needs: www.efoy-comfort.com/energy-calculator

For air conditioning, the energy would never be enough.
I need no air conditioning because I am staying in nature and not in the RV.
To the car I go only to sleep or in bad weather.
 

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Hi Bavarian Boy,

Thank you for the information on the Efoy fuel cell.

This technology is cool But, the numbers do not add up in North America. There is so little interest in this technology over here that the pricing structure is extremely high. I looked at this technology carefully for my camper van but abandon the idea do to the cost. The fuel cartages are not readably available yet over here; even if you use your own fuel (its just pure grade ethanol) and fill the original M10 cartage it still does not make sense economically.

Europe probably has much lower pricing for this technology to work. Do you know what the pricing is in Europe?

This is a sample retail pricing for Efoy in my area in western Canada.

Efoy 80 CAD$3,649.99

Efoy 140 CAD$4,999.99

Efoy 210 CAD$6,999.99

Efoy M10 CAD$99.99 (fuel cartridge (ethanol))

In North America it is far more cost effective to harvest the sun with solar panels. The cost of solar is going down every quarter do to volume increases world wide. If you choose to use a Lithium Ion battery as I did you can get through the non sun days even in cold dark Canada. The cost of Lithium batteries is also going down dramatically do to volume use. I purchased my 9Kw Lithium battery for USD $3,700. I plan to run absolutely everything in my camper van, including my 12v 1100Btu air conditioner.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Dave,

the whole is not economically.
But if you want to always have energy, you have no other choice.
Solar cells need sun and a generator stinks and makes noise.
With a Fuel Cell I can stay 3 weeks in the forest among the trees near a lake, while I only need 1 Methanol Fuel Cartridge.

The price in Germany:
CAD$ 3.500 Efoy 80
CAD$ 5.410 Efoy 140
CAD$ 7.440 Efoy 210
CAD$ 60 Methanol Fuel Cartridge M10

Ciao,

Peter
 

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Hi Dave,

the whole is not economically.
But if you want to always have energy, you have no other choice.
Solar cells need sun and a generator stinks and makes noise.
With a Fuel Cell I can stay 3 weeks in the forest among the trees near a lake, while I only need 1 Methanol Fuel Cartridge.

The price in Germany:
CAD$ 3.500 Efoy 80
CAD$ 5.410 Efoy 140
CAD$ 7.440 Efoy 210
CAD$ 60 Methanol Fuel Cartridge M10

Ciao,

Peter
Hi Peter,

Thank you for the price comparison.

I Hope you don't mind a friendly debate on your "no other choice" statement.

My 9Kw battery will give many days of independence from shore power and the new solar panels will produce power evan on cloudy days. There is no stinky generator or propane in my system, just lots and lots of 12v energy stored in my battery. My 9Kw battery takes up less space than the Efoy 210 and packs many times the energy density of even the largest Efoy. In addition Lithium batteries charge incredibly fast. I estimate the charge time for my battery to be 1.5 hrs from my alternator.

I just looked at the specs again on the Efoy and learned that essentially it is just a trickle charger. You still need to store the energy. So now you got an Efoy plus you still need some sort of battery setup.

Peter do you run with out a battery?

Specs on Efoy

EFOY COMFORT 80 140 210
Maximum power 40 W 72 W 105 W
Charge capacity / day 80 Ah 140 Ah 210 Ah
Nominal voltage 12 V 12 V 12 V
Charge current @ 12 V 3.3 A 6.0 A 8.8 A
Nominal consumption / kWh 0.24 US gal / 0.9 l
Connectable batteries 12 V rechargeable batteries
(lead acid, lead gel, AGM or LiFePO4)
Weight 15.7 lbs / 7.1 kg 17.2 lbs / 7.8 kg 18.7 lbs / 8.5 kg
Dimensions (L x W x H) 17.44 x 7.95 x 11.34 in /
44.3 x 20.2 x 28.8 cm
Operating temperature -4°F to +104°F /
-20 to + 40 °C
Warranty1 2 years2 2 years2 2 years2

Specs on my Lithium Battery

HQ-12V-9100 PERFORMANCE
Battery Storage 9 kilo watt hours
DC Bus Voltage 12 Volts nominal
Maximum Charge Voltage 14.4 Volts DC
Discharge termination 11.25 Volts DC
Discharge rate continuous 4.5 kW (350 amps)
Max discharge rate 900 amps (60 secs)
Operating Temperature -20 deg F to 150 deg F to
Charge/Discharge efficiency 96% efficiency
Max Charge rate 4.5 kW at 80% Depth of Discharge (350 amps)
Operating life 3,000 cycles at 70% Depth of discharge
Self discharge rate 1 % per month
Shelf Storage life 5 years at 60% State of Charge (SOC)
Configuration Battery bank with 4 cells
Dimensions 25.25 L x 13.50 W x 14.50 H (inches)
Weight 233 lbs

Having said this I am from western Canada where I have spent my whole life competing with 1000 year old old growth rain forests for my Vietnam D. The trees have won the race! After the battle I am beaten down, rain drenched, and left claustrophobic! So I'm heading to the wide open dry lands of North America!

Thanks again for the great info.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
...including my 12v 1100Btu air conditioner.
An average air-conditioning needs about 50 Ampere.
When is this about 5 hours per day in operation are required 250 Ah.
So you only needed for the air conditioning, a battery is 500 Ah.
This then needs to be fully charged every day.

I just looked at the specs again on the Efoy and learned that essentially it is just a trickle charger.
Peter do you run with out a battery?
You're right.
I have one small 100 Ah Lead-Acid-Battery in my RV for the "living-room".

About a 9kW-Battery:
9kW is only about 650 Ah at 13,8 Volts DC
 

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I agree current fuel cell technology is a hard sell. That's why almost nobody uses it. Solar is under $1/Watt and works in even overcast skies. Golf cart batteries perform well and are so cheap they are almost disposable.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The 136WB ProMaster has a roof area about 58.13 ft²
The 159WB ProMaster has a roof area about 77.50 ft²

One sun roof needs about 10.00 ft²
The roof-aircondition also needs 10.00 ft²

You can calculate yourself how much space even for solar cells is left and how much power have these cells.
... and then the sun must shine, and shine, and shine ;-)
 

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I think you are suggesting the solar area is not enough to run the AC unit and other high draw appliances and I agree. There is no question but what a fuel cell which can work all the time can provide constant around the clock power to keep a battery system charged. There are choices to be made. One choice is to buy the fuel cell and live with the cost and the fuel cost but another choice may be to have a small solar system and live with the power produced which will be less than the fuel cell system but has other advantages such as lower cost and lower fuel cost. Folks who travel everyday may not need either and can have a large battery set and charge it from the van. All these choices will be used by members here. It is helpful to make clear the advantages of the systems and it is fair to point out the limits of others. Then we can decide. I never thought about a fuel cell and am still not planning on going that route but I am reading these posts and learning.
 

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Solar panels , big battery bank and 2nd alternator are the way to go if you just can't stand a gasoline generator but I look forward to hearing more of your results. Thanks for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The best solution would be to combine a solar cell with a fuel cell ;-)

Here you can see the roof-space at a 136 WB Promaster with 2 sunroofs, aircondition and satellite-antenna:
www.caraworld.de/images/2005957/480/giottiline-therry-graal-y-400-fiat-ducato-terry-va-0.jpg
and
www.caraworld.de/images/2005960/480/giottiline-therry-graal-y-400-fiat-ducato-terry-va-0.jpg

...what a fuel cell which can work all the time can provide constant around the clock power to keep a battery system charged.
Answer: http://www.efoy-comfort.com/benefits#c_194 ;-)

By the way, the oldest of "my" professional used fuel cells have about 6000 operating hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)

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Keep us updated please. It's always good to know about emerging technology.
 

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It seems to me that the auto industry has essentially abandoned the push to use fuel cells for powering vehicles, relying now more on pure battery-powered drivetrains. All-electric vehicles are much more popular than fuel-cell powered.

For most RVers I think cheaper and lighter lithium batteries will have a similar effect. For much less money one can add more battery storage capacity and then recharge from campground shore power or by running engine.

There will be exceptions like for campers who go for weeks off the grid, but even they can't count on fuel cells for air conditioning and heat. Not on a reasonable budget anyway.

As I recall the US government funded a fuel cell study (by Onan I believe?) to develop a compact fuel cell unit that could replace RV generators and nothing came of it. Cost is too high to compete for most people.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
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