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'[EE] Methanol Fuel Cells'
2007\11\24@100832 by Victor Fraenckel

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I would like to purchase a methanol powered fuel cell of approximately
50 watts at 12V that could run for approximately 3 days given sufficient
fuel. Is there a commercially viable product that would get this done?

Any enlightenment will be appreciated.

Vic
--

*____________________________________________________________________________________________*

*Victor Fraenckel
KC2GUI
victorf ATSIGN windreader DOT com**
*


2007\11\25@155317 by Apptech

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> I would like to purchase a methanol powered fuel cell of
> approximately
> 50 watts at 12V that could run for approximately 3 days
> given sufficient
> fuel. Is there a commercially viable product that would
> get this done?

Yes, for some values of "viable".

One of a number of suppliers is Fuel Cell Store

       http://www.fuelcellstore.com/cgi-bin/tornado/view=NavPage/cat=1051

I'm sure they will be VERY pleased to take your money.

just what you asked for:

12v 65W $4900

       http://www.fuelcellstore.com/cgi-bin/tornado/view=Item/cat=1045/product=1055


Some smaller 12v & 24V units.

   http://www.fuelcellstore.com/cgi-bin/tornado/view=NavPage/cat=1045

> Any enlightenment will be appreciated.

Enlightenment:    "Wise man will avoid using fuel cells if
at all possible at this stage in their development due to
cost".


3 days @ 50 W = 3600 Wh
One of these will provide 9000 Wh for only $US95.

       http://www.fuelcellstore.com/cgi-bin/tornado/view=Item/cat=1045/product=1178

If you want to ship that within the US the hazardous
shipping charges will add about $US100.

If you can get a long enough power cord (may need to be
verrrrrrrry long) you can reduce the energy cost to about 30
cents.

If you can use a diesel gen set you can reduce energy costs
to about $US1.




           Russell

E&OE.
Brain still not fully working after several low sleep days
in Hong Kong en route from Beijing en route from Quingdao,
and a return cattle-class flight.


2007\11\26@193701 by Martin K

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Apptech wrote:
> 3 days @ 50 W = 3600 Wh
> One of these will provide 9000 Wh for only $US95.
>
>         http://www.fuelcellstore.com/cgi-bin/tornado/view=Item/cat=1045/product=1178
>
> If you want to ship that within the US the hazardous
> shipping charges will add about $US100.
>
>  

I would never, ever, spend $200 on 10 liters of methanol, regardless of
how "approved" it is.

The fact that it's "capacity" is "9000 Wh or 760Ah" solidifies the fact
that it's a waste of money.

-
MK

2007\11\26@213806 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 11/27/07, Martin K <spam_OUTmartinTakeThisOuTspamnnytech.net> wrote:
> I would never, ever, spend $200 on 10 liters of methanol, regardless of
> how "approved" it is.
>
> The fact that it's "capacity" is "9000 Wh or 760Ah" solidifies the fact
> that it's a waste of money.

Despite all the hype, fuel cell technology is not for prime time yet.

That being said, alternative energy related technology is now getting
hot now. Solar cells and wind power are all gaining momentum.

http://www.sedb.com/edb/sg/en_uk/index/news_room/news/20060/renewable_energy_corporation.html


Xiaofan

2007\11\26@215828 by Apptech

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> Apptech wrote:
>> 3 days @ 50 W = 3600 Wh
>> One of these will provide 9000 Wh for only $US95.
>>
>>
>> www.fuelcellstore.com/cgi-bin/tornado/view=Item/cat=1045/product=1178
>>
>> If you want to ship that within the US the hazardous
>> shipping charges will add about $US100.

MK respondit:

> I would never, ever, spend $200 on 10 liters of methanol,
> regardless of
> how "approved" it is.
>
> The fact that it's "capacity" is "9000 Wh or 760Ah"
> solidifies the fact
> that it's a waste of money.

I might. Just possibly.
I agree that it's an utter ripoff, and that the price is
perhaps an order of magnitude or so above what is
reasonable.
But, what they are guaranteeing is that you won't poison
your fuel cell with low level contaminants. IF you have the
ability to filter or otherwise purify your water and
Methanol from other sources to requisite purity levels then
it would probably be cheaper to do so.

It happens that I have a paper-only so far project where
that price is bearable, albeit it would be nice if it were
far lower.
If you consider the fuel cell and 10l of fuel you get about
18 kg and 9 kWh or about 0.5 kWh/kg. That's right up with
the top LiIon primary cells. And the incremental energy from
adding more fuel is 900 Wh/kg. If you can strip the fuel
cell down to its barest basic you can probably take several
kg off the 7.6 kg figure. IF you can use concentrated
Methanol and a local water supply then better again.

Obviously my so far theoretical application is a fairly
specialised one :-) - it requires a man-portable (or keen
woman) energy source in a location where an IC engine of any
sort (with its far superior energy output per mass) is
almost certainly not going to be viable. I'm also looking at
a specialist form of Stirling engine, and that's liable to
be better again. One of these days I may even get to build
it :-)


       Russell



2007\11\26@230350 by Funny NYPD

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DMFC and other type of fuel cell has been used by NASA back to the 60s.

For automotive industry, the PEM fuel cell is more popular.
Delphi used to invest lots of money on the SOFC with BMW, the project terminated for a while after 2002, then got funding from NASA again.

GM moved most of their Fuel cell research facility from upstate New York back to Detroit recently.

So far, no one announce any big progress yet. All seem waiting for big government fund including Ballard.

Funny N.
New Bedford, MA
http://www.AuElectronics.selfip.com



{Original Message removed}

2007\11\26@234444 by Apptech

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> DMFC and other type of fuel cell has been used by NASA
> back to the 60s.

NASA still use high power (by most standards) fuel cells in
the Shuttle.
They have the GREAT advantage of a large and proximate
supply of Oxygen and Hydrogen as that is what the RCS system
runs on (not to mention the Main Engines).

Progress in direct Methanol cells is pleasing but but
lightning fast. When you can safely pour in reasonably pure
'off the shelf' Methanl or, better still, Ethanol, they will
have arrived. You can buy some very large units now if you
are willing to pay.

Mini-challenge:    Suggest a more practical [wo]man-portable
'operates on the go' energy source with say 100W output
continuous and a 5 to 10 kWh capacity before refueling or
whatever (ie 50 to 100 hours at 100 W). Has to be no
heavier, robust, operate in any conceivable outdoors
condition on earth, be more reliable cheaper, cheaper to run
and weigh less than the fuel cell system I mentioned
recently. Near silent operation and non hydro-carbon
polluting desirable. CO2 or heat pollution are fine. Ability
to run at higher powers for shorter peiods at no more weight
a distinct bonus. Must be super reliable.

Example of typical applications:  NOT the one I have in
mind -

- Powers a 100 W electronics package while the user treks on
foot to the South Pole from McMurdo.
- Powers a personal airconditioner while the bearer crosses
the Sahara in mid-Summer.
...


A Lithium primary battery system is a good competitor - less
so for longer periods. A very small diesel motor is a
potential competitor but may not meet noise, ruggedness and
pollution constraints. A Stirling engine plus thermal energy
source may do well.



       Russell


2007\11\27@015049 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 11/27/07, Funny NYPD <.....funnynypdKILLspamspam@spam@yahoo.com> wrote:
> DMFC and other type of fuel cell has been used by
> NASA back to the 60s.
>
> For automotive industry, the PEM fuel cell is more popular.
> Delphi used to invest lots of money on the SOFC with
> BMW, the project terminated for a while after 2002, then
> got funding from NASA again.
>
> GM moved most of their Fuel cell research facility from
> upstate New York back to Detroit recently.
>
> So far, no one announce any big progress yet. All seem
> waiting for big government fund including Ballard.

I know there are a lot of research activities on this front.
In fact I've been two research facilities during my
one year study in UC Irvine.
1. National Fuel Cell Research Center , UC Irvine
http://www.nfcrc.uci.edu/
2. GM Advance Research Center in Torrance, California
They are doing some pretty cool stuff. Huge power,
huge heat sink, DSP, advanced power control, etc.

The problem is to scale down to real life applications
(simple as notebook or cell phone power) in reasonable
price. There are actually many technical challenges
unsolved.

Xiaofan

2007\11\27@082212 by Martin

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Subterranean?
-
MK

Apptech wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\11\27@084014 by M. Adam Davis

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I was thinking submarine - lightweight, low noise.  But human portable
isn't a dinstinctly submarine trait, so...

-Adam

On 11/27/07, Martin <martinspamKILLspamnnytech.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\11\27@134643 by Richard Prosser

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But a submersable drive unit might fit?

RP


On 28/11/2007, M. Adam Davis <.....stienmanKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\11\27@140841 by Jeff Findley
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"Apptech" <apptechspamspam_OUTparadise.net.nz> wrote in message
news:009601c830b0$3a0b3710$e701a8c0@y2k...
>> DMFC and other type of fuel cell has been used by NASA
>> back to the 60s.
>
> NASA still use high power (by most standards) fuel cells in
> the Shuttle.
> They have the GREAT advantage of a large and proximate
> supply of Oxygen and Hydrogen as that is what the RCS system
> runs on (not to mention the Main Engines).

Actually, the shuttle RCS and OMS systems use hypergolic (really nasty
toxic) propellants, not H2 and O2.  Also, the SSME's get all of their LOX
and LH2 from the external tank, which is dropped before reaching orbit.

The fuel cells use H2 and O2 carried in spherical tanks underneath the
payload bay.

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein



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