New Energy Systems Deliver Total Mobile Power

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Ultra Long-Lasting RV, Cabin, Sailboat Fuel Cell Mobile Clean Silent Battery

 

By Dan Conners

 

Fuel Cells electrical energy systems for RV’s have now become cheaper, safer, longer lasting and lighter weight than most other options

Power conservation, and battery level monitoring is pretty tough using old technologies. Idling your car engine or boat just to get your inverter to charge your batteries is a huge waste of gas. Idling your vehicle creates toxic, cancer causing, fumes and takes your time away from doing fun things. Portable fuel cell technology can now solve all of your mobile energy problems.

A portable fuel cell is the perfect automatic battery charger and remote-location power source.

With it you can keep your batteries charged when there’s no sun for solar power and no wind for wind generators.

You can run them in arctic conditions. They are silent and they do not vibrate, blow out fumes or get your neighbors mad at you.

The fuel cell is part of your 360 degree total off-the-grid power system. With it, a battery bank, solar panel system, wind generator, and gas/propane generator you can now go for weeks without connecting to shore power plugs.

A fuel cell employs a catalyst to break fuel into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen is then merged with the free oxygen from the air in a silent, fume-free, electrochemical reaction that makes electricity. This is what provides electricity for astronauts in space.

A standard battery will run down it’s stored energy just sitting around on the rack. Fuel cells will run forever if hydrogen and oxygen are available. Hydrogen and oxygen on Earth is estimated to last for over a trillion years.

In a decent fuel cell system, such as an EFOY System, an internal charge controller should monitor your battery bank voltage and power-cycle the fuel cell on and off as needed to keep your batteries charged up.

The EFOY can power your boat, cabin or RV for months on just two fuel cartridges if you are using energy-efficient 12 volt appliances.

The source of fuel in for the EFOY fuel cells currently available for RVs is methanol. Methanol is commonly known as wood alcohol, wood naphtha or wood spirits. Methanol is regarded as an easy to deploy and safe fuel to store. It has driven fuel cell design to a miniaturized size and can operate at very low temperatures. Oxidizing methane is now a product of farm animal waste.

The EFOY is manufactured by Efoy Comfort by German engineers. Tens of thousands of the units have been in service for years in the RV and sailing industry. These units have been operating for over twn million operating hours with little or no problems.

The technology has now been widely proven by consumers and is certified for inside use.

The EFOY can provide 80 to 210 amp hours per day, depending on which size unit you purchase.

RV and sailing people have many 12 volt options for all of their appliances and they always try to minimize their electric loads. With a maximized battery bank, solar panels and a fuel cell to keep your batteries always charged, you have an awesome mobile energy system for boondocking or long off-grid trips.

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The fuel cartridges are under $59 plus UPS shipping (there is a UPS fuel transport fee for shipping the fuel) for a 2.5 gallon size. Most users buy two fuel cartridges at once to save on shipping. Each cartridge can last up to 970 amp-hours of charging. Most RV users find that to cover at least a month of use and even longer when you have solar.

The cost of the EFOY system is less than the cost of a gasoline generator over time. The upfront cost of the EFOY is higher than the gasoline generator but the EFOY offsets itself with use. It adds the value of:
 

- Not making noise to keep you awake

- Not making noise to get nearby RV’s or boats in fights with you about decibels

- Weighing less than batteries and/or reducing your heavy battery needs

- Not emitting toxic vapors like a gasoline generator

- Not emitting smoke like a gasoline generator

- Not vibrating like a gasoline generator

- Taking up less space than a generator

- Using a fuel that can be shipped to you at any location that UPS goes to

- Being easier to start in cold weather

- Automatically keeping on eye on your power for you

- Making more energy as you need it, On Demand

- The weather will no effect on your power system

- Running, way, way longer per gallon of fuel

 

You can get the fuel from RV and sailing shops across the US and Canada.

A 65 watt fuel cell model and one fuel canister weighs about 15.5 pounds. The unit will automatically start when it sees your batteries drop below below a certain voltage. You can set the start and stop limits for whatever batteries you are using.

A controller for an EFOY has a panel which indicates the status of: Automatic, Standby, or

Charging, output voltage and current-when-charging, serial number, firmware version, errors and reset.

In an ideal configuration your EFOY is in standby mode while your rooftop or dashboard solar panel is charging your batteries to their top-off point.

When you first turn the EFOY on, it usually goes through a start-up phase and then self modes into stand-by while it watches to see when it is needed.

You can install the fuel holder and the EFOY right next to each other or at opposite ends of your RV or boat. It depends on your lay out.

There is a small amount of heat generated by the unit during overcast weather periods, so you get free heat on gloomy days.

You can install the EFOY inside or purchase an enclosure and install it outside your RV.

For more from a boaters perspective, here is a look at the system in use by sailing enthusiasts:

The quiet, maintenance-free and eco-friendly, EFOY Fuel Cell is a great alternative for keeping your batteries charged while off the grid.

This solution is perfect for a boater without a generator, who would like to stay at anchorage for a few more days without worrying about draining the boat’s batteries or running the boat’s engine at a low idle to charge the batteries. It may also appeal to the boater with a generator who is tired of the constant noise, vibration and fumes, especially in a tight anchorage or quiet bay.

The only waste it produces is heat and water vapour containing an insignificant amount of carbon dioxide. The fuel containers are made of highly impact resistant plastic and have passed numerous shock tests. The operation manual states that leakage of a small quantity of methanol will evaporate but do not smoke near the fuel cartridge and to not expose it to ignition sources.

There are three EFOY models, designed specifically for the marine and RV industry, an 80A, 140A and 210A. The EFOY is by no means a replacement for a traditional generator, its real purpose is to charge batteries.

The fuel cartridges that are sold with the EFOY, use proprietary technology and are TUV safety tested to prevent the contents from escaping. The fuel cartridges cannot be stored at temperatures over 50oC or operated at temperatures over 40oC. Each fuel cartridge holds five litres of methanol, which will provide up to five days of constant use when operating with the 210 EFOY model.

We would recommend carrying a couple on board. Methanol does not age like gasoline, so it is not a problem to have a few spares over a couple of seasons. When choosing the EFOY model that is best for you, calculate the daily amp-hour budget for your boat and determine how long you can currently stay at anchor until you need to re-charge your batteries. As with solar, you can size the EFOY to meet your daily power needs or you can have it offset your usage and, in turn, allow you to stay longer at anchorage. Most boaters end up choosing the 210 model, which is more than enough to charge the batteries plus a little extra.


The EFOY Fuel Cell ships with a mounting bracket with strap, a fuel cartridge holder with strap and a user-friendly remote control panel, similar to a battery monitor, that can be installed in the cabin. This panel will tell you the operating mode, volts, charging amps and the fuel cartridge’s fill level. It also comes with charging cables to connect to the battery, an exhaust hose to carry water vapour, CO2and methanol traces outside and a ducting kit to move hot air away from the unit.

Depending on how far away you place the fuel cell from the batteries and the control panel, installation can take anywhere from four to eight hours. If you are installing the unit on your own boat, remember that the cables that ship with the unit are a small gauge suitable for installing the EFOY next to your batteries. If you are installing the EFOY farther away from your batteries, then you should increase the wire size to minimize voltage drop. Since the distance varies between EFOY and batteries, there is no one size fits all wire size. From experience, a gauge eight or 10 wire is appropriate to keep the voltage drop below three percent.

The cost of the EFOY Fuel Cell ranges from under $3,600 for the 80 model to $7,300 for the 210 model. This is still less than a typical generator installation and if you do not have room on your boat for a generator, the EFOY takes up very little space. Some boaters, who have a large battery bank with an inverter, and use their generator only as a way to recharge their batteries are choosing to remove their troublesome generators and replace them with an EFOY instead of a new generator. The EFOY is designed to act like a slow battery charger only.

Unlike a generator, the EFOY is quiet, vibration free and has no emissions, allowing the operator to run the unit practically non-stop without annoying anyone onboard or in the anchorage.

So how does it stand up against solar? During the summer months, in full sun, a solar array of 450 watts will provide the same output as the 140 EFOY model. Many boaters wonder which charging method they should tackle first, solar or EFOY? Solar is great because, other than the upfront purchase and install costs, the array produces power whenever the sun is shining without any expense for fuel.

Whereas the EFOY will work on a West Coast rainy, cloudy day. It turns out, they work really well together as the EFOY would provide a guaranteed level of output at all times, while the solar will save on fuel cartridge costs.

The EFOY Fuel Cell gives you all the battery charging power you need without the inconvenience.

 

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