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Old 05-20-2007, 07:15 PM   #1
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Maxpower Marine Fuel Cell.

Anyone using this?

This marine fuel cell looks like a real step forward for the DC needs of a cruising yacht. Seems like an initial Euro 5,000 outlay and the cartidges will be available worldwide. Tell me more someone!

http://www.max-power.com/fuelcell/index.html

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Old 05-20-2007, 07:42 PM   #2
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A description of Marine Fuel Cells HERE.
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:40 AM   #3
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A very good article appears Power & Motor Yacht - Jan 2004 :-

http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/boattests/0104duffy/

Elsewhere, a common issue raised was the problem of the heat generated by the process - In tropical climates in sailing yachts this would be a problem that does not appear to have been solved - maybe it has: any new information on that subject would be very welcome
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:31 AM   #4
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If you add an electric power plant (link) to the equation we ARE perhaps looking to the future. It would be interesting to work out the cost of having to replace a yacht's engine compared to installing an electric unit and a fuel cell?
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:41 AM   #5
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Throw this one in as well:

http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:EEStor

Looks like a diesel engine's days are numbered.

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Old 05-21-2007, 09:03 AM   #6
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I think that we've been around here before. Previous threads have noted that Lagoon is already deploying electric drive supplemented, I guess, by sailing motion, diesel, wind, solar generation. We've also discussed the viability of using electricity as an option for cooking.

The world does move on, of course, and the guy in Australasia who has been sailing around with a tent of solar panels covering his yacht may well find his dream of an "electric boat" fulfilled by others using more effective technologies including fuel cells, electric motors, heat exchangers, insulators, battery storage

I wonder if there's anyone else actually addressing the whole thing from a professional perspective - Lagoon might not be a bad place to start!
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
A very good article appears Power & Motor Yacht - Jan 2004 :-

http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/boattests/0104duffy/

Elsewhere, a common issue raised was the problem of the heat generated by the process - In tropical climates in sailing yachts this would be a problem that does not appear to have been solved - maybe it has: any new information on that subject would be very welcome
The "unwanted" heat could be used either thermoelectrically or evaporatively to cool the vessel,drive refrigeration and even power an icemaker.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seastalkercat View Post
The "unwanted" heat could be used either thermoelectrically or evaporatively to cool the vessel,drive refrigeration and even power an icemaker.
What system that exists today could provide that solution, at the same as bringing down the temperature in the saloon - would there be enough heat to provide refridgeration ?
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:48 PM   #9
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The FAQ's on this device say that the fuel cell needs its inards replacing every 1500 - 5000 hrs of use. This doesn't sound very long!!
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The FAQ's on this device say that the fuel cell needs its inards replacing every 1500 - 5000 hrs of use. This doesn't sound very long!!
Watsons,

Welcome to the board!

You make a good point, a thought provoking question, something to consider in the overall cost of power and energy sources.

As a DC power pack may be in some degree of service every hour of every day here is a perspective:

365 days in a long year X 24 hours per day = 8760 hours per year

1500 hour useable life / 8760 hrs = minimum .17 years of use - time to replace (about 2 months)

(1500 + 5000) = 6500 / 2 = 3250 hrs average life

3250 / 8760 = average .37 years of use - time to replace (about 4.5 months)

5000 / 8760 = maximum .57 years of use - time to replace (about 6.9 months)

Or consider using the fuel cell at maximum capacity only 8 hours a day:

8 x 365 = 2920 hours

2920 / 8760 = .33 years of use - time to replace (about 4 months)

NOTE: I am not certain if my math fully applies to the technology, as currently I do not understand what consumes or wears out the innards, and why the large variation of 1500 - 5000 hours; or why one fuel cell could last 3.33 times longer than another in a differant application.

In making a comparison of the best method of how to provide power and the related expense, each cruiser must also consider how often they need to replace the innards of their fuel tanks.

I am interested in this technology, and will study it much more. I suspect it will be refined in time, as often technology is.

Jeff
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
innards of their fuel tanks
A replacement cartridge.

The way I understand it is that the "charge" automatically switches off if batteries are "full" - also switches off if an alternator is delivering a charge.

It appears then that if you also have a couple of solar panels the "cartridges" will last a loooooooong time.

More homework needs to be done.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:39 PM   #12
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Well guys, I just happen to be the VP of Engineering for a company called UltraCell. We make micro fuel cells for the military at this time, but we will eventually find our way into the consumer markets once MEA technologies improve and balance of plant components are cheaper to produce.

For all practical purposes, there are only two companies making MEAs which are at the heart and sole of the fuel cell. Dupont produces an MEA using Nafion while BASF just got into the game by buying PEMEAS who makes our MEAs based on a PBI/Phosphoric acid technology originally used on the Apollo fuel cells.

From these two types of MEAs, there are a large assortment of fuel cell technologies being developed which differ by the means of delivering hydrogen to the MEA. Our technology relies on reformed methanol to produce hydrogen on demand, while many others use compressed hydrogen gas.

The two greatest challenges for the fuel cell technology at this time are MEA life and durability, and safe/cost effective production and delivery of hydrogen to the cell stack. Knowing the true nature of these challenges, I can assure you that the diesel engine is safe for at least another decade.

My personal dream and technical goal is to produce a fuel cell that can reform heavy fuel like diesel within a system that can also extract hydrogen from sea water. Such a system would ultimately give the sailor true autonomy from land.

If you have any questions regarding Fuel Cell technology, Ill gladly provide whatever answers I can.

FYI, Maxpower Marine Fuel Cell is produced by the German company Smart Fuel Cells. Smart is our #1 Competition in micro fuel cells. They are partly owned by Dupont and we are partly owned by BASF.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:43 PM   #13
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What luck to have the right person onboard to field all the questions about this interesting topic.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:58 PM   #14
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You may want to take a look at my friend's website...HaveBlue

http://www.haveblue.com/

A very interesting system-based solution to the bigger picture of sailing autonomy. Unfortunately, Graig was a bit ahead of the techology curve.
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