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Old 18-10-2014, 10:09   #91
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

What size methanol cartridge did you use?

What is the robustness of the cartridges? Do you think they could puncture? Are the easy to strap down?

Can you set the generator to produce higher voltages than 14.4? Our batteries require 14.8 for bulk charging.
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Old 18-10-2014, 16:14   #92
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

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Originally Posted by phantomracer View Post
A quick update on the EFOY. Been out 3 overnight trips. Some initial comments.

Been working great so far. I notice it comes on when you need it the most..well, when WE need it the most. At night, at anchor, we are power hungry. got the laptop plugged in, cell phone chargers, lights, radio sometimes..

The EFOY kicks on as the power drops, and brings it back up as we use the power, so the battery really never gets too low, as it it topped off continuously.

When sailing, and have the wind and sail instruments on, as well as the autopilot, and chart plotters, it also kicks on to keep up with the demand.

Very quiet, only think you can hear is a slight hum of the pump. it is much quieter than someone whispering.

So far working as I expected. I am guestimating we will use 3-4 fuel containers of methanol. Not too bad for the power it provides.

But, so far, it makes sense that it comes on at night, when solar really wouldnt work. next to zero noise.

So far so good. will update this thread as time goes on.

if I put refrigeration in next year, that will be the real test, for sure! But early indicators are that the EFOY will be up to the task
this sounds really silly. why is the efoy keeping the batteries toped up on a overnight trip? that is what batteries are for. why are you spending the money on expensive fuel? if your trips are short, drain batteries on trip and recharge at dock with charger. or while motoring. I wouldn't be turning the efoy on until the batteries actually got low. which shouldn't be until a few days into a trip if you don't have other charging. if you require the efoy to last one night on the hook then your battery bank is way to small.
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Old 18-10-2014, 20:03   #93
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
What size methanol cartridge did you use?

What is the robustness of the cartridges? Do you think they could puncture? Are the easy to strap down?

Can you set the generator to produce higher voltages than 14.4? Our batteries require 14.8 for bulk charging.
10 liter (2.6g). The cartridge is pretty robust. No doubt it can be punctured. The unit comes with a bracket that is strapped down.

I believe that the controller can be programmed to output to a higher voltage.. but don't quote me on that.

some pictures of the installation - http://seeberg.com/piwigo/index.php?/category/373
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Old 18-10-2014, 20:17   #94
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

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this sounds really silly. why is the efoy keeping the batteries toped up on a overnight trip? that is what batteries are for. why are you spending the money on expensive fuel? if your trips are short, drain batteries on trip and recharge at dock with charger. or while motoring. I wouldn't be turning the efoy on until the batteries actually got low. which shouldn't be until a few days into a trip if you don't have other charging. if you require the efoy to last one night on the hook then your battery bank is way to small.
why is it topping off the battery? because the voltage dropped below the threshold.

we are power hogs at anchor... nice to keep the batteries from dropping too low...and having to run the engine to charge the battery.

The point of the fuel cell, for me, was for the refrigeration. This summer was more of a test to get a baseline (and didn't have the money to do both fuel cell and refrigeration in the same year).

Now I know a non-refrigeration season is under one cartridge (yea, a whopping 60 bucks for the year.. i know..bank breaker!). So even if next year it is 2 cartridges, its still a good deal.

the boat has enough power, but not for a week or 2 (or more) with the refrigeration running on a 46 year old ice box, while on the mooring.
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Old 19-10-2014, 03:47   #95
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

Thanks for posting the update on your fuel cell. Pretty impressive consumption figures so far, and I look forward to hearing when the fridge gets installed.

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Old 19-10-2014, 20:58   #96
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

Hope see drop in price in fuel cell like solar power

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Old 19-10-2014, 21:30   #97
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

Its neat to get a real-world accounting of the technology. It IS expensive but in a way, if you ignore the price, its a lot like a wind generator replacement.

Certainly, if you compare it to the price of a built-in generator you are of course producing less amps but its probably a little cheaper. You certainly do not need the heavy mounting, the sound and heat shielding, the robust mounting points, oil and all those spare parts. So, if you compare it to that its lighter (18 pounds), smaller (4 x as small as a kubota), cleaner (no harmful emissions), cooler (produced the equivalent of a 120 watt bulb), and quieter (kubota creates 62 Db).

And it hooks directly into the Mastervolt Masterbus so I can monitor it from my current install.


If I was looking at buying and installing a large genny, I may just choose one of these instead.
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Old 19-10-2014, 22:33   #98
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

I explain it to people who come aboard as a methanol fuel battery charger. Thats pretty much what it is. It doesn't power anything directly.

As long as it can generate more amps than I consume, I am a happy camper.

I installed it solely for the refrigeration. I was putting off refrigeration for years because I refuse to install solar or wind on Mildred Rose...so have been schlepping tons of ice to the boat for years on end.

Got to tell ya though..like most things.. You take the hit in price.. you soon forget about the money you spent, if what you bought works well. When I get on board in the middle of summer, and find the fridge cold and ready to go.. I am not thinking .. oh i just blew X thousands of dollars to do this..

Even with just the efoy now, i just think, wow this is kinda cool! the only time I think of the price of the unit is when I come on here!

I don't of it as 'expensive'. I think of something expensive as the cost of the product being out of proportion with the quality. This thing, so far, seems to be well built, and performs as advertised, and has far exceeded my expectations, so I don't think it is expensive. I would consider it more 'not low cost' semantics maybe, but thats how my mind works.

No doubt its not for everyone. I have no vested interest in convincing others to jump on the bandwagon. Others have asked me to update this thread with my experience, as I seem to be one of the only ones who have installed it (and admit it!)

Hope the price does come down to a more reasonable level to become more mainstream!
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Old 20-10-2014, 10:45   #99
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

Paul,

I at least really enjoy your posts about this. In my eyes the dollar amount is secondary to the job it does. At least for now I don't have a use for something like this, but knowing that the technology is reliable and meets the specifications is one more possible solution. Which is always worth knowing about.
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Old 20-10-2014, 12:23   #100
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

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Paul,

I at least really enjoy your posts about this. In my eyes the dollar amount is secondary to the job it does. At least for now I don't have a use for something like this, but knowing that the technology is reliable and meets the specifications is one more possible solution. Which is always worth knowing about.
I agree. We own a honda generator, it was $1K and it takes up deck space because we do not have room for a below-deck generator.

We have room to install the efoy in a locker so it frees up deck space and improves safety. I could get rid of the wind generator because it really never produces as many amps per day as the smallest of the efoy, opening up more space and improving the looks of the boat.

However, in the real world, cost is a consideration. $3900 is lot of money.
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Old 20-10-2014, 12:53   #101
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

Are there other, cheaper fuel cells on the market?
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Old 20-10-2014, 13:02   #102
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

The issue I see with them is they are not powerful enough.
At the cost, you can just buy a big lithium battery instead,
run a generator (on methanol if you want) for a short time
to recharge the batteries quickly or shorepower.

I suspect they will improve in both price and performance,
so thanks for being the early adopter when it doesn't always make sense.
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Old 20-10-2014, 13:13   #103
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

Nimble,

The question I have (and seriously I have no idea) is what's the power density of the EFoy versus the lithium bank? My guess is that for most purposes the lithium would work ok, but if you are going to be away from the dock for long periods of time the fuel cell starts to look better and better.

I don't see these as a replacement for batteries, but as a replacement for, or in addition to a solar array. You will still need batteries to load balance so charging works most efficiently.
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Old 20-10-2014, 15:17   #104
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

Oh nonsense you don't know, as you've provided these figures
all the time to say how solar/electric can't work, etc.

The main advantage of the fuel cell is that it is QUIET.
You can just run a motor/generator at a small fraction of the cost,
and use standard fuel vs some proprietary stuff, and recharge the batteries
and then get back to being QUIET.

As you may know, I've done a lot of researching into alternatives,
making methanol onboard is possible, but these are not powerful to run an electric motor for propulsion, so they can't replace a motor/generator.

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Nimble,

The question I have (and seriously I have no idea) is what's the power density of the EFoy versus the lithium bank? My guess is that for most purposes the lithium would work ok, but if you are going to be away from the dock for long periods of time the fuel cell starts to look better and better.

I don't see these as a replacement for batteries, but as a replacement for, or in addition to a solar array. You will still need batteries to load balance so charging works most efficiently.
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Old 20-10-2014, 15:20   #105
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Re: E FOY Fuel Cell Generator

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Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
The issue I see with them is they are not powerful enough.
At the cost, you can just buy a big lithium battery instead,
run a generator (on methanol if you want) for a short time
to recharge the batteries quickly or shorepower.

I suspect they will improve in both price and performance,
so thanks for being the early adopter when it doesn't always make sense.
for me, its the time between charging with the alternator. could be 1,2,3 weeks. I would have to increase my battery bank significantly to keep the fridge running for weeks on end without charging with the alternator (I keep our boat on a mooring)

The EFOY has been out a while now (at least since 2006), so it is not a new product. It isn't as popular in the USA as it is across the pond, though.

At this point my wanting refrigeration on my boat trumps the cost. Not everything has to be measured against cost.. if that were the case, we wouldn't be boating!!
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