Archives for 2012

FuelCellsEtc Develops Custom Pricing Calculator

FuelCellsEtc has released an online pricing tool that gives users instant price quotes for custom 5 – Layer or single sided Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs).  This marks the first time such a tool has been made available to the fuel cell industry. The tool allows the user to customize sizing, catalyst configuration, and membrane type, with dynamically updated pricing, and the ability to immediately purchase their custom product online.  FuelCellsEtc notes that there … [Read more...]

What Hydrogen Storage is Best for Me?

There are a number of different Hydrogen storage options available. The one which is best for you depends on what is most important for your application: Compressed Economical Readily Available Metal Hydride (MH) High volumetric density (kg H2/ft3) Heavy May need more advanced controls (heat/cool, etc) BoroHydrides High volumetric density Lighter than MH FAA approved for use on commercial aircraft (i.e. passenger can carry on) Complex … [Read more...]

Does FuelCellsEtc Provide Hydrogen Generators (or HHO) for Cars?

The short answer is no, we do not.  At this time we do not have any kits or systems designed to generate Hydrogen on-board for vehicles.  However, a quick Google search for HHOs brings up numerous kits and system suppliers.   However if you are looking in to building an HHO generator yourself, we do recommend taking a look at our Electrolyzer Membrane Electrode Assemblies (EZ MEAs). Our EZ MEAs are very efficient (far more efficient than a standard SS metal electrode) but certainly … [Read more...]

Fuel Cells for Hospitals, Apartments and Small Communities (100+ kW)

When it comes to larger fuel cell applications such as hospitals, apartment buildings and small communities there are only so many fuel cell companies with products ready for the market. These types of applications generally require upwards of 100kW.  At the moment the largest fuel cell we sell at FuelCellsEtc is a 5 kW fuel cell. We can combine several of them together to achieve 10-20 kW but any more than that usually makes sense to use a different system. So who do you go to for larger, … [Read more...]

What Else do I Need for my Fuel Cell?

So, you have bought a Fuel Cell and are ready to start using it. Or are you? Did you plan on any of the ancillary components you might need?  Depending on who you buy the fuel cell from and what model it is will determine what components come with the fuel cell and what you will need to buy.  In general, a fuel cell system needs several things in order for it to work in any system: Hydrogen storage (which may also include Hydrogen production) Fuel Cell system Power … [Read more...]

ELAT-1400 Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) Not “Discontinued”

After the original manufacturer of ELAT Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) stopped producing the material, many of the fuel cell industry had to scramble for replacements and were continuing their projects based on inventory already purchased.  We were no exception.  After a fair amount of searching and evaluation, we finally found a replacement that had very similar mechanical properties. So, for a number of years we educated our customers about the replacement as, well, a replacement for the … [Read more...]

What Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) do I use for a Hydrogen Generator (Electrolyzer)?

We've spoken already about Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) selection for a Fuel Cell; today we will cover some GDL considerations for Electrolyzers. The Hydrogen side (Cathode) of an Electrolyzer (EZ) can be almost any gas diffusion layer GDL (or even no GDL) that you would like and that fits your own mechanical design.  This can be common GDL materials like Toray Paper, Sigracet, Freudenberg, AvCarb, etc.  The Catalyst layer can either be applied to the membrane (as in a 3-layer or Catalyst Coated … [Read more...]

What Nafion Membrane Thickness is Right for an Electrolyzer / Hydrogen Generation?

Nafion membranes come in many different thickness and types.  How do you know which to choose when designing an electrolyzer (hydrogen generator)? Choosing the proper thickness depends primarily on the differential pressure you expect across the membrane (i.e. what pressure you will be generating the hydrogen at vs. the oxygen), the type of support the membrane will have, and the operating lifetime (both hours and on/off cycles).   Our Standard … [Read more...]

Why is Humidity / Moisture Control Important in a Fuel Cell?

The root of all of this is that Nafion membranes must stay hydrated to function properly. If they are not fully humidified the conductivity decreases and therefore more of the electricity is converted directly to heat before it leaves the membrane (I2R heating). If it gets too dry it basically stops functioning as a proton transporter.  All this sounds great since a Hydrogen Fuel Cell consumes Hydrogen and Oxygen to generate electricity and water, so you would think there should be plenty … [Read more...]

Fuel Cell Voltage Monitoring Considerations

  Knowing what's happening inside a fuel cell is a critical function, especially as fuel cells are continuing to be developed. One important aspect of this is to measure the voltage of each cell in a stack. Although this may sound trivial, it can be more complex and more expensive than it may at first appear due to high voltages, high channel counts, communication types, etc. There are a few products commercially available that are designed specifically for fuel cell voltage … [Read more...]