Sep 18 2011
Three major criteria should to be considered to choose a portable power source. The weight of the system, the cost of the energy produced and type of the fuel are the key drivers.
For an evaluation of these criteria, many factors should be considered. Let’s start with the fuel cell type. There are several technologies (LT-PEMFC, HT-PEMFC, DMFC, SOFC, DBFC, DEFC); all of them are designed for a specific type of fuel.
The LT-PEMFC (Low Temperature Proton Exchange Fuel Cell) is the most mature technology with a proven long lifetime; it is already utilized in a wide range of power applications.
This FC technology performs well with “green hydrogen” , made by a PEM electrolyzer (GENH2) or chemical hydrides like sodioboro (GENFUEL). Extended lifetime means lower cost per kWh of electric energy produced. The choice of a fuel has therefore an huge impact in the indirect cost, life, durability and power throughput of the entire fuel cell system.
The fuel itself is a relevant issue; it should be safe, clean, no toxic, easy to find, not expensive, it has to have an high energy density (volume as well as weight), etc..
For a battery pack, it should be considered not only the cost of the battery pack, but also the local cost of electric energy to recharge it, the cost of the charger and the loss of efficiency during the lifetime of the battery due to the environmental operating condition .
The following chart shows a comparison analysis which is considering all the mentioned issues among different power sources.
If you consider the entire lifetime, G300 HPS (PEMFC + PV) is the cheapest approach to generate electric energy; the utilization of the portable PEM electrolyzer GENH2 combined with a metal hydride canister is a convenient alternative when an electric grid is available for refilling the canister.
Genfuel, is a cost effective solution to generate electric energy associated with G300 HFC: it assures an higher portability of the energy thanks to the light weight of solid hydrogen storage system.
The end user cost for the off-grid energy produced by an ion lithium battery packs and a fuel cell depends also by the requested amount of energy to produce.
The following chart shows the breakeven among G300 HFC, G300 HPS towards primary batteries and secondary ion lithium batteries.
In an off grid contest, an extended demand of electric energy of higher than 3 kWh can be satisfied more economically with G300 HFC supplied with GENFUEL and with G300 HPS for a energy demand higher then 11 kWh.
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