Ask PYS: Power

Nick, on Dec 13, 2012 asked:

December's edition of PY talked about the EFOY fuel cell, what are your thoughts on this 'new-fangled' technology? Some calculations I requested done suggest the charging rate is likely very slow compared to other systems. Is this the case?

Hi Nick,

That is true, the charging rate is very slow, but because of its low sound and no vibration it can be running all day and night without notice. That's certainly a significant advantage over any generator, but to get any benefit this device should run 24/7. For me the biggest concern is serviceability and ethanol fuel availability. 

Solar is still a very serious alternative because you can quickly get the same charging benefit and it never needs service and/or fuel.

Here's some math regarding solar panels:

  • 4 X 135 Watt panels = 470 watts
  • 470 watts X 60% efficiency = 282 watts
  • 282 watts / 12 Volts = 23.5 amps¬†
  • 23.5 amps X 5 hrs. = 117.5 amp-hrs.