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Old 03-08-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
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EFOY Fuel Cell

Does anyone on this board have an EFOY charging system? This is a fuel cell for RV's.

EFOY-Brennstoffzellen - Immer und berall Strom - EFOY for US market,

EFOY-Brennstoffzellen - Immer und berall Strom - EFOY for Canadian market.

The price is $5000 to $6000 for the models recommended. From what I have been reading online, it is very popular in Europe and the UK. Honda has signed a deal with the parent company SFC in Germany to use their units in their new electric cars.

RV Care in Canada is the main distributor and installer as of Jan 2011. A search through the RV boards in Europe had no complaints.

The main site has calculators for figuring out how much electricity you would use on a daily basis. I use both a solar panel and a 2000 watt Honda generator to charge my 2 x 6 volt batteries in my Rockwood 5th wheel. Usually have to run my generator for 6 hours.

The decibal readings on the EFOY is 23 db at 23 feet.

Anyone have any experience with this product?
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #2
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$5K for a 2KW unit is hardly a bargain. If these are like some of the other fuel cells I have read about they generate a lot of heat.

They are also not very thrifty on methanol either. You could certainly use one to keep the batteries topped off, or maybe run a flat panel TV, but you are a long way away from running a AC with one.

The documentation is also unclear. The manufacturer implies 2KW performance, but based on the rated amps the power output it looks more like a shade over 1KW.
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:57 PM   #3
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I have been doing a lot of research on the net looking for anything regarding this system. I came across this article from a Motorhome magazine in the UK:

http://www.motts.org/FUEL%20CELL%20COMPILATION.pdf

This article gives a lot of insight into this system. As an example, I use a CPAP at night when I sleep. I have a separate lithium battery for my CPAP that also has to be charged, I get 36 hours out of it. So if I get 8 hours sleep a night, it will last about 4 days before charging, using the generator.

My wife and I like to dry camp where there are no hookups. I use both a solar panel and a Honda 2000 watt generator to charge my 2 x 6 volt batteries. The solar panel barely keeps the battery charged, most days. I usually have to switch over to the generator to completely charge the batteries. The gen wil give enough power to keep them charged for 2 days, then they have to be recharged again.

The EFOY from what I can see will continually charge the batteries and keep the charge at full for as long as it runs, and only shutting down when charged according to the article above. Yes, they are expensive, but since introduction in Europe, 20,000 units have been installed in Motorhomes, as an option by the selling dealer.

I have asked this board if anyone has any experience with them. Looks like no one has. One other thing, the EFOY is quiet. I carry a medical certificate that I haven't had to use to show at a campground that I have a medical reason for using a generator outside the hours allowed by the camp if necessary. The camp we go to in Ontario allows generators to run from 9 am to 9 pm. The EFOY makes as much noise as a cooling fan on a laptop. Something to think about.

The price I listed on the other posting, is from the UK and I converted the price by the pound to Cdn dollars. It could be more or less. My solar panel is 4 feet long, 15" wide and takes a considerable amount of space under the front of the trailer. The generator weighs in at 60 lbs. and all the gas cans I carry to keep it running would be close to another 30 lbs. The EFOY weighs 26 lbs.

Any other concerns or comments would be welcome.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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Like most green things price vs performance is the problem. A fully tricked out EFOY is hugely expensive. If you read their advertising they are only selling it as something to keep your batteries charged.

When you look at the 1600, their nearly $5,000 unit, it provides 5 amps continuous at 12 volts DC. That is a mere 60 watts or $83.3/watt.

A Honda 2000, provides about 1600 watts continuous for around $1,000 USD. That is about $0.63/watt.

Even if you had to recharge CPAP machine everyday (you state that the CPAP will run 36 hours on a charge) I doubt you could justify the cost of a EFOY. A good Li-Ion charger would probably recharge the pack in an hour, so it would be much smarter and economical to get one of those chargers than a EFOY.

Now if noise was not a major issue if you are only running the genset for an hour/day, a contractor grade genset will generate about 3,500 watts for around $400. That equates to a stunning $0.11/watt.

It is also interesting to note that a Honda 2000 also has an 8 amp DC outlet, that, by itself produces more power than the EFOY.

I am surprised that Euro RVs are putting those units in. No doubt some kind of mandates are involved or the Euro taxpayer is funding this Edsel without complaint.

Don't get me wrong, it is neat technology. Until you can get this technology down to the dollar/watt range it is never going to be competitive with more conventional technologies. It will have its applications and that is where more conventional technologies cannot be employed.

PS - Another issue I have with EFOY is their numbering system for their fuel cells. It easily misleads the consumer about the cells power output. I thought the 1600 designation meant 1,600 watt output that such a model number would mean on a generator. Imagine my surprise to discover the 1600 outputs a paltry 60 watts.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:54 PM   #5
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ng2951, you and I seem to be the only ones interested in this. I sent an inquiry email to RV Care, the Canadian distributor for the EFOY. I will place it into this posting the response.

"Getting right to the point with your questions here we go…

I haven’t been able to find out what these cost. I see that the 1600 and 2200 are the models available in Canada. Are the smaller units sold in the US available here as well. (600, 900, 1200) I used the calculator for energy consumption on the site and it gave me a figure of 93.5 Ah which says the 1200 or above would be good for my needs.

What would be cost to install one in my 5th wheel? I presently run 2 x 6 volt batteries with a portable solar panel hook-up and a 2000 watt Honda Generator.

In Canada we currently only handle the 1600 and 2200 units. SFC has not branched out into the smaller units here as they feel the two units should cover most of the RV market place. The 1600 unit has the capacity for 130amps/day and I see you’re running 6v batteries; they generally have a 225amp/hr. rating each give or take a little either way. So that said, with the compliment of your solar system the EFOY should work nicely for evening operation and should be able to bring those batteries pretty close to full once the solar system has had a full days charge to them. The 1600 EFOY unit runs $3999.99 and should you see the need for the 2200 unit at 180 amps/day that unit is available at $4999.99.

First of all, do you do installations?

Well this is somewhat of a loaded question, yes we do installations. However, install depends on a lot of variables such as install location, distance from batteries, venting requirements, remote panel location etc… this is something that we can do for you without hesitation but unfortunately its very difficult to hit the nail on the head when it comes to pricing out an install sight unseen. That said the system itself is very simple to install and operate. The one catch is the unit needs fresh air to run, now the machine has no preference whether it is indoor fresh air or external fresh air as long as there is a source. It cannot be installed in a non-vented compartment or the like. That said the unit does come with all the necessary items for a DIY install and as I said there is no rocket science to it, it’s just a time consideration based on the above variables.

What type of cost would I be looking at?

See the answer above…

How long does it take to install?

Again this is difficult to say sight unseen, if a suitable location is close by it could be as little as an hour… or depending on locations for venting, remote location install distance to batteries etc being difficult to access then it could be several hours, it really depends on where you want everything done.

What is the warranty?

The units themselves come with a 1 year warranty and there is an optional warranty for 3 years at an extra cost of $300.00. Now that doesn’t seem like a lot but since EFOY has been in the market place (in business since the early 2000’s) there are now over 20000 units in operation (mostly in Europe) with an extremely high in service percentage. The unit has an operational life of approximately 10 years, and with the only moving part being the fuel pump the unit quality is extremely high and failures are very uncommon.

Do you service these after install?

Because of the sensitive nature of the product, any internal service work is done by the trained technicians at SFC Energy (EFOY). However as I mentioned there is a very high in service percentage and of the units I have sold so far I have not had a single complaint or issue from any of our customers.

Now after all that I'm available 8-5 during the week if you have any other questions, I'm always happy to help however I can so if anything comes up please don’t hesitate to call or email me back!

Thanks very much for the interest!"

Your $$ calculations sobered me to think this through again. Something I hadn't noticed was that the EFOY must be hooked up to a solar panel to trickle charge during the day while the EFOY keeps the charge up at night. The article in the Motorhome magazine in the UF also mentioned this.

My wife also like you pointed out that you can buy a lot of gas for the generator for the cost of the EFOY. If and when the price comes down to a reasonable amount, this would be worth looking into again. Until then, I will stay with my present charging system that is cheaper and works.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:32 AM   #6
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I am also surprised that on such a pricey unit, with somewhat exotic metalurgies, it has only a 1 year warranty. With a lifespan of 10 years, the unit is costing $500/year to own. That does not include the methanol fuel the cells need to operate.

That means every other year, if you wanted to, you could buy a new Honda 2000 or you could buy a Champion 4000 every year plus have all the fuel you might need to operate it in a year. That does not include what you could get on eBay for the old unit you wanted to retire.

EFOY sales stats are curious too: "20,000 units in operation with an extremely high in service percentage." What the heck does that mean? Further, how many of these are RV apps, or what applications have they been installed in? One also needs to consider that Europe bought in on the global warming fiasco, so there may be some incentives like buying one of these allows you to use genset since you are being green or some discount for just having the device onboard.

After doing some calculations with the new performance figures you received, I finally realized their numbering system basically indicates that the model number indicates the number of watts the unit produces in a day.

So for $4,999 you get a 90 watt power supply which puts it among the better deal fuel cells $56/watt. So without your solar array recharging the batteries your two 6 volt, 225 amp/hour batteries would only need this unit running for 2.5 days to fully top off your batteries. I am not sure how long 2.5 litre fuel tank will run at 180 amps/day.

It would take 18 EFOY 2200s, at a combined cost of $89,982 to generate the power of one Honda 2000 (sustained 1600 watts) which costs $1,000. You could buy a nice Cardinal 5ver and with the money left over buy an Onan or Honda genset and still come out ahead.

Until the dollar/watt comes down fuel cells will only make sense where power at almost any price and quiet operation is goal. At $56/watt it is going to take some time to beat the $0.63/watt the current inverter gensets currently deliver.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:32 PM   #7
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efoy 2200 pro

hi just new to these forums i have 2 like new pro 2200 and am not going to use would love to sell sorry if not supposed to sell stuff just dont know what else to do with them
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:19 PM   #8
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Sounds like you need more solar panels - their sound level is "zero".
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:08 PM   #9
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Time to erect the portable windmill!
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