Portable Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Power SupplyBattery Charger

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					Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC

Portable Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Power Supply/Battery Charger
Cecelia Cropley Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC Newton, MA 2003 Tri-Service Power Expo Norfolk, VA July 15, 2003
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Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC

Outline
• Introduction to DMFCs • Military Applications • GES DMFC Power Supply/Battery Charger • Conclusions/Summary

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D M FC O P ER A T IO NA L SC HEM A T IC
LO AD

C H 3 O H , H 2 O , C O2

A IR (O2 )

C H 3O H + H 2 O  C O2 + 6 H + 6 e

+

-

H

+

3 2

O2 + 6 H + 6 e  3 H 2O

+

-

ANODE

CATH ODE

C H 3O H , H 2O PEM

E X C E SS A IR , H 2 O

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GES Approach to DMFCs
Focus on Portable DMFC in 150W to 5+ kW Range • Bipolar stack, operating at high power density – Minimizes stack weight, volume and cost – Minor efficiency penalty compared to low power density • Use neat methanol fuel, on-board dilution – 0.5M to 1M • Operate at 60-70°C • Air at near-atmospheric pressure supplied by a blower
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A ir P um p A ir/ W a t e r S e p a ra t o r

C o n d e n se r

M

A ir I n C athode O ut S um p P um p
A i r /W a te r S e p a r a to r
M

D M F C S tack

M eO H Tank M eO H R e t u rn M eO H C o o le r
M

M e O H I n le t

M

M e O H + H2 O M ix in g T a n k

A n o ly t e P um p

M

D ra in

Schematic of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell System
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Military DMFC Applications
• Direct replacement of batteries as power sources for electronic devices – 20 W • Portable battery charger for secondary batteries
– 150 to 500 W – Manpackable or carried on “MULE”

• Replacement for small portable diesel generators
– 2 to 5 kW
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COMPARISON of DMFC WITH H2/AIR PEMFC
Advantages of Methanol Fuel • Methanol has much higher energy density than H2 stored in cylinders or in hydrides – results in lower system weight and volume • Methanol is much safer and easier to transport and handle than pressurized H2 cylinders – refilling with methanol is easy
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Advantages of Direct Methanol Technology • Longer membrane lifetime due to operating in aqueous environment • Reactant humidification is not required
Compared to H2 Systems with Methanol Reformer • Low operating temperature of DMFC results in low thermal signature • DMFC system has faster start-up and load following • DMFC system is simpler and has lower weight and volume
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Disadvantages of DMFC • Operates at lower cell voltage and lower current density • DMFC fuel efficiency is lower
– Approx. 17% at present – With development, predict increase to 25%

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Fuel Cell Performance Comparison
1000 900 800
T e rm in a l Vo lta g e (m V)

700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 300

M eO H /Air (60°C ) M eO H /Air C ommercial T arget (60°C ) H 2 /Air (80°C )

C urrent D ensity (mA/cm²)

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Fuel Comparison
1500-Whr Operation (includes tank)
Methanol (neat) Hydrogen 2000 psig cylinder Metal Hydride Canister

Volume
Weight

1.5 liters
1.25 kg

8.8 liters
13.2 kg (H2 wt = 0.08 kg) H2= $0.40 Filled tank=$20 NO

4.5 liters
6.8 kg

Approx. Cost To Consumer Refillable by Customer?
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$0.40 YES

H2= $0.40 Filled tank=$20 NO

Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC

Status of DMFC Technology
• Large number of companies working on DMFC technology for consumer applications • Commercialization of DMFCs for cell phones and laptops expected within 2-3 years • Cost of DMFCs is coming down, and becoming competitive with Li batteries

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Status of DMFC Power Supplies/Battery Chargers at GES
• Recently developed 3rd generation DMFC battery charger – 150 W • Technology is readily scaleable down to 50 W and up to 5+ kW • GES is planning to form a new company to commercialize the technology – Accepting orders for pre-production units
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GES DMFC Portable Power Supply/Battery Charger
• 150 W AC/DC power output • 15 pounds • 10-liter volume • Methanol storage for 2 hours operation • Rapid start-up; excellent load following
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Product Status
• 150-W complete system
– Demonstrated successfully – Accepting pre-production orders

• 800-W module
– Project underway with Parker Hannifin and Vectrix for hybrid scooter

• 1.5-kW stack
– Demonstrated and delivered to JPL in Aug 01
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Projected Size of Commercial Units
Weight (lbs) Volume (L) 150 W 500 W 1 kW
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7 25 40

6 20 35

Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC

Conclusions
• GES has developed a lightweight portable DMFC battery charger
• Methanol fuel has many advantages for portable applications • DMFCs are nearing commercialization

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
• Financial Assistance
– – – – – DARPA California Air Resources Board South Coast Air Quality Management District Jet Propulsion Laboratory Army Research Laboratory

• Contributors
– – – –
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Tony LaConti Jack Kosek Monjid Hamdan Simon Stone


				
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