LPG "Energy Cell"

Submitted: Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 11:24
ThreadID: 12182 Views:4046 Replies:8 FollowUps:13
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Has anyone heard about a device called an LPG Energy cell. I think it is under development for release soon. It apparently is some sort of Fuel Cell which can supply a charging current to batteries using quite small amounts of LPG for energy. I thought I saw a projected price of about $1000.
If it is real it would be a wonderful alternative to solar panels.
Phil
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Reply By: William - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 20:09

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 20:09
Dream time stuff of the fairies and pansies.
AnswerID: 55016

Reply By: Ian Bee - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 20:13

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 20:13
Yes.......

I think it was episode 34 Startrek Voyager.

They had run out of Duterium, and had to enter X 275's atmosphere to refuel.
Thankfully Lt. Parris had switched over to the LPG Energy cell and Voyager got through with all shields intact.

Don't know what happened after that, I think the unit got transported to earth in the year 2004......

Cheers

Ian BEE
AnswerID: 55019

Reply By: Plugger - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 21:02

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 21:02
Phil - Blue Apple, the makers of the Thumper battery pack used by Waeco are supposedly developing a gas powered battery charger. I have been told that in testing it ran an Engel fridge for about 40 days on 1 kg gas. You conect the charger to a battery pack and then to the fridge. Blue Apple people have told me that it will be launched at the Brisbane 4wd show in June. It will retail for about $1000. It certainly sounds intersting but time will tell. If it is as good as I have been told by the makers it will be better, and cheaper, than solar panels. Only time will tell - Plugger
AnswerID: 55031

Follow Up By: William - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 21:29

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 21:29
The reason why the called it "Blue Apple" was probably because they formed the company on 1st April and wanted to rope in all the big time dummy suckers like you.
People are so damn glad there are senile dummy gullible fools like you around to sucker their rat manure. Go down to the 727 and buy a blue apple and shove it where the sun don't shine.
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Follow Up By: William - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 21:40

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 21:40
Plugger when you want to lie get your facts correct.
Blue Apple would never have used an Engel. That would be like the head of GMH driving a Ford.
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Follow Up By: Member - Allan - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 21:40

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 21:40
Plugger, the last time I looked the units available on the market use approx 1-2kg day so that is still not very efficient. I will be attending the Offshore Technology conference in Houston next month so I will see if there are any new ones on the market and report back. Wouldn't it be great if we could develop one that used firewood for fuel instead of gas?
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Follow Up By: Ian Bee - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 19:08

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 19:08
Okay......... it would seem that this thing is for real............ sorry about the Startrek thing......

Anyway....... I want one!!!!!

The info you have stated from Blue Apple, have you seen this thing?

Cheers

Ian BEE
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FollowupID: 317171

Follow Up By: Plugger - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 21:05

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 21:05
A followup to responses to my comments about the Blue Apple charger_

Ian Bee No I have not seen them but the Blue Apple reps have described them as being about 1/2 the size of the thumper pack. As I said in my original response they are supposed to be launched at the Brisbane 4wd show. I also am most interested but will wait until they have been well and truly market tested. Besides the Mister for Finance has strange ideas that I have enough toys and she and the child need other things like clothes - strange ideas some women have - plugger

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Reply By: Member - Allan - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 01:01

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 01:01
Phil, I'm not familiar with the energy cell you are referring to but it is probably a TEG (thermal electric generator) . They have been around for 20+ years and we use them on our offshore oil & gas platforms to recharge batteries which powered telemetry, navigation lighting & PLC's. Technology still needs to improve to make them more efficient for domestic use but they are improving all the time.
To 'Know-alls' like William, do a seach on them, learn and open your mind.
AnswerID: 55076

Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 10:32

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 10:32
You beauty Allan, i thought it sounded like a thermocouple style of device using thermal difference and differential metals etc. So I shall search for TEG and read up. I know a fair bit about hydrogen power cells so i shall find out more about these as well.

I like the sound of using these instead of a solar panel etc. but it still means you have to carry a damn lp bottle. ( unless you had a cheap to fill small aux. lp tank fitted to the vehicle , now there is a good option for cheap electric generation ). Thanks for the facts Allan, Brad.
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Reply By: phil - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 14:46

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 14:46
Thanks to those who posted useful replies.
The Blue Apple unit sounds like the one I heard about somewhereb but could not find again. I will investigate further.
Phil
AnswerID: 55142

Reply By: David N. - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 20:32

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 20:32
They are supposedly talking about them in the next issue of Caravan and Motorhome.
I believe they use a peltier diode to generate electricity..... in theory could be fantastic, but time will tell wrt the practicalities and efficiency of the system.
(Commercial units have been in operation for a long time- as suggested previously usually in pipelines in remote areas)
time will tell>>>
AnswerID: 55386

Reply By: Ian Bee - Thursday, Apr 22, 2004 at 18:54

Thursday, Apr 22, 2004 at 18:54
Well, I bit the bullet & Rang Blue Apple Electronics.

Got the girl on the switchboard, said she wasn't aware that it was being launched so soon.
She then leaned over & asked the manager, and the s... hit the fan." Where did you get this information from"?
I hung up!

Looks like it's gonna happen soon!

Cheers

Ian BEE
AnswerID: 55546

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel (QLD) - Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 08:13

Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 08:13
Was the managers surname Kirk? :)
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Follow Up By: Ian Bee - Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 08:19

Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 08:19
"Live long...and prosper!"
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Follow Up By: phil - Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 14:14

Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 14:14
I emailed Blue Apple. The reply said"

Sorry Phil,

Can't help on that one

Maybe they are trying to sit on it and worried that the info is getting out!
Phil
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FollowupID: 317519

Follow Up By: Ian Bee - Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 16:59

Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 16:59
Okay, we've hit a dead end.
We could have some fun & go into Sage Mode.

During your work breaks, lean over and act all nonchalant & say to a co-worker something like......"Wouldn't it be good if we could utilise the Seebeck principle to run a compressor fridge whilst travelling in the outback......."
He will look at you all strange for a while. When it comes out onto the market, he will then think you are a god!

Have fun......

Ian BEE
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FollowupID: 317530

Follow Up By: phil - Sunday, Apr 25, 2004 at 16:21

Sunday, Apr 25, 2004 at 16:21
I have been doing a bit of investigation. (googling)

Thermoelectric generators are available but are quite inefficient. A typical commercial unit is 21watt @ 12 volt and used 3.0 litres of LPG /day.

The technology that I think may be used is a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell produced by Ceramic Fuels Limited who are an Australian company, in Vic I think. CFL announced a LPG powered fuel cell "in the KW range" in 2001 and have entered collabrative arrangements for application of this. This technology has the right sort of efficiency and reliability. It can also be adapted to use other fuels, diesel is mentioned as a possibility!
For some more info look at
http://www.cfcl.com.au/FAQ.htm

Phil
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FollowupID: 317733

Follow Up By: Ian Bee - Sunday, Apr 25, 2004 at 17:18

Sunday, Apr 25, 2004 at 17:18
I can't wait for June to rock up so we can see this bloody thing!

I run my standard battery,plus a 100 Ah Deep cycle & a Waeco Outback.
These run okay whilst travelling 3 - 5 hours @ day, but when I want to stop for a while, I bring out a 20 watt BP Solarex Panel & set it up on a low tripod, it just sort of copes.

This unit sounds good, although it depends really upon it's gas usage.
I am confused.......... 1 litre of gas = how much in kilograms?

It's not just the cost of the gas, but also it's cubic capacity for say a 5 day extended trip, as against buying another deep cycle battery.

Everyones needs are different, mine are predominately 3 - 4 day weekends, most of which I am driving and setting up camp at a different location each night. This Energy Cell would be of no use to me here. With my current set up I can go for 3 days before charging.

But at the end of the day....... a man has to have his toys!!!!!!!

I could always tell the minister of finance that this would be a good investment if terroists get to our power supply .......... oops....... they already have......... they call them selves AGL, Origin & TXU!!!!

Cheers

Ian BEE
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FollowupID: 317744

Reply By: Glenno - Monday, Apr 26, 2004 at 02:45

Monday, Apr 26, 2004 at 02:45
My old Checold RC1180 3way fridge would last 21days on 9KG of gas. That was less than a dollar a day.

Cheers,

Glenno.
AnswerID: 55944

Follow Up By: Glenno - Monday, Apr 26, 2004 at 02:45

Monday, Apr 26, 2004 at 02:45
And that was flat out on Straddie in Summer.
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