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August 18, 2006



This could make a backup generator for electric cars based on fuel cell/microturbine technology a reality.

True multi-fuel capability, high efficiency, low weight, and low cost; all the qualities that are needed to replace internal combustion.

Since the new nano tech lithium ion batteries are so very expensive, only about a 50 mile range for an electric car is practical on batteries alone.

That is enough for most driving miles, but a good backup generator is needed to make electric cars able to compete in terms of utility with internal combustion. This sounds like the technology that will do it.

Coupled with a microturbine and electric drivetrain in an economy car it could give 200+ mpg on liquid fuel alone. And it would run on the cheapest liquid fuels.

And the whole design would fit into the space normally dedicated to an ICE (internal combustion engine), transmission, and related systems, at equal to or less that the ICE weight.


You know, Delphi has had an SOFC APU in R& D since before 2000.  Mechanical Engineering had a feature on the subject.

How can someone who calls himself "amazing" be so ignorant?

Jim Baerg

I notice the components in the diagram all have operating temperatures of several 100 °C.

Doesn't that mean it takes a long time to start the system up? Which would be a problem for using it to run cars.


That's the beauty of using it in a battery electric car as a backup generator. It has plenty of time to get up to operating temperature because the car runs on the battery power for the first 50 miles or more.

This is the first high temp fuel cell to overcome the sulfur and contamination problems and it is done with a common, inexpensive substance.


How can someone who calls himself "amazing" be so ignorant?

How can anyone who calls himself a poet be so unpoetic?


Could CeO2 for these fuel cells be recycled from catalytic converters? The platinum recovery might pay for the process.

The high melting point of the material could be attained with a solar furnace.

Surface contaminants and the remaining platinum could be vaporized from the surface with concentrated solar power, then the CeO2 melted and purified and formed into the appropriate shape.

Technology that feeds off of recycled internal combustion vehicles to produce new fuel cell electric vehicles could be very cost effective.

Rather than a whole new vehicle, remove the ICE parts then install the fuel cell electric parts recycled from parts from other applications, like three phase industrial motors, turbo chargers, and catalytic converters.

It looks like first adopters of these new systems will be do it yourselfers not large industrial automakers.


JN2:  Prosaic matters call for, well, prose.

The only way a retrofit of current vehicles will pay off is if it's mass-produced as a kit.  If you want to bet otherwise, I'll be happy to take that bet.


Yep that Calcar call for a 5k retrofit Prius plugin kit is a good step.

But I think assembley lines could be created for conversions to electric plugin vehicles. Do Toyotas of a certain model one week, Hondas the next, even (uggh) Fords.

That way a conversion could cost 7k all done for you. Not a compromise like a plugin hybrid either, but a full 100+ mile range, 15 minute charge, 75 cent per "gallon" electric conversion.


17 million cars are bought in the US per year. To convert to electric that way would take 15 years.

By using half mass production, assembly line conversions the crucial job in this war on global climate disaster could be won in less than a decade.


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Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles