Fuel cells & future tech


Yes please, send it to Thrive Energy Systems, 3140 Whitehall road, Muskegon Mi 49445.

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I should add I think they are using a Hydrogen fuel cell that works like a battery, IE converts directly to electric so I don’t think there are many issues fitting batteries on it. It is a weight and speed of fill up concern. Plus they wanted to use the $3B in hydrogen research for something. I personally think Hydrogen was just a way to support the NG industry since most hydrogen is made from NG. The efficiency of the conversion is less then just storing it in lion batteries.

This is the next gen batteries coming down the pipeline:

So they doubled the capacity and sped up the charge speed, but you need a bigger charger which is already developed.

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Actually they dont just run on H2 most SOFC technology can run directly on NG, methane and also Syngas. The sulfur has to be completely scrubbed out. If they are using PEM fuel cell technology then CO can not be present in the cell as it will poison the membrane cell.

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It is comming and soo close to here that is all I will say. There are some great batteries on the horizon some of then are actually older designs from the 90s that just vanished with no explanation. But the other trick to electric cars is for the us auto industry to realize that they don’t need to make such a heavy car. These modern cars are crazy heavy. I think the next 5 years will be very interesting in the auto industry even if the usa isn’t leading the efforts in terms of moving off oil the rest of the world is interested and cost will force it out of the usa. I think in 10 years you will see alot of off grid and electric cars. The issue of course is there is alot of money in both electric companies and the oil industry.


I didn’t research very closely what they were using, but I would guess they are using a SOFC of some sort.

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I agree.

California has a emissions requirement that will require like 3.3M zero emission vehicles sold per year by 2025 a few other states have that mandate as well. According to the ramp up schedule they needed to sell 75k by 2018, and they surpassed that this year with 77k.

China is the one that is kicking everyones but in sheer volume. They are selling around 30-40k plugins a month and were on track to sell ovver 400k for the year with 1.5% of the market. (I don’t think they have official results for December yet.). They are now also leading the world in solar and wind capacity. They just cancelled 104 coal plants that were in the process of being built. They supposedly installed 34gw of solar this year. The US total capacity is 35.8 (as of Q3, I can’t find Q4 numbers, but 7.8gw were supposed to go in this year.)

So yeah basically we will be the butt of all jokes for a while.

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It looks like they are using this:

I think the are using the same fuel cell they used for Project Driveway, which was a modified, hydrogen-powered Chevy Equinox (opel ampera was involved as well.)
At least the fuel cells are roughly the same size 92kwh (according to wired for the canyon (93 for the equinox), so about the same capacity as the Tesla P100 or Model X battery packs (100kwh).

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Check that out Mazda has a gas motor with 18:1 compression and no spark plugs. Runs the same as Asa diesel but with gas.


I forgot why I quit looking at them. It was the efficiency. Even Bloom Energy (SOFC) is only getting 50-60%. They are selling the electric from their systems for 8c/kwh which in some cases is cheaper then grid supplied electric, but it is above the wholesale price. They also take time to heat up slowly to reach production temps.

The PEM looks like it can only use hydrogen since it is Proton exchange, which is still in the same efficiency range, but it can’t use syngas only hydrogen. There are some that look like they can use methanol however direct methanol fuel cells are extremely inefficient. But neither is going to work well with syngas.

Now that being said, the SOFC 50% efficiency for syngas looks a lot better then running an engine for woodgas for standalone generation. You are getting close to turbine efficiency without the hassle of running a turbine. It wouldn’t work for vehicles very well because you need a constant flow to keep the temperatures correct and they can take an hour to heat up to running temp. So you need to use it to supplement power, or pair it with batteries to get optimal efficiency for the system.

if the 2-2.5x density battery packs that samsung just announced available in 2021 for cars are the solid state ones they worked MIT on. (5 years is about what it takes for NHTSA to approve new techs.), They supposedly will do 100k charge cycles, slightly lighter, don’t start fires, run at -40 temperatures, charge faster (although not super fast) and are still 90+% efficient. Which means after the car poops, you can potentially still have 90k charge cycles left on a 200kwh battery pack. Which pairs well with the SOFC and woodgas.

Yes this is my ultimate goal, to move to SOFC technology. They are better efficiency, they dont care about fluctuating gas, produce DC current, fresh water as a byproduct and make lots of heat for CHP.

Not to mention the systems would be much more compact, probably a third the size of current systems

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I think we have reached the magical topic split point. Future tech? State of the art charging? Syngas fuel cell? What says you Chris?


I think it is a good goal. I don’t know how much they care about fluctuating gas. They have to stay -really- hot to be efficient and they have to stay up to temp. It also changes the dynamics to where you need to filter the stream of gas to pure syngas. sulfer screws it up, and I would imagine nitrogen does as well.

i haven’t seen much on “here make your own!” either. The PEM ones, you can buy membranes and stuff off the shelf.

Im buiding an SOFC, havent had time to work on it. but yeah I have all kinds of excotic materials I got to experiment with.

Cool Topic Chris!! Nothing here to see Jim Mason. haha

Matt gets his NG wish!

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