Hydrogen fuel cells, the way of the future?

I found this article:

thought some of you would find it interesting.

I’m not sure when this technology would be available for an application like open ppg tho.


Here’s a company that seems to be selling complete systems:


Even if the fuel cell is economical, the problem will be obtaining hydrogen. Without the infrastructure to supply it, we’ll need our own hydrogen production system which will probably be very expensive (this company quoted me $35k for their production system).

Those are some slick looking units,but 35K?


It’s way easier to make hydrogen than you’d think. Requires >98% pure hydrogen though. With as little as 3% Oxygen there is potential for backflash and an explosion if under pressure. The two methods im most aware of are DC current hooked up to what’s called a split cell. And second mixing differt types of certain very common minerals with a very common liquid and it creates a ton of H gas then scrub it free of O (how they used to fill the blimps)

Scientific equipment is needed to test the gases purity before storing a sizable volume. Please be safe folks I sent my dad flying across the room from a flashback that went into a kids party balloon filled with gas that wasn’t pure enough. I thought the flashback arrestor would help. It did not. Hydrogen gas is extremely potent in terms of energy. Ive haven’t seen anything like it in my life. The explosion made the whole room look white for a second. It’s a mazing stuff, just needs to be tested before and after the tank is filled as there could be residual oxygen gas left in the lines.

Hmmm. I’m glad you are OK and your father as well.

I guess I won’t be trying this any time soon. .

It should be possible to use the fuel cell itself to create hydrogen. Hydrogen fuel cells work both ways.

Fuel cell + hydrogen = electricity + water
Fuel cell + electricity + water = hydrogen

There’s a ton of loss each time it’s converted. It is very safe if handled properly. Safer than storing propane by far. It just has to be pure enough.

Safer because of how light it is compared to denser propane. It dissipates rather than pools up. Also the smaller molecule size makes it easy to escape in the event of a leak

You can get Oxygen absorber packs to use as a scrubber. How fast they absorb oxygen im not sure.
but it might be worth looking into if you plan on producing your own hydrogen.
make some sort of inline filter with them in it and cycle the gas through a few times before compressing into a tank.

Just be sure to have an in-line oxygen meter (the scientific kind that burn a little flame, and have a built in spectrometer to measure the frequency of the flames light.) This is the best way I know of to determine which gasses are present. Don’t mess with this stuff just a party ballon could be deadly. And most flashback arrestors can’t contain the small particle size. Also it give a bad rep to a good gas if something goes significantly wrong (zeplin ignited not because of the gas but the paint and the fear from that situation is still keeping people from understanding and demanding a far superior energy storage than any other on the planet.) It’s literally the most abundant/simple gas I was fortunate to have 66% hydrogen gas in my explosion. Could have been significantly more explosive at say 96% -98% hydrogen gas. Stored H gas needs to be super pure. Most pressurized tanks of hydrogen gas for welding, medical, etc is well beyond 99.9 med. is 99.999+ Be super careful and don’t try storing any amount without proper scientific equipment to test the gas please


Also consider me a supporter to anyone developing a hydrogen conversion.


finding a generator to fit the bill of electricity supply / demand is a challenge on its own… not many out there.
probably why that drone system costs $35k :frowning:

This company company is another option: https://www.intelligent-energy.com/our-products/stationary-power/

But from what I’m reading, their fuel cell weighs 20kg and only produces 80A at 48v. So not a solution.

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It would be far better in my opinion to run a combustion engine with a single prop on hydrogen gas. Engines need to be redesigned with water vapor injectors to cool down combustion heat. Really this needs to be done on a massive scale for our vehicles.

H fuel cells produce power differently than an internal combustion engine would. Honestly i was thinking of an ICE generator to convert H gas to power, but there is a better way. much more efficient. I was wondering why i seen a lack of a traditional generator on the drone. lol…
how fuel cells work

and found this video on why H ICE is bad in comparison. less expensive but way less efficient.
H ICE bad idea

found some fuel cell stacks.1kw -5kw not sure what the open ppg uses at full throttle.
Fuel cell

Openppg uses 300 amps at 48v at full throttle. So ~15kw peak power.

The 5kw unit you linked to costs $20k and you’d need 3 of those. It also weighs 30kg each, so not an option.

Unless there’s a radical improvement in fuel cell tech, it seems like batteries are a much better choice.

300A? is that actual measured draw? jeez…
yeah… i didn’t even check the weight on those… but i seen the price.

if solid state batteries ever hit market hopefully they can be viable option. no fire even when damaged.

I’ve measured over 90 amps at full throttle to one motor with full batteries (50 volts). The resistance in the batteries drops the volts to about 44 when you draw that many amps. So actual watts would be 93 x 44 = 4,092 per motor. With four motors the total full throttle amps is actually over 360.


Is that data under static loading or in flight?

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