Coleman Powermate Fuel Cell

Kickaha

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Popular Science
February, 2002

Yes, You Can Buy
This Home Fuel Cell

If all goes according to plan, Coleman Powermate will introduce the world's first practical home fuel cell this month.  But don't look for it at Home Depot.  It'll only be available at http://www.colemanpowermate.com/

The AirGen Fuel Cell Generator is conceived as a backup generator, but at $7,995 the only buyers will be those who really need a secondary power source, perhaps for medical reasons.  The 1.2-kilowatt unit could power a computer, phone, fax, and light for 8 to 10 hours before refueling.  And since the only byproduct is water, it can be safely positioned indoors, unlike traditional generators.  

Like all fuel cells, AirGen generates electricity from the chemical interaction between oxygen from the air and hydrogen.  While much fuel cell development has focused on stripping hydrogen from natural gas or propane, AirGen requires pure, bottled hydrogen.  It took Coleman two years to create a distribution system and to satisfy regulators (a Department of Transportation ruling was imminent at press time), but the company is confident a $100 refill could be delivered anywhere in the United States within two days.  

AirGen is likely just the beginning.  Vancouver-based Ballard Power Systems, which made the internal fuel cell, is talking with manufacturers about everything from fuel cell tools to kitchen appliances.  The hydrogen race is on.
 

Kickaha

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When Coleman starts producing home fuel cells, you know its time has come.

$8,000 for the device and $100 for a fillup may seem expensive, but I view it as the opposite.  Looking 10 years from now, that will translate into $500 for the fuel cell and $10 for the gas.  

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the entire Universe.  This is past due.
 

sportyg

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Let us hope we get a tax break on this.. :D
 

goatman

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Fuel cells for the entire home are already on the market. I work for a rural electric coop and the are available for hard to reach areas. I think they will be in use for very remote places when it would be easier to have one of these instead of building miles of line. In this day of tech don't you think poles and wire are primitive.
 

JustBob

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It would have to get a whole bunch cheaper before i would consider spending $100 to power "computer, phone, fax, and light for 8 to 10 hours".
Thats not counting the initial cost of the unit.
Inverters are a whole lot cheaper than that.
But i do like the idea looking to the future. Just my thoughts.
 

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