Nuvera to Supply The Toro Company with PowerFlow Fuel Cell System
04 April 2007
Nuvera Fuel Cells will supply The Toro Company with a PowerFlow PFV-5 fuel cell system for integration into a Toro Workman utility vehicle. The Workman is used for a number of applications, including turf care and facility maintenance.
The Nuvera-powered Workman is being developed under a contract between Toro and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to create turf maintenance equipment powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The vehicle will be demonstrated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP) as part of their award winning “Green Parks Program.”
The vehicle will operate at the Niagara Falls State Park and Beaver Island State Park and Golf Course, where it will be used to haul turf materials, assist with refuse and snow removal, and perform other tasks at the Park.
Nuvera supplied Toro with an H2e fuel cell power module, the predecessor to PowerFlow, in late 2004 during Toro’s early evaluation of fuel cell technology.
The PFV-5 provides up to 5 kW of DC power, with a generation efficiency of 52% (without thermal management and power conditioning. Nuvera uses metallic bipolar plates in the stack, which can be rebuilt using original components. Remanufactured stacks cost the customer less than new stacks.
Forget the fuel cell, why do we not have lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and weed whackers powered from Lithium Ion batteries? imagine how quiet our mornings would be, the smell of cut grass without the stench of gasoline and oil.
Posted by: Van | 04 April 2007 at 10:55 AM
Van, I've been wondering the same thing. I've used electric lawn mowers before, and they are so nice, except for the cord. I just wish that it would have a battery big enough to last for an hour. It could be very light, not so bulky, and quite. I would be in heaven.
Posted by: Brad | 04 April 2007 at 11:08 AM
The figures I recall for conventional 18650 Li-ion cells are 3.6 V, 2.0 Ah, 57 grams. 1 kWh of storage would require about 140 cells, or about 18 pounds' worth.
This probably wouldn't run a lawnmower very long, but it should be okay for hours of work with a string trimmer. I would really love to get rid of the noisy, noisome beasts too. Maybe someone can build the batteries in fanny packs and persuade Beverly Hills or some other ritzy place to ban the gas engines? Once one place has the benefits, everyone will want them.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 04 April 2007 at 08:39 PM
My lawnmower runs just fine off of lead acid gel cells. Its also about the same weight as my neighbors mower. Replacing a cast iron engine with lead acid batteries and a PM D.C. motor is about an even trade weight wise.
The battery pack is 21 AH at 24v. Taking the Peukert effect into account, that's less than 1/4 KWH.
Posted by: coal_burner | 05 April 2007 at 04:44 AM
The circular saw powered by a single A123 battery that weighs about 2 lbs would seem to be powerful enough to power a mower or leave blower or weed whacker. So a weed whacker would have just one of the packs, but a backpack leaf blower could have 4 and 4 could easily fit on a 18" mower. Why are these not on the market? You could use the batteries and charger for all three plus your power tools. What is the hold-up?
Posted by: Van | 05 April 2007 at 06:50 AM
The problem isn't power, it's energy. You need to be able to run the tool long enough that the user doesn't have to keep running back to the charger. It's my impression that the A123Systems cells don't have as much energy density as conventional Li-ion cells.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 06 April 2007 at 05:52 AM
Since DME has an advantage of decomposition at lower temperature than methane and LPG, R&D for hydrogen source for fuel cell has been carried out. DME has a potential of feedstock for chemicals. DME to olefins is under development in Japan.
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Posted by: Cheryl Ho | 23 May 2007 at 10:08 PM