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Leo Motors to Host Seminar On Zinc Air Fuel Cell Generator

Leo Motors, Inc. will host a seminar in Korea 28 Sep to demonstrate its proprietary Zinc Air Fuel Cell Generator (ZAFCG) and explain the technology. (Earlier post.)

In July, Leo Motors displayed two electric trucks equipped with a new Zinc Air Fuel Cell (ZAFC) system as a range-extender; Leo filed for patents on the ZAFC technology in 2008. The refuelable ZAFC oxidizes zinc pellets, generating the power to recharge a Li-ion polymer battery pack. Leo has developed a fuel distribution system for the even distribution of the zinc pellets into the stack. Leo also developed a mechanism to halt power generation when the battery is fully charged, and for collection of the zinc oxide sludge from the stack.

The seminar will be held in the Korea Technology Center. To accompany a technical report, Leo will have a panel discussion with professors who have studied EV and fuel cell technology including ZAFCG, as well as government scientists working in fuel cell research.


Demonstrations will include the 1 kW ZAFCG system, including automatic feeding, sludge collecting, electrolyte changing, and interrupt stopping. Leo will also show how it can easily scale generator capabilities connecting multiple 1 kW systems with modular schema.

All data—including cell voltage, balancing, power (in kW) per amount of zinc fuel (in kg), running time, and generation capacity for the 1 kW ZAFCG—will be presented with official test records measured by government labs.



Leo wants to use the Zn-Air for a range extender. But, I wonder how this would affect perfomance. An earlier post said that a 200 kg Zn-Air battery would produce 10 kw of power. That's not much horsepower, only about 13 hp.

So if your 150 kw Li-Ion battery discharges because you've exceeded the distance limit, then after that your acceleration will be limited by the range extender.

This would be fine for cops chasing a car thief, who stole a car with a range extender (unless the police cruiser also has a range extender), but most people wouldn't be happy with such low power.

Depending on the driving cycle, the range extender might keep the battery charged. That might be difficult in city driving, especially for people who have a bad habit of jackrabbit starts on green lights.


If the 10+ KW Zn-Air unit stars recharging the 150 KW (30+ Kwh?) Li-Ion battery pack as soon as the vehicle starts moving, it could go a long way before both units are dead.

Depending on vehicle size and weight, the size of the Zn-Air unit could be increased accordingly.

Wonder if a liquid zinc solution could be used instead of pellets. Handling in/out of vehicle could be eased?


I agree with Harvey on this one. Some simple math using specs from the Tesla Roadster reveals that a BEVs constant draw is in the neighborhood of 14kw. With a high power Li-Ion battery, it doesn't seem unreasonable to meet that constant draw over a distance of ~300 miles.


"collection of the zinc oxide sludge from the stack"

Now there is an appealing concept, I think this is a non-starter.


Exactly. These metal/air FCs need a solid fuel source which then becomes a slush slurry that needs recycling. IF they could make the pellets/slurry into a duel compartment cartridge that could be easily swapped out - it MIGHT stand a chance. But at weights of up to 100 kg this seems impractical.


I was thinking of a scenario such as driving on Rt. 1 from Lorton to Alexandria, VA. The speed limit is 45 and there are about 30 stop lights in about 15 miles and you half to stop for half of them. This analysis is very rough of course. Suppose the car needs 60 hp for 10 seconds to accelerate to 45 mph. Then 5 hp to cruise for 40 sec at 45 mph. Then 0 hp for 10 sec to stop at the red light. That would require 60 hp x 10 s + 5 hp x 40 s + 0 hp x 10 s = 800 hps from the Li-Ion.

If the Leo range extender concept only works like the Volt, meaning that it doesn't charge the battery, you would have a discharged Li-Ion after 40 miles and only 15 hp after that.

If you assume the Zn-Air supplies its maximum of 15 hp to the wheels during acceleration and 5 hp during cruising, then the Li-Ion only uses 45 hp x 10 s = 450 hps. The Zn-Air could charge during cruise and deceleration - 10 hp x 40 s + 15 hp x 10 s = 550 hps. This means you could get 60 hp with this kind of driving cycle and have a fully charged Li-Ion battery at all times until the Zn-Air discharges.


A range extender could be very easily programmed to run on atkinson or HCCI producing 10 or 20kW from two cylinders if the battery is charged between 60 and 80% then if the battery drops below 50 or 60% the engine can switch to a less efficient but more powerful cycle (spark ignited Otto cycle) producing 30-40kW when required.


IMO range extenders will be the way. What kind of range extender is the question. The lightest, simplest and cheapest will probably win and we do not know what that is right now.


Wasn't there an article a while back when they were developing this FC that stated the collected sludge could be recycled into new pellets by added just a little fresh zinc, or something along those lines?
Just wondering...


They turn zinc oxide back into zinc with chemicals and electrolysis. The zinc/air mechanically rechargeable battery is actually more like a primary non rechargeable battery than a secondary rechargeable battery or fuel cell.

You are fundamentally rebuilding the battery from the inside by removing the pellets and electrolyte and replacing them with new or recycled pellets and electrolyte. It is essentially turning a primary cell into a cell that can be rebuilt by replacing components transformed during discharge.

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