Smart Fuel CellJayco Inc. and Germany-based SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG, a leading supplier of fuel cell products for mobile and off-grid power applications, this week announced the establishment of a joint research and market development alliance to study the feasibility of the utilization of fuel cell technology in North American recreation vehicles.

In the past months, Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco has tested the company’s EFOY product series for a new lightweight, low-energy consumption series of recreational vehicles. The EFOY fuel cell series, consisting of three models with a charging capacity of 900 to 2,200 watt-hours each per day, depending on individual power requirements, ensures 24/7 power availability in any season and weather, according to a news release.

Based on the European success – with currently 48 manufacturers offering EFOY in their catalogs and over 15,000 units sold – the target of this project is to provide U.S. recreational vehicles users with lightweight, no noise and emission-free power generation for off-grid use.

The company is displaying its product at the Jayco booth at the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.

“We are enthusiastic about this research and market development alliance which has the capability of providing our customers with a reliable power and zero-emission solution for their Jayco RV,” said Derald Bontrager, Jayco president and COO. “Reliable, comfortable and environmentally-friendly power supply is a significant concern for RV owners and the EFOY provides an excellent alternative: The fuel cell does not generate smell or noise, is small and lightweight, fully automatic and always available.”

“We are very proud that Jayco, largest privately held manufacturer of recreational vehicles in North America, has integrated our EFOY fuel cell in a market testing program,” says Dr. Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC Smart Fuel Cell. “We are excited about this joint project and hope that U.S. RV users will be able to enjoy comfort of the EFOY fuel cells as caravan owners all across Europe in the future.”

This is how the EFOY works:

The fuel cell is directly connected to the on-board battery. In operation the fuel cell continuously monitors the battery’s charge state. Once this drops below a predefined level, the EFOY will automatically start operation and recharge the battery. When the battery is full, it will automatically return into standby. The fuel cell produces off-grid power reliably without requiring maintenance or user intervention and is powered by the liquid fuel methanol which comes in safe 5- and 10-liter (1.3 gallons and 2.6 gallons) cartridges.

An EFOY M10 cartridge with 10-liter (2.6 gallons) fuel contains 11.1 kilowatt-hours of power. RV owners can store a lot of energy at very low weight in their vehicle. The EFOY fuel cell works extremely silently – a decisive advantage over generators which produce a lot of noise, exhausts and disturb nature. Byproducts of power generation in the EFOY fuel cell are just water steam and carbon dioxide in amounts equivalent to the breath of a child.

SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG (www.sfc.com) is market leader in fuel cell technologies for mobile and off-grid power applications serving the leisure, industrial and defense markets. As one of Germany’s technology pioneers, SFC has won numerous innovation awards. SFC has alliances with leading companies in a wide range of industries.

Unlike most other fuel cell manufacturers, who are in the research and development phase or run subsidized demonstration projects, SFC has shipped more than 15,000 fully commercial products to industrial and private end users for more than five years, and has created a convenient fuel cartridge supply infrastructure. SFC is DIN ISO 9001:2008 certified. SFC is based in Brunnthal, Germany, and has a sales and technical service office in the U.S.