The cartridge concept is widely used in everyday products. Oil and air filters, for example, are mass produced in a range of sizes and shapes. Designers pick the element they need and design their engine to use it. This way, a few element designs can be mass produced and everybody benefits from the cost savings. The fuel cell industry must achieve similar cost reductions if it is to succeed.
It seems that every fuel cell engine package is different. With respect to the humidifier, our clients want different nozzle sizes and orientations. Some want long skinny units and some want short fat ones. Everybody wants a different motor.
The Humidicore™ cartridge is simply the enthalpy wheel and container without the end manifolds and motor. The cartridge includes the essential “element” but leaves the integration to the engine designer. Figure 3-1 describes the current production cartridgemodels.
By eliminating “custom” humidifiers, Emprise hopes to provide a line of standardized
mass produced humidifier cartridges to the fuel cell industry. Another advantage is that all wearing components (bearings, seals and rotors) are included in the cartridge.
Humidicore™ cartridges include our patented cordierite rotor in a hard anodized aluminum case. It operates from vacuum to 3 atmospheres absolute and up to 200º Celsius.
Next: Manifold Design
The Humidicore™ was recently selected as one of R&D Magazine's top 100 Most Technologically Significant Inventions of the Year.