Fuel Cell Humidification Systems by Emprise

What Is Humidicore?

A porous cylindrical wheel coated with desiccant rotates slowly inside the Humidicore housing. This transfers thermal energy from the fuel cell exhaust to the fresh reactant stream. Typically, the Humidicore unit recovers 75-85% of exhaust enthalpy.

While the Humidicore™ is an excellent humidifier, it also serves as the exhaust condenser and the supply blower aftercooler.
Emprise now offers the Humidicore™ humidifier in three production sizes for 1.5, 7.5 and 10 kW fuel cell systems. Licensing arrangements are also available.

Emprise's Humidicore™ Enthalpy Wheel was recognized as one of the top 100 'Most technologically significant inventions of the year' in 2001, and earned R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Award.

How Humidicore™ Works

Warm, humid exhaust air enters the Humidicore™ from the Fuel Cell. The rotating Cordierite drum absorbs the exhaust water vapor and transfers it to the incoming cool, dry inlet stream. The characteristics of the desiccant coated drum allow only the water vapor to be transferred, while the spent gases continue out of the system. The water vapor never condenses; therefore, no external energy is required to move it back into vapor form. The Humidicore drum uses face seals to separate the incoming stream from the exhaust.

What is Cordierite?

The Humidicore™ Fuel Cell Humidifier uses a ceramic honeycomb material. Its dominate chemical composition is Cordierite (2Mg02Al2O35SiO2). Properties include low pressure drop, high structural strength, dimensional stability, long life and chemical inertness.

In addition, Cordierite is currently in mass production. It is commonly used in automotive catalytic converters and costs as little as 30 cents per cubic inch.

The unique properties of cordierite allow the construction of a simple, inexpensive and almost indestructible enthalpy wheel. The rotor is a unitary cylinder of the honeycomb material shown (left). The contact type end seals act directly against the honeycomb to form very efficient labyrinth seals. The very low thermal expansion rate of Cordierite greatly simplifies the sealing system by minimizing axial growth during operation.