Monitor an Efoy Methanol Fuel Cell over the Internet

Efoy makes a great Methanol Fuel Cell Power supply. EFOY Pro fuel cells supply maintenance free Off-grid power for several months without any user intervention. EFOY Pro uses liquid methanol, a fuel with superior energy density. Ten liters of methanol, weighing a mere 8.4 kg, generate 11.1 kilowatt hours. Two 28 liter fuel cartridges can power a 25 watt device for approx. 15 weeks.

Efoy Fuell Cell

The Efoy fuel cells do not come with any Internet connectivity however. RMS to the rescue!

The aim of this project is to show you how to monitor your Efoy Methanol Fuel Cell with your RMS board.
The Ethertek Remote Monitoring System can pull data from the Efoy such as battery voltage, charging status, and methanol cartridge level. The Efoy data is displayed on an RMS web page for easy viewing.

Parts needed:
1 x DB9 female to RJ45 modular adapter part number 31d1-b2-10-z, available on Amazon

DB9 Female   DB9 Female2

1 x RJ45 parallel splitter (f/f/f), available on Amazon (Only required if using in conjunction with a dual cart switch)
DB9 Female

1 or more normal straight through ethernet patch cables

Wiring the DB9 to RJ-45 Adapter
The DB9 to RJ45 connectors are shipped with the metal pins crimped but not yet inserted into the back of the DB9 connector. This allows the user to wire the connector as desired simply by inserting the metal pins into the correct holes on the back of the DB9. These holes are numbered (front and back), although the digits are fairly small and can be difficult to read.
The wires are colored as follows: RJ45 Pin Outs: 1-Blue, 2-Orange, 3-Black, 4-Red, 5-Green, 6-Yellow, 7-Brown, and 8-White
Trim unneeded wires and tuck them away leaving only orange, red, and black. Insert orange pin into hole 2, black pin into hole 3, and red pin into hole 5 as shown below.

DB9 Female Wiring     DB9 Female Wiring 3

Connecting the Efoy to the RMS:

The EFOY has two RJ-45 ports on the front. The "Remote Control" port is for the LCD display, and the "Data Interface" port is a double serial data port which supports the dual cartridge switch and remote console connectivity.

Efoy RJ-45 Ports

Step 1:

With Dual Cart Switch:
Plug one end of an ethernet patch cable into the Efoy "Data Interface". Plug the other end of that ethernet patch cable into the RJ-45 splitter (single side). Note: The RJ-45 splitter must be a parallel splitter (pin 1 goes to pin 1 on all three ports, pin 2 goes to pin 2 on all three ports, etc.) With a 2nd ethernet patch cable, plug one end into the RJ-45 splitter (dual side). Plug the other end of the 2nd ethernet patch cable into the RJ-45 side of the "RJ-45 to DB9" adapter. Plug the dual cart switch cable into the free RJ-45 port on the splitter.

Without Dual Cart Switch:
Plug one end of an ethernet patch cable into the Efoy Data Interface. Plug the other end of that ethernet patch cable into RJ-45 side of the "DB9 to RJ-45" adapter.

Step 2:

Plug the DB9 serial connector into your RMS board.

Step 3:

Configure the RMS board:
Click the setup icon in the left navigation bar of the RMS web control interface. Next, click on Device Manager. If the RMS firmware is new enough, you should see an Add Efoy icon as shown below.

RMS Setup 1

Click on the Add Efoy icon and you are taken to the Efoy Setup page (shown below). Select the Serial Com Port you want to use and the Efoy voltage. If you would like to be emailed if the efoy has an error condition, enable sending email and fill out the details and click save. An Efoy icon will show up in the RMS left navigation bar.

RMS Setup 2

Below are some screen shots of a 24v Efoy Methanol Fuel Cell. The Efoy is located at a remote site that has Internet access. Using the built in Com Port, an RMS-100 remote monitoring board is pulling data from the efoy and displaying it on a web page.

Efoy Image 1

The Efoy below is complaining about a plugged exhaust hose. Being able to remotely monitor the Efoy provides an early warning to prevent damage or a low Methanol situation.

Efoy Image 2

The Efoy below is in big trouble! A generator and a heater is needed to thaw out the Efoy. Being able to remotely monitor the Efoy provides an early warning to prevent the batteries from getting too low and the site going down.

Efoy Image 4

This concludes the Efoy Fuel Cell project. The Ethertek Remote Monitoring System can now remotely monitor the Efoy and pull critical data from it to make sure remote sites stay operational and reliable.

Our Story

EtherTek Circuits started its business in 2001. Ever since we have provided remote monitoring and control solutions for Remote Tower Sites, the Oil & Gas industry, Telemetry systems for Agriculture, Municipalities, Mines, Solar Farms, Hydro Plants, and the Military.

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