Have you heard about the Bloom Box power plant?


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Old 02-24-10, 05:47 PM
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Have you heard about the Bloom Box power plant?

Saw the intriguing introductory tv segment on this the other night. Google and EBay already are experimenting with it at their corporate offices! One person interviewed said that these 'boxes' are saving the company about $100,000 a year in electricity costs!

A way for all of us to get off the grid, and purchase one of these to power our homes in perhaps 10 years. Might cost about $3g's

I believe the guy who invented it was the one who invented a way of manufacturing oxygen on Mars. And I think he reversed it so he uses oxygen to create electricity. There are laminated plates involved. One of the plates I think might be compressed silica sand. An outside fuel sopurce is also required, like natural gas or biofuel. But take natural gas; he said that power plants use about twice the natural gas to produce the same power as what his machine does!

Any comments on this?
 
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Old 02-24-10, 08:31 PM
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This is a "Fuel Cell". What makes it unique is the projected cost. The fuel cells today are quite expensive which makes them economically infeasible. This company is apparently banking on "Economy of Scale" to make such a projection, such as manufacturing 100,000 + units a year. which in my opinion somewhat overly optimistic.
 
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Old 02-25-10, 09:31 AM
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Yeah. He did give this hopeful figure of about $3000 per household. That would be about 60 months(5 years) of poco charges for me.

I wonder if he gave Google and EBay any sort of pricebreak in trying to get the exposure for his big wide-reaching idea?
 
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Old 02-25-10, 09:35 AM
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Yea, it was on the news last night. It is a fuel cell system. The "inventor" seemed to hint at a technology breakthrough, but then talked about the need to get cost down. They said their 'industrial unit' costs $800,000.

Fuel cells are common in NASA applications and are being tested as a possible power source for automobiles. Cost is still the big factor.
 
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Old 02-25-10, 11:40 AM
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What they kind of missed on the show was they said you have to input fuel. Bio, oil, gas, etc. They never said how much or what the cost of running it is. So really it is just another generator.

Also the number I remember is 10K for the home owner.
 
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Old 02-25-10, 12:02 PM
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Oh yeah, that's right! We can't forget the fuel. So, the 5 year payback for me will be greatly extended because he said that with his fuel cell system, NG consumption will be about half compared to what power plants use to generate the same amount of electric.

With THAT thought in mind, then power plants need to be using his system!

So you watched the show too?
 
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Old 02-25-10, 12:31 PM
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Best fuel, at least for conventional fuel cells, is hydrogen and oxygen. Sure the hydrogen could be obtained from hydrocarbon fuels but that is less efficient and more complicated. Air could be use but it is only about 17% oxygen. Then there is the need for an inverter since fuel cells produce DC. Whole house inverters aren't cheap.

If you used hydrogen how would it be obtained. The classic method of electrolysis of water requires as much energy as the fuel cell produces. In fact that is what a fuel cell is, "reverse electrolysis". Hydrogen and oxygen are recombined to produce water and release the same amount of energy that is required to break apart water.
 
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Old 02-25-10, 04:03 PM
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I wonder what that sand layer does?

What method works best, and what was chosen to be used, were both certainly known and understood by the inventor, and chosen for a reason - probably economics. I love shows on stuff like this.

The other day I saw someone (in Eau Claire) with solar panels standing up in the yard (not on the roof),at an angle, facing the south. I wondered what that cost, and what all that is powering. And then I thought he must not have any demonic kids living nextdoor or nearby.
 
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Old 02-27-10, 12:34 PM
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Here is a link to an MSNBC web page that outlines the Bloom device and some questions that will need to be resolved.

10 questions about the Bloom Energy Server - Technology & science- msnbc.com
 
 

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