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stridemat
Feb 24, 2010, 03:01 AM
In just under nine hours a press conference will be held. The company presenting have developed a a fuel-cell which, the company claims, will one day be capable of replacing the traditional grid to supply power to homes and businesses cheaply and without emissions.

Marketing scam or an energy revolution?

I guess we don'y have long to wait.

http://bloomenergy.com/

Edit* Found some additional information

The Bloom Box--which costs $700,000 to $800,000 now--essentially is a device for making electricity on demand. Methane or other hydrocarbons are fed into the device along with oxygen. The mixture is heated to around 1,000 Celsius. As the gases pass through catalytic plates, the machine produces electricity, some heat, carbon dioxide and water. Other fuel cell manufacturers say they can convert 80 to 90 percent of the energy inserted into their boxes into usable energy. Bloom remains a little vague on efficiency, but if the company ranks with these competitors, the device will be more efficient than the traditional grid. Less than half the power burned at power plants turns into usable power in your home.

Bloom eventually hopes to make home units that cost around $3,000. That would be a lot less than the ones currently sold by Panasonic in Japan or ClearEdge Power in California. ClearEdge sells its 5 kilowatt system for $56,000. Ceres Power in England comes out with fuel cells for residences next year that in part are made from diesel engine components to cut costs. Utilities in the UK and Ireland will sell it.link (http://www.energybulletin.net/node/51673?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)

JNB
Feb 24, 2010, 04:36 AM
Well, certainly not free.

While not on the order of water-burning carburetors, it already sounds a bit like room-temperature cold fusion. These things aren't developed in a vacuum; if this is as it claims to be, there'd be a lot more known already beyond a surprise press conference (which by itself smacks of hucksterism).

I mean c'mon, these guys aren't Apple, it's not like they can keep something like this that good of a secret until now. ;)

djellison
Feb 24, 2010, 04:43 AM
It's not free at all. What a stupid thread title. Plus, fuel cells are not new technology. Honda will rent you a fuel cell car right now in SoCal.

stridemat
Feb 24, 2010, 05:55 AM
Thread title changed. I can see that I may have got carried away.

Personally I do not feel that this is going to be anything revolutionary, but you never know this could be like the 'lightbulb moment' within the energy industry.

Tilpots
Feb 24, 2010, 07:58 AM
This sounds like a really cool technology and I don't think the Bloom folks are the only ones doing it, but they are definitely the most high profile right now. Major companies like Google and Ebay are already on board and so are major backers like Colin Powell.

Right now their claim is to have these in the majority of American homes in the next ten years, for a cost of about $3000 per unit. This doesn't include the cost of the other fuel necessary to power the box, but it's still is way cheaper than what we're all paying now.

stridemat
Feb 24, 2010, 08:19 AM
I agree if the tech giants such as Google, ebay etc, really back this idea then it could really take off. Apparently $100 million (I may have just made that number up) have already been invested, so some people must be taking the idea seriously.

Tilpots
Feb 24, 2010, 08:43 AM
I've read a couple of articles on these guys and saw the 60 Minutes interview (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/18/60minutes/main6221135.shtml) the other night. From what some are reporting, the only reason the Bloom folks are making a big media deal about this right now is because the people who are already on board want to tout their "greenness." Apparently Bloom wouldn't let or didn't want these companies revealing too much about the technology before they were ready (sound familiar?:rolleyes:). But under pressure from the Beta testers who've spent a lot of money on this tech, Bloom's about to do their big PR push and the Beta companies will jump in right behind them.

It's all very interesting, IMHO. If, and it's a big "IF", they can do what they claim, they will revolutionize what we think and know about power. I can't wait to see some real world results...

iOrlando
Feb 24, 2010, 01:07 PM
yawn. clean energy has been marketed to the masses since the 80s in earnest. Sure they let google and ebay test it out, but at the end of the day its just too expensive compared to regular electricity and fossil fuel for the average guy.

i saw this guy on 60 minutes. He said he wanted it to be in every home in 5 years and cost like 3000. uh huh.

dmr727
Feb 24, 2010, 01:40 PM
Honda will rent you a fuel cell car right now in SoCal.

Unfortunately it's hard to get selected for the program. My wife and I tried (and we're supposedly a perfect fit for their requirements), but the release was pretty limited, and apparently they got a huge number of applicants. Someday.... :)