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Old 02-24-2010, 03:43 PM   #1
2ndgenz28
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Bloom energy box enables off-grid living

Bloom energy box enables off-grid living

by Nick Rosen on February 24, 2010 · 0 comments

in ENERGY



Powell: Hypemaster-General
More details of the Bloom Box have been revealed at a carefully managed press conference in California. The much-hyped off-grid source of cheap electricity will not lead us all to disconnect from the grid tomorrow, but it is undoubtedly disruptive technology, and very exciting for the off-grid community.

The firm’s executives and backers do think that many people in future may choose to install the small box in their home and use it to generate electricity from such fuels as methane and ethanol or even solar, rather than buying it from expensive, wasteful centralised producers. It is a game-changer.


The invention is simply an oxide fuel cell, which the industry has known for years to be one of the most promising forms of power supply device. The problem has been cost, and Bloom Energy have not solved that issue.

Fuel cells are devices that convert fuel into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process rather than dirty combustion. They are like batteries except that they always run.

The Bloom box naturally takes in oxygen from the air and emits CO2 just like an ordinary hydrocarbon-fuelled generator. But it is more efficient: and unlike most fuel cells, according to its makers, it is cheap to make.

That, in a nutshell, is it: a cheap fuel cell – made of ”sand and ink” according to interviews given by Bloom CEO KR Sridhar – and are undergoing trial deployments at various customer facilities in California. Wal-Mart, FedEx, eBay and Google have been named as customers.

E-Bay chief John Donahoe told today’spress conference that Bloom is “disruptive” just like eBay was. “We put solar in, 65,000 feet of it, which powers 18% of our campus on peak. But then we ran into Bloom. Put it in last july, and it’s powering 15% off just 5 boxes.”

Mostly the pilot Bloom plants – larger, fridge or car-sized units intended to power large buildings – run on ordinary fossil-fuel natural gas, but some users intend to use gas sourced from landfills or other more eco-feely sources.

The Bloom’s Energy Server, as the company is now calling it, is “a new class of distributed power generator, producing clean, reliable, affordable electricity at the customer site.”

That is what makes interesting to people living off-grid, or wanting to.

Bloom’s fuel cell technology is different than legacy “hydrogen” fuel cells in four main ways:

1. Low cost materials – our cells use a common sand-like powder instead of precious

metals like platinum or corrosive materials like acids.

2. High electrical efficiency – we can convert fuel into electricity at nearly twice the

rate of some legacy technologies

3. Fuel flexibility – our systems are capable of using either renewable or fossil fuels

4. Reversible – our technology is capable of both energy generation and storage

Each Bloom Energy Server provides 100kW of power, enough to meet the baseload needs of 100 average homes or a small office building… day and night, in roughly the footprint of a standard parking space. For more power simply add more energy servers.

More details of the Bloom Box have been revealed at a carefully managed press conference in California. The much-hyped off-grid electricity source will not lead us all to disconnect from the grid tomorrow, but it is undoubtedly disruptive technology, and very exciting for the off-grid community.the firm’s executives and backers do think that many people in future may choose to install a small Box in their home and use it to generate electricity from such fuels as methane and ethanol rather than buying it from expensive, wasteful centralised producers.The invention is simply an oxide fuel cell, which the industry has known for years to be one ft he most promising forms of power supply device. The problem has been cost, and Bloom Energy have not solved that issue.Fuel cells are devices that convert fuel into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process rather than dirty combustion. They are like batteries except that they always run. Our particular type ofThe Bloom box naturally takes in oxygen from the air and emits CO2 just like an ordinary hydrocarbon-fuelled generator. But it is more efficient: and unlike most fuel cells, according to its makers, it is cheap to make.That, in a nutshell, is it: a cheap fuel cell – made of ”sand and ink” according to interviews given by Bloom CEO KR Sridhar – and are undergoing trial deployments at various customer facilities in California. Wal-Mart, FedEx, eBay and Google have been named as customers.E-Bay chief John Donahoe told today’spress conference that Bloom is “disruptive” just like eBay was. “We put solar in, 65,000 feet of it, which powers 18% of our campus on peak. But then we ran into Bloom. Put it in last july, and it’s powering 15% off just 5 boxes.”Mostly the pilot Bloom plants – larger, fridge or car-sized units intended to power large buildings – run on ordinary fossil-fuel natural gas, but some users intend to use gas sourced from landfills or other more eco-feely sources.The Bloom’s Energy Server, as the company is now calling it, is “a new class of distributed power generator, producing clean, reliable, affordable electricity at the customer site.”That is what makes interesting to people living off-grid, or wanting to.Bloom’s fuel cell technology is different than legacy “hydrogen” fuel cells in four main ways:1. Low cost materials – our cells use a common sand- like powder instead of precious metals like platinum or corrosive materials like acids.2. High electrical efficiency – we can convert fuel into electricity at nearly twice the rate of some legacy technologies3. Fuel flexibility – our systems are capable of using either renewable or fossil fuels4. Reversible – our technology is capable of both energy generation and storage
Each Bloom Energy Server provides 100kW of power, enough to meet the baseload needs of 100 average homes or a small office building… day and night, in roughly the footprint of a standard parking space. For more power simply add more energy servers.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:46 PM   #2
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Just read this article earlier today, sounds pretty cool. I'm hoping it is as good as they say it is and these things start catching on.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:54 PM   #3
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Just caught the end of a interview on MSNBC about it, guy was holding one in the palm of his hand.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:54 PM   #4
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Just caught the end of a interview on MSNBC about it, guy was holding one in the palm of his hand.
So they're extremely scalable then, sweet
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:59 PM   #5
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Wonder why they keep saying a carefully managed press conference? If this thing is the next cats meow I would be touting it to everyone, why carefully manage it? That makes me raise an eyebrow. Other than that, I think it is pretty dayam cool!
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriartii View Post
Wonder why they keep saying a carefully managed press conference? K
They also keep saying disruptive

"E-Bay chief John Donahoe told today’spress conference that Bloom is “disruptive” just like eBay was."


Might be like the 100MPG cars in the 70s, big energy will do what it takes to make it go away.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndgenz28 View Post
They also keep saying disruptive

"E-Bay chief John Donahoe told today’spress conference that Bloom is “disruptive” just like eBay was."


Might be like the 100MPG cars in the 70s, big energy will do what it takes to make it go away.
What 100 mpg cars of the 70s?

If there is money to be made it can't be silenced unless you pay more money than the technology is worth. And if you have more money to buy the technology to take it off the market than the technology doesn't stand on it's own. Cuz then, see, you would just buy the technology to use it to make more money. It fails that simple test.

So where do you make the most money? Selling your invention to "big energy" or implementing it yourself. It's that simple.

But to your origninal post, it will sure be interesting to see where it goes. If it can produce enough energy to power a car or even charge the batter of an EV, they might have something.

I know today the latest wind generators that are intended for Home Depot sales are like $5,000 and can only cover about 25 or so percent of the average household.

So if this is truly effective and cheap and NO risk at all, could be very interesting indeed.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:48 PM   #8
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An article posted on Daily Tech stated the current payback time is 30 years. Going to be hard pressed to get individuals to buy into it priced like that. Off the grid living sounds great, but very improbable to implement.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriartii View Post
Wonder why they keep saying a carefully managed press conference? If this thing is the next cats meow I would be touting it to everyone, why carefully manage it? That makes me raise an eyebrow. Other than that, I think it is pretty dayam cool!
Cheers
K
GM has been the same way about the Volt. There are kinks to work out, and no one is willing to confirm the most important issue which is cost.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:11 PM   #10
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if it sounds too good to be true ...
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Just caught the end of a interview on MSNBC about it, guy was holding one in the palm of his hand.
That's just the core (heart) of it.... The rest is the size of a compact car
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGthe3 View Post
if it sounds too good to be true ...
Its already in use

" undergoing trial deployments at various customer facilities in California.
Wal-Mart, FedEx, eBay and Google have been named as customers.

E-Bay chief John Donahoe told today’s press conference “We put solar in, 65,000 feet of it, which powers 18% of our campus on peak. But then we ran into Bloom. Put it in last july, and it’s powering 15% off just 5 boxes.”
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:20 PM   #13
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A wood stove and candles gets you off the grid also. The amish do it every day. Expect for the ones that have diesel generators. LOL
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndgenz28 View Post
Its already in use

" undergoing trial deployments at various customer facilities in California.
Wal-Mart, FedEx, eBay and Google have been named as customers.

E-Bay chief John Donahoe told today’s press conference “We put solar in, 65,000 feet of it, which powers 18% of our campus on peak. But then we ran into Bloom. Put it in last july, and it’s powering 15% off just 5 boxes.”
There are plenty of alt energy experiments out there. How many companies have a solar roof? Geothermal heating? Fuel cells? Wind turbines? Some try it, some are successful. But the overwhelming majority use 100% conventional souces. For decades, each time something new is tried, its promoted as a break through, the next big thing. Then reality catches up to the hype.
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