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Guru
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Fuel Cells

02/25/2010 11:10 AM

I generally do not get all that excited about new alternative energy announcements, but this shows some real promise:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/24/MNIO1C6M96.DTL

The company web site is http://www.bloomenergy.com/products/

Worth looking at...

This is not a commercial promotion for this product- what I would like to know, anyone have any information that is not publicity hype about this system?

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Guru
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#1

Re: Fuel Cells

02/25/2010 1:42 PM

Ah yes the "Bloom" - a hydrocarbon fuel to electricity converter.

http://www.gizmag.com/bloom-box-fuel-cell-system-clean-power-home/14293/

Not really alternative energy as you still need a hydrocarbon fuel source piped to the fuel cell for it to work.

One key point that is NOT mentioned is the lifespan of the fuel cell stack ($3000-$100,000 a time). Just another in the long line of developments and real world trials of fuel cells that may eventually lead to something viable in the near future.

Here is the best explanation and breakdown of the technology I have found.

http://www.tinaja.com/whtnu10.asp#d02-23-10

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#6
In reply to #1

Re: Fuel Cells

02/26/2010 6:17 PM

I actually did see where the $3000 home version is expected to last ten years. Of course they are still doing reliability testing. The list of companies that already have some of the big ones on line is impressive.

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#10
In reply to #6

Re: Fuel Cells

02/28/2010 7:45 PM

I have seen the presentation also. along with the hydrogen battery that would soon be available to the average house hold user and the cheap solar that would solve all our problems. The trouble with these claims is if they became available as stated , it would upset the balance of power in the middle east. I have reason to suspect the oil establishment is not really going to allow this to happen without at least trying to do away with small upset companies. Best to operate in invisible mode while infrastructure is being developed.Not like the local boy who made is 440 Dodge go 56 miles to a gallon of regular gasoline and the sell out to Shell for $500.00 and free gas for a year.

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Guru
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#2

Re: Fuel Cells

02/25/2010 1:51 PM

Thanks for the links, sue- still getting lost in the publicity hype...Yes, they are expensive, but then again, their grid energy costs are a bit low when compared to other parts of the world- here in Panama, going rate is $0.17/kW-hr, and remote, off-grid sites are paying upwards of $0.19. Unfortunately, at these remote sites, one also has a problem getting fuel in- nothing, but nothing, can compete with diesel for ease of handling. I think, as with wind and solar, this is still out there from a practical standpoint...

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#13
In reply to #2

Re: Fuel Cells

03/04/2010 7:12 PM

Here's something new for energy off the grid: sounds like very feasible hydroelectric on the small scale - all you need is a stream moving 7.5 feet per second...

http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/11725/Backpack-Power-Plant-You-ARE-the-Grid

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Guru
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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Fuel Cells

03/04/2010 8:44 PM

Interesting concept- but at $3000 for half a kW, it comes in at twice the cost of a micro-hydro I recently installed- and the system I installed included batteries for storage and power conditioning (not so dependent on flow rate specifically)...

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#3

Re: Fuel Cells

02/25/2010 1:58 PM

Thanks for the links, the following one started to ring alarm bells for me though......

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/video-qa-with-bloom-energys-founder-next-gen-fuel-cells-and-more/

Sridhar (in the video and earlier in the day) also explains how Bloom may enhance the fuel cell in the future for a push into the domestic market in about a decade and the enhancement represents both a step forward and a step back. Carbon dioxide and water are byproducts of the gas-to-electricity reaction. By adding some additional "plumbing" components, the fuel cell can capture the water, run it through the fuel cell later and produce hydrogen. Hydrogen could then be stored until needed to power a car or provide electricity to a home.

The water-to-hydrogen reaction will require additional electricity. Bloom suggests that solar panels can provide this power.

I have seen this type of flawed thinking before (from the HHO crowd for one). Converting natural gas (a fuel) to water to hydrogen (an energy carrier) using energy from solar panels (a net energy sink)!!

Not saying this is a scam, but actual viability as a product is still in doubt, and touting the (flawed) "hydrogen economy" isn't helping convince me.

I look forward to further field trials and development (I can think of a few uses for a viable version of these for remote applications such as natural gas platforms).

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#4

Re: Fuel Cells

02/25/2010 6:01 PM

Well, I can see why the government in California is offering the subsidy. The problem there is unsustainable peak demand on the grid. If a viable fuel cell was available, it could become a way to take some demand off the grid.

It sounds like life of the bloom cell is the big unanswered question, and nobody will take the risk of early burnout if it's full price - enter the government subsidy and tax cuts, and the happy corporate customers, who are, in fact, testing the tech in return for a freebie, not really saving on energy costs. Nice promotion for Bloom though!

I didn't find anything in the links to suggest how they hope to use wind or solar inputs to it.

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#5

Re: Fuel Cells

02/25/2010 11:17 PM

I thought Tesla had something similar going for himself. You know, the old positive negative metals with any kind of movement between or around them would create a charge.

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#7

Re: Fuel Cells

02/27/2010 2:16 PM

Saw the article on 60 Minutes and then on National Geographic Channel video!

Incredible technology!

I want one in my house yesterday!!! heheheehee

Better yet, where do I go to invest in the Bloom Energy Co. or is it only private investors presently??? that'd be a real bummer....

anyhow BYE BYE NATIONAL ELECTRIC GRID!!!!!!

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Fuel Cells

02/28/2010 12:24 AM

Just send your hard earned dollars to ,"Rekcus Corporation International ". Hurry before all the shares are sold. You will get your share responce as you read the letters on the glass door as you leave.

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#12
In reply to #7

Re: Fuel Cells

03/03/2010 4:46 PM

Well it appears they have the funding necessary to develop the technology for mass production.

KPCB, New Enterprise Associates, Morgan Stanley and other investors have ponied up over $100 million in seed funding with up to $400 million on tap for ramping up production capabilities.

http://www.planetanalog.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=223100500&cid=NL_planet

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#9

Re: Fuel Cells

02/28/2010 6:44 PM

Without wanting to be biased (I used to work for this company), watch this space:

www.cfcl.com.au

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Fuel Cells

02/28/2010 7:48 PM

Please explain " use to " before I give comment. Not bad vibes please.

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