Skip to comments.The Bloom Box: An Energy Breakthrough? Customers Say Energy Machine Works & Saves Money (Important!)
Posted on 02/22/2010 4:36:25 AM PST by MindBender26
(CBS) In the world of energy, the Holy Grail is a power source that's inexpensive and clean, with no emissions. Well over 100 start-ups in Silicon Valley are working on it, and one of them, Bloom Energy, is about to make public its invention: a little power plant-in-a-box they want to put literally in your backyard.
You'll generate your own electricity with the box and it'll be wireless. The idea is to one day replace the big power plants and transmission line grid, the way the laptop moved in on the desktop and cell phones supplanted landlines.
It has a lot of smart people believing and buzzing, even though the company has been unusually secretive - until now.
K.R. Sridhar invited "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl for a first look at the innards of the Bloom box that he has been toiling on for nearly a decade.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
At its core, it is a new, quantum-leap more-efficient fuel cell that is built with inexpensive components.
Mr. Bloom's units have been quietly powering large office buildings of Google and Ebay in California for years. Heavy hitters on the Board.
Could reduce need for POL imports dramatically.
Time to read/watch whole story is worth it.
The EPA would disagree. "Polutant" CO2 is released. And that vicious "water vapor" as well.
It is a fuel cell. Water is the final product.
I’ve long said, and believed, that if you could find an energy source that was 100% non-polluting (depending on how you define that), and harnessed the energy of a thousand suns in a device the size of a battery, the left would find a way to destroy it or restrict its use. They DON’T WANT us to be free, and energy restrictions are one of the means they use to achieve that.
Is this the same outfit that makes those 200MPG carbureators?
Given the stealthiness, we were surprised when Sridhar showed us - for the very first time - how he makes the "secret sauce" of his fuel cell on the cheap.
He said he bakes sand and cuts it(power cells) into little squares that are turned into a ceramic. Then he coats it with green and black "inks" that he developed. Sridhar told Stahl there is a secret formula. "And you take that and you apply that. You paint that on either side of this white ceramic to get a green layer and a black layer. And that's it.
secret formula=pixie dust=scam. Sorry, ain't buying it.
I recall a similarly researched piece on 60 minutes about cold fusion some years ago...years later found to be a fabrication.
Interesting. Thanks for posting.
Well heck. I do the same thing to beer (sort of).
Bump to read later
The systems running on landfill waste gasses would necessarily require more waste put in a landfill to maintain it's fuel supply.
That should go over well.
Anytime I hear some company wants to put a box in every yard throughout the world I get very skeptical. Not saying this box doesn’t work. Just saying whatever makes it work could probably be used in a way that wouldn’t require having millions of boxes all over the place.
Silly man.......you really believe they want a solution?
“They” are anti-industrialist, anti-American, population control freaks!
Nope, but a scam breakthrough most likely
Not all fuel cells are hydrogen/oxygen. One fuel they have been using is natural gas. So CO2 will be produced along with water.
Four units have been powering a Google datacenter for 18 months. They use natural gas, but half as much as would be required for a traditional power plant.
seems like wnehever the ecopnomy tanks, or gas prices rise, all sorts of crackpots crawl out of the woodwork to soak the gullible.
bump for later read
Pretty much hype. As near as I can tell, this is just another solid oxide fuel cell. I think I need to see more info on precisely what the “breakthroughs” supposedly are.
Only if the fuel source is pure hydrogen. Since they are using various hydrocarbons (or other carbon-containing fuels, there WILL also be CO2 emissions). The sole advantage of SOFC's of this sort is that they are way more efficient than conventional steam and/or gas turbine generating plants.
It's basic biology. Tiny bacteria at the sewage plant eat organic waste and emit methane gas. The gas is captured and converted to electricity. The electricity is used to power the sewage plant.
Akron put a system like this online last December to process one-third of the sludge going through its wastewater treatment plant and is finding success: The city is saving about 15 percent on its electricity bill.
Akron's methane-powered sewage plant is the only system of its kind in the United States. But other cities, including Solon and Canton, now are looking to follow Akron's lead.
Use of this biological process to create energy from waste should gain momentum within the next five to 10 years, predicted Jim Currie of Ohio State University. That's because conventional ways of disposing of waste are becoming too expensive and our appetite for new fuel sources is increasing, said Currie, program director of BioHio at OSU's Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster.
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC's) have to be brought up to a compararatively high temperature before the electrical conductivity of the oxide electrolyte drops to a level low enough to function.
Algor’s conglomerate and associates will find a way to lock up any invention that threatens their wealth and power. Thats what Al’s real “lock box” is about.
Actually, "cold fusion" is alive and doing quite well these days. The claims have been reproduced repeatedly in reputable labs.
“This Island Earth” what a great line, but I believe, just like Algea Oil, this is the future.
Was it as well researched as the hit-piece 60 Minutes did on Alar back in the 1980s?
Interesting story. I do not believe it is far fetched. Some time in the future...maybe 20-100 years from now, this may be a type of product picked up for a few hundred of todays dollars and be smaller. With the advancement of nano-technology I would guess we can produce things like this when we begin to understand how to truly manipulate molecules en-mass. I would love a product like this on my 10 acres as I could have something to power the home and there would be no blackouts when the icestorms came......If there is a portable one, it would make camping a riot! Keep one in your car to use at the beach....good stuff.
BS Detector Pegging
The same reason you need a match or spark to light a gas burner or gas grill. The oxygen won't combine with the fuel unless the temperature is raised high enough to start the reaction. Afterward the reaction is self-sustaining as long as the fuel and oxygen comes in.
Bloom Energy, is about to make public its invention: a little power plant-in-a-box they want to put literally in your backyard. .. You'll generate your own electricity with the box and it'll be wireless.
Bet it can't touch the Cold Fusion Reactor (CFR) I made in my garage. You want to about cheap energy, well, my little CFR is it.
uh-oh, there's that dang Black Helicopter again. those sobs are really after me this time.
(they're prolly from, 'Big Oil'. that's gotta be it)
I agree completely. I think nanostructured materials will give us huge breakthroughs in many areas of technology. It appears that one such has just been made for solar cell efficiency:
Kudos to you for a useful analogy!
(Disclaimer: not saying the Bloom box is useful, nor that it isn’t. Just giving praise where praise is due.)
Everyone has thrown out reasons for this recession/depression, I have always believed it was caused by the cost of energy. Yes, people were living above their means in homes they could barely afford, most were right on the edge of affordability in their budgets, living paycheck to paycheck but they were making it, then fuel skyrocketed.
I also believe a cheaper fuel source at this time would lift the whole world out of this quagmire.
I’m surprised systems like this aren’t more common, not just in cities, but also in areas that raise a lot of cattle and hogs. Composting for the organic matter is a good business. Why not add composting for the methane/energy?
Not a scam. Sridhar isn't going to divulge the chemical formula for the anode, cathode and electrolyte on broadcast television and he had to keep things simple because he was, after all, speaking to that nitwit Leslie Stahl.
Which is why I'm a fan of plasma arc gasification.
Our company is in the business of alternative fuels and I can tell you that commercial production of fuel from algae isn't the future. Just because something can be accomplished in the lab doesn't mean it will ever be commercial. There are huge problems with commercializing the process of fuels from algae and it is unlikely they can be solved; at least in the next 50 to 100 years.
The government acts stupidly or with malice; you pick. The carbon dioxide/global warming/energy shortage is a complete scam designed to control populations and launch the One World Government.
Oh, and by the way. All the Government money being poured into cellulosic processes to fuel is also a scam. The Germans had large commercial plants turning wood waste into ethanol as far back as the 1890s. Back then they could produce 50 gallons of ethanol per ton of biomass. Guess what? We are now up to about 60 tons. Like algae, the cellulosic to fuels processes are too expensive and will likely never be commercial except in extreme circumstances where the cost of acquiring and transporting the biomass is less than free.
Mega power companies aren’t going to like this.
yeah, because if I had a scientific breakthrough, I sure would want to announce it through a show with the integrity of 60 minutes.
OTOH, if I had a scam to push on people ...
Either we believe that officials at FedEx, WalMart and Google are lying on tape or the thing works: the boxes do produce power, in quantity, in the field. There may be hidden gotchas, of course, but at first glance it looks pretty good .
I didn’t see the story but am familiar with the technology.
First, the commercial box produces enough electricity to run dozens of households.
Second, the fuel cell is only part of the entire unit. There are additional components to deal with fuel conditioning and delivery and another set of components to deal with heat management. Fuel cells produce DC current so there is going to be an inverter and additional electrical components.
Agreed on both points. Four dollar a gallon gasoline started the current conflagration.
“”This invention, working on Mars, would have allowed the NASA administrator to pick up a phone and say, ‘Mr. President, we know how to produce oxygen on Mars,’” Sridhar told Stahl.
“So this was going to produce oxygen so people could actually live on Mars?” she asked
“Absolutely,” Sridhar replied.”
HOLY COW!! Does it cure baldness too?
There might be something here since it was funded by so called smart money. At least I was never solicited by this company for investment via email or snail mail.
Putting a box in every house is not their immediate goal. Selling big units to industry is their first goal. Selling big units to utilities is their second goal. Selling small units in areas with erratic electrical supply is later down the line.
They want to sell units to the utilities. If a gas line is available, it would be cost effective to install one at a substation to supply an entire neighborhood, this would reduce strain on, and extend the life of the current power grid.