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General Electric's Game-Changing Fuel Cell May Spark A Revolution
SeekingAlpha ^ | 29 Jul 2014 | David Alton Clark

Posted on 07/29/2014 10:19:37 AM PDT by shove_it

~snip~ The details behind the new fuel cell

The new fuel cell uses stainless steel in place of platinum and rare metals. Johanna Wellington, advanced technology leader at General Electric Global Research and the head of General Electric's fuel cell business, states:

"The cost challenges associated with the technology have stumped a lot of people for a long time. But we made it work, and we made it work economically. It's a game-changer. The new fuel cell can generate electricity at any location with a supply of natural gas. It can get going quickly, does not need new transmission lines and produces lower emissions than conventional power plants."

This is tremendous news and truly is a game changer if it comes to fruition. How did General Electric do it is the question.

[...]

"The system generates electricity by feeding hydrogen-rich fuel heated to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit through the channels cut under the anode. Equally hot air travels over the cathode. An electrochemical reaction mediated by the solid electrolyte between the hydrogen in the fuel and the oxygen in the air generates electricity, water, heat and synthetic gas, or syngas. This syngas, which contains residual hydrogen, still holds enough energy for more power generation. The fuel cell feeds the syngas to a Jenbacher engine attached to the fuel cell to generate additional electricity, bringing the electrical efficiency to 65 percent." [...]

(Excerpt) Read more at seekingalpha.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: energy

1 posted on 07/29/2014 10:19:38 AM PDT by shove_it
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To: shove_it

Cool, but seeing as GE gets so much money from US the Taxpayer the information on how to make this should be publically available via FOIA request...


2 posted on 07/29/2014 10:22:25 AM PDT by GraceG (No, My Initials are not A.B.)
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To: shove_it

I am not going to sigh up to read about the article.


3 posted on 07/29/2014 10:25:03 AM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: shove_it

Plasma Reformers have been producing large quantities of hydrogen and syngas for many years using garbage as fuel. I saw an operational unit in 2001.


4 posted on 07/29/2014 10:28:25 AM PDT by Ben Mugged (The number one enemy of liberalism is reality.)
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To: shove_it
What's the efficiency of this system compared to a simple gas powered generator alone?

5 posted on 07/29/2014 10:31:31 AM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: mountainlion
I am not going to sigh up to read about the article.
Here is press release from GE. Same words, no wall.

Freedom ≠ Free Stuff☭
I, for one, welcome our new Cybernetic Overlords /.
Mash Dobbshead® for HTML, bop Hello_Cthlhu for XAMPP

6 posted on 07/29/2014 10:33:14 AM PDT by Mycroft Holmes (The fool is always greater than the proof.)
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To: shove_it

It will be a wonderful thing to see a breakthrough that gets the typical household off the grid. Research and development of this nature is worthy of taxpayer support.


7 posted on 07/29/2014 10:33:43 AM PDT by Fester Chugabrew (Even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.)
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To: shove_it

At 65% efficiency, depending on what the minimum size is, it may be a more cost effective solution for office buildings to have a fuel cell than to buy electricity. It may also make feasible the replacement of diesel/electric locomotives with LNG/electric.


8 posted on 07/29/2014 10:36:22 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: shove_it

We’ve heard all this before - immediately coming to mind is cold fusion. And then there is “FREE” electricity from space. Ya right!!


9 posted on 07/29/2014 10:48:46 AM PDT by Cheerio (Barry Hussein Soetoro-0bama=The Complete Destruction of American Capitalism)
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To: mountainlion

I won’t sign up either but do wonder if this can be scaled down to a neighborhood size unit or eventually a single home unit. I despise GE and their head honcho Immelt for his corrupt dealings with Obama and their mercury bulb we are forced to use. Did own stock in the past but no more, can not support these crooks.


10 posted on 07/29/2014 10:49:18 AM PDT by Foundahardheadedwoman (God don't have a statute of limitations)
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To: Mycroft Holmes

Thanks for that link.


11 posted on 07/29/2014 10:50:59 AM PDT by shove_it (Directive 10-289 lives)
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To: shove_it

I wonder if it can be scaled DOWN to fit in a Big Rig or automobile?..............


12 posted on 07/29/2014 10:54:02 AM PDT by Red Badger (If you compromise with evil, you just get more evil..........................)
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To: Red Badger

That’s the holy grail.


13 posted on 07/29/2014 10:55:14 AM PDT by shove_it (Directive 10-289 lives)
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To: shove_it

For those who worship Gaea..............


14 posted on 07/29/2014 11:06:10 AM PDT by Red Badger (If you compromise with evil, you just get more evil..........................)
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To: shove_it

Sounds good, but why is my BS meter ringing? The big bugbear with fuel cells over at least 50 years has been electrode poisoning. I kind of doubt they have licked that problem with this high-temperature gizmo.


15 posted on 07/29/2014 11:08:36 AM PDT by expat2
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To: Foundahardheadedwoman
“I despise GE and their head honcho Immelt for his corrupt dealings with Obama and their mercury bulb we are forced to use”

Use LED bulbs. No mercury, and they emit a warmer light than CFLs, IMO.

16 posted on 07/29/2014 11:14:47 AM PDT by riverdawg
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To: shove_it; Mycroft Holmes; PapaBear3625; Ben Mugged

Anyone know how these low cost fuel cells would stack up against lithium ion batteries as far as costs/efficiency/etc for storing energy.

It looks like they’re too big for mobile transportation. But...—Since it looks like these machines require some electricity to run—it may be that they could be used to store energy from solar or wind facilities.

That’s a market that Musk would like to have with his lithium ion batteries—but those babies are expensive. These look much cheaper—except that they have to have a continuous supply of natural gas.


17 posted on 07/29/2014 11:18:08 AM PDT by ckilmer (q)
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To: Fester Chugabrew

If the project isn’t worthy of private support, it isn’t worthy of government support. If the project is worthy of private support, the government should stay out of the way.


18 posted on 07/29/2014 11:21:42 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Cheerio

“We’ve heard all this before - immediately coming to mind is cold fusion. And then there is “FREE” electricity from space. Ya right!!”

Yep. I’ve lost count over the decades of all of the miracle battery companies on the verge of going public if they could just get the “manufacturing” issues resolved. And then there’s all the miracle battery companies that actually did go public and then went bankrupt.

And then you have all of your miracle fuel cell breakthroughs. Killer bees, killer sunspots, the killer computer virus, the coffee crop will fail next year, the chocolate crop will fail next year: each of these runs in a two year news cycle on slow news days.


19 posted on 07/29/2014 11:22:42 AM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: Ben Mugged

“Plasma Reformers”?

Pretty fancy name for “smoldering garbage in a barrel”.


20 posted on 07/29/2014 11:24:06 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: shove_it

I just wish another energy raw material - natural gas - was not a required raw material for the fuel cell.

Yes, the price of natural gas is making it more attractive in grid generated electricity, but it is less efficient (creates less heat for a comparable input compared to coal, fuel oil or nuclear) and grid generated electricity has a lot of inefficiency (energy loss) naturally, in the grid itself.

It is also true that when it comes to heating, natural gas heaters now deliver close to 90% of the energy potential input. That makes heating a more efficient direct use of the natural gas than the 65% efficiency of using it for a fuel cell.

On the other hand, that 65% efficiency of the fuel cell IS greater than the efficiency of power-grid generated use of natural gas for electricity, when all factors including losses via the distribution system are considered.

In the question of whether or not the fuel cell is enough of a paradigm changer to bring natural gas into the home as a generator of electricity for the home, via fuel cells, that will require lots of other technical and economic questions and answers.


21 posted on 07/29/2014 11:34:23 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: ckilmer
Anyone know how these low cost fuel cells would stack up against lithium ion batteries as far as costs/efficiency/etc for storing energy.

Fuel cells do not store energy. They directly generate electricity from fuel (using natural gas in this case).

22 posted on 07/29/2014 12:05:01 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Mr. Lucky

There are conditions where both public and private interests combine in a good way. I certainly would not want to see unqualified taxpayer assistance in developing energy independence.


23 posted on 07/29/2014 12:06:21 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew (Even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.)
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To: Wuli
It is also true that when it comes to heating, natural gas heaters now deliver close to 90% of the energy potential input. That makes heating a more efficient direct use of the natural gas than the 65% efficiency of using it for a fuel cell.

The fuel cell also emits heat, which can be used to drive a conventional turbine, or used directly for heating and generating hot water.

24 posted on 07/29/2014 12:09:16 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: shove_it
The new system’s power generation efficiency can reach an unprecedented 65 percent. Overall efficiency can grow to 95 percent when the system is configured to capture waste heat produced by the process.

Dang! Expect the ChiComs, Koreans and Japanese to steal it in about 6 months.

25 posted on 07/29/2014 12:22:43 PM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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To: pierrem15
ChiComs, Koreans and Japanese to steal it in about 6 months.

One of the added "benefits" of off-shore manufacturing everything.

26 posted on 07/29/2014 12:25:20 PM PDT by nascarnation (Toxic Baraq Syndrome: hopefully infecting a Dem candidate near you)
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To: nascarnation
That will happen if GE out-sources production, but my guess is this is what will happen:

a) China will hack GE's computers and steal the technology or pay (or threaten) a Chinese American engineer to steal it for them. They will then sell a crappier version.

b)The Korean gov will make a billion dollar 'loan' to Korean chaebol that will hire a 1000 Korean engineers to reproduce the technology and offer cheap credit to customers until the GE unit goes out of business;

c)The Japanese will order several units, completely reverse engineer it, make improvements with new patents and sell a more reliable unit.

In any possible scenario, we're screwed. But hey, we get "free trade".

27 posted on 07/29/2014 12:32:54 PM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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To: pierrem15

Toyota is coming out with a fuel cell vehicle within the next year. They say that the reason they have not produced a full electric is that they believe electric will never do what most people need a car to do, a fuel cell is more efficient, and they spent, and are spending funds on fuel cell instead of electric.

I know because I just left a meeting with Toyota recently and that was a big part of the conversation.

Toyota will be they first out with a fuel cell vehicle.

So, who is stealing from who? Or whom.....?


28 posted on 07/29/2014 12:33:43 PM PDT by saleman (?)
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To: saleman
It's easy to accumulate capital for R&D when you have a domestic market closed to foreign competition and you can also use that market to subsidize increasing market share abroad.

I'm not saying they stole everything: but we certainly subsidized their advances through unfair competition.

29 posted on 07/29/2014 12:40:03 PM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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To: riverdawg

I’ll keep using my incandescents until the supply in my bulb closets is exhausted.


30 posted on 07/29/2014 12:59:47 PM PDT by citizen (There is always free government cheese in the mouse trap.....https://twitter.com/kracker0)
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To: PapaBear3625

Anyone know how these low cost fuel cells would stack up against lithium ion batteries as far as costs/efficiency/etc for storing energy.

Fuel cells do not store energy. They directly generate electricity from fuel (using natural gas in this case).

..............

So they have no storage capacity. Rather they just convert energy in the form of natural gas to electricity which has to be immediately used. The actual stored energy in fuel cells is the natural gas.

Correct?


31 posted on 07/29/2014 1:27:22 PM PDT by ckilmer (q)
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To: ckilmer

Correct. Fuel cell is for electric generation, not electric storage.


32 posted on 07/29/2014 1:57:20 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: ckilmer

Toyota’s Hydrogen vs. Tesla’s Batteries: Which Car Will Win?

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/11/16/toyotas-hydrogen-vs-teslas-batteries-which-car-wil.aspx


33 posted on 07/29/2014 2:01:54 PM PDT by shove_it (Directive 10-289 lives)
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To: shove_it; Red Badger
Toyota's Hydrogen car ...
34 posted on 07/29/2014 2:06:47 PM PDT by shove_it (Directive 10-289 lives)
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To: riverdawg

I still have the old higher wattage incandescent bulbs. I have heard the same about the LED bulbs and will switch when I run out of the old type. May be a while. Thanks.


35 posted on 07/29/2014 2:18:06 PM PDT by Foundahardheadedwoman (God don't have a statute of limitations)
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To: MrB
Validation of the Westinghouse Plasma Gasification Solution by a well-respected Fortune 500 Company, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (“Air Products”), which has a facility under construction and their second facility at the planning permission stage in the United Kingdom. ● Scale-up of the existing reference facilities to a 950 tonne per day project which will produce 50MW of electricity. This is enough electricity to power 50,000 homes http://www.westinghouse-plasma.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/NRG-Focus_April_2013_FN_SM.pdf
36 posted on 07/29/2014 3:50:27 PM PDT by Ben Mugged (The number one enemy of liberalism is reality.)
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To: mountainlion; humblegunner

I agree. I don’t like being forced to sign up for a website just to finish reading an excerpted article.


37 posted on 07/29/2014 3:54:57 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins

Seeking Alpha must be excerpted. See post #6 for a link to GE’s press release.


38 posted on 07/29/2014 4:39:45 PM PDT by shove_it (Directive 10-289 lives)
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To: mountainlion
I am not going to sigh up to read about the article.

One way to deal with SeekingAlpha is to disable JavaScript for their domain.

Of course, that also keeps the comments from loading, and the comments are often more valuable than the article.

I just sign up for such sites with a throw-away email address I have on live.com. It currently has over 57,000 messages in its inbox, and the only ones that are marked "read" are those where I needed to click to complete a signup.

39 posted on 07/29/2014 4:56:05 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: PapaBear3625
Fuel cell is for electric generation, not electric storage.

So is a lithium-ion battery. Or any other type of battery. A fuel cell is really just another type of battery. All of them produce electricity electrochemically.

If you actually aim to store electricity as electricity, you want a capacitor. Recently, so-called supercapacitors have been developed, which are capable of storing useful amounts of energy, but they're starting to blur the line between electric and chemical storage, e.g., pseudocapacitors.

40 posted on 07/29/2014 5:08:42 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cynwoody; PapaBear3625; Ben Mugged

The navy has developed an experimental way to convert seawater into jet fuel. It looks like it takes more energy in terms of electricity to make the fuel than it releases. However, it does qualify as a pretty simple energy storage device if you could take solar or wind generated electricity and brackish water or seawater to create fuel.

http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2014/scale-model-wwii-craft-takes-flight-with-fuel-from-the-sea-concept


41 posted on 07/29/2014 5:55:36 PM PDT by ckilmer (q)
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To: Ben Mugged

A BIT larger scale than I was thinking of... :)

http://www.gekgasifier.com


42 posted on 07/30/2014 5:16:49 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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