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Steve Dunkel 02-23-2010 05:48 PM

Did anyone else catch themselves dreaming Sunday while watching the Bloom Box segment on 60 Minutes? How interesting, to say the least, would it be to have a small box power our small travel trailers wherever we chose to be without creating noise or noxious fumes. OK, I'm oversimplifying but it is after all dreaming.

Donna D. 02-23-2010 07:42 PM

I didn't see the episode, so thanks for sharing the information. Hummm, not sure I'd call this prototype "small." It's the size of a garden shed. Now, if they could get one down to the size of a tongue box... that would be way cool for our trailers. I think it's really cool how technology is changing our world!!

Steve Dunkel 02-23-2010 09:13 PM

Quote:

I didn't see the episode, so thanks for sharing the information. Hummm, not sure I'd call this prototype "small." It's the size of a garden shed. Now, if they could get one down to the size of a tongue box... that would be way cool for our trailers. I think it's really cool how technology is changing our world!!
Those are the ones used for commercial applications. They are not prototypes but actual working units. I suspect the residential units would be much smaller. The inventor held up a unit the size of small Kleenex box for illustration. I don't know what would be the capacity of something that size.

peterh 02-24-2010 01:01 AM

Quote:

Those are the ones used for commercial applications. They are not prototypes but actual working units. I suspect the residential units would be much smaller. The inventor held up a unit the size of small Kleenex box for illustration. I don't know what would be the capacity of something that size.
The company press release says a unit the size of a bread box can produce one full kilowatt of power.

I don't think fuel cell technology will work for our trailers, though. They're not an on-demand kind of technology, like a battery is. Fuel cells have to be heated to a few hundred degrees to start working, and they stay hot only as long you keep pumping fuel into them. Once they heat up they're very efficient at turning fuel feed stock into electric power, though. It's not carbon-neutral by any means, but if you're gonna generate CO2 while you make electricity it's a very efficient use of hydrocarbon fuels.

The Bloom Box PR mentions that the system can operate on a wide variety of fuel feedstocks. "Biofuel to natural gas," they said. What they didn't mention is fuel cells are very sensitive to contaminants. That means most heavier fuels, like coal and fuel oil which tend to be "dirty," probably won't work well in a fuel cell. That's a pity because the US has only a very few percent of the world's oil and natural gas reserves, but about a third of the world's coal.

Steve Dunkel 02-24-2010 10:08 AM

And a very strange website by Bloom Energy. What is the countdown all about?

Edit: The countdown was apparently to launch significant changes to the website. Interesting read if you have the time.

GeorgeR 02-24-2010 04:17 PM

Bloom Box technology could be very disruptive as any good invention or in this case manufacturing innovation. If their fuel cell efficiency will be as quoted around 50 to 55% then Bloom Box could reduce carbon emission as compared to 20-30% efficiency of the power grid. Capturing fuel cell excessive heat for home could increase the overall fuel cell efficiency as well. If the efficiency, emission and cost numbers will land within business reality this innovation could place US on the energy technology lead. I am not surprise that media is buzzing about it and would not be surprise if oil business boards called emergency meetings.

George.

George Van Dongen 02-25-2010 09:31 PM

Quote:

Those are the ones used for commercial applications. They are not prototypes but actual working units. I suspect the residential units would be much smaller. The inventor held up a unit the size of small Kleenex box for illustration. I don't know what would be the capacity of something that size.
One unit according to the discover channel show last week is suppost to supply an average house for it's electrical needs. I intend to check out it's web site. They are going to start manufacturing soon?
George


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