« Welsh Jobs for Which Workers? | Main | Hopes and fears of all our years »

Blooming Marvellous?

All eyes on Bloom Box fuel cell launch | guardian.co.uk

A new but still unseen technology that its creator claims can be an off-grid source of cheap, clean electricity in a device the size of a loaf of bread is about to get its close-up.
The formal debut of Bloom Energy's much-hyped fuel cell, known as the Bloom Box, will take place at eBay's headquarters in California on Wednesday, and will reportedly attract figures from the former secretary of state, Colin Powell, who is on the company's board, to the state's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Bloom Box allegedly uses natural gas or plant waste as fuel while producing relatively little carbon dioxide.
But its real potential lies in its claimed ability to use any fuel source – gas, plants, wind, solar, etc – to generate power, which would theoretically enable the Bloom Box to operate entirely off the electricity grid.

So it is a clever fuel cell. Fantastic, great news, but it looks like a little over-hyping is going on. It may be very efficient but if it uses carbon based fuel it will still produce CO2 and Water in the same proportions as any other way of breaking down the fuel to energy. And I can't quite see how you can put wind, or sunlight, through a fuel cell either.
But let's hope, access to cheap, efficient, portable power supplies will do more to improve the lives of millions than any amount of waffle.

Comments

it is the missing component for wind and solar
both of them can be used to supply electricity to break down water
when ever the sun shines and/or the wind blows...
then the hydrogen (stored) can run the fuel cell 24/7...
all with a tremendous loss of energy to convert water...not to mention storage costs and space..
any millionaire can do this ..

"A new but still unseen technology ..."

Uh, Guardianista, you are looking at one. ALsom while the domestic version for homes is not ready for market, commercial versions are already in operation.

As to being capable of being "off-grid" note it uses natural gas - so unless you have your own supply, you will have to connect to and use a fossil-fuel grid.

Tim Worstall goes into some detail...

http://timworstall.com/2010/02/23/the-bloom-box/

Post a comment