# Bloom Box Energy Source

1. Feb 25, 2010

### Cyrus

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
2. Feb 26, 2010

### TheStatutoryApe

Wow. I almost thought it was a joke at the beginning.

I thought that wireless energy was pretty much a no go though? Too much waste.

3. Feb 26, 2010

8 years, $400 million in venture capital and no products? Gee, I'm a believer! 4. Feb 26, 2010 ### Cyrus What do you mean no products, did you watch the video? He listed companies using it in trail phase..... 5. Feb 26, 2010 ### russ_watters ### Staff: Mentor Sorry...hadn't gotten to that part yet. ....my other issue with it is that to the end user, how is this better than a gas turbine? (at$7,000 per kW!)

6. Feb 26, 2010

### Cyrus

Are you seriously comparing a fuel cell, to a gas turbine that has constantly rotating components?

The lifecycle costs would be much lower.

7. Feb 26, 2010

Microturbines currently cost $700-$1100 per kW, with a target if volume increases of $650 per kW: http://www.wbdg.org/resources/microturbines.php?r=secure_safe Assuming the fuel cell doesn't degrade. But at 1/8th the cost, you could just about buy a new one instead of overhauling it once a year! 8. Feb 26, 2010 ### Cyrus According to Ref [1], it's been tested at the University of Tennesee under a DOE grant, and the designer is a PhD that worked on Mars fuel cells for NASA, so this isn't some crackpot. The question is if he is able to make fuel cell cheap. If so, it will be a breakthrough in mass-marketing the technology. This thing will cost about$3k per household. How do you figure it is only 1/8 the cost?

References:

9. Feb 26, 2010

### Staff: Mentor

Agreed, though the longevity and maintenance issue is also an assumption you are making. No, it doesn't have as many moving parts, but it does burn hot, so I'm not inclined to just accept that it will last as long or work with considerably less maintenance.
He says he wants household units - which don't exist - to cost $3,000 for a 1 kW unit (which he says will supply a household, but really won't: they'll need at least 5 kW). It actually costs$700,000-$800,000 per 100 kW.$7,000/kw / ((\$700+1100)/2) = 7.8x

That doesn't paint a very rosy picture of the economic outlook.

I also didn't like his showmanship - holding up a stack of plates and saying 'this is all it takes' when in fact his device has a bigger footprint than a microturbine.

Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
10. Feb 26, 2010

### Topher925

No it isn't!

Welcome to five years ago.

11. Feb 26, 2010

### Cyrus

He started his company 8 years ago. He didn't invent this yesterday. So, if I showed you this 8 years ago, would your comment still apply?

12. Feb 26, 2010

### chiro

Thanks for the story Cyrus. I've been following the free energy scene for a while but I haven't seen anything like this (and publicized in such a way as this) for a very long time.

There is one thing that this has compared to so called other "free energy" technologies and that is that the device requires fuel. The oil companies of the world won't mind this and certainly bloom energy will benefit because it has a "razor-blade" business model.

As for wireless energy there is a physicist named Dr Konstantin Meyl who demonstrated wireless electricity in an american conference some time ago. His work has been replicated in several other universities. I can't remember his website off the top of my head but if you want to verify my claims google Konstantin Meyl and you should find his website.

The last thing I want to happen however is for some powerful entity to buy up this technology and shelve it (which i don't think will happen) because it presents a strong threat to their business. I'm actually glad that the inventor has had the discipline to keep quiet and then become very public when a final product has been made. In researching different energy sources a lot of people announce what they are doing and do not have a fully working model and hence announce prematurely. Granted some of these people might be crackpots and scammers no doubt but for the few that probably are not trying to pull your leg, the inventors end up dead, or threatened to be killed.

I hope that this technology also reaches the mass market and not just the big corporations.

Thankyou very much Cyrus for the story. Appreciate it.

13. Feb 26, 2010

### Topher925

He didn't invent anything. He's just using a different material than a lot of other companies and a slightly different design (apparently, electrolyte support instead of anode support). SOFCs have been around a lot longer than 8 years, they just haven't become so commercially viable and cost effective until about 5 years ago.

14. Feb 26, 2010

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
And still, they haven't gone much below the 500-600C threshold set by the ionic conductivity of YSZ.

15. Feb 26, 2010

### Topher925

Thats just the nature of the material. Operating at temperatures that high isn't necessarily a bad thing for most applications. But if you want lower temperatures, use a different electrolyte.

16. Feb 26, 2010

### minger

Have their been any independent research regarding the actual efficiencies of this thing? I seem to recall reading/hearing something from Google where they basically said, "We don't care how efficient it is, it's good PR."

I think I heard somewhere in that interview (watched it last week, sorry) that he was seeing ~80% efficiency. I'm not sure if this is for one component or fuel in/energy out, etc. The thing is that this thing produces CO2 just like any other fossil fuel generating device, so the whole "green" thing really only applies if it's more efficient.

If it's more efficient that the ~60% power plant -~8% transmission losses, then I'd might be on board. As everyone has agreed on though, price....

17. Feb 26, 2010

### Topher925

Not that I know of. But judging by just what I have seen from the design shown in the videos, 40-50% is probably a very good estimate.

There is no doubt in my mind that the ~80% efficiency number includes co-generation. Thats around what your typical SOFC co generation system would be. However, if your talking just electrical power from your typical power plant, I don't see how this could ever be better than your run of the mill nuclear power plant.

18. Feb 26, 2010

### minger

agreed.

19. Feb 26, 2010

### Chi Meson

Assuming that what the 60 Minute piece said is correct (not always a safe assumption), the boxes at the Google site used only half the natural gas compared to what would be used to provide the same power via the grid. That is at least the way I understood it.

Anything that uses "half" is OK by me (except us Americans tend to think that allows us to use twice as much...). Color me slightly skeptical, but hopeful. There are serious businessmen here who seem to be convinced.

20. Feb 26, 2010