The "Bloom Box". Does this change everything?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A fuel cell in every home? Google getting a license to be an energy trader? Just where is this all going?



http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10457646-64.html

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    A fuel cell in every home? Google getting a license to be an energy trader? Just where is this all going?



    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10457646-64.html





    Reading around about this, supposedly Google was the first to try this machine.



    I was wondering how the device uses solar until I read elsewhere that eBay and Google have the Bloom box outside exposed to the sun. Perhaps there is some sort of solar panels incorporated in the cover to give it a little extra performance? After all, any exhaust could be vented if there is any.



    Fossil fuels are basically concentrated sunlight energy from millions of years ago locked into hydrocarbons, which when released, produce more energy than what's put in to release it. This is why solar panels need to be so large and widespread to produce the same amount of energy, and why using oil is a tough habit to break. It's already concentrated liquefied energy, not to mention easily portable.



    What this Bloom Box device does is make the releasing of that fossil fuel energy more efficient than the burning and mechanical conversion we traditionally use, no wonder it's twice as efficient. Also a added benefit is the fact that the energy release occurs close to the use, reduces the loss of energy from the resistance in the power lines used to carry the electricity. Which I wonder if that is calculated into or not at all in their results.



    It seems to me the ink covered ceramic disks are a catalyst for the process, if so, it might be possible to increase the surface area and reduce the size and cost of the device.



    A interesting thing is as well, is supposedly if the process is reversed, it produces oxygen. As this is a result of the Mars planning by NASA where astronauts would have to produce their own oxygen for the trip.



    I guess more questions will be answered soon. But if this thing doesn't have any major drawbacks and can be mass produced for low costs and installation, it should adopt well for everyone who has a natural gas pipe line to their homes.



    Natgas is cheap and plentiful in the US.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    A fuel cell in every home? Google getting a license to be an energy trader? Just where is this all going?



    Every time you take a shower, an ad will popup telling you you need to try being turned into a cartoon.



    I like that someone is actually doing something about making energy cheaper but I can't help but think the prices will stay the same. Energy prices are going up right now and Bloom Box uses half the equivalent energy of current solutions - by the time it rolls out, prices will have gone up by double and then been cut in half.



    The main benefit is not having to run huge power stations to generate electricity and send them over miles and miles of land. Stations can be localized with a gas supply and electricity sent over short distances.



    I don't see this being a home solution at $3,000 per unit as it's a bit expensive but maybe if they factor it into the mortgage or something.



    Testers seem to be happy with it and that's what really counts and with big backers, it can go far. It's good that it's not a product that we find out about and they say maybe we'll see something in 10 years and never do. Actually running businesses from this product is a great proving ground.



    I don't think the Bloom Box is the Holy Grail but if it's significantly better then at least it's progress towards the ideal.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Every time you take a shower, an ad will popup telling you you need to try being turned into a cartoon.



    I like that someone is actually doing something about making energy cheaper but I can't help but think the prices will stay the same. Energy prices are going up right now and Bloom Box uses half the equivalent energy of current solutions - by the time it rolls out, prices will have gone up by double and then been cut in half.



    The main benefit is not having to run huge power stations to generate electricity and send them over miles and miles of land. Stations can be localized with a gas supply and electricity sent over short distances.



    I don't see this being a home solution at $3,000 per unit as it's a bit expensive but maybe if they factor it into the mortgage or something.



    Testers seem to be happy with it and that's what really counts and with big backers, it can go far. It's good that it's not a product that we find out about and they say maybe we'll see something in 10 years and never do. Actually running businesses from this product is a great proving ground.



    I don't think the Bloom Box is the Holy Grail but if it's significantly better then at least it's progress towards the ideal.



    At $3,000 per unit (I don't know if that would include installation... probably not) you're talking about a major shift in the way electricity is generated and delivered to the home. As a matter of fact, most homes would effectively be "off the grid" except to sell electricity back to their utilities. Power generation could even be broken down to block-by-block stations for delivery to neighborhoods if in-home installation doesn't make sense.



    It sounds very exciting, but it's so important for them to be able to scale up production and hit that magic price point.



    If GE or Siemens or Matsushita comes sniffing around or scoops up the company immediately, you'll know there's something significant in the offing.
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