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world energy for all?

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  • Mon, Feb 22, 2010 - 04:01am

    #1

    investorzzo

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    world energy for all?

Since peak oil and energy being the way to keep economy’s going, along comes something to good to be true? I bring this to the website as this has the potential to stop future wars. Jon

http://www.bloomenergy.com/besolution.php

Sixty minutes has some video on this.The size fits in your hands. A fuel cell. 5 to 10 years.

http://earth2tech.com/2010/02/19/bloom-energy-to-unveil-the-bloom-box-on-60-minutes-sunday/

  • Mon, Feb 22, 2010 - 04:49pm

    #2
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: world energy for all?

Awesome, thanks Investorzzo.  Interesting timing for me.  I have lots of family and friends in the natural gas industry, and it has been fascinating to listen to the developments and findings in that space in the last 6 months alone.  A year ago the phrase regarding natural gas in the United States was “we are swimming in it.”  Today, that phrase is “we are drowning in it.”

Based on what I have researched and heard in the last months, natural gas can and likely will power our way through the next 100 years with no problem.  The additional amount of power needed to extract this natural gas is not an issue.  The technology advances in extracting the natural gas without using a ton more energy removes the fear that new natural gas finds will equate to the next tar sands (huge energy in to extract a minimal extra amount out).

Further, discoveries like Bloom and 100’s of others that can leverage natural gas have moved me from being extremely concerned about energy over the past few years to being more confident than ever that our energy crisis is really not that bad.  And, while I have no idea whats in the Bloom, the mention that its built with sand and cheap alloys is facinating and might solve the rare elements issue.  Human innovation?  its here.  Perhaps Bloom is not it….but there is just too much innovation that exists already to dismiss the high probability of a solution.

I gotta say, the more research I do regarding energy, the more I think the exponential wave of innovation is ahead of the exponential wave of use and depletion.  I am sure this comment will cause a stir here on this site, but I encourage us to consider the possibility that while peak oil might be near, we have solutions that will be here in plenty of time.

Again, Investorzzo – thank you for posting a bullish piece of information here – – a balance we sorely need on this site!

  • Mon, Feb 22, 2010 - 05:02pm

    #3
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: world energy for all?

er…ok…what is it?

All I saw was pretty ads, graphics and a count down. Why so hard to get to the content?

  • Mon, Feb 22, 2010 - 05:42pm

    #4
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: world energy for all?

They have been in stealth mode for several years.  Their actual launch date is this Wednesday. I suspect the web site will change then.  For those that missed it, you can read the transcript or watch the 60 Minutes segment here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/18/60minutes/main6221135_page2.shtml

 

  • Mon, Feb 22, 2010 - 11:15pm

    #5
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    Re: world energy for all?

[quote=rickets]

Awesome, thanks Investorzzo.  Interesting timing for me.  I have lots of family and friends in the natural gas industry, and it has been fascinating to listen to the developments and findings in that space in the last 6 months alone.  A year ago the phrase regarding natural gas in the United States was “we are swimming in it.”  Today, that phrase is “we are drowning in it.”

Based on what I have researched and heard in the last months, natural gas can and likely will power our way through the next 100 years with no problem.  The additional amount of power needed to extract this natural gas is not an issue.  The technology advances in extracting the natural gas without using a ton more energy removes the fear that new natural gas finds will equate to the next tar sands (huge energy in to extract a minimal extra amount out).

Further, discoveries like Bloom and 100’s of others that can leverage natural gas have moved me from being extremely concerned about energy over the past few years to being more confident than ever that our energy crisis is really not that bad.  And, while I have no idea whats in the Bloom, the mention that its built with sand and cheap alloys is facinating and might solve the rare elements issue.  Human innovation?  its here.  Perhaps Bloom is not it….but there is just too much innovation that exists already to dismiss the high probability of a solution.

I gotta say, the more research I do regarding energy, the more I think the exponential wave of innovation is ahead of the exponential wave of use and depletion.  I am sure this comment will cause a stir here on this site, but I encourage us to consider the possibility that while peak oil might be near, we have solutions that will be here in plenty of time.

Again, Investorzzo – thank you for posting a bullish piece of information here – – a balance we sorely need on this site!

[/quote]

rickets, I too wonder if the fuel cells will need any “rare earth elements” as China owns about 97 percent of them. I really am not that knowledgable on fuel cells. I believe California is the other place with some “rare earth elements”. Also, I post this from the standpoint of energy (cheap) is needed for the next 100 years. I hope we can avoid a massive war for commodities in the future. Jon

  • Mon, Feb 22, 2010 - 11:53pm

    #6
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    Re: world energy for all?

Wow. I agree with Ricketts.  Human ingenuity and politics make for unhappy marriages.  But, eventually, politics will yield ground when the opportunity to make a new source of money becomes available.  

How many electric company jobs will this cost?  I am thrilled at the idea, as I am sure many are,  but we are not out of the woods and this technology will throw as many people out of work as did the emergence of diesel train engines.  At what point do we need to reverse engineer a society that needs more people to have jobs than it needs people to work?

  • Mon, Feb 22, 2010 - 11:54pm

    #7
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    Re: world energy for all?

The devil is always in the details:

 

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/02/22/the-bloom-box-energy-breakthrough-or-silicon-valley-hype/

 

Scroll down:

Max Hugoson wrote:

.At the urging of my “well into retirement” Mother, I watched the pathetic 20 minutes of 60 minutes yesterday as others, on the “Bloom Box”. What blew me away was the complete credulity on the part of the 60 Minutes staff.

Well, no suprise they are complete MORONS. (At least technically.) After all, you scratch the surface of these yo yo’s and they think a solar panel and a windmill on top of their houses, and they can say “good bye” to their utility bills.

OK let’s go over the details:

#1. It was almost implied that this device took no fuel. (But then admitted that it takes natural gas.

#2. There was NO talk of the quality of power it puts out. Is it 100 VDC per cell? 70 Amps per cell? That’s 7000 watts, and despite the alleged 90% electrical efficiency of fuel cells, that means you have 700 watts you need to “cool” during opperation. (Compare the fan on your PC, cooling about 40 watts, so you need 20 times as much cooling ability.)

#3. It took $400,000,000 to develop commercially??? Sorry, I know dozens of products, with processing cycles similar to that shown in the 60 Minutes piece, which have takend $40,000 or $400,000 or $4,000,000 to develop, and then gone on to success. $400,000,000??!!! Something STINKS right there. There should be more than just Ebay running a unit, there should be about 50 to 100 “demo” units around.

#4. So this device “magically” works without “chemical poisoning” by Sulfur, or heavy metals or more complex organics. Could be. They do appear to be based on a concept known as a “proton conductor”, which would run at about 600 C or 1000 F. This is a high enough temperature to “burn off” organic contamination, and the Sulfur contamination could come out as SO2. But please NOTE to have “enviromentally clean” output, one STILL NEEDS a massive “gas plant” to clean up the CH4.

#5. No mention of the “surrounding equipment. Let’s see, I just bought a 300 watt, DC to AC inverter. $50.

If I want 3000 watts, I need $500 for that, if I want 30 times that much…I need $1500. Say the Bloom box costs (and judging by the capitol put into it, this would not be unreasonable) $5000. I’m now into the $6500 realm to put my Bloom box” in place. (Also, my electrician costs me about $1800!)

That’s $8,400. For me that is, at current rates, about 4 years of electrical and gas costs.

Am I given an INSURANCE policy that the Bloom box will work flawlessly for 4 years? 8 years, or like my home furnace, 30 years?

What happens to the price of CH4, when I put 50% of all electric generation on it?

#6. Now this is scary…a Bloom Box promotional site says, “Produces 60% less CO2 emissions than standard means of “burning” CH4.

Whoops, sorry, NO FUEL CELL “alters” reality. Reality is CH4 + 2O2 = CO2 + 2H20. Therefore CO2 does not just disappear.

I smell CON JOB throughout this effort. Watch it peter out and watch the “inventor” retire to Bermuda (no extradition for economic crimes) and laugh at the RUBES in “silicon valley”.

Max

  • Tue, Feb 23, 2010 - 12:22am

    #8
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    Re: world energy for all?

My understanding is that China does not have a monopoly on rare earth reserves so much as they are one of the very few nations currently extracting the rare earths, and most other countries have been content to buy from them rather than extract it themselves.  Of course even if other countries have substantial rare earth resources, the lag time it’ll take to start extracting them is very significant.  So if China cuts us off immediately, well then if there are finished products requiring rare earths we will have to buy it from China then, won’t we?  Perhaps this is part of a long-term plan of theirs to get a HUGE head-start in renewable technologies.  At least that’s what I’d do if I were them and only interested in looking out for number one…

– Nickbert

  • Tue, Feb 23, 2010 - 03:54am

    #9
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    Re: world energy for all?

investorzzo shoots and scores again with this interesting story!

I enjoyed the story and hope it works as described.  Not surprisingly, it was a consumer piece with few operational details given.  They showed a residential cell stack without any of the peripheral equipment and inlet outlet connections.  It looked to be the size of a brick or two. I think the unit with trim and cabinet is a little smaller than a refrigerator.

They suggested that an energy savings of 50% had been realized but offered no details.  Natural gas seems to be the chemical fuel of choice which marries nicely with the U.S. reserves but it is a finite energy supply like oil. 

One thing I don’t understand is how does this device operate as clean as they claim when they are using natural gas as the chemical fuel.  Are they converting the gas to hydrogen without any carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, etc.  

While this is good news that alternatives are being developed, it is not a panacea. 

Larry

 

  • Wed, Feb 24, 2010 - 04:57pm

    #10
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    Re: world energy for all?

There are no panaceas,  there are only options and alternatives that when married together can provide us with what we need.  Malthus was wrong because humans learned to get more food out of less land.  CM is wrong about energy because the alternatives have always been there,  they have been suppressed or shunted off as unrealistic,  when they are realistic if you see them as a part of the solution,  not the entire solution.

Bio fuels were invented by George Washington Carver for heaven’s sake.  The issue has always been politics and money,  not  a lack of ingenuity or ability.

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