Re: world energy for all?
The story showed that there is a lot of money behind the BloomBox and no doubt, we saw an “infomercial” snuck in as prime time news. I’m greatly in favor of fuel cells as they provide an efficient and **clean alternative to the electrical “grid.” Electrical power in the U.S. is generated at an average of around 40%. Distribution losses across the grid add another 5-8%. The energy saving potential is enormous.
**clean = the environmental impact + clean electricity (as monitored on an oscilloscope and voltage meter)
As far as I can see, the new fuel cell will be cheaper as their patented process negates the need for exotic metals in the stack. The big innovation seems that it is more of a gas transfer device. When running on natural gas, it does emit CO2, but the ratio is much lower than existing, non-hydrogen technologies.
The news piece suggested an overall energy savings of 50% but much of the generation simply moves from the electrical grid to the gas grid. Electricity, in most parts of the country, has been more stable than rising gas costs. This has hurt the fuel cell industry.
Yes, fuel cells may provide reliable and less expensive electricity but for heating and cooling needs a geothermal heat pump can deliver 250-450% efficiency. The future may marry these, and other mature technologies in a symbiotic relationship. The BloomBox runs at well over 1,000 degrees F – they assume you will harness the rejected heat to attain the projected performance – why not reject the heat into a geothermal heat pump?